Have You Ever Thought to Yourself …What Was I Thinking? Have you ever done something that was totally out of character for you, but you did it and later wondered if you had actually been in your right mind at the time when you did it? Well, that’s what I did. It was New Year’s Eve. My friend and I were talking about something we had always wanted to do and I said I had wanted an RV. Since we were celebrating New Year’s and drinking champagne, one of us came up with the brilliant idea to go on line and see if we could find an RV like one we had seen in a parking lot recently. We had asked the owners if we could go inside and look around and they had graciously allowed us to do so.
Since we liked it so much, it seemed like that should be the RV we would buy, so we went on line and sure enough, there was an RV exactly like the one we had seen. So, we decided I should put in a bid on it. After placing three bids and drinking a lot more champagne, we decided that the things to do for the New Year would be…. “Oh, what the heck. Let’s just hit the Buy It Now button.” So, I did. (Notice how the noun has changed from we to I.)
I really should have taken note of the fact that the RV was in Washington state since I live in Nevada and it was January. Someone had to go up there and pick up that RV and bring it back to Nevada. I bought two plane tickets and got my Office Assistant to go with me to drive the RV home.
There were only two problems (or so we thought.)
- I had never driven an RV and…
- I had only driven in snow a couple of times and never snow like was coming down in Washington.
The man I bought the RV from had promised to give me a lesson in how to drive it, so I figured all would be fine. He picked us up at the airport in the RV, drove a few blocks to his office, got out and said, “Hope you girls have a nice trip back to Nevada.”
I drove it slowly around the parking lot twice and figured I could do this. When we went to the gas station to fill the tank, we had to clean the cobwebs off the gas cap in order to put in the gas. After driving a few more miles, we turned on the windshield wipers only to discover there needed to be some wiper fluid with some sort of anti-freeze in it in order for it the wipers to work, so we stopped and bought wiper fluid. After driving a few more miles, we decided we’d better buy some new wiper blades. Okay, it seemed like we were finally ready to head down the road for home.
There weren’t many cars on the highway but we didn’t think much about it. There were a few 18 wheelers. As we drove, the RV seemed to be slipping and sliding a bit and of course, I had no idea that we should have had on chains. And if I had realized it, I wouldn’t have known what to do with them anyway, so I figured I would just stay in the tracks of the 18 wheelers and all would be fine. About four o’clock in the afternoon, it started getting dark, and we realized we couldn’t stay in the RV as it had no bed clothes in it so we decided to stop at a hotel for the night. The desk clerk asked where we had come from and when we told her, she said, “Oh, good thing you came when you did. They just closed that road. And the road you are planning to take in the morning is closed now as well.”
The next morning, we had breakfast and set out on our journey. The road was open. Yea! Once again, we drove slipping and sliding in the tracks of the 18 wheelers…up one snowy mountain and down the next. There was nothing but white in every direction. At lunch time, I suggested we stop at a little café in one of the mountain towns and have some lunch. When we walked in, there were about six elderly gentlemen sitting around a table near the fire. “Where’d you come from,” they asked. Upon telling them we just came over that big mountain behind us, how scared we had been and how relieved we were to be over it, one gentleman turned to us and said, “Oh that ain’t nothin’. That’s just a little hill compared to the one you are about to go over.” It was at that point that we started seriously thinking about living in that little town forever, or at least until spring. But, after some hot soup and coffee, we ventured out again.
Me driving. And my assistant, Charlotte, being the cheerleader. “You can do this. You are doing great. We are going to be just fine. You are a good driver.” We both held our breathe as we slipped and slided across Washington, a corner of Oregon, then Idaho, and down into Utah. Three days of driving, me pretending to be confident in my driving skills and Charlotte pretending to be trusting my driving and cheering me on. Each night the road closed behind us, each morning the road opened about 10 am and once again, we’d drive until about 4 pm. White was all around us. Nothing but white as far as you could see. No cars anywhere, just the 18 wheelers and us in the RV.
After we went through Cedar City, Utah, the snow started getting lighter. By the time, we got to St. George and then on to Mesquite, there was no snow. When we stopped, Charlotte jumped out of that RV so fast it wasn’t even funny. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was kissing the ground and thanking God we’d gotten back alive. Here was my cheerleader, telling me that she hadn’t really been as confident as she had seemed. I wasn’t about to admit how weak in the knees I was, but I was every bit as glad to see a bit of green grass as she was.
When I think back on this adventure, I seriously wonder, “What was I thinking?”
Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and professional mentor. To inquire about Judi’s services or products, call Turning Point International (702) 283-4567.