Tuesday, March 23, 2010


How do you handle stress? What about unexpected mishaps? Do you rant and rave? Do you throw things or slam things down? Or, are you like me? I retreat inside myself even as I work through whatever it is. I spend time in my head and find it difficult to balance all the demands on my energy. The past few days have been stressful for me and I just couldn't blog...I was too busy trying to make things even out and regain my equilibrium. I'm finally getting there and thought I'd share a bit of my weekend with you.

Charming called me Thursday and let me know, "Ooops! Spring Break begins on Saturday and my plans fell through, so you need to come get me." Um, okay. (Don't get me wrong, I was happy to have Charming come home, but I wasn't prepared.) Charming values his independence since he's been away at college and our decision to let him stay in the trailer over Christmas break made for a wonderfully relaxed time for us all. The problem? The trailer wasn't ready! After Charming headed back to the dorms in January, we winterized it. Ack! Okay, okay, no big deal, right? Well, it seemed like "Murphy" was visiting our house. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I needed to pull the trailer forward 6 feet to have room for the rear slide-out. We needed to hook-up the sewer line, the water line, and get the heater running. So, let me tell you how it went:
We discovered the trailer had a flat tire. Um, okay. We can inflate it; Superman has a compressor. No, we can't: the valve needs to be replaced and the compressor is leaking air and won't build pressure. Okay, Mr. R has a friend who can get the tire repaired quickly and Mr. R has a compressor. All good, right? Um, no. The hose is frozen and we can't dump to the sewer hook-up without water. We lay the hose out and get the thing thawed. Waste is dumped and water is hooked up. Then we go to hook up the water to the rest of the trailer and can't find the various caps we need. Superman put them someplace "very obvious"...Valiant is tearing the trailer apart trying to find them. Without them, we can't hook up the water. Finally! The very obvious place? Inside the microwave! Of course they were...why didn't I look there first? Silly me!

The tire comes back and is put back on the trailer and we're ready to move Charming's car, so I can have access to hook up to the trailer and pull it forward.

Except Charming's car won't start. Okay, okay...this is to be expected...it was parked for three months...we plug in Mr. R's battery charger and wait. Finally, the charger reads enough of a charge that we can start the car. Thankfully, it started right up. So, Charming puts the car in gear and...


the car won't move! It won't go forward...it won't go backwards. The car won't go.

Mr. R to the rescue again! (First, he had to give me a hard time about not being able to change gears...ha ha ha.) To make a long story short, the emergency brake rusted to the rotor when Charming parked it and wouldn't disengage. Mr. R had to remove the tire and the entire brake assembly and then bang the heck out of it with a hammer to break it free. Finally, he got it going and we got the car moved, the trailer moved, the slide out extended and Charming had a place to sleep. (It was a good thing that Mr. R didn't have anything he wanted to do at his house, right? I bought him a huge package of steak to say thanks!)

So, what do you think? Would you be pulling out your hair? I didn't, but I really did start to feel pretty overwhelmed. This was an arena where I didn't know anything...I've always counted on the men in my life to handle vehicles (I'm not particularly mechanical, but that doesn't seem very helpful when stuff like this is happening) and I spent a lot of time wondering what I would have done if Mr. R hadn't been around or able to help and I didn't like the answers. I think I have more thinking to do.

For now, however, things are falling into place, and I'm not feeling so out-of-control. That is good enough for me.


Alicia said...

Oh my gosh...that does sound a hard day!! All I can say is thank God for Mr. R!!! Wow!

Well, at least now everything is taken care of and you can take a long bubble bath!

Andrea said...

I am so sorry, sweetie. I wish I could say I always handles stress as I should..but I don't. When I leave it at the feet of Jesus...all goes well, but when I try to handle it on my own...well, you can imagine the mess I make. Unfortunately, I am still a work in progress and keep trying it my way, before I surrender.
Hugs, andrea

Sarah said...

Oh my. What a day. Hope things go more smoothly for you from here on out. Sending you hugs!

Tricia said...

I would say I'm sorry for what you went through, but look how it stretched you! And aren't you thankful for the bonding you experienced with your kids and Mr. R? And he got some steaks too!

I hate to admit it, but I am not the model Christian when it comes to handling stress (actually, I'm not the model Christian, period!). I would love to say that I respond to unexpected mishaps by immediately turning it over to Jesus (like Andrea), but I usually initially respond in one of the two ways you described. Being raised by a mother who could cuss a blue streak, I think it's in my DNA and a few choice words have been known to escape my lips before I can stop them. But sometimes I do what you did and just retreat inside myself to work it out.

Anonymous said...

I think at some point, I would have been calling the local Y to see if they had a spare room for a week. Either me or Charming could use it, and frankly it wouldn't have mattered which one of us it was that they took. LOL You did good though in handling it. I am that same way and had a short episode of doing the same thing last week. Must be in the air. Worked through my issues and back on the road too. Luckily for the world, I can usually make up my mind pretty quickly on a course of action. LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh man, sorry it's been so rough.

I call my best friend of 21 years and make him fix all my problems when I get stressed out. I just don't get stressed out about much which I am positive he's happy about because when I do stress, I turn into a neurotic nutcase.

I'd just go along with it, laugh and fix it. I'm the go to person to fix stuff, so I do it, or I don't. It'll still be there hen I figure it out.

I am glad you got it handled!