Since we left off, a giant wind had been blowing our tent all about while we continued on camp hosting at the beach. That night, the winds gusting around the tent, I could feel this journey ending. I thought hard and remembered my friend telling us she had a camper we could have, but it would need work. I had been scared of trying to fix a wet camper, as I know nothing of RV’s, but now that camper was sounding really good. We decided to see if it was available. It was. We were on our way to the camp, but turned around in traffic to go see this wonderful camper. That was when we got the call;
“Your tent is blowing over” our new friend Suzi told us.
We turned around a second time and headed to camp.
This is what we found.
John and Arlene, a minister and his wife, were camping next to us in their 5th wheel, came to help. John grabbed a pole of the tent, I grabbed another, and Carlton went inside to erect the middle pole. This tent was an instant tent, using a center pole as the main effect of upward gravity. The winds were pushing, we were pulling, and there was nothing anyone could do. The manager of the camp came to our site to see what help could be of service. At this point, I had crawled in the tent and taken a photo, laying on my back in a claustrophobic’ nightmare. As they peeled off the rain fly, my head appeared, pressed against the mesh, and my hiding spot was revealed.
That evening, we slept in our Toyota Van, and I searched for an answer I knew I had somewhere inside my brain. Curled in an awkward position inside our sleeping bags, with Fluffy slept (our non-fluffy Min Pin/Chi-weenie) in his crate under our legs. I did not sleep well. In fact, I awoke with the sun with a piss and vinegar and went for a long walk on the early morning beaches. Think, brain.
When Carlton awoke, he was an unhappy camper. He slept well enough in the van, but I am hard pressed to know anyone who would want to sleep in their van, then go to school, work and leave their wife with no shell. We were snails now, and our shell was a 1986 Toyota Van. Gwen was with her dad now, Fluffy had to stay with his old family for a week, and we spent the next 2 days cleaning the camper.
We were pleasantly surprised by the 1967 Nomad camper. She had minimal leaks, and after a good polishing, Nomad was looking happier. The Nomad was symbolic of Carlton and I. We are always finding treasures that ‘just need some scrubbing’, and we are not too proud to do hard work. Memorial Day weekend was the coming weekend, and we needed this shell to shine.
She shone in the sun as our friends Arian and Felicia, accompanied by their children, towed our vehicle from town proper to the camp ground.
Since that day, we are thankful in every wind storm. Every thunderstorm or dampening rain that does not make its watery way into the camper is a winning moment. We can now see the sunset from the front windows. We have human comforts such as a toaster over, crockpot, Tempurpedic mattress, and a dish tub. We even have a refrigerator! The electrical works most of the time, and the toilet needs replacing. We have big plans for Nomad.
I do not understand kindness always. I do not understand why my friend Carmen would give us a home, or why our friends Arian and Felicia would happily tow the camper for us, 80 miles out of their way. I do not understand why the camp Manager and camp Hosts would stand in a wind storm for us, offer their trucks to tow campers, keep a watchful eye out for an RV, and then rejoice with us when we find one. I do not understand all of this community. I do understand that I am learning.
This lack of understanding comes from a darker place inside of me. I have never felt that I am worth being cared for. In this place, I cannot deny that care, that community. I am grateful.