I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life, or my wife’s life for that matter, where our lives have been more controlled by our circumstances versus our own decision making.
When we first made the decision that this new life of ours would become a reality, we signed a purchase agreement that would eventually lead to the sale of our home. And even though that document had a closing date on it, we would soon find out, not of our choosing, the date would be delayed. In a separate transaction, when we sold the land across the street from our house, even though the buyer had harassed us endlessly to rush the completion of the purchase contract, she changed her plan and postponed the closing date to more suit her own needs. Ordering the vehicle, getting paperwork for our trailer, getting paperwork for insurance and many other things that we have had to do to prepare for this adventure all have had dates and timelines, almost all of which were delayed.
But in some of these instances, the delays have worked to our advantage. Extra time to change details in our coach build. Or adjust our plans or even more time just to do research in various aspects of our plans has lead to a more organized and more informed outcome. But not all of these delays have had positive spin-offs.
On Friday, I received a phone call from the owner of our coach builder in South Carolina. Although he did re-confirm that our truck was in fact built and assigned a shipping number, it appears the truck never left the shipping yard. In fact, it never even left the parking lot outside the factory! As it turns out, a third-party-component installed during the manufacturing process is in fact, defective. It appears that all of the seat belt retractors installed in our truck and several others are defective. Because these are critical safety items, all GM vehicles affected have been held back until new retractors can be procured and installed. As I write this, no time frame of completion was available.
How does this adversely affect us? For starters, the longer we wait to leave the colder it gets and the greater the chance of dealing with adverse weather. And although the “Tiger” is being built with a “winter package”, protection against freezing temperatures etc., our trailer has no built in protection. Freezing pipes and pumps is an almost certainty if we don’t winterize or “pickle” the trailer. Not a huge undertaking as I have performed this last fall, but yet another task to do, and then undo. It also means that the longer we have to wait, when we finally do set out we will have to be more destination focused regarding the weather versus taking our time and taking in the sights. A bit whiney maybe, but I would like to see some of the country before we end up hunkering down in the desert or some other warm spot for the winter. Hopefully, by next week, we will have a more concrete time frame as to the completion of the seat belt retractors and final shipment of the truck. In times like this, I am drawn back to a memory of my mother’s voice saying, “Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.”