Sunday, September 15, 2013

The trip before the trip

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. - Romans 12:12 (GNT)
For the past year my husband and I have been planning a two-week vacation trip to celebrate our fortieth anniversary. Since I’d always wanted to see New England in the fall, we decided September would be a safe month, since the leaves would be turning and the snowstorms not yet looming.
At first we were going to stay at bed-and-breakfasts, but the more we talked about it, the more we realized we longed to get back into camping. So we began searching for a fifth wheel camper. After looking at 10 physically and at least a hundred online, after spending hours upon hours researching campers and hitches, after putting 1,600 miles on our new truck, we finally found our camper, a 1993 29-foot Chateau in excellent condition.
Then Murphy’s Law went into effect.
First there was the hitch glitch, which we resolved for a mere $500. But not without the order arriving with a hole in the box, from which the packet of bolts had escaped. The company shipped us the needed bolts at no cost to us but more waiting time.
Then the two-way RV refrigerator wouldn’t work, which we resolved with a lot of angst, persistence, and for zero dollars, a month after we bought it. (For the rest of the story, see last week's blog.)
Then Dean broke the door latch, which we replaced for a mere $15, sans shipping charges because I ordered it from Amazon, which ships orders for more than $25 for free. To get the free shipping, I also ordered a $30 grab handle, which Dean calls a “sissy bar,” to help me navigate the camper steps.
Then the AC wouldn’t shut off. Dean thought it was the thermostat. Back online I went to research. By this time, I was getting sick of typing “troubleshoot” in the search engine. It could be a faulty thermostat, a short in the wiring, a clogged filter (really – a solution so simple?), or a failed run capacitor, whatever that is. Well, the furnace still works, so I say let it go for now. Who needs AC in New England in September?
I'll skip the suspected issues with the hot water heater, which works fine on gas but not on electric, and the microwave, which made a funny popping noise during a thunderstorm over Labor Day weekend.

Then (are you getting tired of the word “then” yet?) the order for the springs to boost the truck’s suspension system came – and it was the wrong set.
“Can anything go right?” I wailed.
After more online research, phone calls, and emails, the company is express shipping the correct set.
“You should have it before I get the tracking number emailed to you,” I was told. Then less than hour later, I received an email: “Your complete order is not currently available for shipment in our main distribution center.”
It’s been quite a trip before the trip.
But isn’t that just like life? Solve one problem and another pops up.

“In this world, you will have trouble,” Jesus said (John 16:33). No ands, ifs buts, or maybes – the trip of life is peppered with trouble, trials, and tribulation. Ain’t no way to avoid them.
But I can take heart, because I know the ultimate destination will be worth the trip.         

 Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful trip we call life, and thank You for taking it with me. Amen.

 Special-Tea: Read 2 Peter 1:5–11 

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