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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

flagstaff flagstop part II

my second angel came in the form of a tow truck driver from AAA. When he arrived, I told him I didn't care where we went, but I needed to go to a repair place that would let me stay in my van. He said he knew just the place, and it would be open the next day, a saturday. He towed us to Advanced Auto Service and Tire Centers, where he introduced me to Vaughn, the manager. They put the van behind the building "away from the noisy trains". Vaughn offered me electrical hook-ups, and told me there would be coffee in the morning. The tow truck driver leveled the van with some pieces of wood, showed me where it was safe to walk mutt, and went on his way.

Well, the next morning, I found out I had a whole garage full of angels. They worked quickly to diagnose the problem and to get my estimate. They brought me breakfast, and loved on Mutt. They were patient as we took over the waiting room, where mutt entertained customers with his goofiness.

I am sorry I don't remember the name of the person who actually worked on the van, but he had me up and running in a couple hours. Before he took it for a test-drive, he asked if anything needed to be strapped down in my "mobile" home!

Throughout all this, Vaughn and Scott kept me apprised of the van's progress, made sure I was comfortable, offered me sodas, and petted mutt at the same time they gave the same attention to every customer who walked through that door. You could tell they loved what they did, and that the customers knew it. I sure did.

When I left there, I had an appreciation for whatever good karma dropped me on their doorstep, and some new friends. I felt safe and cared for, and i'm grateful to everyone there.

I am going to add their information to the database at vandwellers, and to the vandwellers webring.

Scott and Vaughn, you guys rock. Thank-you for everything!

Flagstop in Flagstaff

the fuel pump died on the rondyvan on I-40 in flagstaff arizona friday, on an overpass during rush hour. I was horrified. I was able to wrestle the van to the side of the highway, and did the only thing I could think of, and that was to call David H. of Vandwellers for a long distance diagnosis from georgia. As he made his (correct) diagnosis, I started getting spooked by all the tractor trailers whooshing by inches away, rocking the van. Mutt and I bailed out the slider door, away from traffic, and made our way to the end of the overpass where the shoulder was wider, and i felt safer.

I tried to call AAA, but was stymied by the fact that their number is 1-800-AAA-HELP. Easy to remember, but no way could I figure out how to dial "letters" on my palm centro's QWERTY keyboard. After several frustrating failures, I finally called 911, who patched me through to highway patrol, who patched me through to AAA.

My first angel showed up then. A woman passing called her husband on her cell phone and told him of the woman and her dog walking away from their van on the highway. A few minutes later, Tom Honea showed up to help. He showed me how to dial "letters" on his palm centro, and then let mutt and I sit in his pick-up to stay warm and await the tow truck. He was very kind when my eyes leaked a little bit, and made me laugh....over what, I don't remember......just that is was good to be out of the cold and in his comforting presence.

Turns out Tom has a business doing on-site diesel repair for broken down truckers, and has plenty of experience in dealing with traffic that doesn't move into the far lane. Anybody passing through there with a diesel who needs the kind of help that Tom offer, give him a call at NAzEquip. If he can fix diesels as well as he can be an angel, then he's the best! Thanks, Tom, to you and your sweet wife. I'll not forget your kindness.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

slab city photos

we spent some time at slab city in niland, california. i took a bunch of pics, but can only post a few at a time. it's hard to tell from the thumbnails which ones i'm getting, so these will have to do for now.
there is a sweet little pet cemetary near where we camped. some of the headstones made me cry....

blame mutt for the spots....they are dog slobber. he was smart enough to not slobber until after the adoption papers were signed......
the sunset off in the direction of the salton sea.

there were 2 cool trucks like this. unfortunately, i downloaded 2 of the same truck....
this is salvation mountain.....probably the worst shot EVER :-) i am gonna dedicate one whole post to leonard's mountain.
this one is for michael :-)
mutt gazing affectionately at sheriff victoria.......
a group from the christian center is organizing clean-up projects.
if you click on the post title above, it will take you to a wiki article about the slabs!

Taylor Reed

a few weeks ago, i got an email from someone through vandwellers asking me permission to do a painting, from a photo i had on my blog, of mutt beneath the golden gate bridge. i said sure, and was touched that not only had he liked the photo (or my sweet dog!) well enough to paint it, but that he had asked permission first. i didn't know how good of an artist he was, but i knew he was a class-act person!

well, now i also know he is a first-rate artist, and after several emails back and forth, count him as a friend as well. taylor, you rock, my friend, and i am so honored you chose mutt's photo!

these are some photos of the work in progress. at one point, he stopped working to go on a camping trip. he emailed me to let me know there would be a delay in the completion, but i say no camping trip is ever a delay :-)

this is taylor. he's from brazil, and he's awesome. if i knew where brazil was, i'd have to go there and have him paint the rondyvan. i have a feeling this won't be the last we hear about this guy. when he's famous, i can say i knew him first :-)

thank-you, taylor!

addendum: i stand corrected. taylor is from bolivia, and vacationed in brazil :-)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Vandweller time

a recent exchange at the Slabs shows the very laid back existence of vandwelling........

FRANK (the bicycle dweller): what time is it?

(a long pause while frank and heidi and kate all look blankly at each other) then......

KATE: pacific time