I use the word “good” to describe many things in my life – and that is a good thing. Lisa and I enjoy good pizza, good weather, good music, and a good movie. When I say it is “good” to be home – something seems inadequate about the word. Lisa and I have been so excited getting home after five months in Arizona that I am struggling to find the right word to express our feelings. Seeing our family, including our grandson, after five months away in the Mohave Desert is a joy impossible to describe. Let’s just say it is beyond “good” to be home – but it was not easy getting home.
Lisa and I left out of Kingman around 8:30AM Arizona time on Thursday Nov. 7th. As we were about to pull away from the Kingman KOA Campground where we had called home since the middle of June – our camp friends arrived to bring gifts and say good-bye. Tom and Diane from Redding, California arrived to bring some of Tom’s homemade relish, jelly and a handmade wind-chime. Kay, who with her husband Glenn, had moved from Ohio to make Kingman their home, also arrived to wish us off safe and we tearfully left these wonderful people and new friends. After stopping to have all our tires checked out – we were finally on our way on I-40 heading east.
Our hope was to get all the way to Oklahoma City on that first day and we were making pretty good time all the way into New Mexico. Just outside Albuquerque we stopped for fuel and I noticed one of the tires on our RV was low. We found a place that had air and I did my best to fill the tire to the same level as the others. It concerned me that our RV tires had been sitting for five months in the dry desert heat and it had crossed my mind to have them all changed out before we left. But we decided to try to make it home on our old tires. Probably not a good idea.
Just outside Tucumcari New Mexico, the tire blew. I immediately thought that I may have added too much air which caused the blow-out. We managed to pull our vehicle and RV over to the side of a very busy I-40 – but not as far off the road as I would have liked. Trucks and cars were flying down the road just a few feet from where we pulled off and in the darkness – it was a little scary trying to determine where we were or how this could be fixed. On top of all that – we had very little phone service and could not determine by our GPS where we were located. Lisa called AAA (highly recommend this service BTW) and tried our best to give our location. It was simply too dangerous to try to walk to the nearest mile marker. As she was on the phone trying to get help, I noticed car lights pull in behind our RV and I stepped out hoping it was a state trooper. Two young men walked up and asked if we needed help. They appeared to be about twenty-five years old and told me they had run over part of our blown-tire and noticed we were in need of help. Fortunately, they managed to tell me our location since they had full service on their phones and it gave us all the information we needed to get help to us. They said they were on their way to Dallas from LA. I think they disappeared back into heaven as soon as they drove away.
Finally – after about forty tense minutes on the side of the road – a wrecker service arrived and changed out our tire and we were back on the road. Thank God for “good” people.
The delay forced us to stop for the night in Amarillo, Texas and we pulled into the KOA campground around 10:30PM. The wind must blow through the panhandle of Texas night and day and though it was not as bad as when we drove to Arizona in June – it was enough to keep us up most of the night. It also did not help that we had run out of propane and had no heat. Lisa and I huddled under every blanket and warm clothing we could find to stay warm through the cold night. We have never wanted to be home more.
As soon as dawn broke – I warmed up the truck and we were soon on our way – again. Our son’s future mother-in-law, Connie Johnson, followed our progress home on ‘Facebook’ and her comment that she was “praying us home” brought tears to our tired, bloodshot eyes but also provided us with enough encouragement to get us all the way to Owensboro at 1:30AM Saturday morning. (I hate to admit that I did discover we did, in fact, have propane enough to stay warm – I misread the tank indicator. I just told Lisa that I wanted to cuddle with her so I pretended we were out of propane. She did not think that was funny.)
We have now been home for a week and are getting ready for our son’s wedding at Disney World and a reception here in Owensboro in mid-December. Along with that we have been helping our daughter, Heather and “fun-in-law”, James Morris remodel their kitchen. We are staying busy. Seeing our grandson, Conner Jack, was a joy beyond words and our house has been filled with people almost night and day since we arrived. We would have it no other way. Where we go next with Lisa’s work is anyone’s guess. When we leave is also uncertain. We will leave all that up to God who is working it all out from a vantage point far superior to ours. But, for now – we are just glad to be home.
And it is good to be home. Love – Steve and Lisa.