9 days in…
The black tank is full! Don’t ask me how I know.
I check the manual for instructions on how to empty it.
Page 56 – Waste Water System
Steps 1-4: Hook up hose.
Easy peasy. Feeling good.
Step 5: Open the black tank termination valve and drain.
Open valve. Sounds easy.
Now… Where… Is… The… Valve?
I spot the grey tank valve – at least I think it’s the grey tank valve.
But where’s the black one? Am I looking at the right tank?
The tank is big and black, and it’s under the bathroom area.
This must be it.
I pull the only valve I can find, deciding that maybe it’s a dual valve and will empty both tanks. Whooshing sounds proceed and my hopes start to rise. Inside, I peek in the toilet.
Nope. That’s definitely the grey tank valve and I still have a problem.
I check the manual again for a diagram. No such luck. 30 seconds is lost contemplating making a snazzy diagram once I find this valve and submitting it to the Escape people for their next manual. Then, I realize this is probably one of those terribly obvious things that doesn’t warrant a diagram.
Determination sets in. I look every where; crawling on the gravel and laying on my back, scooting my way under and around the tank. Dust, dirt, and sharp rocks dig into my shirt and I wipe the stinging, salty drips of sweat from my eyes. I see a spider and decide that’s enough bonding with the underbelly.
Why can’t I find it?!
Luckily the RV mechanic swings by to install some things and see’s me wiggling my way out, surgical gloves dawned, and red faced from sun and embarrassment.
“I can’t find the black tank valve. I’ve looked everywhere!” I bend down close to the tank and gesture my hand around the area for emphasis.
He reaches out, just a few inches from my nose and pulls something. Out pops a black lever, tucked up close to the underside of the fiberglass and blending in with the color of the tank.
There’s a swoosh, as the waste rushes past. The mechanic has a smile on his face, that I’m certain is holding back a laugh, and I want to tell him not to worry about me.
I can do this. I really can!
Instead, I just say, “There it is! Thanks!”
As I tromp back around the egg, I flip the dripping bangs out of my eyes and try to walk with an air of confidence.
I hear a rock drop off my shirt.
3 weeks in…
Several RV neighbors have gathered for a sunset visit, cold beers drip beads of condensation on the checkered picnic table covering. When I approach, they ask why I decided to pick such a small trailer to travel full time.
Four sets of eyes, not counting their dogs, are staring at me intently.
“Well, you know that show Tiny House Nation? I used to watch it and say, ‘I could do that!’. I like minimalist living. And it’s very cosy inside.”
They don’t seem convinced. I’m sandwiched among massive 40’+ luxury RV’s and we figure my 17’ Sarandipity could fit in one of their bedrooms.
Because I love my egg so much, I feel the need to justify my decision further.
“It has a bathroom, kitchen, comfortable bed and sitting area. Really everything I need. I’m no wider than a regular SUV and I can park in two facing parking spots in any parking lot.”
Heads start to nod, and then one of the husbands speaks up.
“You know, when I was younger I used to think about getting one like that. It really is all you need.”
They might just be humoring me, but that’s okay. I’m happier than I thought I could be in my new home.
One month in…
Today’s my monthiversary and it’s starting to feel more like a home and less like I’m camping! Each morning I Keurig up a cup of coffee (yes, I’ve made Keurig a verb), then
dot it generously splash it – with some hazelnut creamer, and head outside with Yiska to watch the sunrise. Each day I also jot down something on my shopping list for how to make life more livable. Little things like drawer organizers, containers that fit each cubby, and nesting kitchen pots and pans. Amazon routinely delivers boxes to my parents’ home.
“Where are you putting it all?!” Dad yells in the loving way he often yells at me, with a smile and hands thrown in the air.
But everything has a purpose and is in it’s place, hidden out of sight so nothing looks cluttered. And this process hasn’t been a one way street. I’ve made several trips to the storage unit to drop off things I realize I don’t need. Yesterday, I decided a fan and some pillows aren’t going to make the cut and into the storage unit they’re going.
These two months of living in the trailer before heading down the road are proving to be invaluable. I feel much more prepared and I’ve discovered the answer to my question: Will I enjoy living in my new space? Yes.
I’ll have a whole new learning curve when I start going from park to park, driving roads I’m not familiar with, and navigating where to stay. But, at least I’m happy at this point with my choices and progress.
One month and one day in…
Last night I shaved my legs. This morning I put make-up and earrings on. These are primping rituals that I haven’t done much lately. What’s the special occasion? Well, today I start the last month of my chemo. 20 more sessions and I’m finished. Truly finished! No more 6-hour days of infusion treatments. No more pills. No more weekly blood draws, or sleeping with a needle in my port… Best of all, no more APL leukemia ruling my life. July 1st I will come in and be dripped with arsenic one final time. July 2nd, I’ll pull out onto I-10, with a stocked fridge and a full tank of gas.
(Note: I’ll have to return once every three months for status checks, but that’s different and I’m not counting it right now.)
After I finished my coffee, Yiska and I did a selfie photo session to celebrate our morning, before jumping in the SUV and heading to doggy daycare and then the cancer center!