We Get By With a Little Help For Our Friends

We packed up the van, said goodbye to my family, and set a course for Gainesville, by way of Bushnell to pick up our misdelivered mail. Trisha’s friend Shannon had just arrived at her new home at precisely the same time we started heading north. I hate admitting that fate is a thing, but the timing here was extremely uncanny, so we had to do it.

After not seeing each other for 17 years, this is the second time they’ve seen each other in the past three months. We made a quick side trip to visit Shannon in Butler, Pennsylvania on our way from New Hampshire to Indiana to finish building the van. It wasn’t a camper van at that point, but a moving truck, packed to the gills in a rapid disorganized fashion just to get us and our stuff on the road to where we could slow down, breath, finish the build, and organize things. Now we were in her driveway in Gainesville, not far from where we’d spent the past few weeks.

Shannon’s move had been about as fast and haphazard as our own, also due to circumstances beyond her control. She arrived ahead of her movers. No problem — we have our own chairs and table to hang out inside. She has no refrigerator/freezer. No problem — we have one, so we chilled the water bottles for right now and the beer for later tonight. No working stove yet? No problem – we planned to make chicken stir fry until a routine Florida thunderstorm put a damper on that plan and we went out to eat instead. No room for us to stay? No problem — our home is parked in her driveway. We even have extra bedding, towels, dishes, and other essentials. No coffee? No problem — we’ll make you some of ours.

It’s rather ironic that our rusty old van is currently far better equipped to be a home than Shannon’s new sticks-and-bricks home. This situation is temporary. Her new landlord was on top of things and taking care of them as quickly as possible, despite her earlier than planned arrival. The hot water was fixed before we left (we took advantage of showers), and the fridge and stove will be delivered soon.

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