18, 2003 - Another meltdown
I could read my own mind I might be able to figure out why I go
so crazy when repairs are necessary on the RV. I mean, it's not
like I could reasonably expect that I would drive a house 5,000
miles and not incur some maintenance or repair costs. For some reason,
however, the second time I was faced with an unexpected repair bill,
I came unglued again.
discovered last night that my generator stopped producing electricity
to the house even though it continued to run. After worrying about
that all night and not being able to sleep well lately anyway, I
was able to perform the tasks necessary to take care of the problem
this morning - I called the generator manufacturer and they did
their best to troubleshoot the problem over the phone. I had already
checked the breaker switch, the only diagnostic step in the manual
that I could perform. The closest authorized repair service is in
Anchorage, six hours away. So I went to a local campground and got
the name of a mobile RV mechanic they recommended. His tests revealed
a faulty relay switch. He said if it was just the one part, which
he had in stock, it would be about $200. If the whole box needed
replacement, it would be over $600 and I'd have to wait at least
a day for that part to be delivered.
that threw me into a complete panic and my mind just started racing
a mile a minute throwing all the dire predictions of what will go
wrong now and what it will cost - and I have to move to a full hookup
campground in the meantime, blah, blah, blah
didn't matter how much I had learned about what I was capable of
- there was no weight given to what I had already been through.
I had never felt so alone, isolated or vulnerable. I was tired of
having to deal with the seemingly constant things going wrong with
the RV and the time and money it takes to do the repairs. Like Dorothy
trapped in a distant foreign land, I just kept thinking "I
want to go home - I'm scared and I'm so tired and I just want to
go home!" Only catch is my home is with me and there really
is nowhere else I feel the sanctuary of safety I was looking for.
I may own half of a duplex in Austin, and I could certainly have
used my mom's arms around me, but truthfully Austin just does not
feel like home anymore. To the contrary, if I return there out of
a sense of defeat due to my inability to continue my journey, it
would feel more like hell than home. This was the first time I had
truly questioned my decision to come to Alaska and that alone sent
my spirits spiraling downward. Even though I knew I was free to
turn around and head south, the thought of the length of that drive
brought me to my knees and I knew I'd never make it with this kind
of sucky attitude.
I sought out the voice of reason and called my big brother. He and
my heart-sister reminded me that I always have a home wherever my
family is. They reinforced as they always have that they are there
to help me in whatever way I may need it. It was nice to have someone
to cry to, but again, all the knowledge in the world was of no help
to me at that moment. All I could do was react emotionally and illogically
- I cried uncontrollably. It felt like a crisis of faith and I judged
myself an abject failure because I couldn't deal with this minor
problem with a better frame of mind. Their reassurance finally did
relieve my temporary insanity and I was able to at least take a
repairman came back and it was fixed for $180.00. I still had the
nerve to be pissed off that I had to spend that much. Then Sheryl
came by and acted her part as an angel by demonstrating that I am
certainly not alone. Her company and her wisdom acted as reminders
and although my eyes are swollen, so is my heart for the love and
compassion I've been shown today.
my week is up at this city campground and while the view has been
tremendous, it's very noisy late into the night. This is where the
locals come to party and they don't understand "quiet hours
are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am." So I'm moving 20 miles north
to Anchor Point to a real campground where I'll have quiet electricity
without the need of a generator.
was asking Sheryl what else I should see while I'm in Homer and
she said I just needed to rest right now and take care of myself.
I think I'll listen to that sage advice.
decided to drive the car to check out the campgrounds in Anchor
Point before heading out with the RV. By the time I got back, I
didn't feel like moving so I will spend another night here enjoying
the view before heading to full hookup land. I'm so glad I decided
to stay because I met my next door neighbors and we wound up going
to the Salty Dawg for a beer and a get-to-know-each-other visit.
They are a great couple from San Diego and they made me promise
to look them up when I'm down that way. Obviously, I feel a lot
better today. Meeting angels always has that effect on me and that's
what Bob and Nancy felt like to me as they befriended me and told
me how brave they think I am. Now if I can only convince myself
and forgive myself for the lapse of sanity I suffered yesterday.
wonder why truth doesn't stick with me. I would think that once
I had felt the power and certainty of being convinced that all things
truly happen as they should that I wouldn't have so many panic attacks
when things don't appear to be going the way I think they should.
I've certainly been blessed with that knowledge and it has been
demonstrated in my life time and again, so why do I forget time
can't I just be happy at this chance I've been given without driving
myself crazy with questions and doubts? Why can't I sleep peacefully
at night when I know I am perfectly safe and secure? Why do I feel
so lost and alone sometimes even when people who would be glad to
help me surround me? Why do I hate to ask for help so much?
hope just being conscious enough to ask the questions is of some
benefit, because I surely don't have any answers at this point.
20, 2003 - Peace and quiet at Anchor Point
a very nice RV park named Eagle Crest run by a very nice lady named
Maxine. It's great to have full hookups again and not to have to
run the noisy generator when I want electricity. Sometimes dry camping
is a great thing, but I do get tired of having to watch the amount
of water I use if I don't want to drive to dump it or fill it, etc.
paid for 4 days here and hope it will be quiet at night. I'll be
able to do laundry and clean the RV which has been neglected a bit
lately. I hope that once refreshed, I'll be able to make a rational
decision as to my next move. I've thought about going back to Anchorage
and really putting forth effort to get a job until my mom gets here,
but will wait until I'm rested more before deciding.
also been told by several people now that the tour of the national
park at Denali is a rough one - the full tour of the park means
8 hours on a rickety old school bus. No cars are allowed into the
park, so that's the only transportation allowed besides a private
tour bus, an option too expensive for us. I was going to wait for
that until she got here, but another choice would be for me to do
that alone and for us to spend our time doing other, more comfortable
tours. Since she isn't able to sit comfortably for long periods,
that may necessitate a change in plans. I still have plenty of time
to consult with her and make a decision if a change is warranted.
I haven't even made it to Seward yet, and I know I want her to see
Homer, so we could always do that instead. Another reason to be
grateful - I still have options...
21, 2003 - Reflection in Anchor Point
I think one of the biggest impacts this trip has had on me is the
time it has given me just to think. I'm used to my life being taken
up by work, daily contact and interaction with people, as well as
a lot more sleep than I have had lately. Usually just getting through
those things doesn't allow time for much of anything else. It's
certainly been a rare thing in my adult life not to have worked
for more than 3 months. And although I've met many wonderful people
along the way, the bulk of my time and exploration of Alaska has
been spent alone.
something I've said I've wanted - more time to myself - the opportunity
to simply enjoy what I experience during this special Alaskan experience.
What a luxury - to even have enough time to contemplate what a mystery
life can be - to ask the question I remember asking since a child,
"Who am I really
and what am I supposed to be doing
here?" Therefore I find it interesting that it's something
that is taking some getting used to. I almost feel like a little
kid that's being let loose on the world and who just doesn't quite
feel prepared for that giant a leap. A part of me feels like retreating
back into more familiar, known territories and I think about going
back to Anchorage and getting some work for a while, just to feel
"normal" again. It's funny that I almost just can't relate
to being this free somehow. Interesting that I find myself looking
for ways to feel more confined, as if that offers more security
because I am more used to it.
I think I must be crazy if I just can't relax and enjoy my "vacation"
without all the drama. Crying in awe of the beauty that surrounds
me is far easier for me to understand than me sobbing sadly for
unknown reasons or crying madly over a repair bill. Why do I create
such tension in myself for no good apparent cause or result?
have discovered many more questions with the time I've been given
- now I wish a few more answers would open up about this time. Like
why am I not happy all the time since I have every reason to be happy?
Is it hormonal, a chemical imbalance in my brain, a spiritual deficit,
a character flaw, am I just plain good old fashioned nuts, what is