Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recovery and NYC

The next day I found out there was a Lowe’s nearby. I drove there to get parts and work on fixing the motorhome. I prayed for ideas of what to do, and I had many and found a lot of parts that seemed just right. So I worked on fixing the motorhome, and I feel like I got it to be pretty good. I made good repairs, and other than not having a bumper or sewer hose, I feel like we got it to be in very good shape. I caulked a lot and feel like we got the thing really ready to go. And just before we had to check out of the hotel (so when I showered it was just a bit late, but it worked out okay).

I had also worked with Good Sam roadside assistance to find a garage that could help with our belt on our engine. I had been hearing a terrible squealing sound from our serpentine belt on the engine. It had me very worried. I called and asked my Dad what he thought, and even held the phone up for him to hear. He said it sounded like I was having a problem with my alternator, and that it was likely that it could go out at any time. I suddenly remembered that the last few times I had driven with lights on that my headlights seemed very, very dim, and that the lights on my dashboard were so dim I could barely see the speedometer, etc. This was very reminiscent of when the alternator went out on my Escort. I suddenly realized that I had all the signs of a bad alternator and that we could be in major trouble. 

Good Sam’s found a place that would work on RV’s, but they closed at noon on Saturday, and it was 11:45. We would have to wait until Monday. I found a place online and they arranged with them that, even though they don’t usually work on RV’s, they would at least look at it and see if they could work on it. So off I went, hoping that maybe they could fix it today, but sure it needed to be fixed.

I pulled up and the mechanic was not happy that I was taking up so much space. He told me to back into a spot quite a ways away. I started backing up, going very carefully. I got out once and made sure I was going to miss a telephone pole. It all looked good. As I was backing up I had a feeling I should get out and look again. This time I noticed that there was a very, very low power line coming off the phone pole. I would have hit it and ripped it down and caused all kinds of problems. I was blessed to have had the feeling to check again. Very blessed. 

When they were ready to look at it I pulled up. The mechanic hooked his meter up to the battery and looked quite concerned. It didn’t look very charged. I started the engine. The belt squealed mightily. He looked at the meter and looked concerned again. Then he gave a surprised look. The meter started going up. It soon had a better charge than it did when I had the thing checked before we went on our trip. The belt stopped making any noise. He looked and looked, but there was nothing wrong. I told him I would really rather get it fixed now than later, and that I was pretty sure it had a problem. He checked and checked, but everything was working fine. There was nothing to fix.

As I drove back to the hotel, I remembered how, when I had fasted for our trip, I had felt impressed to dedicate the motorhome as our temporary home and to bless it that it would work for us. I feel like I witnessed a miracle today. The alternator seems to have been fixed right before our very eyes. I think that right now the motorhome is held together by a few screws, some caulk, and prayers. We are blessed.

Earlier I had been thinking that we might be canceling the whole trip. I was very sure we would either have to miss out on Boston or on New York City. But suddenly we found ourselves with a motorhome that seemed to be in very good working order. We were ready to roll. We drove out to the Gurneys. They met us and took us in their two vans, and our two families went into New York City together. The kids got along really well, having a great time. We had no traffic. We went to see the temple and the church that is part of it in a small high rise in NYC. Very cool to see it. We also saw Chelsea Jackson there. Great coincidence. 

From there we walked through Grand Central Park and the kids had a great time playing and enjoying the park. 

playing in Grand Central Park

More playing in the park

Gurney and Muhlestein kids in Grand Central Park

Then we caught the subway (a bit complicated to get that many tickets for that many people), and rode it to the place where we caught the Staten Island Ferry. We had a fabulous ride on the ferry and had a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty while the sun went down. Perfect! We were also able to see the new Freedom Tower that is replacing the Twin Towers. I love the idea and what they are doing with it.

Kaleb and Jacob on the Staten Island Ferry
The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty
The Freedom Tower

Muhlestein and Gurney kids on the Staten Island Ferry
Julianne and her Mom on the Staten Island Ferry

When that was over we rode the subway again to the base of the Empire State Building. It was fun to see it. We had earlier been thinking of going up it. But now it was late and we didn’t have the time for it. Instead we walked to Times Square. We saw a man dressed as Batman on the way, and tons of people dressed as tons of characters there. It was fun. 

Empire State Building
Muhlestein and Gurney families in Times Square

Then we rode the subway back to the temple, where we got in our vans and drove back to the motor home. And just like that, we were back on schedule for our trip. We could not have had more fun in New York, and everything seems to be working out perfectly.

Kids riding the subway

More kids riding the subway

We spent the night in the motorhome in the parking lot of the church. It was amazingly peaceful and nice there, with a huge parking lot. We could have spent many nights there. My only worry is that with the loss of our bumper we also lost the hose for dumping our sewer, and I wasn’t sure when or where we would get a new one. We used the church bathroom as much as possible.
I can’t believe we are squared away and back on track. Amazing miracles are happening in our lives.

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