Day three. I noticed we both looked like we had aged a decade or two overnight. I couldn’t sleep because I could hear everyone else in the park’s every movement and I couldn’t shake the idea that if I looked up at the window I would see someone standing there looking in at us. We hate air conditioning on at night and so we opened all the windows once it got dark. I fail to understand why hubby think that is a safe practice.  Does he even get that creeps don’t have to be able to SEE the window is open, they actually check with their hands and if there is nothing stopping them, they perve, or climb in.  Climbing in does not have any good outcomes.

I don’t know what to tell you.  I only survive these things because clearly I am kissed by angels or something.  I did find an unexplained lipstick smear on my forehead once … and my grandmother swore my grandfather NEVER wore that shade.

We decided on a short day. We would find a nice place to stop, take our time getting everything set up, spend time organizing the caravan, and have a lovely dinner. We plan days like that.  It helps to hike the frustration level right through the roof when things don’t work out.  We like to make sure we get the most out of life.  So, we found a great place to stop and were just getting set up, back so that we were hidden from the road.  We stopped checked it, repositioned the trailer, moved around some more, repeated.  Finally we had the perfect spot . . alone, hidden . . . safety.  THIS was the beauty of not stopping in a caravan park and being sandwiched next to people who screamed out things in the night like, “YES, YES, YES, oh my god don’t stop!”  I always find it difficult the next morning.  Some people you just do not want to know these things about.  And how do you hold back when you heard the snooty couple breaking wind all night and there they are acting all la de da around the park?  Thank heavens we were finally free.  yep, in the wilderness, even if we were close to the road because we were just learning.

I saw the first caravan.  I looked at it through the trees as it was coming down the highway and said, “I hope they are not stopping here.”  Then I said, “with our luck they will stay right here beside us.”  And Derek lectured me on being so negative and I should just breathe and enjoy the moment.

I did breathe.  I semi enjoyed the moment.  Right up until the caravan pulled off the highway, and then another one, and another one.  Then they got out and talked and got back in their vehicles and roared through the bush heading straight for us . ..  and parked in a circle just a couple trees down.  Then they let their kids out, and wired the area for the big bonfire and turned the music up.  The dogs ran by us.  They waved.  YAY!! Then 3 other trailers pulled in and set up in a circle. I did not care. I was grateful for the company.

Hey, at least if the Wolf Creek guy showed up, we had a chance at outnumbering him and a few of us surviving.  I had written in my daytimer, on my to do list, “survive.”  I intended to be a survivor.   Also, they had way more cool stuff strapped on their caravans and if I was going to break in and steal something …. I would go for their caravans. I made a sign with an arrow pointing at their site that said “way cooler stuff” and I taped it to our door.  I felt good.

Actually, it went pretty well.  We had a good meal and kind of moved things around and got organized. We managed to watch some TV and the bed was really comfortable. The stars were amazing as we lay in bed and looked up through the roof window thing we could open.  We talked, and laughed and made sure we did not traumatize the children in the site next to us.  We knew how to be quiet when we had to be.  Coffee in the morning was good, and we were both ready for the day , not far from home now.

Things were going swimmingly until I started to worry about where we were going to park the caravan at our house. Derek had a big plan of where he wanted it but it was going to require quite a bit of work. The temporary plan sounded iffy to me, and mainly because we lived down a dead end narrow street and we would have to turn the caravan around to back it into place. I panicked just thinking about it. With all those neighbours out milling around, laughing at us . . . what would I feed them?

Before I could say anything, Derek said he had been thinking about where we were going to park the caravan and maybe we should leave it at a storage place until he built the pad he wanted to do. It might be easier.  I slipped into wifey mode where I tried to sound surprised at the topic, somewhat uninterested, but supportive of his GREAT idea.  I put my hand under my leg to hide my bleeding finger where I had chewed the nail down to the quick.  The caravan was much bigger than both of us realized. I “wondered” if we should leave it at our friend’s house for a week or so. It worked.  Seconds later he asked, what about Bob and Sue’s place, I wonder if they have room for us to park it there for a week?  I gushed at his brilliance.  We called.  They agreed.  Yay!! We could just drive it straight  in the yard and then I would not be there when he had to pick it up and turn it around.

Except, when we got there, we couldn’t drive right in because the lane was blocked and so we drove further down the road looking for a place to turn around, praying that the road we chose to go down actually looped around and we would not end up having to back up for blocks. It was my worst nightmare.  People we did not even know, milling around, laughing at us, videoing us for the next big You Tube sensation, “Laughing at seniors.”  I was really getting tired of how this whole caravan thing was turning into a shell game meant to rob us of our youth and our dignity.  While I was thinking through all that, Derek managed to drive us around the block and out again.  We got to our friends’ yard, parked outside until they cleared things and then parked it in the yard.  I got a few things out, smiled and said “yes, love it,” to all the questions from our friends, Derek unhooked everything, and we drove home.

I hugged the house.

Derek went for a couple of visits over the next week.   I was pretending I did not have a caravan named Fluffy, crying all alone over in a dark strange yard. It was easier that way. Without skipping a beat, hubby began to work on the new pad for the caravan. First, he had to tear down all the foliage on the one side of the driveway. Derek has never heard of that thing where you phone up a company that does that kind work, and you pay them some money and they come and do it for you and it takes them like 3 seconds because they have all the proper tools. Derek thinks, “I know how to chop things and dig things up.  I have this tool that can chop and one than can dig.  I have a wheelbarriow.  I can do this.” And so he does … all alone, for hours on end.

carnage 2

He ignored that he kept waking up at night from the pain in his hands and arms. He wondered why they were hurting so much, but what’s a little pain right? He finally cleared the garden on the side of the driveway and then realized it wouldn’t work to park the caravan there. He decided to put the pad somewhere else and began to dig that area out. Then, he had to build a retaining wall and pour the cement. Of course, he did it all himself except that he had a couple of friends come over to help with the cement. The cement truck pulled up.  A work truck full of workers pulled up, and 3 seniors got out.  Golfing buddies.  What a crew!!

We waited a week and voila, Fluffy came home.

A few days later and she was in for her first “check-up” which she passed with flying colours. Hubby managed to hook her up all by himself and we were starting to become more familiar with how to park her and do all the tricky manoeuvring … well to be accurate, hubby was getting used to it and I was not having panic attacks at every mention of any manoeuvers.

I was exhausted.