Sunday, August 8, 2010

Not What We Had Planned ~ Home At Last

"...Mike followed me to the Sheriff's office, where Deputy Pete met us. He stood out in the overbearing heat and hooked the boat up to the blazer; off we went.

I bet you think this is the end of the story, don't you? Well, I'll finish this up tomorrow with the adventures of our drive home..."

We got on the Interstate, I followed behind Mike.  We had about a 2-3 hour drive ahead of us and we would be home.  Oh, to be home.  There is nothing like being home during a time when you are injured, having car troubles, needing to rest and recover...we were looking forward to that more than you can imagine!

After stopping for a quick lunch (I ran in and brought it out to Mike in the blazer and we ate in there), we were back on the road.  As I was driving along, I began to hear a little tapping noise.  I remembered, we had a piece of trim that was slighly loose, so I figured it must be slapping the side of the RV.  Then the road became very bumpy.  I looked in my passenger side mirror and noticed that the back of the RV was bopping up and down QUITE a bit.  Hmmmmm, was it REALLY a bumpy road?

I called Mike on the cell (he had to put me on speaker phone, as he only had one hand available!). 

"Honey, is this road bumpy to you?"
"Bumpy?  No."
"Hmmm, it seems REALLY bumpy to me"
"Maybe you have a flat ti..."


Just as he was saying that I heard a loud noise.  Mike explained that my tire must have been loosing air slowly and the seal finally broke.  I was so thankful that it was one of the back tires (where there are two side by side), so I was still able to drive on the one tire.

We exited.  There was a truck stop at the exit, so we pulled in there, where Mike pulled up alongside me and eyeballed our flat. 

This is when I got this picture in my head.  Have you ever seen the movie "Princess Bride"?  Years ago it was my favorite movie.  It was a comedy love story of sorts.
The dashing young star was brave and strong and always knew what to do in any given situation.  However, he was 'almost' killed.  He was "half dead" they said.  To revive him, he was given a magic pill.  The pill, however, took a while to reach full effectiveness, and he lay there unable to move his body, while his mind was fully capable of giving all the commands needed to get the necessary things done in order to save the princess.  Yes, if you are reading this correctly, I am the princess... :)  And my hubby is the dashing young hero! :)  Over the next few days I couldn't get this out of my head, lol.

So, we sat there and Mike eyeballed the flat.  He pondered if I would have the strength to get those bolts off, not likely.  He suggested I go inside and ask an employee about tire service in the area.  After being directed to a "bulletin board" with various numbers on it, another employee, and older gentleman, who was on break asked me what I was looking for.  When I explained, he gave me a number he had in his cell phone.  It was not on the board, but he knew these people and trusted them.  They were 1/2 mile down the road.  Thank you Lord for bringing people into our difficulties that are looking out for our best interests.

I brought the number to Mike and he called.  They said, come on down.  They put our spare on there for only $13!  Excellent.

We hobbled down the road to a large tire service company where EVERY single person that we talked to was SO friendly.  It was almost unreal.  You just don't meet people in that line of work who are that friendly all the time.  The had a worker replace our flat with our spare tire.  When I went inside to pay, I was only chargred $5.00!!!!  Just one more blessing!

So, with all our tires intact, we hit the road.  As we got onto the Interstate, I got a call from Deputy Pete, he was checking on us and wanting to know if we'd made it home safely yet.  I informed him of our flat, and he was as astonished as we were, good gravy!  What else could go wrong, right??? 
I called my friend Kim to give her a status update and we laughed about the flat tire.  What else could go wrong?  LOL

Moments later the spare tire blew.

Yup, you read that correctly.  Do you want to laugh?  You can.  I won't be offended, it's funny NOW. 

Well, obviously we didn't have another spare, and we were SO close to home we could almost taste it.  Mike suggested we take the next exit and weave through the back roads to home.  That way we could drive slower and at least be right there in town, close to home, should anything else go wrong.

But really, what else could go wrong?   Right?

SOOOOOOooooooo, we are making our way through the streets in town.  We are almost home taking a road that curves around the backside of the Airport when I get a red light.  The brakes seem as though they are NOT working right.  I pressed HARD but the RV didn't want to stop, I'm so glad the light turned green.  As I make the curve, I notice the steering is tough to handle, and the temperature gauge needle is rising, it's in the RED!

I fumbled around for my cell phone and called Mike.  As I'm telling him what's going on, I am attempting to make a right turn, when the RV just dies.  I pull off to the side of the road.  We are literally about 2 miles from home.

After discussing what it could be, I get in the blazer with Mike.  We decided to go home, let it cool down while I unhook the boat and unload the blazer.  We do that, and we sat for a little bit contemplating what to do next.  I know by now that my husband is in a lot of pain, but he wants to get that RV to the house.  Only then can he rest easy.

We drive back down there and he pulls up, getting the drivers side window as close to the hood of the RV as possible.  I opened the hood and did as instructed, carefully squeeze that tube, touch that lid, look at that belt...  "That belt?  There's something kinda hanging off it."  Mike lift himself up with his one good arm and peers into the engine area.  The serpantine belt is broken.  He says we can still get it home, and after trying to explain to me how to do it (he must have seen the glazed look in my eyes), he said he was going to have to do it.

I insisted he couldn't (that didn't seem to have much effect).  Using his one good arm (with nice strong muscles, hee hee), he heaved himself up into the RV and slid across to the drivers seat.  He started it up and said, "Let's just see how close we can get to home".  I followed in the blazer as he drove a little, shut it off, coasted a little.  Drove a little, shut it off, coasted a little.  He did this all the way into our driveway...we were HOME!

(The "unpacking" disaster area: bags of clothes and camping stuff, dishes from feeding my hubby and putting him to bed, pain meds, bandage boxes...)

Blessings:  Too many to count, but I'll list a few.

Food.  Our RV has a pretty good size fridge, and it runs on LP gas unless it's plugged in.  I always prepare our camping meals ahead, and freeze them.  So that fridge/freezer was packed full with a weeks worth of meals, which saved me having time and cooking during that first week home.

(bags of food I removed from the RV!  What a blessing!!!)

Friends.  We are so blessed, and despite that fact that Mike wanted to handle things himself, I KNEW that at the drop of a hat, Kim and Brad would be there and do whatever needed to be done to get us and our belongings home safely.

Strangers.  I am in awe at the kindess of strangers through this entire ordeal.  That is not something you see much of these days, and especially not in such abundance.  We are so thankful.

Medical care.  Really, despite that fact that we can all find something to complain about when it comes to hospitals and medical care.  I am so thankful for the kind nurses who let me stay in the room past visiting hours, during shift change (when she basically hid me!), and showed me how to care for his wounds and keep them clean.

Family:  I'm thankful for my brother-in-law who mowed our lawn that first week we were home, it was a blessing to not have to think about doing that just yet.  (In Florida your lawn becomes a jungle in less than a week!)

Praying friends whom I've never even met:  I am so thankful for those of you in blogland who have been praying for my husband.  There is such a peace in knowing that prayers are being sent up to our gracious God.  You guys are a blessing to us!

My precious husband.  I am SO thankful for the man that he is, and so thankful that I still have him here with me.  He's quick thinking, strong, healthy and funny.  His sense of humor and ability to laugh at things that most people wouldn't laugh at is amazing to me, and I think it makes him heal faster!

(Stormie is keeping an eye on the "patient"...or sleeping on the job!)

So there ya' have it.  We are home.  He is taking sick leave for the FIRST time in 25 years!!!!!  Wow.  He's healing very nicely and pushing himself to get back on his feet.

We'll catch Lobster next year. :)

Now then, IF you are feeling curious, and IF you aren't eating breakfast, and IF you don't pass out at the sight of icky things, and IF you want to know what his burns look/looked may go HERE.  DO NOT go there if you DO NOT want to see the burns, they are kinda gross lookin'....but I have already had requests from several who are curious.  So, go ahead, have a look.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders."

Psalm 105:1,2


  1. Oh my gosh!! What a trial, eh????? I'm just amazed at how God provided all the right people in your path. Despite all the problems, He totally gave you the peace that surpassed ALL understanding!!! I looked at the burn pictures, and I am speechless! It looks so painful. Your husband is so strong to have driven home!!!!!!! I'm just so speechless!!! What a great testimony, Cathy!! And I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery for him!!

  2. Wow - at least you can see the funny side of bits of this journey - just as I thought you would get home ok, things went wrong. Please stay home for a while, I think you will be safe there:)


  3. Oh, my, Kathy! What an adventure you've been through! Thank you for sharing it and for pointing out God's provision and blessings in the process. That a fantastic testimony!

  4. Wow! I am in awe! Praise God for His hand of protection on both of you! What a scary ordeal, but you can see God's hand through it all. Praising God with you!!

  5. Oh my friend - I can't believe how difficult it was just to get back home!! God surrounded you with SO MANY blessings - a wonderful story! I did look at the burn pics - so painful! Shared them with hubs too. Praying for a speedy recovery and a totally uneventful rest of the Summer! :)

  6. I wish I had not looked. I can't stop crying. Capt. Mike, I am so glad you are ok. Kathy, you could have been so hurt too with the tire incident...I am so praising Jesus that His hand of protection was upon both of you. I love you both very much. My car is getting worked on and I'm kind of bummed because I wanted to come up and see you guys before I went to see Josh's graduation, but I don't know if everything will be done before that time. I'll email you and try to keep in touch. Everything is kind of moving at paces I find to keep up with some days. However, we need to find the time. It's important. I adore you both. Big hugs.

  7. Wow girl! Just took a peek at those pictures.
    All I can say is that I'm PRAISING GOD alongside you!!

    So glad you can see all the blessings through this trial!

  8. Well, I am all caught up and in AWE!!!! PTL he is ok and healing. What an adventure TO NEVER BE REPEATED!

    I did look at the images.... OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Wow. I was finally able to get back online and finish your story. I am amazed at how wrong things went and yet how blessed you both were in the process. I did look at the burns (I can handle icky - good thing for a mom with multiple children, huh?). Anyway, that's just an amazing story and testimony of how God looks out for us. I thought having two flats on our trailers (one on each) on our trip to NM was bad. And then a blow out on the van on the way back east. Nothing compared to what you two went through.

  10. Wow! That is so scary, your whole ordeal. God is so amazing how he orchestrates everything so precisely. Mike's burns look like they are healing really well. You are doing a great job nursing him back to health. May God continue to watch over you both as he gets back to full health.

    Bek xx