I ought to write this like a message in a bottle. "Worn down. Fleeing. Terrible weather approaching, all charts concur, move westward or endure minimum of ten days of solid rain and thunderstorms."
Since we got here, there have been two rounds of nocturnal thunderstorms. The first put a lightning bolt through an electrical post next to us. Blowing it up. That system was not only intensely powerful, it was stubborn, refusing to budge for about 14 hours. It's a good thing Roo doesn't have a gun, because she would have used it on herself. Her only solution now when there's nighttime thunder is to come up on the bed, wriggle her head in behind my pillow and pant and shiver. When I move to the other side, she groans—I think because she's too frightened to have to move, and my moving makes her move again so that she can keep her head behind mine. Very uncomfortable nights.
The second system came through a few days later, but it was much milder and more distant. It only lasted a couple of hours and was over by 1:30 AM, but Roo kept trembling and panting until 8:30. Even for a dog as easily frightened as Roo, this was a new level of trauma for her. I'm not sure how well she's taking any of this. She loves the adventure of being able to run and hike in new places—I'm convinced that exploring new grounds is one of the greatest pleasures you can find for your dog. But Roo is so fearful. No one believes it when they see her running around like a regular dog, but believe me....
We're in Oklahoma, just east of the center of the country. Anything to the east of here will be inundated over the next week and a half. The only choice is to head west. So, that's what we'll do today. I'm tempted to camp out in the FAA's parking lot until they tell me why I'm not allowed to make a living any more after 35 years with a perfect record, but in the end, I think they'd just have me shot instead, the authorities being what they are these days.
The camper appears to have been repaired for once and for all. The owners of the factory, Keith and Ruth Hershberger, and their employee Perry, drove the 900 miles from Indiana to see to it personally. They were determined to fix the thing and get it right. Finally, they found that a plumbing joint that had been under pressure was the culprit. Anyway, it's over, I hope, and I was grateful to them for the way they resolved it.
All right. We're out of here.
One other thing: As spring and summer approach, I am freaking out about the crowds at campgrounds. Already, the little place we came to in Oklahoma to be in a quiet place has filled up. That's as bad for me as the storms are for the Kahoo. So, if anyone has a place that is quiet—the back forty, or vacant land, whatever, just not a public campground—where we can camp for a while (for rent, of course), please send me a message, regardless of where in the country. I don't know where we're going to be or when, but it would be good to start collecting possibilities. I'm hoping for New England in the summer. Definitely not the south—need to try for at least slightly cooler weather. Thanks.