Monday, June 25, 2012

Roughing-It For Wimps

A few years ago, my husband and I bought a travel trailer and began our adventure. I'm a city girl so it was understood that I had certain requirements for my style of camping.
Electricity - check
Water and sewer - check
Clean, workable trailer - check
Air conditioning - check
Free internet - check
Cable TV - check
Good cell phone service - check

Was that too much to ask? Did I mention I was a wimp?

Last week, I had completed the last read-through (I thought) on my story, Victoria and the Ghost, and sent it off to be formatted into book form. I did this despite losing all my e-mail folders, addresses, and inbox due to virrus. I needed a break, and so did Charles.

We left early Tuesday for Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma and planned to return Friday glad the June temperatures were staying mild. Just a few days of R and R before we hit it again. Charles sprung it on me that we didn't have cable TV or internet. Not to worry, the lodge had internet, so I could check in once a day. I could handle that.

Did I mention I was a wimp?

Later Tuesday, I got on internet at Ardmore, Oklahoma library as we drove through and stopped for lunch. My book had been returned to me for another read-through.

Did I mention I was also a newbie to publishing?

This is the first book I've sold and published. Periodicals don't require all these read-throughs for short stories. I was learning through experience. Knowing I didn't have internet in my trailer, I asked and was able to print my book out there. I was in business. I could read the hard copy while sitting on my trailer "patio." I can do this.

Wednesday, we drove to the lodge, spent an hour trying to get on internet without success. We then drove the 20 miles back to an Ardmore McDonalds. I logged in. The publisher's editor-in-chief, the art director, another editor and the publisher herself were sacrificing important things to get my book completed and out in July. I, on the other hand, had been out of touch and on vacation. I needed a swift rapping across my knucles, or at least, time-out in the corner with a dunce hat.

Did I mention I was in trouble?

Before I could answer, power depleted to my laptop. I headed back to the library. We returned to our trailer and then to lodge for dinner. One hundred and fifty middle school band students invaded the lodge. Forget dinner. Forget a place to sit in the lobby. We found a place nearby that only cost an arm and one leg to eat there, but it helped. We made a decision to drive the two hours home to Wichita Falls.

Wednesday night I stayed awake and read my story. I'm a slow reader, so I finished it about one Thursday afternoon. I e-mailed it back to the publisher with changes. We drove the two hours to our trailer. We sat outside until nearly dark and went in. Surely, something was on our TV. Yeah, it was Friends reruns. I didn't care for the show when it aired the first time.

Did I mention I'm a wimp at this roughing-it stuff?

I received a call that my aunt died. The funeral would be two and a half hours farther east than where we were, so we extended our stay two more days to be closer for the funeral. It just made sense.

Thursday, I tried the lodge internet again with no luck.

Friday, we headed to Ardmore. Thank you, dear library for allowing me to use your internet. I seemed to be constantly spending time logging into a strange computer. One of them would delete my return messages before I could send. I typed one message three times.

Another thing: I'm rather tech-challenged.

As much as we searched for internet, we also drove around several times a day looking for BARS.

I'll leave you thinking about that a moment.

Friday night, we went to register for the Sunset cruise. We wanted something fun out of that trip with all the time and expense. That night's cruise was cancelled. They could take us Saturday night. We can do that. We can make it back. Or die trying.

By this time, my husband aimed for doing something, anything to make me happy. Any husbands identify?

We flopped from exhaustion Friday night at ten o'clock after two nights of little or no sleep. Unfortunately our spot blocked the entrance to the campground.

Did you realize everyone heads to a lake with their RVs between ten and eleven on Friday night?

Yep, that's the truth.

Saturday morning we left early and drove to the funeral. We drove out of the way to my daughter's house to take our grandson's birthday present. He turned ten Sunday. Guess what? I checked her computer while I was there.

We had lunch with the family. Nice time, but sad. She was my daddy's baby sister. I had good memories of her and hadn't seen her since last summer. We left the lunch as soon as possible since we had a drive back to Lake Murray and a sunset cruise. We WERE going to have fun. Of course, we had to make a quick (NOT) stop at a Starbucks to check e-mail in case I was in trouble again.

The hour and fifteen minute cruise was nice but we came in twenty-five minutes early. No explanation. No refund.

Now, my husband is mad.

Charles manages property and the air conditioning went out on one on Saturday evening, of course. He's scrambling to find someone to fix it that evening or Sunday. Between that and fighting anger about the cruise, he couldn't sleep, so I didn't either since I was reliving all the things I said or did wrong while with family I rarely see.

Did I mention our propane ran out and our air conditioning quit during the night?

Charles and I were glad to get off vacation yesterday. It about killed us. Not for sure when I plan on camping again.

Oh, and the bars we chased?

Cell phone coverage. That's all I'm going to say about that.


Vivian Zabel said...

I know your vacation wasn't much fun, and not knowing that once you received the PDF proof you needed to "proof" it didn't help. However, we all discover we don't read the large text, much less the fine print, sometimes.

Now you can say you're experienced, at least much more experienced.

Pat Rowland said...

Janet, I'm exhausted just reading about your "vacation." You are quite a trouper. Hope your book is a huge success.

Dawn M Turner said...

Those are the kinds of vacations you have to come home early in order to recover from. LOL I'm one who is opposite with regards to internet and cell phone and TV. I'd love to, just every once in a while, go somewhere none of those things reach so I can spend time doing nothing but writing or reading. I'm not sure hubby could survive without his computer games (most of which need internet connection) though. *VBG*

Sharon Ervin said...

I like our bed. Our TV has a jillion channels and great reception. My whirlpool bathtub is heavenly. My computer and e-service are top notch.

Vacations are lovely, but rarely as comfortable as home.

Right now Oklahoma's fruits and veggies are scrumptious. Bill cooks my steak medium rare, just like I like it.

We have a cabin eight miles from our front door. No TV, no phone, no internet. We drive out, sip coffee on the screened-in porch, motor our little boat out to catch the biggest crappie you've ever seen, and get home before the thermometer hits 95.

Cruise ships tump over or provide weird ailments. I'd rather stay home and play gin rummy. We thought about a nostalgic trip to Colorado Springs, Santa Fe, Yellow Stone, and the Grand Canyon. Not this year.

I just read a really good book that took me to a far-away place, and we still got to our little grandson's T-ball game right on time.

There's a reason "Home sweet home," is such a popular cross-stitch pattern. Janet may do one next year, instead of going on vacation.

Unknown said...

Yes, Vivian, I got experience, for sure, some of it at your expense unfortunately. Sorry about that.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Pat, Dawn, I can agree with that - going non-tech to write, now I would love that.

Unknown said...

Sharon, sounds like you have the best of both worlds. We were kind of going with your principle, too. No long trip, just several short, inexpensive ones. Normally, that would be a good thing except for a small miscalculation. Ha.

Anonymous said...

Janet, you guys need to stick with stay-cations instead of vacations. It's going to take a month to recover from that one! Can't wait for your book!

Z said...

LOL. The next time you go on 'vacation' rest and not work. God was telling you that. Hehehe.

Unknown said...

Mary Beth, Z, you are so right. For now, all vacations are on the back burner. Think I'll stay home awhile & try to market this book.