The journey has started, well, kinda. I think I need to back up a little and give a little more of what lead us to where we are.
We were in Mississippi, my home state, for my dads funeral back in August this year. This was so sudden, unexpected, and just Oh My Gosh I feel like my HEART has been ripped out of me. It has been a long time since I had been back in my home state. Not because I didn’t want to, but because situations just didn’t allow us to. My dad brought his camper to visit us about three years ago for our sons birthday. He spent the whole week with my dad while I was working (yes, I worked at that time for a very short time period). They had so much fun. He threw my son into the pool at his campground and they spent every day swimming, exploring the area and eating ice cream. This is a memory that I will have forever. It was the last time I saw my dad. The last time I hugged my dad. We talked about once a month on the phone. Usually those phone calls lasted over an hour but under two hours. We have had our issues, but had moved on from them and reconnected as daughter and dad.
When we arrived in Mississippi, we stayed at my dads house out in the country, with no internet or cell phone service. Little did I know at this time, it was preparing me for what was to come (this will be addressed in a later post). My dad was a single man. He was very simple, meaning he did not require very much. His home was small and not in the best shape. He had his truck and his camper. He liked to spend time outdoors working on things, fishing and hunting. Ok, later in life he really enjoyed fishing. This would be his downfall. He took his brothers boat out to the local fishing lake on that fateful day to test the engine. It had been having issues and, a mechanic since birth, he was going to fix it. He was knocked out of the boat and into the water without anyone there to assist or save him. He had procedures done about a month before on his shoulders and could not move them to where he could swim. He was a really good swimmer, but he just couldn’t that day. For the life of me – I will NEVER understand why he didn’t have a life preserver on. Anytime I was in a boat with him, he was always super conscious of water safety. God decided that He wanted dad with him. I cant argue with God. It is all His will. Dad had a lot of medical issues that he had been diagnosed with and honestly – he wouldn’t have been happy if he were still here. These issues would have left him where he wouldn’t have had a quality life. He wouldn’t have been able to get out and fish and tinker with things like he once did. But I sure do miss him.
So, after his funeral, we decided to show our son around my hometown. He was too little to remember it the last time he was there. Kinda funny – the whole family (his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews) gathered at one relative’s house. Not one of them told us where they were going. There is a lot more there than I care to go into. Let’s just say that I was not well received by some because I did not come home often. They cared not why I was unable to, they only cared that I had not been home in ages. Even if this was discussed and understood between dad and I. OK, back to that day. We went on this little tour of the town, grabbed dinner and were on our way back to my dads house. This baby kitten ran out in front of us and our son screamed “Don’t hit the cat.” So my hubby slowed down to avoid the kitten. Speed limit was 40 miles per hour, and we slowed down to about 20. BOOM! SCREECH! CRASH! SCREAMING from our son. We were rear ended. Yes, a funeral and rear ended all on the same day. Our son has never been in an accident during his whole 11 years. He totally freaked out when we were hit. He was completely hysterical. The only damage, so we thought, to my car was that the bumper was barely hanging on and the trunk was squished in some. The young lady who hit us – her airbag deployed and her whole front end was completely gone. Her car was totaled. She was dazed. As a mom, I felt so bad for her. I went up to her and asked if she was ok and gave her a hug. We had an ambulance take our son and this young lady to the ER to be checked out. I was more worried about him than me. A few weeks after the fact, we realized that I had whiplash. Our son only had bruising where the seatbelt attached at the seat. I tell ya, these newer cars are made to bear the brunt of impact and it did its job!
We eventually settled with the insurance company. It was just enough to go and buy a truck that could pull dads camper so we could get it back to Florida. We had to have a fifth-wheel hitch put into the bed of the truck. But the truck is totally paid for and that’s just what we needed due to the unemployment situation that my hubby has been going through. We think that God was just making sure that my hubby was with me during this whole time. We have had to make several trips back to Mississippi over the past few months and there is no way he could have had the time off if he were working. God was looking out for me.
We took the truck to Mississippi and had a friend (who owns an RV business) install the hitch for us. It was a huge pain for them since the truck was older, etc, etc, but it finally was done. We had also picked up a hitchhiker along the way. Lol We brought my fourteen year old cousin (moms side of the family) with us back to Florida since she had fall break from school. She was with us for two weeks. Bless her little heart – she had no idea what she was getting into. Before we left, we had to have them tell us how to hook up everything when we got to a campground. We were Newbies, and it showed. Lol Let’s just say that YouTube has everything you need to know! When we left out from the RV dealership, we stopped and got essentials for the camper and then hit the road.
We were so excited to start this journey! Our son sat in the back seat of the truck and just clapped and giggled for the first hour we were pulling the camper. He told us, “I am so happy. I feel like pawpaw will always be with us.” That told me that we made the right decision to pay the camper off and make it part of our family life. Next up……. The first stop we make and we have never done this before.
Once again, thank you for reading. Happy Veterans Day to all who have served and are serving our country today.
The Perpetual Campers