In accordance with my seven-day challenge of Love Your Spouse, I have resurrected this story.
RV’s are a wonderful way to travel, but they are the perfect test of marital love. The challenges abound in the best of circumstances, but after a long day of moving, they explode into another dimension.
Our relocation from sunny Arizona to cooler Idaho went smoothly, considering, until we decided to winterize the RV. We dropped off the U-Haul and drove over to the storage lot. The instruction manual said it would only take five minutes, so what could possibly go wrong?
My husband peered at the valves. “Now which way do these go?”
I repeated the instructions.
Straightening back up, he said, “I’ll will hook up the hose, if you’ll open the faucets.”
That moment things began to go wrong. Water poured out of the faucets.
I made a quick exit back out to my husband. “We forgot to drain the lines when we drained the tanks, and there’s a lot of water running out of the taps.”
“Well,” The Love of My Life said, “It’s clear water. We’ll just run it into a bucket and walk it over to the dump station. That would be much easier than re-hitching the trailer and pulling it over there.”
“We don’t have a bucket. You took all of them into the house.”
My One and Only sighed, and then winked. “I told you we should keep one bucket in the trailer.”
It was an old joke between us, his way of admitting I had been right and he was wrong.
I looked up at the gray sky. The sun was hovering near the horizon. A gust of wind blew through the lot, carrying a cloud of leaves, papers, and grit.
I hunkered deeper into my coat. “Let’s come back tomorrow with a bucket.”
“No, I really want to get it done tonight.”
“And how are we going to do that without a bucket?”
“Let me think a moment.”
Before I could protest, another cold gust of wind blew an old bucket out from behind the neighboring RV. A quick inspection deemed it usable.
We were lucky, the fresh water tank and both grey tanks contained very little water, and dumping them went smoothly and quickly. However, our luck turned sour when we opened the black tank. A thick, odorous black muck oozed into the bucket.
The Love of My Life stated the obvious. “It appears we also forgot to flush the black tank.”
I said nothing. My mother told me if I couldn’t say anything nice, not to say anything.
Next came the Really Big Mistake.
My Beloved announced, “Well, there can’t be that much left. We’ll just drain it into the bucket like we did the grey tanks and walk it over to the dump station.”
I watched the sludge pass the halfway mark, then the three-quarters mark. When it neared the rim, My Soul Mate shut the valve. We both stared at it, willing it to disappear.
The Man of My Dreams announced the scariest plan I ever heard him say. “It’s too heavy to carry. We’ll have to haul it over to the dump station in the truck.”
My stomach rolled. The storage lot was unpaved and filled with potholes and bumps. Coupled with a fully carpet lined truck bed, I had a sinking feeling this plan probably wouldn’t turn out well.
However, My Once in a Life Time Love had it figured out. “You sit in the back seat and watch. If it starts to slosh too much, holler, and I’ll stop.”
Oh, I’d holler all right.
We inched the truck across the lot to the dump station. I was amazed. My Darling did a fantastic job. Only once did the goop sway close to the rim.
Back at the trailer, we paused, staring at the Black Water valve. How much was left in the tank?
The Light of My Life set the bucket down and opened the valve. More sludge poured out. He turned the valve off. “I don’t really want to try that again, do you?”
My facial expression must have given him my answer, because then he added, “Okay. We’ll hitch up the trailer.”
The sun sank below the horizon and the temperature dropped several more degrees. I was certain I had frostbite on my both hands and feet by the time we hitched the trailer and pulled it over to the dump station.
Once again disaster struck. The coupling on the dump station hose didn’t fit our flush valve.
My Dearly Beloved had another solution. “I’ll just take the hose through the bedroom door to the bathroom and flush the tank that way.”
I remained silent, but envisioned water spewing in every direction, soaking everything it touched. However, the Man Whom I Adore managed the process without any further mishap, and forty minutes later, we had the trailer back in its storage spot, the hitch and the towing equipment put away, and we were once again reading the instruction manual.
All we had to do was pump the anti-freeze through the water lines, but our hose wouldn’t fit into the antifreeze jug.
My husband looked sideways at me, then back to the antifreeze jug. “Sweetheart, would you go see if there is anything in the trailer we can use?”
“We took about everything out of the trailer, right along with the buckets.”
“Well, there might be something…”
I found a foil casserole pan just deep enough, I hoped.
And yes, from that point, the procedure took five minutes.
The Man Whom I Adore More Than Anything made another announcement: “Let’s get a burrito at that little place I saw just up the street.”
I gritted my teeth. For the last two months, My Beloved failed to recognize any other fast food choice. I was certain if I ate one more burrito, I would not only look like one, I’d turn into one.
I gazed at My Nearly Beloved.
He said, “On second thought, let’s just go home.”
Love is: patient, is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians: 13: 4-8)