January 2, 2011 (written by Debbie)
Sunday, January 2,2011 started out as a quiet, if chilly new day. I got up just before 6 to find Henry shivering in his bed. The little space heater that had seemed more than adequate the night before, set at half power, couldn’t keep up with the plunging Texas temperatures as we went from 70+ to 27 overnight! I gathered up Henry and his blanket, lit the oil lamp, not because it gives out any heat, but the flame looks warm, and held Henry until he finally quit shaking around 8.
We’ve fallen into a semblance of a routine: I take care of the garbage,, and you now who well that’s ‘workin for me’. I’m hoping that the dump will have come back tomorrow since the Jeep is smelling a little ripe and now we have to set the garbage in the hall to take a shower. I work the gate and write posts we can’t post because we have not internet, and take care of Henry. Heidi organizes, solves problems, fixes all things in need of fixing and cooks (homemade cinnamon rolls today)!
I just sat down to start recounting our uneventful but very cold morning when the bells rang. Since leaving the computer meant crawling over Henry, two chairs and wrestling into my bright orange security guard vest, Heidi left her organizing and bounded out to open the gate, slamming the door enthusiastically behind her.
The tanker lumbered past and I waited for Heidi to come back in. Nope. Not then and not for another 5 hours. The door latch that had acted up on occasion over the past couple of years outdid itself today and latched up for good. Heidi was locked out and Henry and I were locked in.
We started passing things through the kitchen window: keys, screwdrivers, tea, advice. After completely disassembling our door mechanism and finding it still stubbornly locked, we migrated to the front window.
First came the step-ladder that our boss in CA was going to throw away last summer; then the pricey Camping World leveling blocks that we don’t use for leveling but that have come in handy several times for other things, like making them into a giant yellow Lego platform today; and finally the little collapsible step which usually serves as a seat but today was a much-needed step.
Next in the window was Heidi, who examined the door, made a sweep through the RV, replacing, storing and gathering, and then back out the window she went. She thought it best to make a few practice runs in and out in case we had to keep using that option for a few days.
We called the county sheriff’s office to get the name of a locksmith, but the sheriff was ‘in the field’ and didn’t have a phone book. He thought the only one was Pop -A-Lock in San Antonio. The only other number we had was one of the gate guards Heidi met yesterday. She called Gloria and got the name of the only RV repair guy in the area and then got his answering machine (Sunday).
So, after passing Henry in and out of the window to go to the bathroom, Heidi sat outside in her Gander Mountain chair with a book and some tea and opened and shut the gate. Larry, our supervisor drove by yelling “Hi, Heidi!”. Shortly after that, Bob, another gate guard Heidi met yesterday, stopped by to see if we needed anything from town since he was headed in. He took a look at the door and made an attempt to let me out or Heidi in but couldn’t figure it out either.
Bob talked to Larry who came roaring in a few hours later. “Sugar, why didn’t you call me for help?” Larry calls everyone Sugar but it never seems inappropriate. Of course I call everyone Honey, so what do I know. Sounds like the lyrics to an Archie’s song, huh? Anyway, Larry crawled in and out of the window for about an hour and a half with his wrench and screwdriver and one of our butter knives.
It’s dark now and we have a nice square hole where the door latch used to be, a crack in the door, a very bent butter knife we’re using as a temporary latch and a dishcloth to keep the flying things out.
Henry would like to me to add that in spite of being left alone in the RV on Interstate 10; left and lost in the Catholic church parking lot; being locked in the Jeep at the dump in the sweltering heat; being terrorized into constipation by the 19 long-horns and bulls; being nearly frozen in his own bed; and finally, being passed in and out of the RV window to do his business, all in all, life is good.