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Sometimes it takes a village....

Stripping the Suburban - glass everywhere

Stripping the Suburban – glass everywhere

We put a deposit down on a travel trailer today. Hard to imagine the Easter Storm was just 3 weeks ago yesterday.   I just now got around to unloading the Suburban to the bare floors.  Nothing else would do to get all those little pieces of glass out.  It was due for a good spring cleaning anyway.  I think about alot of things these days.  What if there would have been a tornado to go along with those big hails?  Usually when hail does get that big there is a tornado in the neighborhood.  Had it born down on me, there would have been little I could have done that I was not already doing.  What if I had not had the good piece of  a roll of EternaBond Tape on hand? We had rain again within 24 hrs of the Easter Storm. What I didn’t use to patch up the Old Girl, the Ranch Manager used to patch up holes in the side of his house. I ordered another roll from Amazon at the end of last week.   The stuff is $60 a roll but there is no substitute.  I won’t be without it -ever- as long as we are out here in the pucker brush in an RV.

I can’t unring that bell.   I decided that the Monday after the Storm.  Best to move ahead and do what you can.  One thing has really settled in on me and that is how extensive and important our internet community is here.  We had offers of shelter,  relief on the gate,  free use of an RV and just about anything else you can imagine.  I could actually feel the good karma wave wash over me at times.  Without your help I would still be a few thousand short of doing the deal up at New Braunfels.   I can tell you that the Pay It Forward debt that Miss Kathy and I now owe is huge.  I almost feel like the side of the new travel trailer should be inscribed with the names of all who gave or offered help.  It would be fitting.

A dog may bite you in the ass but it will never stab you in the back.  Since I am a student of human nature and a studier of human actions the detractors and conspiracy theory folks who descended on us during the Donation part of our ordeal still puzzle me. As far as I can tell the majority of them were more than casual readers of the blog or forums but most if not all were unknown to me.  Lurkers in internet parlance but me begging for money pushed some internal button and they felt the need to make their opinions known.  I was accused of scamming the money for nefarious purposes.  I was accused of making up the comments that I posted here. I was said to be a drunkard — and lazy to boot…. and I was accused of taking money under false pretenses from senior citizens who could ill afford it.  That hurt.  It goes on and on — even to the point of impugning Miss Kathy.  It is what it is;  I opened myself up for ridicule and judgement when I asked for money. Hopefully, my future actions will prove all the naysayers, critics and slanderous individuals in error.

Ed's Letter

Ed’s Letter

We received a multitude of heart felt and genuine notes of concern during the ordeal.  One in particular stands out.  It arrived as a letter with a check and a note inside sent to our Escapee address in Livingston.  Out of all of them, it is the one I hold most dear.  I read it out loud to Miss K sitting right there at the dinette in the Old Girl.  I have a tough old hide on me but I could not read it without my voice cracking and the tears welling up.  Thanks Ed for the letter and the check for $100.00   Ed, by age, is a member of Brokaw’s Greatest Generation.  He represents an America we once had and lost along the way somewhere and somehow.  Just makes it all the more poignant. Ed’s letter:

Hey Andy,

Hang in there. Hope this helps a little. I enjoy your writings and your blog.

We have a similar background. I was an equipment operator for 35 years. Loader, dozer but mostly cranes. I see myself in you when I was your age.

Wife and I brought up 7 children but she died 5 years ago after 56 years of marriage. I am 82 but feel great.

Like you I don’t see much hope for our nation.  Hope you make it OK.

Best of Luck,

Ed

Ed,  If I can be half the man you have been I will feel fulfilled and satisfied that I have lived my life well.  if I can live up to the expectations of my blog followers and forum readers, I will feel like life is good and I have done something that matters in the long run.

I got an acidic note from a (former) reader that said my blog had turned into the worthless ramblings of a silly old man with a worthless and undeserving wife.  You are most decidedly wrong my (former) friend.  Life is not neat, tidy and predictable.  If you refuse to realize that cognizant fact, don’t let the door hit you in the ass.  That is all I have to say about that.

File this in the FWIW department:  Miss Kathy went to Cotulla today and said the former Justice of the Peace’s office on the I-35 frontage road was now a liquor store open 10-9.  In her words “The good Baptists lost that round.”  No wonder that I love this woman.

End Note:  Light You Up by Shawn Mullins  from the Light You Up cd.    Don’t let your teenagers listen to this one.   Eeeeeuuuuuuuuuw Dad!

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18 comments to Sometimes it takes a village….

  • Mark W. Ingalls

    Dear A&K-

    Forgive them, for they know not what they do. A little short of cash right now, but am keeping y’all in my prayers.

    Love wins, I’m convinced o’ that.

    M

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  • joel

    Non illegitimi carborundum.

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    • Andrew

      Joel,
      They got as much of me as they are gonna get.

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  • Bryan

    That note from Ed is so touching in its simplicity.

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    • Andrew

      Bryan,
      He wrote his phone number right underneath the return address on the outside of the envelope.

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  • Lynn Brashears

    Wouldn’t waste any more time trying to figure out the naysayers! Believe your time would be better spent giving Ed a call, sounds like a good fellow to talk with. Thanks for sharing his letter. Glad you found a great trailer, not so far away. From the pictures, it’s been we’ll taken care of. IMHO, y’all should take a few days off to enjoy it and each other before its homecoming in caliche dust. Just saying….

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  • joel

    Is it too late to consider this?

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=357406171037680&set=a.228082003970098.41476.228080417303590&type=1&theater

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    • Andrew

      lol! Maybe if we were gate guards in California!

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  • I have to admit, Ed’s note choked me up a bit as well!

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  • Don M

    Andy, probably some of the negative people were commenting because they are trying to help, in some form of constructive criticism. They might actually mean well. And obviously a few have just decided you’re a hopeless ______ (fill in insult of choice) and they no longer want to associate with you.

    I’ve been attracted to your blog because of your lifestyle, your outlook and choices, and your writing, among other things. You and I lead very different lives, although we think a lot alike in many ways. If you were my brother, I’d probably be calling you a _____ and giving you all sorts of unsolicited advice. But you’re not my brother, you’re a slice of a very interesting world that most of us don’t experience. So anyway, I started reading for the entertainment, for lack of a better word. I mean that in a broad sense of the word. Same as I might habitually read a good newspaper columnist, for example. After a while I couldn’t help but realize that you’re a good guy, trying to live life on your terms, and they are not unreasonable terms. I admire that.

    People might say they envy the safety and stability in my life. But if I wrote a blog about my day to day life, it would be nowhere near as interesting as yours. “Today I gathered up the trash and took it to the dumpster at work. Bought the weekly paper, and a fancy coffee for the wife. She likes that. I might mow the lawn tomorrow.” There are a lot of us Walter Mitty’s out here who are pulling for you guys.

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  • Andy,

    I wish we could have helped more, my brother is in a simlar position where he has a donation site to help his wife who has bladder cancer. We have been helping them as much as we can and they have gotten a lot of the same kind of responses you have. I don’t understand people who so easily judge others as lazy, scammers or what have you. If you read the story and don’t believe, don’t donate, simple as that but some people have such disdain in their heart.

    We are trying to get my brother and his wife one so they can enjoy the summer outside the home. She spends so much time in treatment they deserve to get out a bit.

    I hope the new trailer works out well for you and Miss Kathy, glad she is back!

    Erik

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  • Hi Andy – have read bits and pieces of your blog but read more when you were the topic of conversation on other blogs I read regularly. I know I had a couple of knee jerk reactions to your story. The first was great sympathy as I sure won’t have wanted to be in that storm. Scary stuff!

    The second was (and I don’t mean to be personal- this is a general comment). I have noticed a growing trend in what I call Internet begging. Bloggers that write and assume that if someone is reading, it is OK to ask for money. People ask for money for a variety of reasons – life has been tough on them, they don’t plan properly for their retirement years, they made bad choices – whatever, the reason doesn’t matter. The fact is that one has to prepare themselves for the difficult times in life. I don’t know why some people don’t realize that – just like the story of the grasshopper and the ant. One can’t play all one’s life without consequences.

    This is the Internet and people have the right to respond – as you have the right to react. But no insurance man, that is just crazy! But I am glad no one was hurt and you were able to get another trailer. People really are good!!

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    • Andrew

      Lynn

      Dropping the comp and collision on a paid for vehicle is common practice as far as I know. I know a gentleman named Kevin Johnson (prospectorguy@gmail.com) has been libeling me across the internet including filing a totally slanderous report on ripoffreport.com. If you have additional blogs that are spewing his poison, would you please email me privately? I have his current location and home address and I am preparing legal action against him.

      He is a documented internet bully and has a history of sticking his nose in where it is unneeded and not warranted. I intend to shut him down permanently.

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  • Snowbird

    I am a lurker here … like Don above … I am Walter Mitty … and a late comer to this discussion. I just happened to pay my insurance on our old 1997 Dolphin Gasser. The annual insurance was $440. The comprehensive portion with 0 deductible was $254 … collision with $500 deduct was $101. I would estimate that our units are worth about $6-$8000 based on completed listing on ebay … both completed sales and highest bids(when there were actual bids). My unit is newer and with a slide, yours is a diesel that always sells higher so about the same price. I am under no illusion about the comprehensive … if a hail storm only took the roof, I would probably get nothing due to the age of the rubber roof.

    Also, I don’t think people understand the time, cost and effort you put into your blog. It would be nice if there was a way to monetize you blog … everyone from the Wall Street Journal on down has been trying to do that … with very limited success. At one time, the idea was a universal type account where you might collect 10 cents for every visit. I would have only one account that would be charge whether I visited myoldrv or NYT … not happened.

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    • Andrew

      Thanks for the kind words Snowbird.

      Writing the blog and maintaining the forums takes an effort every day. It is just something you get accustomed to and you do it.

      The Amazon Buying Link and the Google ads defray a portion of the costs associated with hosting and maintaining the two venues. I would encourage everyone to use them if possible. Doesn’t cost you (the buyer) a penny extra and sure helps me out.

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  • joel

    *tap* *tap*

    Is this thing on?

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    • Andrew

      Sure is Joel. Just been too busy to stop in long enough to post anything.

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  • Nancy1340

    Glad to hear you’re OK. Hope Kathy is also.

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