Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Another day, another tear

As usual, I’m way behind in keeping you up to date with all the travails of GallivantingGayle. All I can think this holiday season, when good thoughts and happy events are to be shared, is that I’m not going to be sorry to see this year go.

The worst yet is that I’ve just had to bid my best little traveling buddy good-bye. My sweet Bailey has been turning into a typical little old man for awhile now – eat, pee and poop – and forget where to do them all. But he was a happy little shit, and I loved him dearly. Somehow, overnight on Thursday last week, he seemed to have popped a disc in his back – he couldn’t make his back legs work right, and he tried, he tried so hard. He was in a whole lot of pain, and just looked at me with those big eyes and begged me to help. We tried pain meds for one day, but I just couldn’t bear to make him go thru that, and there wasn’t even a prognosis of better days. So I had to let him go. Haven’t stopped crying yet. But I keep telling myself he’s across the Rainbow Bridge, with Mama and Talkalot, Shirley and Cognac and Otis, and frolicking like a puppy again. God, how I miss him. Thankfully I have my new little copper Penny to hold and love!

And then there’s all the continuing bullshit with GulfStream about my coach. I’m now working with two service centers on warranty repairs – Beaudry RV in Tucson for the Workhorse chassis problems, and Ed Hannon’s Freedom RV, also in Tucson, for coach warranty. GulfStream arranged the appointments. And for once, I actually thought things were looking up. Foolish girl.

Beaudry has ordered parts to fix the parking brake issue – back-ordered, as it turns out, so who knows how long that will take – and a new ‘cluster’. The cluster, I have learned, is the term for the dashboard unit containing all the instruments – the tach, speedometer, odometer, fuel and oil and all the warning lights, etc, etc. The tech took one look at it and said I needed a new one. That wasn’t even on my list! But the digital readouts were missing lots of little ‘lightbulbs’ (LEDs?? pixels??) and whatever causes that might have been the cause of some of the other issues I have. So I’m revising my opinion of Beaudry, reached mostly by hearing horror stories from other people. Maybe it’s just my charming personality, but they’ve been great for me, so far!

Then, last week I spent the entire week parked at the Freedom RV service center. Sure was fun – I was the only one overnighting there. Which was great for the doggies, and I loved the sounds of the trains that ran right beside the parking lot every 45 minutes. Really!

These folks were wonderful. I went in with a very bad attitude and came out with a lot of respect. They listened to my tale of woe, read all my notes (now almost two inches thick, typed!), looked at everything I had to show them, and found even more problems!!! They took a whole lot of pictures to send back to GulfStream, ordered a bunch of parts, fixed up a few things and waited for approvals to do a lot more. They told me they thought I was right about everything I have been complaining about!! Hurray! Until GulfStream held a meeting specifically to discuss my coach, and came back and said I have to go to a different service center for re-evaluation!

Freedom RV is royally pissed off, as am I. Now GulfStream wants me to go to Fontana, California in mid-January to go thru this whole exercise again. Interestingly, GulfStream told Freedom RV that they were sending me to a ‘factory’ in CA. They don’t HAVE a factory in CA. They told me they were sending me to another service center that they had good luck with. Hello? That means, I’m sure, that this new place will agree with GulfStreamn that it’s all in my head!

I of course told Freedom about that conversation, and they have been kind enough to provide me with all their paperwork and pictures, which I’m sure I’m not supposed to have!

Meanwhile, Annette and I have done a little wandering around the countryside, looking at RV parks. We went up to Wickenburg for the Christmas Cowboy Poetry festival. Lovely drive, great little town, fun event, and a really really neat RV park. She’s seriously thinking of moving up there this coming spring.

We also toured around west of Tucson, out on Ajo near the Desert Museum and found another neat and friendly park, built around a water park that’s only open in the summer. And another that I liked a lot out on Houghton, in the country but still close to town and Costco and Trader Joe’s, with lots of trees and amenities.

Gotta find some place down here to winter, where the sun shines and days are warm! I'm going to run over to Silver City and Las Cruces in New Mexico, soon to feel out that area too.

Enough for now – I’m finding it really hard to get in the Christmas spirit this year, which is incredible for me, a Christmas junkie, but I’m spending so much time angry and frustrated, and so very sad . . . gonna get my decorations out this week – maybe that’ll help.
Meanwhile, I hope your holidays are going way better than mine! Those of you who check up on me regularly are very dear to me, and I hold you close in my soul to help me when I’m sliding down into a big black hole. My friendships are what keep me whole, and I thank you!

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