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

Apr 27, 2018

Difficult Decisions

I’m up, I’m down. Yesterday I thought my pity-party was over, but this morning, after the inevitable boo-hoo’s under-the-covers, I just feel numb. My hands, certainly; because I was working on my cargo carrier yesterday, and the pulling, tugging, tying, etc. left me feeling like I walked on my hands in my sleep.

My brain is turning to mush, too. I’ve had 6 people whispering automotive diagnostics in my ears (two of them professional mechanics); which only managed to further confuse me and stall any decisions. Here’s my quandary:

“Get a valve job for $400-600. Then, if that doesn’t work, you can get a new engine for $4,000 - ?? Cheaper than a new home.” I heard that more than once and I’d agree, but the first mechanic is afraid once they start working on my antiquated motor it’ll open up a can of worms and become a non-stop money pit. THAT I understand, after life on my trawler.

Whether or not the cylinder problem is solved, they say I could go 800 miles down the road and need a new transmission; which I had no idea didn’t come with the motor. If you still need all sorts of extra parts, then why’s the motor so damn expensive? Someone offered to locate a replacement engine online, but who’s going to get it and install it?

My old mechanic has stopped working on RVs and could only refer me back to the first mechanic, who, as I said, is unwilling to get started. Both outfits are reputable, so should I insist the do whatever I demand, whether they think it’s the right thing or not? Isn’t that like forcing a baker to create a cake when he swears the flour is full of mealybugs? And who’ll haul me away if everything dies in the shop or I’ve run through the remainder of my cash?

(By the way, the easiest way to prevent mealybugs in flour is to add a few whole BAY LEAVES to the container. You'll never have a problem again. Doesn't that sound nicer than matches or nails?

What I NEED is for a knowledgeable acquaintance to speak to the first mechanic, ask the questions I’m being asked, and then explain it to me in lay-lady’s terms so I can make an informed decision, not just a wild guess. I might have left out a vital fact because it made no sense, then or now.

But even if the work is performed the damage is done: I’m too scared to drive to Portland, let alone Montana. At least here I’m in familiar territory. I mentally compare my RV to a horse that’s been ridden until it’s covered in foam, so I’d better stop before it drops. Maybe this is forcing me to remain in one place for some unknown reason. Maybe my next-Ex is just around the corner!

I’ll need a used car for basic transportation and I’m getting advice there, too; but if I don’t really know what I want or need why bother friends with any of this? I know…my pipe dream is for someone to come along and take over this MAN-stuff; but most of my girlfriends complain they can’t get their husbands to help with their own shit, let alone mine.

Because of the desirable area in which I’m stuck, I expect I'll pay at least half of my income for long term parking/housing.  Even if I qualified for a car loan I couldn't afford much. Well-wishers might suggest I go to a Bad Credit - No Problem dealer, but that advice reminds me of the Chase banker years ago who suggested I approach a Loan Dolphin, I'm not making this up.

I love the way people offer suggestions they wouldn’t attempt themselves. Same thing happened as an artist.

“You should paint on umbrellas; on fingernails; on automobiles. Learn porcelain painting; become a tattoo artist; or just become a Barista.” I wonder which opportunity I missed. 

Since it's ultimately my mess, I’ll look for another mechanic with fresh eyes and a high enough lift while I search for a place to live. As for my current arrangement they've promised to give me at least a week's notice once a replacement is found, so each morning I wake with the reassuring thought that I have another 7 days.

I’ve lived most of my adult life knowing that if I didn’t like my neighbors, job or surroundings I could just pack up and move. From one apartment to another; one state to the next. Pull up the anchor; hook up the RV; head for a different spot, somewhere NEW. Traveling through life at 55 mph until I was stopped dead in my tracks last week, and I’m recovering from the whiplash.

What's the big deal, you ask? Staying in place? Imagine yourself having to move from the country into the city; from a 3-bdrm home to a 1 room flat; from a Mercedes to an old F150.  You’d make the transition, but it might take some getting used to.

So I'll ask this rhetorical question: If you had $3,000 to work with, what would you decide to do first? 

Wow, here’s an interesting-sounding commune in Eugene, for any free-wheeling nudists out there. No, not me...

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