Houston – Good or bad?

Houston – Good or bad?

Location:  Houston, TX

Days 43-44

Yesterday was spent getting ready to start traveling again.  It takes time to get everything packed into its place so that it isn’t bouncing around the whole time, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, draining the tanks and filling the water tank, etc.

Today: Traveling

Today is Wednesday and our objective is to get to Myrtle Beach by Saturday.  LOTS of driving.  Our goal was to get to Baton Rouge, LA and spend the night there.

I think it is best to repost Shannon’s Facebook post here to describe some of the rest.

Ok. So here is the skinny.

Left San Antonio this morning just before 11.

‘Crazy a’ winds all the way until right before Houston = 3+ hours. Like crazy enough (for me) I was sobbing I was so scared.

Drive to see Temple. That sounded easy, didn’t it? Welp, it wasn’t and I’ll break it down for you.

Instead of choosing to ‘drop’ the motorhome somewhere – like Walmart – and unhitch the car (which we didn’t even think of until after the fact…but you bet your butt it will be a major thought in the future!!!!!), we decide to drive the motorhome. Towing our car. No big deal, right? After all, they DID have motorhome parking at the Temple… Ha!

Get on interchange to go to the Temple. Another ‘ha’ (we didn’t get on)! *Instead* become tightwads and not want to pay toll on toll road where navigation is telling us to go. So take back roads instead. Brilliant, right? They just have roads like Redwood Rd, Bangerter, and State Street all over. Third Ha!

Clunk Clunk Clunk Clunk Clunk. THAT is the sound of our antenna (on the top of the motorhome) hitting the trees above.

Gabloonka. THAT is the sound of going over a curb in order to turn.

Tension. Anxiety. Accusations. Anger. Frustration. Hanger. Ya know. The ‘typical’ in a high stress situation…and of course wanting lunch all at the same time.

Finally get to the Temple. Turn in and another BIG gabloonka (remember, sound for ‘curbing’). Like a big massive one. Get to back of parking lot and want to die from built up tension and anxiety. Instead plug along and take pictures of the amazing Temple and grounds as husband sits with the motorhome so she can cool off, and so he can look up where we can eat and maybe close his eyes a minute – since you kept him up most of the night because you were freaking out and sobbing because you were so scared of the wind because – tornado season.

Then unhitch to make sure you can get out of the Temple parking – without another gabloonka. Get halfway down the road we are going to turn on for food and ding ding ding motorhome is hot. Temp doesn’t go down. It goes up. Pull over into tiny Chevron parking lot where there’s not much room for your 41′ butt.

Husband suggests wife goes and gets food while we wait for our babe to cool down. Wife thinks this is a good idea and goes. (Doesn’t get lost. Seriously I didn’t. No I’m not joking.) Wife comes back. We eat. But while wife is gone, husband figures out problem (‘Big a’ crack in coolant reservoir tank) and calls a bunch of people and places. One is 3+ weeks out. Another is a week and a half. Another can’t do it. But we found the part. And then we called another place. (Sings) YAY! They can do it!!!

Decides she’s cool enough, and to put extra antifreeze in and try to drive her another 3 miles to the Flying J where we can stay for the night and then have her towed in the morning.

Only make it 1 mile to another gas station.

Call insurance company. Arrange to get her towed.

While waiting for tow truck, husband schedules a hotel close by for the night.

Finally tow truck comes (5ish hours after our original call to our insurance company.)

Get Bessie towed.

Sob uncontrollably some more because…towing 41′ of my home and not in control and sad and miss her already.

Call Mom to update. Sob some more.

Get to where we are towing to, and owner randomly shows up at the EXACT SAME TIME. It looked orchestrated. It was. By God.

‘Check out with tow truck driver’. See bill is $550. Rejoice that you only had to pay $42 for your part. Praise God for tender mercies.

Get Bessie checked in 2+ hours after shop closed. Was told we can sleep in her right there!

Cancel hotel. They kindly don’t charge you a cancellation fee.

Go to pick up parts (to expedite the fixing) – which takes an hour and 20 minute round trip with all the driving and waiting.

Get back.

Crash in bed from sheer exhaustion.

For real, this was one of THE longest days of my ENTIRE life!!!!! And I have to be up at the buttcrack of dawn – at least for me – so she can be worked on.

Now you have been updated.

I’m much better, now, and I have hope and a reassurance that everything is going to be okay, and IS okay. And I’m grateful.

I take for granted, so much. But owning a motorhome is teaching me that instant gratification isn’t ever possible. Parts need to be ordered, repair shops are booked out, dumb stuff happens. It isn’t easy to get them fixed. At least in comparison to a popular car.

And it’s all okay. And I’m thankful.

Our takeaways?

1 – listen to that ‘huh’ maybe it would be good to have Freightliner (in Lubbock) replace the tank thing while they’re already working on it.

2 – look ahead, more. Know where you’re going BEFORE you get stuck on a toll road or a Clunk road.

3 – be patient. Stop rushing. If you are stressed out beyond all stressed out-ness. Pause. And stop. Until you can get ‘back’ to calmness.

4 – never underestimate how your gratitude can change anyone’s life. Like the parts dude that you express gratitude to for being open 24/7 that said they don’t usually get told thanks.

5 – don’t be lazy. The 5 minutes of unhitching could’ve saved us this whole experience…maybe it was the gabloonkas that sent it over the edge???

6 – never underestimate the power of God and His orchestration in your life. Maybe you ended up missing a tornado because you weren’t on ‘your’ schedule.

7 – it’s all just okay. And it’s perfect for you to trust.

She did a great job telling the story!  Here is a picture of the tow truck.

We were lucky enough to find a shop that was willing to work on her the next day.  The next day, since we were going to be waiting to get her fixed, we went back to the Houston temple to do some work.  Here are the pictures of the temple and the friends from Utah who happened to be in Houston at the same time!  Houston temple looks very cathedral to me.  I loved the grounds!

Mid afternoon, Bessie was finished!  They found that the belt tensioner was also bad.  I’m glad they found it so it could get fixed.  It just ended up costing us a lot more to fix things then we expected.  Since the day was almost over, we asked the repair shop if we could stay one more night at their place and then take off the next day.  They agreed and suggested that since we were going to stay, that we go see a few sights.

Downtown Houtson

Galveston Island

We love you all!

Love, always,
Ben and Shannon

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