Hope Blooms

We entered our weekend through a narrow opening in the window of opportunity. After a full day of spring showers, we had just enough of a break in the weather to get hitched up and travel to our campsite at Loyd Park. Almost immediately after parking, however, a torrential rain thoroughly soaked our site, sending rivers of mud coursing around our rig and adjacent pavilion. We hadn’t even had time to plug into the power pole, so we waited out the deluge using battery power which, under normal circumstances, would have been sufficient. But because we inadvertently neglected to place our batteries in storage mode the previous Monday, we were operating at diminished capacity. Thankfully, earlier in the day, Jon met an RV repair technician at our storage unit who replaced our jack. So after discovering the battery issue, Jon was able to plug in and recharge enough to carry us through the later storm. The mud was the direct result of construction work at Loyd Park as crews have laid electrical lines and established sewer service. When all the work is completed, Loyd Park promises to be even better than before, but it will likely take the rest of the summer for grass to grow from seed.

We were pleased to park next to other Airstreamers — a friendly couple from Chandler, Arizona, where Jon’s cousin has a plumbing business. Like us, Dave and Dotty were fully vaccinated, so we felt safe enough to offer them a tour of our rig and to take a look at theirs. They have a 23-foot Flying Cloud, similar in size to our first Airstream, a 22-foot Sport. We really loved that unit, especially the rear bathroom and shower. However, we did NOT love the loud air-conditioner or the ridiculously tiny kitchen sink. Had we kept that unit, we likely would have dedicated the same remodeling resources to it as we did to our current rig, so who knows how it would have been transformed.

After the storms moved out, the remainder of the weekend’s weather was absolutely spectacular, allowing for long walks along the lake and through the forest, where we were dazzled by bluebonnets, Indian blankets, and false dragonheads (pictured). Cool, clear nights enabled us to gaze at the moon and stars amid a symphony of song provided by woodland creatures big and small. It was magical!

Along the way, we explored how traumatized we were by the February freeze and the rolling power outages, and how much we had longed for the promise of spring, when hope blooms as brightly as the wildflowers. A relatively new area of research is the practice of “trauma-informed care,” an effort examine a person’s history of trauma and focus on how it has impacted their behavior or health. It is increasingly used in a variety of fields, including medicine, education and criminal justice. With trauma-informed care, practitioners ask “What happened to you” instead of “What’s wrong with you.” We acknowledged that we had failed to fully appreciate the trauma of having lived through a three-day weather crisis with fear and uncertainty as the temperature inside our home hovered just above freezing, or of the financial impact of having to replace every single plant and shrub around out home, or of grasping how powerless we felt because of our dependence on the power grid. But being outdoors during these spring days, seeing the tender new life budding forth, hearing nature’s soundtrack, made us feel confident that all would eventually recover — include us.