Today was tough! The plan was to head out after teaching my two, morning yoga classes. Simple enough. We’d been prepping and packing the past few days, and while there was still more to clean and carry to the camper, we were in good shape; a little tired from a final night out with friends the evening before – dinner and our third open mic night while in the Asheville area – but the sun was shining and it was time to leave Weaverville, NC after a wonderful three weeks here.
In between classes, I decided to make a “quick” call to pay my health insurance bill. We hadn’t received any mail recently and I knew the premium would be due by the first of the month. It was three or four tries, from phone to computer portal and back to phone again. Then the customer service rep tells me we “voluntarily terminated” our health insurance in December. We have no coverage. I panicked. We were heading out in the “tin can” later that day for a long journey – how can I have no health insurance? This had happened last year erroneously and I ended up in the hospital days after I’d found out and it took three months to correct the whole mess. I can’t have that again!
So I yelled at my husband, assuming he’d messed something up when renewing our policy at the end of last year, then put him on follow-up duty during my second class. An hour later – oops, my rep was wrong. So a whole lot of stress over nothing! Did I even apologize to Scott?
Next, packing and cleaning took longer than I thought it would take. It reminded me of the trauma of our last days during the move. Endless tasks of “just one more thing”. Also, a touch of grief and sadness washed over me, once again leaving a house I had come to love.
We began our two-and-a-half-hour trek to Tennessee and I was weary from the morning stress. We had trouble getting the GPS to work and relied on our Road Atlas (thank you Steph Bierko for telling us to purchase one!) but when we took the exit for the foothills of the Smokies, we hit a literal roadblock.
Scott had to turn our twenty-two-foot camper around in a tiny little space. Moves like that are harrowing for me. The man in charge told us to go back and take Exit 437. Well, he never mentioned if “back” was east or west. Of course, we picked the wrong one and when we finally turned around there was no exit 437. There was Exit 435 and Exit 440. Once again, we picked incorrectly and had to double back, this time on winding, windy roads. We called the campgrounds where were headed to confirm our route and they warned us about a fire on a mountain not that far from them. They told us to avoid the shorter, more direct route and take the longer, scenic route. It was pretty, but narrow and curvy, a combination that makes me nervous with our trailer. Our two-hour trek was now closer to four hours on the road.
We continued on and 15 minutes before arriving, got a loud and painful warning on our phones about mandatory evacuations as police cars and emergency vehicles blared by us. We weren’t sure if it was for the area where we were staying or not. When we called earlier they’d said they were fine, so we pressed on.
Five minutes before arrival, traffic suddenly ground to a halt. For 10 minutes we sat. Cars and trucks were doing u-turns on this narrow street. We worried evacuation was imminent. After another half-hour, more fire engines and continuous smoke in the distance convinced us to call the RV park again. They were open, no evacuation there, and they told us we were so close. By 6:30 pm we made it safe and sound.
Now we had to set up the camper – leveling, water, sewer, electricity before my 7pm Reiki circle. A little game of beat-the-clock just for added fun. The wifi appeared at 7:01pm and by 7:10, I lost connection. Blessedly, the phone worked and I made it through the Zoom call dialing in.
The fires are still raging, the wind is kicking up and shaking the camper as I type. I hope we will be safe overnight. Certainly, this is nothing as horrific as Ukraine, but seeing the smoke and the flames and the firefighters, knowing folks are losing their homes tonight in those blazes is also heartbreaking. So much strife in the world right now!
We are safe. I do lead a blessed life! However, some days, the traveling life is far from perfect!