Aug 31 2012

Day 1238: Technically, Officially Stranded (but it’s OK)

by andrew

Sitting here sipping a beer and thinking how funny it is that I used to day dream about one potential outcome of our throw everything to the road (and YHWH’s loving care) life on the edge, traveling with minimal resources… and I used to wonder if we’d ever break down in a tiny little community that Father had a purpose for us invading, with no money to fix the truck and get stuck indefinitely. Well, things aren’t quite that desperate, but it’s kind of starting to take on some of that flavor. And although I’m confident our stay here will be temporary (well, at least exactly as long as YHWH desires), it certainly is starting to stretch on longer than I had hoped.

My diagnosis and efforts to swap the crankshaft position sensor this morning (though the procedure itself was a success) turned out to be quite┬áineffective. But like every good story, the replacement sensor itself – as the next piece in my attempt to solve the puzzle – led to the next piece of the plot. It turns out that the parts place I bought it from – 10 miles back west along I-70 in Flagler, CO – also has a full-blown shop and a couple diesel mechanics. They also have their own wrecker, and Shane came out to pick up our truck. I turned it on for him and let him see what it was doing. He just shook his head and smiled. I could tell he shared my appreciation for the magnitude of the puzzle. Here it is getting loaded up:

So, I guess at this point our plans are on hold and we’re having Sabbath here. We always say that our Father’s plans are far better than ours, and I guess we’re getting to walk that out in this tangible way. With labor day approaching I’m hoping they figure it out quickly and that it’s something simple / easy and they can get it done before the holiday. But no guarantees. And it would be really nice if they could even tackle the leak in the steering system (hopefully it’s not the gearbox) as well as the alignment + 4 tires that we’ve been overdue procrastinating on with such limited resources available. Shane was looking at our front passenger tire (you can kind of see it in the pic) and thinking it’s a blowout waiting to happen. I’m pretty sure it would get us at least to PA, but maybe better safe than sorry.

I feel completely tacky doing this, but I’m just going to throw myself out there and slap a donation button on this post. If you know me at all you know how self-reliant I like to be and how hard it is for me to ask anyone for help. I’d much rather be on the giving end than the receiving end, and so maybe Father is also using this situation to kill more of my pride. Oh yay ­čÖé I still want to figure out a way to ask without asking ­čÖé but I will say it this way: if our heavenly Father puts it on your heart, any tiny amount towards our truck repair fund would be a massive blessing. We still have other repairs sitting on our credit card from before. But please do not feel obligated in any respect. Father will provide, and your prayers are even more valuable.





Even in the midst of all this I’ve been realizing how much we have to be thankful for. We have electric and A/C keeping the inside of the trailer about 79 F (26 C) while it reads 102 F (39 C) outside – YIKES! So – shelter: check. We have water. We have food. We have internet so I can post this and work and stay connected to find out about things like crazy Hurricane Isaac hitting seven years to the exact day that Katrina struck (if that isn’t a wake up call I don’t know what is, but how many will notice?). There’s a playground close by. Jim (the Shady Grove Campground owner) has been super helpful: he gave me a ride to Flagler this morning to pick up the sensor, provided a tour of the town, said he’d just open up a tab and we could settle before leaving when the time comes, and told me to ask if we needed anything). And the kids finished school today in really good moods. Even though it’s hard work, homeschooling our children is a bigger blessing than we normally pay attention to.

For example: I was talking with Shane and Jim after Shane had the truck all loaded up on the wrecker. They were briefly comparing notes about changes that have been happening in the school system here. I’m not sure if this is Colorado-wide or maybe even the whole country, but among other things the government has capped calorie consumption for children at school and it is a fixed number for all kids regardless of build, metabolism, athletics, etc. This is enforced primarily through the lunch portions, which are now very small. Shane and Jim said their kids always come home really hungry. Of course, some parents don’t do enough to manage healthy amounts of the right kind of calories for their kids. But government stepping in and regulating it is an entirely different thing. And the more sinister aspects of this that come immediately to mind:

  • How closely is this related to the current food shortages and famine in this country (which you probably won’t hear about on mainstream news nor get an impression of by walking into a grocery store)?
  • What are the impacts of caloric shortages on a child’s learning capacity? This will
  • What about other implications like a child’s energy level, vulnerability to suggestion, etc. when they aren’t getting enough / proper nutrition throughout the day?

There’s probably more thoughts that should be probed there, but this is really just another area where we see the┬áerosion of all things as we used to know them. I shudder to consider what my children’s generation is facing, but I also get excited to think about and anticipate what their Creator will do in their days!

Well, here’s to the adventure! Looking forward to continuing the exploration of WHY we are here and posting updates about what we discover as well as (hopefully shortly) recording our epic departure.


Apr 8 2010

Day 362: Slowing Down – NOT!

by andrew

What a amazing week… well and a bit I guess. We had an amazing Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread for the last week here in PA, met some incredible people, lots of fellowship, meals, sharing, learning together etc. Still managed to put in nearly 40 hours on projects even with 3 Sabbaths in there. Don’t know how I pulle d . adf firgh Zzzzzz….

wha … What? what was I saying? Oh right, anyway. This will all be more cursory than it should be because I am in the process of digging out of a 3-month photographic hole. I have 2 down and 1 to go and will share in a second. So back to updates: the kids are in wild country mode: scraping knees, swinging on rope swings, playing in the creek, cutting bare feet, flying down the hill on scooters, running around with friends, that sort of thing.

Other highlights: Reayah got to be be a flower girl in her first wedding experience, I just spent three hours with Bennah “organizing” his bed (a bio hazmat operation I can assure you)… actually that might not make much sense to you unless I also provide the additional detail that the kids keep all their personal things / toys / collections at the foot of their beds, Joy is both participating in and resisting potty training at the same time quite nicely, Zach and Jaiden are quite the buddies now and while Zach is convinced we are going to build a flying car together this summer – one that actually flies – Jaiden just wants to make sure that he is doing whatever his brothers are doing.

It’s raining gently outside… such a soothing thing… totally different experience than from inside a house. I got two new drain spouts attached to the rain channel today (I knocked them off a couple months ago when a branch reached out across an otherwise reasonable turn radius and scraped a few little holes in our rubber roof that we discovered a few weeks later during a massive downpour in the form of extra water we didn’t need in the kids room). I patched the holes up earlier in the week.

Today was laundry day. And grocery day. And pick up the new door latch from the RV dealer finally day.

I have to tell you about our main door latch. Ok. Proof positive that things are engineered to break – this was the most ridiculous design ever – back in Florida the tab that was responsible for making the entire handle and latch mechanism work broke clean off and we were stuck inside the trailer until I disassembled the whole thing. I tried everything to avoid having to buy another cheap replacement that would just cause another head ache later. I am not kidding – here are some of the random things I employed in various attempts to rig it (some of which lasted longer than others): aluminum from a beer can, JB weld (but it was too old to last) and a hex nut, a screw, a modified golf tee (still inside the spring to control handle travel distance), hockey tape by itself, and hockey tape with pop-sickle stick (which is actually working fairly well so far). But the moment of truth will come and I better get a proper replacement in there. It has been quite a thorn in my side.

Anyway, enough boring RV life drivel. Here are some pictures! Including some from the solar panel project that I added to the truck.

January 2010

February 2010

Solar Panel Project