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Saturday, March 30, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I’m beginning to think our South Carolina “home” is turning into our real home.  We’ve been here since 1 December of last year and looks like we’re going to be here much longer.

We had hoped to have all the medical appointments behind us by now, but “Semper Gumby” (Always Flexible) has turned into high gear.

On the positive side, Marti’s cataract surgery has been successful.  She has a follow up check on 9 April.  I have not received a surgery date yet for my cataract from the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital, I have to go in for a pre-surgery consultation on 22 April, then after that they will schedule the surgery date.  As to that date, I have no control or input as to when it will happen, but they will require weekly post surgery follow up checks for the month after.

My mad dash home on a plane from PA for the unexpected VA appointments for my disability claim has been a disappointment.  My eye exam last Saturday went fine, but yesterday (Friday), there was only an exam for one of my several service connected injuries and the doctor wants further tests done on that issue.  When are the tests going to be scheduled?  Who knows?  So we don’t dare go anywhere too far as the appointment can pop up at any time.

I must point out, though, in all fairness, the care I have received at the VA by the medical staff has been nothing short of excellent, and I’m very pleased with it.  As for the administrative end, that is where there is a huge disconnect.  The VA hospital here in Colombia, SC is the busiest in the whole U.S., so they are overloaded and trying to do the best they can to handle the load.  I just wish I had some  input on the appointment dates. 

All that being said, we’re not going to let the Journey’s “roots” grow any deeper.  In a case of deja vous all over again, we’re going to take some short, several day long trips, in between appointments, and not further than we can drive in a day or two, sort of like before we went full time.  Of course with my PDD (Paul Dahl Disorder – driving extreme distances in a day) that could open up half the country… ;c)

First on the agenda is a service appointment on 1 April with Cummins Coach Care in nearby Colombia, SC.  I scheduled this appointment for the Journey to have its oil and filter changes as well as required maintenance done on the Onan 8KW generator several months ago, planning it for  our departure from SC for our summer travels.  Now it’s going to be just a day or two getting the work done, then back to our campground until after Marti’s eye appointment follow up. 

Then we have a twelve day window (knock wood) before my appointment that we may actually be able to go somewhere, right now we have Jacksonville, FL and places in between in our sights.

Since the Journey has been sitting dormant since December, I wanted to check things out so we have no problem making our Monday service appointment.  Since it has been pretty cold at night the last several nights, I flipped on the engine block heater. 

Of course, this morning it was in the high fifties when we got up.  No big deal.  When I turned the key, the CAT started right up, I let it warm up a bit and ensured all the air brake pressures came up to normal.  The engine purred like the big kitten it is.  I shut it down and crossed that item off the list.

With all the high winds we’ve been having as well as the tree’s buds starting to pop open, I climbed up on the roof to sweep all the twigs and bud husks off the roof and the slide awnings.  I don’t want to roll up the awnings with all that debris in them.  Good thing I did because the roof was filthy.


I swept off the roof and it looked somewhat better, but the awnings still needed cleaning.


I scrubbed them off with some general purpose cleaner.


Once they were all clean, I treated them with some water proofing spray (Thanks Karen and Al). 


Now the awnings are clean and protected.  :c)



I wish the campground allowed you to wash your RV.  So many, including this one, don’t.  So maybe I will run the Journey through a nearby truck wash when we are out for the service appointment.  It needs a bath badly.

One thing I’ve done to improve storage space on the Journey was remove the bottom, detachable portion of my ladder from its basement stowage position and hang it on the fixed upper half of the ladder, securing it with bungee cords.



This keeps the ladder handy right where I need it and gives me additional space in my basement compartment.  You just can’t have too much storage space!  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Sorry to hear you are still 'stuck'. I hope that you aren't stuck all the way in to October! :)
    Good idea on the Scotch Guard. I'm sure George will think so too!

  2. It is a shame this is taking so long, but at least you are please with the care you receive. Also, there are much worse places to be stuck or even could still be working;o(( Maybe a trip to see Mike and Terri...Modoc is a nice campground and not far from the Augusta area which is nice:o)

  3. Good luck with the VA and the service appt. Have a member of our local club who has been going to the VA since 1968! He is happy with the treatment but did say you have to have lots and lots of patience:)

  4. Hmm...reminds me of waiting for my hip surgery. It's all good once everything is done! Patience Grasshopper!

  5. At least you're planning little short getaways. That'll make the time go by. I'm going to bet one of those appointments will probably fall in the middle of one of your getaways. Murphy gets input even though they won't let you have it.

  6. Hang in there guys! Like someone else said, at least you're not still working.
    The time will pass quickly and you'll be on your way again.
    Think of all of the money you're saving in diesel fuel by sitting in one place.
    Sorry, just trying to bring a bit of levity to the situation.

  7. Reminds me of our last forever year in Florida. We did just that thing. 3 weeks of medical, one week of travel. Hope you get to do more than that and they don't keep you for an entire 8 months like they did us. And we weren't even dealing with the VA although I suppose a stem cell transplant is an excuse. Thanks for the tutorial on what I should do to my slide toppers. If I drop on by will you take care of it for me??

  8. For some reason we know exactly what you mean. We're headed out on Monday for a week down in southeast AZ just to get away. Between dr. appointments of course. Someday both of us might see the road again. Good luck with all your medical issues and getting it all taken care of.

  9. You be careful climbing around on that roof. You don't want a RV-related injury.

    Good to hear Marti's surgery went well. Now at least one of you can see.

  10. So glad Marti’s cataract surgery has been successful!!! Please be careful on the roof and don't take one step forward and two steps back right off the roof! We're looking forward to seeing you two again real soon. :)

  11. Glad to hear Marti's surgery was successful; short trips will help make the waiting time go by faster ... you could be doing the short trips while still employed ... at least you're retired.

  12. I'm sorry your plans aren't working out like you had hoped. We were hoping you'd be able to get down to the Keys and we could meet you both. It guess that's not to be this year.

    Have you ever tried "The Solution?" It's a waterless wash and works very well, even on very dirty rv's. We even used it when ours was very dirty and it lifted the dirt off nicely. It doesn't cause any scratching or leave any swirls on the coach. It's a perfect solution when you can't wash the coach. In fact, other than washing the roof, I don't know if we'll even wash our the other way again.