Home » Gate Guarding » Phobias


All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears — of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words “Some Assembly Required.” ~ Dave Barry

We’re at our new gate – more on that tomorrow.

We had a few misadventures while we were getting ready to leave yesterday. It started with the German Shepard, sort of. We had some folks park next to us in the waiting lot who seemed nice enough. They had a chihuahua, (which is really hard to spell, by the way) who barked quite a lot and a German Shepard who didn’t. She (the Shepard, not the lady) had the ability to suddenly and silently materialize, usually just as Heidi was peering in the bin of the RV.

In addition to Bovinaphobia, Heidi has:

Cynophobia – the abnormal fear of dogs. According to Dr. Timothy O. Rentz of the Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders at the University of Texas, animal phobias are among the most common of the specific phobias and 36% of patients who seek treatment report being afraid of dogs or cats.

(isn’t that amazing?)

Although snakes and spiders are more common animal phobias, cynophobia is especially debilitating because of the high prevalence of dogs (in the United States estimated at over 62 million in 2003).  ~ Wikipedia

Henry in the tub, looking scary pathetic after a romp on the beach in Galveston

The problem, in all honesty, preceded the neighborly dogs. It really began with my Automysophobia. I decided I’d better do all the wash before we started a new gate. Since I have a washer and dryer in the 5th wheel, I’m not sure why I thought this was an urgent need, but I did.

In the middle of a game of Cribbage, we heard an odd, non-dog sound, coming from the front of the RV.

Washer and dryer – and the TV –  still covered in its original plastic.

Heidi rushed out to find water streaming out around the hitch. A quick check of the closet confirmed our fears that something had gone terribly wrong with the wash. The clothes inside the washer were damp but the carpet around it and the carpet in the closet was soaked.

After a quick call to the RV dealership and another to the mobile RV repairman, the solution was clear. Open the outside valve. I thought Heidi had; she thought I would have. Nope.

As you know, we’ve battled HUAD (Hooking Up Anxiety Disorder/ Dystychiphobia – fear of accidents) ever since smashing the tailgate – twice. We’ve taken to hooking up the night before we move. This means doing all the negotiating that’s necessary inside to pull in the 4 slides and disconnecting everything but the electricity outside. Somewhere during this process yesterday evening, the German Shepard put her nose right up next to Heidi’s as she was doing some disconnecting, which to understate it wildly, was disconcerting for her.

While this was happening, I was getting things ready inside, including a shower for Henry and then, yes, one more load of clothes. I transitioned back to nights two weeks ago, in anticipation of getting a gate any day. I was in the living room reading when Heidi woke up sometime after midnight and announced that she might have forgotten to shut the black water valve.

I put my glow in the dark shoes halfway on without untying them, thoroughly crushing the heels. I reached in the weaponry closet and located the amazing halogen flashlight that works like a searchlight at a car dealership. I quietly slipped (more or less) outside in hopes of letting sleeping dogs lie, the Shepard in particular.

Even though it hadn’t rained for several days, the ground was as wet as the carpet in the closet! Fortunately, the black tank was closed off, but both of the grey ones were open and so was the septic cap. From the ground our phobias came back to haunt us.

“What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not.
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!”
—- Wordsworth


17 thoughts on “Phobias

  1. Pingback: Possum and the New Wine Skin | Resting in His Grace

  2. BOTH of you are fabulous and no more phobias – OK? Fear not for HE is with you! Perfect love casts out ALL fear! Smiles and hugs to all…Henry included since he’s now clean.

    • Judi – 😀
      It’s been pretty calm the last few nights. I did have a driver that was a little scary a couple of nights ago – but I think my reaction was a healthy reaction.
      I loaded my Co2 BB pistol – I only aim to sting! 😉
      I was happy not to have to use it.

      Henry should enjoy a bath free week unless he finds that skunk that’s on a grub hunt!

  3. Mom has developed Rattlesnake Phobia this past week. All the workers keep warning about them and bragging about the ones they’ve seen & killed. We just want to get out of Texas without seeing one.

    • Phoebe – Texas won’t be the same without you and Hannah! 😀
      Tell your Mom I’ve been here for almost a year and a half and the only rattlesnakes I’ve seen, so far, the rig guys have caught so they could show me. Gotta love those guys!
      Safe travels!

  4. I’m telling you y’all need to write a book. Well actually you’ve written it. You just need to put it together and sell it. Come on just do it!

    Too funny !!!!!!!!!

    • Cathy – One day at the new gate and we’ve already had 3 meals (served by the company) – nice!, A bat, less nice and just now, a mouse, way less nice. Looks like we’re off to our usual auspicious start! 😉

  5. We’ve had a motorhome since the early 90’s. In ’97 when we bought a brand new 34′ Bounder I was determined to drive it, learn how to sit it up, hook up and all the other stuff. We had a friend Mary, a single 84 yrs, who pulled a 30′ 5th wheel with a dully, Woody made a mistake of asking her if she wanted him to park it for her, we were at a Good Sam Samboree with 650 other RV’ers, her REPLY was too take 2 steps back and get out of the way. She parked that little (big) jewel perfect, probably better than Woody. Well I did get behind the wheel and drove our MH, Woody was standing behind me shouting out *** , I told him to get in his chair, buckle up, and close his mouth. He won’t ride with me in the car unless he is sick, or so tired he can’t keep his eyes open – so needless to say this was more than he could stand. I drove about an hour until we hit the big city of Waco. Never drove again (MH). But I need to – in case of emergency. On our first gate, been there 3 days, in the boonies, had to call 911 for ambulance for Woody, it took 1.5 hr for the ambulance to find us.
    Toolpusher and helper from rig came and helped me get him out of the shower where he had passed out, then the helper went to the highway to lead the ambulance into the gate. I was imagining/worrying how I was going to get that MH home.

    So hats off to you girls – when I grow up (already passed you in years) I want to be able to drive the RV,and hook up, like you two.

    Where is your new gate? Heading South ist of May.

    • Oh my gosh, Mickey – what a way to start your gate guarding career! Poor Woody! Poor you!
      We’re not far from Gonzales but not really near anywhere – the normal gate guard life!
      I know a lot of men don’t want their wives to drive/pull the RV. Funny because it isn’t that hard (says the person who ripped into a palm tree 10 days after buying a new 5th wheel)!
      We have some really close friends who’ve been full-timers for years. He can’t drive anymore, but the fact that she’s equally able and willing to tow their RV has made it possible for them to continue to have the lifestyle that they love!

      I’m a big advocate for women taking the wheel – at least often enough to be comfortable should the need arise. 😀
      You can do it, Mickey! We’re rooting for you!

  6. The only phoebia I think I really have is fear of heights. I can’t even watch someone on tv mountain climb. However, lately I think I may be getting a bell phoebia. I hear them all the time and there is no one around – even in my sleep. Now sleep phoebia – I may be getting that too as I don’t seem to be able to slleep much. Gee Debbie, you just made me realize what a mess I truly am. Thanks counselor!!! LOL

    • Jill, you’re so funny! I was just writing about bats in the belfry (combining both your fear of heights and bells)! BUT – my fear of writing and having all my words evaporate came to pass when the wind changed (I can smell the skunk outside. I liked it better when it was blowing from the other direction).

      I’ll start over tomorrow and minimize the height issue. 😀
      Somniphonbia is actually more common than you might think – except for the bell part. I think that may be a gate guard specific symptom. 😀
      Wishing you sweet DAY dreams today!

  7. Well, it was a Big Surprise to me when I first got hooked on this blog. Whereas I might have come out of sheer loyalty to Two Minutes of Grace, I probably wouldn’t have stayed for the long-haul–but I’m thoroughly enjoying the vicarious adventures. I don’t have to do any of the work–and I experience minimal vicarious stress! But you gals are really top-tier in my book, and should get some kind of earthly award. I love the adventure stories, am inspired–especially by the humorous grace you display. I salute you both, Debbie and Heidi–and today I’ll give you a pseudo-award, based on on one of my fave Joyce Meyer exhortations–the “Do It Afraid!” Award. Whether you conquer fear, or walk along side it in peace, you stay the course and keep “headin’ ’em up and movin’ ’em out”! God bless you both so abundantly–and sending you much love today, and always. Sis Caddo

    • Caddo – LOL! We accept your “Do It Afraid” award with thanks and only a little trepidation! 😉
      I’m trying to write about the bat that was stuck in our awing when we unfurled it yesterday (we did rescue it eventually) but I keep getting kicked off line. We’ll see. I may have an adventure or two left to tell.
      I’m equally surprised that you’ve come back for extra helpings!
      Always a pleasure,

  8. I come from a long line of phobic people on one side and the Wildcat Ridge of vigilantes on the other. It’s not easy being me. What I’m feeling on the inside is often in conflict with what I choose to do. I know… diagnosable for sure. The labels are still up for debate. Despite all this, she missed the biggest fear of yesterday which was backing uphill around a tree to park the 5th wheel. I got out twice and said I couldn’t do it. But the Smith in me got back in and tried again.

    • True, Heidi. I tried but while I’m sure you’re not alone, I couldn’t find the official name for the fear of driving backwards. 😀
      You are the most interesting combination of fierce and fearful! You always keep it interesting! 😉

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