Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia’

I didn't realize this patch was from WV when I swiped it .. talk about irony!

WARNING: Rant ahead

So .. yknow.. I’m the giver. Not much of a taker.

Even though I know that sometimes I have to be humble enough to ask for help when I need it, I usually don’t because I do what I have to do to make whatever works. I’m independent that way .. or call it self sufficient, maybe.

But when I do need help, the first people I go to is my family.

I’m blessed with an AWESOME family who will lend a hand whenever I need them to.

Ok.. so the ranting is going to begin now.

Y’all know my RV, Consuela, is currently 9 hours away in West Virginia. And y’all know that I need to get it OUT of West Virginia because we’re not moving there now and it isn’t parked on the property we bought.

After everything that happened during the road trip from hell, I get a bleeding ulcer whenever I think about driving back there to get Consuela and then driving her right back here.

I’m also worried about putting another 800 miles on my car but there’s really no way to get there from here and back without it. It’s not like it’s on a train route!

I would just feel a hell of a whole lot more comfortable if there was another adult with us. Someone who would ride with Chief on the way back so if there’s some kind of an issue with Consuela, he wouldn’t be by himself. To me, having another set of hands to help him would just make me feel better.

So I figured I’d ask my 26 year old former Marine Godson.

He really doesn’t have the responsibilities that my other friends and family do .. he lives at home, works three days a week.. and generally just “lives the life” if you know what I mean.

So at the beginning of the week I sent him a message asking if him and his girlfriend (who I adore and adores me back) wanted to take a road trip .. I promised fun, adventure and rest stop breaks but also let him know that I was kind of in a jam. He messaged me back saying that his girlfriend was working this weekend (the original plan was to go this weekend before all the damn snow) but asked me what I had in mind.

I send him a message explaining to him about Consuela and why I wanted him to come with.. and how my stomach is in knots and would really, really feel better if he came along.

Never heard anything back.

He’s been on Facebook posting status’ and whatever so I know he got the message.. he just didn’t respond to it.

And I’m kind of upset about it ..

I’m not one to keep lists of who does what for whom but I did a lot for this kid.. was there for him every step of his way..supported him when no one else would .. he knows that he can talk to me about anything and would loved him no matter what and it just hurts that the one time … the ONE time I ask him for a favor, he couldn’t even respond to it.

I did tell him that I would completely understand if he didn’t want to go… I’m not upset that he told me he DIDN’T want to go.. I’m upset because he didn’t tell me one way or the other..

Because isn’t that a life lesson? It is for me ..  it’s being reliable.. conscientious.. mindful of other people’s time and plans..

And it’s just weighing on me so I had to unload.

Eventually, I’ll talk to him and ask him about it .. I don’t necessarily think that calling him up now at 5am is going to benefit either of us, yknow?

<< end rant >>

You know.. I have a habit of saying that I need to get paid to live my life.

I’m serious.

A check would really, really, REALLY be helpful right now!

Anyway.. ok.. so…

Reality Check.

The real kind.

WARNING: Nothing you are about to read is made up. I can assure you that I am not sitting up in my double king sized bed surrounded by over spoiled lap dogs and tons of pillows getting annoyed by my assistant who keeps bursting into my sanctuary to take calls from various people listed on the Who’s Who of The World.

I so wish.

Anyway..

So we’re home from our road trip and I’m absolutely dreading Tuesday. Why? Because Tuesday is when my bank processes every transaction from the weekend. And even though I’ve been literally squeaking because I am very, very cautious when spending money since we closed the store we completely had to trash my account because of the Road Trip.

I was due for an unemployment check on Wednesday.. but it’s the next to the last one so this was NOT a good time to trash the finances. Necessary, of course. Even though we didn’t spend anything we absolutely didn’t have to.. we still spent more then we thought we would.

Still, I didn’t think it was going to be ALL that bad.. I thought that we were covered because I wrote a check for the $191.00 title/tag fee for Consuela. Remember I said that I could float that because by the time it was deposited it wouldn’t clear until Wednesday when my unemployment came in?

Yea.

No.

When I dared enough to take a peek at my account online, the check had already cleared. What? Wait… WHAT?

I know for a fact that my bank doesn’t have a local branch but  I guess the notary had some type of electronic gizmo that processes checks the same way one would process credit or debit cards. I know they exist and really, in this day and age why wouldn’t you have a gizmo like that when you accept checks?

So now my account was going to get hit with way more over draft charges then I originally thought and at 35.00 a pop, I’d be lucky if I was going to be able to remain in the black when my UC check came in.

Mind you.. I am not pointing blame at anybody else or playing a violin. I take full responsibility for the things that I did to make my account a mess… I just didn’t realize how much of a mess. Fact is, after all was said and done, I had around 400.00 after my UC came through.

Ok.. so not sooo bad, right?

Honestly, it wouldn’t be except that upon returning home from the road trip I found out that I had to pay the 128.00 cable bill before the 14th to avoid shut-off. I have to keep this current for 2 reasons.. one, Bubba and the whole cyber school thing and two, we are going to need service when we move and if I keep the bill current then there isn’t an issue with just changing the address.

I also received a 3 day shut off notice for the water. That’s 124.00.

So ok.. I’m not exactly jumping through hoops here but you know, at least I have enough to pay the cable and water and we’ll just have to make due because really, what ELSE is there to do?

And then I receive a call from my landlord.

I still owe him 675.00 for December’s rent and have told him that he will get that money. I’m not trying to beat him out of it or skip town or whatever. I may not have it RIGHT NOW but I filed my tax return so I will be getting a little something back (I had requested taxes taken from my UC) .. and Chief will be getting a nice return back but we can’t file his until the end of the month because the IRS hasn’t released one of the forms he needs yet.

He asked me where we were moving and I told him, honestly, I didn’t know. My fragile house of cards had collapsed and the only thing that I could do was leave it up to God. He asked if we would have to stay in the house another month. I told him that I still owed him money for December .. how could I do that?

Then he busts out with ‘.. and for January.”

Wait.

WHAT?

Apparently, the money that had been put up front when Chief had moved into this place was 1st month and 2 months security. This was NOT the information Chief gave me.. he told me that he put up 1st month / Last month / security.

Mind you, he got this house before I was ever in the picture and truthfully, I’m sure HE wasn’t the one who handled the transaction.. only signed where he was told to..

So now we owe our land lord ANOTHER 1400.00 for January and he told me he’d give me a call sometime next week to come see the house. Wonderful.

And it’s all getting a little too much for me to shoulder.

When I said that our little fragile house of cards had fallen, I wasn’t kidding and I wasn’t trying to get sympathy. It’s exactly the way it is.

The end of the month is fast approaching and we have no where to go.

West Virginia may be a probability somewhere in the future but it isn’t now. Even if the property was flat, it’s going to take more money then we’re going to have to build a foundation, finish paying off the double wide and paying to move it from where it’s at to where it’s going to go.

I ask you.. what the HELL were we thinking??

I’ll ask you again just for the effect.. WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING???

This whole journey from the day we closed the store has been nothing but us putting out money for places and things that never panned out..

And it’s more then a little discouraging .. especially because we are no closer to finding a place to move only now we have a lot less money to do it with..

It’s making my head spin.. keeping me up at night and doing things to my innards that are better left undiscussed.

Year ago.. when I was a kid.. there was a tele-movie on one night about a woman who found herself homeless. She did everything “right” in her life but I think her house caught on fire and for some reason it wasn’t insured or whatever .. that quick, she found herself homeless and it scared the hell out of me .. the thought that things could change in the snap of a finger ..

I thought about the movie (I think it starred Christine Laihti) in the middle of the night recently and it was all I can do to make the waterfalls keep from drenching my pillow.

Do I have the option of moving back in with my mom or with my brother? Of course.. I do have a way. “I” have a way.. but that would mean leaving my family .. and as much as I feel like I want to leave them sometimes, I really don’t.. and I wouldn’t.. not in these circumstances.

The boys could go with the Crack Whore.. no biggie. But my main concern is the dogs and cats. My mother would freak and my sister in law is high allergic. The other option is to move Conseula back to PA and possibly put it on my brother in laws property until we can get our shit together.

So I worry.. worry hard.. count down the minutes until we have to leave this house.. and then what?

Dunno .. but I do have faith.

As ridiculous as it may sound to those of you that don’t .. I know that God will take care of us and put us where we need to be when we need to be there. And while He does provide, no one said it would be easy ..

Swiped from the 'net .. there was no sun!!

Okay..

So honestly, after crashing in a more then toasty Consuela while a blizzard raged around us I didn’t feel like going anywhere. I would have been MORE then happy to just spend the rest of my life parked in that rest stop!

Alas, it was not to be!

Fortunately, and thanks can only be given to God, I hadn’t lost cell service so we were able to call the kids back home and check in on them and the dogs. That was a huge relief for us.

Also, honestly, I did wake up a few times but went right back to sleep because I didn’t want to move!!

Can you blame me?

But at 5am, Chief woke me up by yelling IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK .. WE GOT TO GET MOVING!!

Ohhhhh!!!

But I woke up and we got situated. Thanks to God only again because Consuela started right up. She was getting better as she moved along just like Chief said she would. He still didn’t have heat .. or defrosters and the thought of possibly running the heater we had brought with us while he drove went kaput because the cigarette lighter in the dash didn’t work.. but that wasn’t going to stop him.

Driving INTO daylight instead of night time was a huge advantage too because at least there was the chance of sun and warmth.

So we leave the comfort of the rest stop and start the three hour drive.

You know, we’ve been doing so much driving since November that three hours doesn’t seem like very long. And truthfully, it isn’t.. except the WHOLE weekend was long and arduous and then you have to remember that we still had to drive 8 hours BACK.

Anyway.. so we get on the highway and I have to hand it to PennDot. The road was clear. Dark, but clear.

We pull off at the first exit because we needed to buy wiper fluid :: Chief had told me he had put the rest of the bottle in the car before we left on Friday :: and we decided to put another 50.00 bucks of gas in Consuela and to top off the wagon. The way he figured it, Consuela would have just enough gas to get to West Virginia. We were leaving her there anyway so it didn’t matter if her tank was empty.

Our plan was to drive straight through to the property.

NOTE: Did I even mention that here? Ok.. in our desperate attempt to find some place to live and coming up empty, I found an ad on Craigslist for a double lot of land for 3900.00. The owner of the land was willing to take 100.00 payments monthly for it. He had had to relocate to Florida for his job and having this piece of property for 20 some odd years wanted to sell it. It’s called a Land Contract. The only thing is that he never built anything on it so it would have to be cleared. There were sewer and water lines so we wouldn’t have to dig a well or a septic tank but still needed to be hands on in order to put the mobile home we bought on it. In speaking to the assistant Mayor, we found out that the village had changed it’s ordinance and a foundation was going to have to be laid. That was adding more complications and adding more time to a situation that wasn’t the best to begin with. So the plan was to drive Consuela down there.. leave her on the property so that when we went down to lay the foundation, we would have someplace to eat, sleep and have a bathroom at our disposal. That’s how the whole plan to move to West Virginia came about… completely by chance and Craigslist.

Ok.. so we get everything we needed to get at the gas station and get back on the highway.

I felt better about driving.. maybe it was because we had slept for almost 12 hours or maybe it was because I knew it was going to get light out instead of visa-versa or maybe because I had spent every waking moment praying. And I continued to pray out loud, in the car. It’s funny because Chief tells me I talk alot.. A LOT .. and after a while he says all he hears is blah blah blah .. I can imagine that God felt the same way!! LoL!

About an hour into the drive.. maybe less.. I notice sparkly things in the road and I remember thinking, “.. wow, the salt sparkles like diamonds.”

What can I say.. I have no excuse.

Because it wasn’t salt crystals.. it was snow. We were driving into yet another snow storm.  And trust me, it was just as bad as all the other ones.. and the trucks spraying salt was just as bad as it had been before and I was JUST. SO. OVER. IT. .. but I took deep breaths.. calmed myself.. prayed some more and kept an eye in the rear view mirror for Consuela’s head lights.

At 6am, I was looking for the sunrise.

At 6:30, I was looking for the sunrise.

At 7 AM I WAS LOOKING FOR THE SUNRISE!!

And finally, it came.. we had finally gotten off of Rt 80W and started travelling south. I don’t remember what the highway number was.. but we were heading south  and that was the important thing.. that and it stopped snowing.

There was only one little snafu .. when the TomTom (who wasn’t trying to kill us this time) notified me that we had to get off the highway, I put my blinker on well in advance so that Chief new what we were doing. It was one of those A .. B .. exits. We had to get off at B but he didn’t know that.. so when the exit came up ( the A exit ) and I went past it, he thought I blew the exit so he lingered on the right.. I was frantically waving for him to follow me and eventually he moved over. He didn’t see me, of course, nor did he hear me screaming No! No! No! but with thanks to God, we avoided a disaster.

And finally.. finally.. finally we saw the sign we’ve been waiting to see:

Welcome to West Virginia.

At that point, we only had about 35 miles to go and I so wished that we were together in the same car when we crossed the state line.

I stared using my fingers to let him know how many miles we had left to go and I was getting anxious to finally get to see where our new home was going to be.

Time seems to move slower the closer you get to your destination and I was trying to take it all in at the same time.

Initially when I tried to enter the street name into the TomTom, it didn’t recognize it because let’s face it.. this is a village with a population of 591. I’m sure most things there aren’t on a map but we had looked at the land and it’s surrounding areas so many times on Google Earth that I felt confident that if we just stayed on the road we were on, we would find it. I was just praying that Consuela had enough gas. She did.

Anyway.. this is where it’s going to get hard. At least for me. So many times we build things up in our minds and then reality doesn’t quite measure up to it.

I call it “tugging on the balloon string”.

There’s a little town right to the north of where we had the land and there were fast food places and dollar stores and pizza joints. Not what I was expecting but actually kind of a little glad that these kinds of places were really within a stone’s throw. We past through there and continued down the road and I started keeping an eye out for street signs. It was only around 9am on a Sunday so traffic was really light but I still had to be conscience of Consuela stopping.

And then I found our street.

And I wanted to cry. I still want to cry. I’m starting to cry.

Nothing any where near what I was expecting.. or even hoping.

These two lots were on the side of a freaking mountain. I mean.. literally. Oh, there were houses there.. people lived there.. but everything is vertical. And narrow.

Ok.. let me see if I get can the picture across this way.

Imagine a horse shoe. Now tilt that horse show to a 45 degree angle. That’s how steep the street was.

I turned the car up the street thinking that there was no way in HELL that we were going to be able to get Consuela up there. I had a hard time getting up there.. and when I did, it was just CONGESTED with houses. Anywhere someone could build a house they did.. in fact, it kind of reminded me of mountain goats perched on ledges. And worse, it almost has the feel of .. well.. a ghetto. Kinda.

I don’t know.. it was just the last thing I expected, I guess, so the disappointed was ripe.

So I follow the road around back to the bottom where the highway was and expected to see Chief and Consuela .. but I didn’t see them. Thinking that maybe he went down the highway a little to turn her around, I pulled over across the highway onto this little piece of ground and waited. Didn’t see him.

Now I started to panic. Of all the times I could have lost him, NOW I LOSE HIM??

So I pull onto the highway and head back toward our street (I’m going to start calling it our hill) thinking that maybe he went back the other way. This jerk was right on my bumper when I pulled out so I couldn’t turn up our hill but was able to pull over at the base of the another street. Looking behind me to back out, I see Chief and Consuela pulling into the same piece of ground I had just been at.

I drive over there and pull up in front of her and Chief gets in the car shivering like you wouldn’t believe. He started putting the heater on high and trying to warm himself up.. I mean, I had never seen anything like that before in my life. He just couldn’t stop shaking and he literally couldn’t even talk.

Once the warmth got to him, he started to settle down and we took another ride up our hill to see this property. I told him I didn’t know how the heck we were going to get a double wide up there.. he said it wouldn’t be a problem. The neighbor’s swimming pool..well, that might be a problem.

Because it looked like the neighbors had erected a really, really nice above ground swimming pool right on our land.

Talk about getting off on the right foot with the neighbors, huh?

Excuse me, yea.. we’re you’re new neighbors.. you need to take down that really, really nice pool you got there.

If I didn’t have an ulcer yet, I certainly started to get one now. Especially because my balloon string was not only pulled down but cut off. I wasn’t enjoying this.

We called the guy who we’re paying for this land and told him what was going on. He’s all aces this guy.. he was a little perplexed but felt terrible and was going to do all that he could do to find out anything he could. He deemed this his responsibility and didn’t want us putting bad tastes in people’s mouths the same way we didn’t.

So after being there for about, oh, an hour? There was nothing else to do but basically turn around and drive home. We left Consuela parked on that piece of ground across from our hill .. locked her all up and headed back home. I would have liked to maybe drive around the area and perhaps attend church services  but we only had 25.00 left in cash and I knew I was going to have to put gas in the wagon. I was only hoping that the half tank we were left with when we got to WV plus the cash that I had would be enough to get us the close to 400 miles home.

I didn’t think so and it was weighing on my mind heavily.

We set the Tom Tom to avoid the toll road so the route led us through West Virginia.. into a little piece of south western Pennsylvania.. back into West Virginia and then through Maryland.. where we hit even MORE snow.. and last,  into south eastern PA.

But the snow didn’t matter because Chief was with me.

I was at a quarter tank of gas when we first got into western Maryland and so I pulled over. I had a decision to make. And it was one that I knew was going to carry a heavy price.

There was 2.00 left on my debit card (by my calculation).. if I ran it through the gas pump as credit, and it worked.. I could get a full tank of gas out it it. It was going to cost me a 35.00 over draft fee but I really didn’t think that the 25.00 cash was going to be enough.

So I tried it.. and thanks can only go to God because the transaction went through and I was able to full the tank and remove the anxiety. Believe me.. it was a HUGE relief.

And as exhausted as we were .. we really enjoyed the ride back. He said to me that with all the craziness that we had gone through, we needed this. We needed to get out and away from everything because he realized that we haven’t been connecting. We go into the bedroom and he’s on his laptop and I’m on mine and this weekend just brought us together.

We talked about how depressing the area the property is in was.. and how neither of us was to amped with having other houses right on top of us. OR the power plant across the road. That was another thing. We were both a little shocked .. a little disappointed and thought that maybe we should rethink this whole thing.

When we finally got back to the house, we left the car to be unloaded for later and threw a quick dinner together for the kids. I called the assistant mayor and told him about Consuela and where she was parked because I didn’t want her to be towed or anything because we couldn’t leave it on the property.

Did I mention that Chief HAD taken her up our hill? When I thought he disappeared he was literally right behind me! But coming off the hill, Consuela started to slide so he had to kind of ram her into a tree to get her to stop. It was either a tree or a house. He opted for the tree.  There was no damage or anything but I’m sure glad we don’t have to worry about snow, sliding cars, sliding RVs and taking down poles or houses anymore.

So that’s the story.. I’ll fill you in what we found out about the pool, the property, the house we’re in now,  how almost my whole unemployment check was eaten up in over draft fees and just how very likely it is that we are going to be homeless in 16 days. And I’m not being sarcastic here.. I’m being dead honest.

But..

And this is a big BUT ..

God is good. I can’t stress that enough. We may not share the same kind of faith and I respect that but I can tell you with absolute certainty that we made it through this weekend the way with did only on His grace.

Caution: Snow is Worse Then It Appears

Sorry I haven’t posted anything about the National Lampoon Road Trip trip we took last weekend but we had a LOT to recover from and had to jump right back into the regular swing of things like, right away…  I’m just beginning to catch my breath so I’ll be posting about all that really, really soon…

Sucks being on a “normal” sleep schedule!! I’m sleeping through my usual blogging time! LOL

And like..

Driving 4 hours through a snow storm to Central PA on Friday wasn’t enough?

Driving  2 hours through a snow storm towards Western PA on Saturday wasn’t enough?

Getting stuck in the middle of it and having to spend the night in a rest stop wasn’t enough?

Driving 3 hours through a snow storm through Pittsburgh and into West Virginia on Sunday wasn’t enough?

Turning right around and driving the 8 hours BACK to South Eastern PA via West Virginia and Maryland in a snow storm WASN’T enough??

We got dumped with 10″ of the white stuff early this morning…

I guess after the 72″ we got last year it’s not so bad but I’m just sick of the damn stuff!

Instead of closing, Spaz’s school opened 2 hours late but we kept him home.. neither of us felt like getting up and cleaning off the car and driving through the mess (can’t imagine why, can you?)

Which meant that ALL of us were home AT THE SAME TIME.. a luxury usually reserved for the weekends *cough cough*..

But it was all good..

I wasn’t stuck in some rest stop on Rt 80 .. wasn’t trying to drive with windows covered with salt and no wiper fluid.. didn’t have to worry about Chief driving behind me in a 1979 Dodge Fleetwood RV that has seen SO MANY better days soooo long ago.

It was good not to have to worry about anything but who was going to take the dogs out!!

 

Road Trip

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Just Livin'
Tags: , , , , , , ,

.. so right after Spaz leaves for school, we’re going on the road to try and get something situated before the end of the month.

First is the 4 hour trip to Lock Haven, Pa to pick up Consuela our RV .. the one that we almost positive runs.. but not much else.

We’re planning on staying over night in Lock Haven so that Chief can tinker on anything he needs to tinker on.

From Lock Haven, we have to travel 5 hours to West Virginia.

Me driving the wagon.. him driving Consuela.

This is the part that makes me nervous because 1) I’ve never driven that long by myself and 2) there’s the added stress of constantly having to look behind me to make sure Chief and Consuela are there and not pulled off on some shoulder a few miles back.

We plan on staying over in West Virginia.. and then leaving her there and driving the 9 hours back to our house.

Did I mention they’re calling for snow all across the state AND in WV?

I’m not looking forward to this trip .. if you’re prone to, please send massive prayers our way. We’re really going to need them.