The Big Blue Whale

The weekend was … what? Action packed? I’ll fill in weekend details another time. Time being, I need to tell you about the RV delivery. You know that NPR show,”Fiasco”? One more incident with this RV delivery, and we would have qualified.

We agree to meet RV Delivery Guy by the spring at Exit 30 at 11am. He was leaving at 8. We arrive at the tap at five-to-eleven, and he’s already been there an hour. “No traffic. Sweet drive. No prob at all. No prob.” Delivery Guy is super nice (like everyone at the dealership) and agreeable to anything even moderately sane. Little does he know, his kind demeanor has doomed him.

I am once again shocked at the size of the RV. It’s enormous. I look at it and think, “Things this big should not roll.” The RV is blue and white and it has that fifth-wheel nose, and it reminds me of a Blue Whale. “I bet that’s how big a Blue Whale is,” I think to myself. “Only without a bed in its nose.” We start out over the mountain roads, up and down, past waterfalls, through valleys, and we manage to get the thing over hill and over dale without incident. We’re home.

The honeymoon is over.

100_0571I explain that I would like him to pull it in nose first, because I want the door on the right side. He’ll have to do a two-hundred-point turn to get his truck out, but it should work. In theory. “Unless you want to drive out through that swamp on the left! Ha, ha, ha!” He gets the RV in nicely, unhitches, and begins the turn-of-many-points. The RV isn’t leveled yet, so it’s sort of listing to the left side … a whale beached at the edge of our swamp.

Ten minutes later, Delivery Guy is still cutting little pie shaped pieces in the dirt, and going nowhere fast. It is at this point that we add Villager #1, a friend from next door.

100_0572_2Delivery Guy leans out and asks us, “Hey, this is a pretty tough truck. You think I could get through the few feet of that swamp?” We walk out on it. “Seems dry enough. We’re not sinking at all.” Well, we’re also not a 3/4 ton pickup truck. He pulls backwards and to the left. We hold our breath. He totally buries it. One side up, one side down. Villager #1 looks at me dryly. “Get the tractor?” “Yeah, get the tractor,” I drone. It is at this point that we add Villager #2.

100_0574Mere seconds later, the big red 1950s tractor chugs around the front of the old house. Villager #1 and Villager #2 run a chain from the tractor to the truck. Delivery Guy gets back in the truck. It is at this point that we add Villagers #3 and Junior Villager #4, friends from across the street. #2 revs the tractor, they gain a little traction … and the tractor wheels start to spin. Brand new soft soil. Just had that side of the property leveled. Villager #2 shouts, “Let’s try ‘er again!” The tractor lurches, makes a horrible noise, gets stuck in gear, and is frozen.

It is at this point that we really attract the attention of Villagers #5 through 12 … the volunteer fire department has set up down the road on the corner for their “put money in the boot” thing. They’re laughing, but I don’t much care because they’re the ones standing there in 80 degree heat wearing bright yellow slickers, stopping traffic, and begging for change with an old rubber boot.

About 30 yards away, Villager #13’s mother has set up a yard sale. They’re watching, but seem more horrified than anything else. To review – We now have the beached whale, the swamped truck, and the frozen tractor all sitting near the front of our property. Villager #14 comes ambling over, leaving the store unattended – one eye on the store and one eye on the muddy truck. “Hell, this is the biggest thing to happen in this town since that car hit your house a few years back!” I tell him that if one more vehicle gets stuck in my driveway, I’m tossing a match at the house, getting in the van, and driving as far away as I possibly can get.

Villager #13 brings over a huge platter or watermelon and starts passing it out to everyone. Villager #3 goes over and buys a lamp.

100_0576At this point, we’re calling tow trucks … with winches. The local guy is in Plattsburgh. It’ll be a few hours. Then, lo and behold, a miracle happens. Villager #15 drove by, saw we were having trouble, and unlike our fire department audience, lifted a finger to help. #15 told his neighbor Villager #16 to get his truck out there, we needed help. And #16’s truck is some kind of tow truck. It’s the kind of truck that can pick up a truck.

He winches the pickup onto the bed, and pulls it right out. The license plate assembly sticks in the mud and someone goes to get it. Their shoe comes off, stuck in the muck. Delivery Guy and I level the RV. We all walk over to the store parking lot. Delivery Guy has to get going. Villager #14 comes out of the store – he’s made him a plate of hotdogs for the road.

And we all stand in the parking lot and laugh for a while. Delivery Guy hoses the mud off his truck.

“Well, this should make for good talk ’til at least Winter.”
“Sure passed the afternoon, didn’t it?”
“Too bad Cranky Ol’ #17 wasn’t here to see it.”
“Eh. He’s just an old gossip. Never has anything nice to say.”
Old Man #18 sure would have loved it though.”

And that’s how we roll in our little villiage in the back corner of the Adirondacks.



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12 responses to “The Big Blue Whale

  1. Corin

    You just can’t make that kind of story UP! Hope you are enjoying a comfortable night in the new “whale”.

  2. lilly

    This is my first visit to your site and throughly enjoyed tghe time I visited with you. Hope to hear from you sometime.

  3. @KateOH

    Twittered and Facebooked it!

  4. what can I say after that story? did you spend the night in the 5th? She may “settle” a bit if that is freshly graded soil… so be prepared to re-level eventually. gotta love days like that,… makes you really appreciate the good ones when they happen. Hang in there friend!

  5. It did pan out just fine. I thought twice about the exact placement, but ya know … hindsight. I can always hire someone with a hitch to move it again after I buy myself some more room.

    And that hot shower, refrigerator, and proper bed were wonderful! Makes every difference in the world. And we do feel like we have plenty of space. Got an adapter so we can hook up to the little generator until we get the elec pole & meter put in.

  6. lilly

    Used to own a cabin/house near Inlet and Eaagle Bay on a private road off Uncas Road.Built it ourselves but had to sell it after my previous husband passed away. Have since remarried and live in a small city. Not used to this kind of living. Would much rather be back in the mountains, have you encountered the black flies yet? Miserable little things Lilly

  7. Another great story. You should be writing a book, not a blog! Thanks for the smile. 🙂

  8. The Lowe’s truck got stuck in the mud delivering our washing machine to the Mountain House. With no neighbors, it was a lot less fun than your experience… and there was definitely no watermelon.

  9. Amazing…Fantastic neighbors too…Think how different that story would be if you got stuck on a back street somewhere in a big city…I shudder to think….

  10. Pingback: The Penultimate « Small Pines

  11. thechurchlady

    I am laughing so hard…I have tears in my eyes AND I think I’ve peed my pants! Sooooo, let’s re-cap for one more chuckle…it took how many Adirondack residents to get a pick-up truck out of a swamp?? I’m sorry we don’t have stories like that in Brooklyn. Ohhh, how I wish I were there to watch! I love it Philly, thank you so much for the laugh! xox victoria

  12. This is all so exciting !! I wouldn’t take it from you for anything but i am envious of it 🙂

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