Saturday, January 26, 2013

Some Encouraging Progress!

It's been a long time since I've managed to post to my blog.  Many reasons.  Not feeling well.  Too busy.  Not much of my brain to spare?  Today, I might just succeed!

We are now living for a time in NE Salem.  In our usual fashion, there was a series of things that led us to this place.  I like to talk about wanting God to be the one to lead us here or there.  Often I can't see His leading until I look back in hindsight.  This last few months has been like that.

We were supposed to leave at the end of November for Brookings, Oregon, where we were booked as hosts for December and January at Alfred A Loeb State Park.  And then Steve helped me by making a management decision that we should cancel those plans at the last moment and stay in McMinnville in order to find a doctor and get me some help with some on-going "discomfort" I had been experiencing for some time.  Calling the ranger to cancel on him at the last moment felt awful, and yet he was so gracious and kind about it.  I suppose this kind of thing happens from time to time when you are dealing with a lot of retired people of various ages.  However, I did consider it a great blessing that he not only answered the phone that day, but that he was gracious and understanding as well.  I saw God's hand in that moment.

That very day I went about searching for a doctor.  I actually just went online and searched.  Talk about scary!  I knew I wanted a female.  I probably don't need to explain that one.  I also wanted someone who would teach me, or give me resources, and wouldn't just tell me what to do, like I didn't need to know.  Based on these short little "blurbs" with a picture of the doctor, I made a decision, mostly blindly.  I called my 1st choice, in Newberg, and learned I couldn't get an appointment until December 31st.  Ugh.  I really didn't want to wait that long!  They had another doctor in the same group, which would get me in a couple weeks earlier.  I decided if I was going to have to wait anyway, I would go ahead and go for my first choice.  We learned there was a Providence Urgent Care in Sherwood if I felt I couldn't wait any longer.  So I waited.

I never did go to Urgent Care, though I was tempted a couple times.  Each time my discomfort would get better, and I'd decide I would continue to wait.  Looking back I don't know how much of my discomfort was caused by the added stress and fear of not knowing why I was feeling bad.  I'll perhaps never know.  I do have anxiety issues that creep up on me from time to time.

Since this blog isn't about my health, let me just say that I made it to December 31st, and found I made a very good choice in picking my new doctor.  I love the whole Providence Newberg Medical Group experience in general - it has a small community feel to it.  I could go on and on.  Suffice it to say that I am now getting help and feeling very encouraged.  After a January 9th appointment, we realized we could actually get back to living the life we'd hoped for!  What a huge relief for both of us!  We were SO ready to move on.  We love our park in McMinnville, but we were really feeling the need for change.  We were getting on each other's nerves a wee bit (at times a large bit!) ...

Phoenix RV Park - that's us at the very back (right edge).
The first thing we did was call down to Roberson RV in Salem to make an appointment for our coach.  Once we decided to change to a different RV service company, Winnebago told us about this award winning one.  Steve and I drove down for a visit in December and were so impressed to meet the head of the service department.  He spent time talking with us - and listened!  It was so encouraging that we felt very hopeful they could help us get through more of our warranty items on the coach.  We also scouted out a couple RV parks while we were in the area, and knew one of the two would be our home while in Salem.  As it turned out, we picked my second choice, as it was simply easier to get to Roberson.  I just wasn't sure about the area of town, even though it was a nice, clean RV park - very well kept.  Steve made the final decision, and I figured I could live with it.  It's turned out to be a great place for us.  From my perspective, within 4 miles I have a Winco, a Fred Meyer, and 2 Walgreen's.  If I go another couple miles I even have a Trader Jo's.  We even have workout equipment to use when it's too cold to go walking.  Life is good.  We've helped put together puzzles in the gathering area.  I love puzzles, but it's difficult to use our limited space for one here in the coach.  There is free coffee at the office each morning, and even doughnuts on Fridays.  Steve's tickled about that.  I'm trying not to look.
Moby - slides in - waiting for his 2nd appointment at Roberson.
We have also not been disappointed with the service we have received at Roberson.  We spent two nights camped out in front of their business, complete with 50amp hookups and water available if we needed it.  Each day we would leave Moby with them and Steve, Parsley and I would drive up to Beaverton to spend the rest of the day with my parents.  We can't say enough how thankful we are to be able to hang out at their place when we truly have nowhere else to be!  Sitting in the car with the cat isn't bad for perhaps up to 3 hours or so.  A whole day .... I'm not sure which of us would go crazy first!

Parsley in the coach window, getting some rays.
I'm not certain that our frustration with our former RV service place wasn't much caused by a lack of communication we got from them.  However, we now are getting some things fixed that we were told were "normal", and we had to live with them.

A perfect example is the problem we've had with our sliding bed:  Our king-size bed has to slide up - that is the head of the bed folds up as an adjustable bed, and moves the whole bed up perhaps 1-2 feet.  Unless the bed is able to raise all the way up, moving the end of the bed in, the bedroom slide will not come in.  If the bed slide can't come in, we can't move, for obvious reasons.  At times the switches were dead.  Then, 30 seconds later, they would work.  There was a clicking sound, metal on metal as the bed eventually moved up.  I can't tell you how much stress this problem caused us.  Our worse fear with commitments to be at such and such a place on such and such a day was that the bed wouldn't come up and we'd be unable to leave - even to go get it fixed!  After several visits, usually 1 or 2 months apart, between hosting jobs, there was no change in how it operated.  We'd baby that thing and somehow we'd get it to come up enough that the slide would go in.  Our former service place said they couldn't fix the clicking until something broke.  Obviously, we wouldn't be able to get in to have it fixed if that happened!  What were they thinking?!?!

During our first visit at Roberson RV, their technician called Winnebago and learned that a red and green light on the bed controller (that had been on ever since we bought the coach) weren't supposed to be on.  They indicated that the mechanism was out of adjustment.  The technician followed their instructions, made the adjustment, and suddenly our bed lifted without problem.  They also noticed some metal pieces that were hitting each other.  They bent them back into shape, and the clicking stopped as well.  No matter what else happened after that, Roberson RV are rock stars to us!  They are our new regular service place.  I can't tell you what a joy it was to fold up the motorhome just yesterday and have it operate perfectly!  A true miracle in my book!

Yesterday, Thursday, we prepared Moby for travel, and took him over to visit Freightliner.  They just happen to be on the north end of Salem, just off I-5, about 6 miles from our RV Park.  We'd received a recall notice which they would check out for us.  We sat in our car, along with Parsley the cat, for perhaps 1 1/2 hours, until they were able to get a chance to check it out, make whatever adjustments they needed, and we able to return to our new RV Park in Salem.  Slowly, things are falling into place.

I did fail to mention one other big deal repair Roberson helped us with.  Some of the heads were falling off screws which hold our door to the frame on the coach.  It was a major concern, but there were several hinges with seven screws on each side of the hinge.  We treated it gingerly and hoped to get it fixed before the door fell off.  It appears the torque on a drill may have been too strong, damaging the screws.  Roberson, with Winnebago's help, tried to figure out a solution.  They were unable to drill out the old screws as they were stainless steel - too hard.  They couldn't access the back side of the screws without taking the door apart, something they really didn't want to have to do.  In the end, the problem was solved by simply adding screws to the existing plates.  That door isn't going anywhere!

We still have just a few more things to take care of while we are in Salem. We'll make one more visit to Roberson to care for a few things they wanted time to research and order parts for, including a leaky gasket at the bottom of our front door.  Also, we need a new windshield in our Moby Homa!

On our trip from McMinnville to Salem, via Hwy 219 from Newberg, a big semi passed us in the opposite direction, tossing a rock at us, which landed near the center of our huge windshield!  I had a glass guy give the right description of what I heard:  It sounded like a bullet hit the front window while I drove.  Yes, I was driving.  It doesn't make it my fault!  There was nowhere to pull off the road, and nothing really we could do if I'd been able to, so we just finished our trip to Salem.  I knew it would spread as we drove on those bumpy back roads ... which it did.  As soon as we arrived at our first Salem destination (Roberson RV), I called in on the damaged windshield, learning we were completely covered because we called in during the first 24 hours.  We'd made what turns out to be a very good decision to go the extra mile and have the windshield treated with a product that was suppose to keep this damage from happening.  Though we wish it would've worked, we're incredibly blessed that it will now save us from this major expense.  We will be having the new window treated as well.

God doesn't promise us a trouble-free life.  Bad stuff happens to believers and non-believers alike.  He simply makes Himself a part of things when we invite Him.  We want Him with us, and see that He is.  Sometimes it's just takes a certain something, or lots of certain somethings, to open our eyes.