Wednesday evening, October 26th
The crew won’t be going out for another walk, so I can get in my jammies! Tonight will be our first really cold night because it’s supposed to get down into the low forties. I pull out the laundry basket from underneath the bed. The basket serves as my day-to-day dresser, and I remember last week I put my pajamas in there, having taken them out of a storage bin in the Perfect Tow Vehicle. Smart move, rvsue!
I also pull out the little Sunbeam electric heater from underneath the bed.
I’m not going to use the Casita’s heatstrip because the two filters in it need to be washed, and even though it only takes a few minutes, I don’t want to do that right now. (I find the filters need to have the dust rinsed out about once a week. ) I plug the Sunbeam heater into the outlet by the door and place the heater on the floor in front of the bathroom door and kitchen. It heats up my little house in only a few minutes. It’s quiet, too, and the red light reminds me to move it aside before opening the bathroom door in the dark.
As long as I’m talking about heaters, let me tell you what I heard about the Casita furnace!
Remember the people camped next door in the Casita? By the way, they left yesterday. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. They gave me one of those door bumper thingies to keep my door from getting a hole in it from the wind slamming it up against the belly band. Very nice people. Anyway. Joe told me they tried their Casita furnace (which I don’t have) and they had to turn it off because it makes so much noise. Vindicated, at last! Now I don’t feel bad for not ordering it.
Okay. So it’s Wednesday night and the crew and I are curled up, toasty warm.
I wake up in the middle of the night. A cow is mooing. Boy, is the wind howling! I take a peek outside and see my new, blue, patio mat — with rocks I’d placed on it — all balled up and flapping around on the ground. I consider going out to weight it down better, but not for long. It’s so cozy inside. Why disturb Bridget and Spike? How far can it blow away? It’s not like I’ll have trouble finding it. I’m going back to bed.
Thursday morning, October 27th
I can still hear the wind. A glance through the blinds shows tree branches being batted around. Looks like the patio mat didn’t go far. Better dress warmly. The crew and I rush around the campground. Good little campers that they are, Bridget and Spike relieve themselves without delay and we run back home! Enough of this! I’m ready for some hot tea and scrambled eggs.
Well, this means a change in plans.
Yesterday I thought we’d leave Caballo Lake State Park today. Although my rig — a Chevy Express van with a long wheel base towing a 17-foot Casita, along with a stabilizer bar on the hitch –makes us fairly wind-resistant going down the highway, it’s best to avoid driving in gusty wind. The PTV qualifies as a “high profile vehicle.” Today is the kind of day to stay off the roads. Now I have an excuse to laze around with the crew inside our little cocoon of a home! We can do that, right, crew?
Thursday afternoon, October 27th
The sun is shining and the wind has abated. The crew is up and getting restless. Out the door, we notice we have new neighbors! A tall guy with a long-haired chihuahua is looking our way.
“Hey, look at that! That’s nice!”
“What?” I ask, looking around.
“Your rig. Your tiny trailer. I like that!” As he walks over he proceeds to tell me he’s ready to downsize from his fifth wheel. “It’s just too much,” he explains. “I like what you’ve got.”
Well, that’s all I need to hear. Smiling, I tell him all about my Casita. We exchange life details while the crew and Chico, the chihuahua, exchange sniffs. His name is Tom and he’s from Ohio. He opens his phone and shows me photos of his fifth wheel and his daughter. He’s camping with a friend in his friend’s Class A.
I can tell he’d love to see the Casita’s interior. “I’d invite you in for a tour, but I haven’t made the bed or washed the dishes. Maybe later, okay?”
“Yeah, that’d be great. We’re going fishing now.”
He turns to help his friend load up the boat while the crew and I head out for a long walk along the Rio Grande. The afternoon autumn sunlight shimmers on the water. We walk far from the campground.
The change in Spike’s gait signals it’s time for a rest.
We find a place to sit in the shade of a gnarly, old, salt cedar tree. A massive branch curved low to the ground provides me a seat. The river is inviting, but I don’t dare for us to go down the bank to the water’s edge. It’s too cool and breezy for Spike to go into the water, and I know that’s what he’d do, given the chance!
It all seems unreal.
Am I really here? Sitting alongside the Rio Grande under a salt cedar tree? Bridget paws at my leg. She wants to sit in my lap. “Okay, sweetie. Jump up.” I hold out my arms to catch her.