Thursday, June 20, marks our long-awaited Airstream repair day. We need a new set of steel steps (they fought a curb, and the curb won). Our screen door latch wore out, and with the rivets and all, fixing it is way beyond our capacity. And then there’s the water heater and its intermittent refusal to run while we’re on propane. We need a tube of Velkum (special Airstream skin caulk), a new propane hose, and a water purifier element. The only one they’d give us a price on was the steps, and it was one of those dreaded “about”s. Kat took one of my blood pressure pills today. I took two instead of the prescribed one. To say we’re concerned about the potential invoice amount severely understates our level of anxiety. Giving an A/S dealer a free run at your MasterCard must feel like lending it to a Georgia Peach.
For the younger crowd, “Georgia Peach” is a term re-popularized decades ago by the late Lewis Grizzard, a wonderful syndicated newspaper comedian. He married two or three GP’s, and here’s his definition: a Georgia girl who shaves her legs every day, and when turned loose in a mall with a credit card she will eventually come home with its numbers worn “slap off”. Other GP characteristics are the good ones never perspire, and they always know two things: the date of the Georgia – Clemson football game and the location of the nearest Neiman-Marcus.
AirStream Boise had Kat’s Cradle for most of the day and they accomplished everything we asked. The water heater needed a tweak to its fuel/air mixture. The door latch now works perfectly, and the steps are functional and beautiful, the same as those that come on new A/S. Long ago we bought a used Acura and after a year or so took it to a dealer for its 75,000 mile work. The bill was just over $1,000, and to my surprise they did so much that I felt good about spending the sum. The AirStream damage was half that, and again, for the second time I can remember clearly, I felt good about a repair bill.
We met a second year full-timer, Eric the Bluegrasser, at the Wal*Mart where we camped Thursday night. He regaled us with his stories, and sketched out a route to Glacier. Rather than trust GoogleMaps or Rand-McNally, we are taking the word of a total stranger.
Life as a full-timer is often like that, I think.