"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Mar 30, 2018

Lucky I Didn't Blow!

If you’ve been a reader of mine for any length of time, you’ll understand that when I begin sounding off more than usual about social issues, it usually means something else is going on. The fact that in the next Census I’ll have to prove I’m White by identifying my Caucasian roots… well, doesn’t it just seem like the Census Bureau and Ancestry.com are in cahoots? Shall I list Poland, New Zealand, Russia, England AND France, or just choose one?  I can’t show favoritism of one parent over another, and who cares anyway? Remember when I wrote that listing myself as Russian might one day save my life?  And you thought I was being silly.

Anyway, moving an RV around, for me, is not only slightly taxing on my nerves, it’s painful. From my neck to my fingertips, my strength is a fraction of what it once was; a result of intense, repetitive labor years ago. Can’t get it back, but my point is that whenever I move it’s a matter of stretching this, compressing that, lifting, tugging, pushing, connecting, securing. Twisting and gripping are the worst. I attach a decorative cord to BC’s leash and wear it cross-body because I kept dropping her leash.

So following a couple weeks on the road, I was happy to finally drop anchor in Southern Oregon. Murphy’s Laws immediately took over.  I couldn’t stop the fresh water from leaking outside, so I changed hoses, installed new washers and grabbed wrenches to tighten until I remembered my thread seal tape; something I just learned about last year. Amazing stuff.

The seal tape turned out to be life-saving. My RV has a small 6-gallon propane tank, so to be filled I must move the entire beast. Someone in Austin jerry-rigged an external tank early on, but didn't get around to installing the specially-ordered adapter until the day before I left.

“All you have to do when you get there is attach this hose to this place here. Use a small crescent wrench.” I immediately put a piece of blue painter’s tape on the spot, because I just knew I’d forget.

That’s all I remembered. First off, I didn’t shut off the main valve after turning on the external tank. It seemed fine at first, so I went inside to turn on the stove to check, and that worked as well. But something told me to go back outside and check the tanks; good thing, since gas was hissing out the cabinet.

After I sorted that out I went inside and rechecked the stove. All seemed well so I turned on the propane fridge. I started making myself some lunch, but before I’d finished my head started hurting and I was getting tired. BC was lying down.

OK, sometimes it takes awhile and I’m surprised I’ve lived this long, too; but I managed to rouse myself, put BC outside, aired the place out and recheck my fittings. Despite trying to convince myself that I wasn’t smelling what I was smelling (know what I mean?), I eventually turned off the external tank and switched back to my RV tank.

But Amy was p’d. “That guy (in Austin); waiting until the last minute; not checking it out or demonstrating for me first!”

Amy usually appears when I’m inept. Usually she’s WHY I’m inept, if I take the time to think about it. And so I had to rationalize within that it was MY own fault for not being pushier in Austin. It goes back to the assertive or bitchy thing.

Next morning, more relaxed, I compared the paperwork which came with the part and took the time to actually LOOK at the thing to understand how the propane travels. That’s when I noticed bits and pieces of thread seal tape at every connection except the one I used. So I grabbed the tape, wrapped the hose connector, tightened it with my crescent wrench and voila! No more leaking propane.

One thing I did get out of this was using my electric kettle instead of the one on the stove, which I’ve forgotten about on more than one occasion. I’ll turn it in to a flowerpot.

Did I tell you about taking my bike to a shop for repairs, and the owner/repairman was blind? That was a successful and interesting experience, for another time.

Last year I went zip-lining on Easter. This year I'm staying on the ground. Have a Happy!

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