After the Thaw

TreeWe returned to Cloud 9 after a winter cold snap plunged North Texas temperatures well below freezing for several days. Although we took precautions to ensure our rig survived a temporary dip below freezing, we failed to do the winterizing necessary to get through sustained temperatures in the teens. And so, with busted water lines, we are “roughing it” without running water. Thankfully, we’re preparing to take the rig to A&P Vintage Trailer Works for a washer/dryer installation and dinette modification, so we’ll add water line repairs to our to-do list.

Our weekend away also coincided with a government shutdown, thanks to an impasse over immigration. The longest government shutdown was 21 days, so we aren’t concerned about how it might affect our travel plans to Utah’s Mighty 5 in May. Still, considering everything about the current administration is unconventional, the prospect of an extended shutdown may not be entirely out of line.

The best part of our weekend, as usual, was that moment on Sunday afternoon when everyone had moved on and we basically had the camping loop to ourselves. We have affectionately referred to this as “holy hour,” hearkening back to the time when, as seminarians and, then, as priests, we were expected to spend an hour in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The Roman Catholic devotional practice was inspired by the question Jesus put to Peter in Matthew’s Gospel, “So, you could not keep watch with me for an hour?” Hence, the hour of silence on Sunday afternoons following the last departure is indeed holy…and wholly appreciated!

As is sometimes the case, we found it so hard to break away that we extended our stay through the week. After a three-week hiatus, and just before a six-week remodel, spending a few extra days — even without running water — seemed irresistible.