From my daily diary:
I’ve been thinking about fear lately. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about my fear of turning on the propane in my rig. The fear is unfounded. I’ve never had a bad experience with propane or any other potentially flammable substances. But, I’m afraid to turn on the propane! I’m sure that I will blow myself to smithereens.
This is how my fear gets in my way…. I can’t cook in my oven or stovetop, I don’t have hot water and most importantly, I can’t keep my food cold in the fridge. I can live without a hot shower and I can boil water for dishes but, spoiled food is a no,no! I learned that in microbiology.
So, with support from friends, watching some YOU Tube videos, and a true desire to overcome this fear here is my account of What Happened….
I arrived at Fran’s house in the Chicago suburbs with a fridge full of questionable food. Nothing smelled bad, but everything was room temperature-ugh! I didn’t have to face my fear immediately because I was plugged in. I took hot showers in her house, did laundry and cooked.
After a few days, Gemini moved into Fran’s house at night and refused to sleep with me in the rig. He would whine and pull me toward her front door after I took him out for his last pee at night. At 75 lbs., Gemini won the argument. It was either that or suffer a torn rotator cuff just to prove that I am the superior species. LOL!
So, on the Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend, I decided to face my fear and turn on my propane. Da da-da da!!! I quickly found that the propane wasn’t working. The gas wasn’t flowing into the rig. I texted a friend, Deb, who is a fellow RVer, to ask her opinion. I also searched the internet on forums and YOU Tube to gather some information. I came to a conclusion as to what I thought the problem was, and I went to the outside of the RV to check it out. That’s when Fran’s neighbor, Rob, who is a local Firefighter, came over.
He saw me sitting on a low step stool with my Ipad on my lap staring at my propane tank in the RAIN!! Of course! As any first responder would, he came to my rescue. I didn’t even have to play the “girl card”.
As a side note, I have no objection to playing the “girl card” or the “Old Lady Card” for that matter.
Sometimes it is best to let somebody do something nice for you. As a very independent woman, sometimes, it’s hard to do.
So, that day, I checked my ego and let Rob investigate the problem and help me find a solution. He crawled around the floor of my kitchen, as I explained that the gas worked before the service technician changed the propane leak detector. Rob found a wire that was cut and taped up. “Hmm. That’s not right”. He said that he knew a guy with an RV that might be willing to help. And did he want me to call him.
“Yes”. I said with much enthusiasm.
Within the hour, Roger arrived with his toolbox. His wife, Mary came with him. Bradley, Rob’s 20 month-old son who loves trucks and dogs and my RV came over to help, too.
As the women folk sat on the front porch steps watching Bradley play with Gemini through the front porch window, the men folk got to work. It was a little surreal. It felt like I was in a movie from the 1950’s. I halfway expected to see June Cleaver step out the front door in her housedress complete with apron, carrying a plate of fresh baked cookies. It was definitely the scene of small town America.
Roger and his trusty assistant, Rob, (and me looking on, holding the flashlight, and getting in the way) worked meticulously, step-by-step to ferret out the problem and fix it. After an hour or so, and only one trip back to his house for a more specific tool the job was done. The gas was turned on and the stove lit immediately. The water heater kicked on and the fridge switched to the propane mode flawlessly.
Afterwards, we stood around comfortably talking about mundane things as if we were all lifelong friends. Roger gently reminded Rob to go into the RV and clean up the worksite. He did it without hesitation or complaint. When everyone left, I realized how hungry I was, and noted that Roger and Mary, Rob and little Bradley came over during the supper hour to help a stranger in need.
This story is less about conquering my fear and more about the kindness of strangers and the spirit of neighbors.
Remember to be kind to strangers; because you never know when you might need a stranger to be kind to you.
Thanks for going with me, as I go with the Flo!