After I had returned home from my Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage, the most common question asked of me was “What was the most memorable part of your journey?” The answer was an easy one: The people that I met. I had left for the Camino wanting some reassurance for my belief that the vast majority of people were good and decent. The Camino thoroughly rewarded me with the truth of that belief.
Today’s Blog is a continuation of that line of thought. We discovered on the first day on the road that there was a serious leak in the fill hose connection going to the gasoline tank on STella, the RV. Due most likely to her long unused state in Iowa, the rubber hose connecting the fill inlet to the tank had deteriorated to the point that during fueling, a significant amount of gasoline would leak thru the hose and pool under the center of the RV, a highly dangerous situation. I had managed to apply a “farmer fix” to the only accessible leak, but fuel still leaked from the rest of the now porous hose. My “field expedient solution” was to collect the spilled fuel in a container under the RV as it was being filled. That required me to actually be on ground level on my knees and put my head and shoulders under the RV to reach the leak area to place the catch container. Not a pretty visual picture there, huh? After fueling, the captured fuel had to be taken to an outside drain and flushed with water to safely dispose of it. For the next several days, Cathy was on the phone as we approached every major city looking for someone/some place to make the repair. We naively thought that since there are literally hundreds of thousands of RVs in Florida, this would be easily accomplished. Ha! Apparently MOST of those RVs need some kind of work or other on them as every place we called had a waiting list of from days to weeks in advance. Calling on her years of experience as a Librarian, Cathy broadened her web search and found “Rick the Roving Tech”. In the mean time, we discovered the on-board refrigeration/freezer had also ceased functioning. Add to the sad litany, the failure of the on-board generator to start, and we had a formidable list to lay on Rick.
Here’s where the “good people everywhere” connection kicks in. Rick was very responsive with both text and verbal communication, and did everything he could to accommodate our fluid and changing schedule. Anticipating that the repairs were going to take a goodly amount of time, he arranged for a meeting spot that would be timely and accessible for us; not as easy as it sounds. At 1300 today, all that pre-arranging bore fruit, and we met Rick, and his neighbor/side kick, 80 year old Fred, at the designated rendezvous. With his well equipped dually truck filled with all the right tools, the diagnosis and triage of the problems was promptly made. In a sight to make any farmer’s heart flutter, outside in the bright Florida sunshine, we put a work blanket down on the bare concrete under STella and went to work. So concentrated were we on the job at hand that not a single picture was taken! So sad. 😦 In three hours of steady and concentrated effort, each problem was fixed and tested for efficacy.
There was ample time for conversation while the work was being done, and both Rick and Fred were greatly interested in my bike riding plans. The repair bill was totally fair and acceptable, even to the point of Rick having the faith to accept a personal check from me for payment. Though we didn’t think to take any pictures, Rick requested to take a picture of our Bike Maps to show other friends he knew that might be interested in such a trek.
I’ve saved the best part for last. He asked for our picture and said that he planned on telling his friends and family about us so that they could pray for us! Wow. Good People. Where ever you may go. We’ll pray in Thanksgiving for you, Rick and Fred.