A few months back, our microwave decided to stop microwaving. Bummer, but I didn’t get around to fixing it for a few weeks. By fixing, I mean it took me weeks to simply call insurance and file the claim. A call that would take 5min cost $75, and we end up with a brand-new microwave.
In reality, the technician showed up and immediately checked to see if the microwave was working. Low and behold, the beast was alive. It was a bit embarrassing; it really wasn’t working when we stopped using it. It never dawned on me to check and see if the microwave magically began to work again.
I needed a vacation immediately. We spent a couple of days in Baltimore before attending a wedding in Pennsylvania with old friends/neighbors from our time spent in NC. Then, we flew to Cleveland to see both our families for an entire week. Wife headed back to California after Cleveland. Next, I went directly to Montana for a five-day fly-fishing trip on the Big Horn River with guys I deployed to Afghanistan within 2012. Finally, I returned to California for a day to pack the rig and hit the road for another five-day camping trip with the dogs.
So, the microwave…
It will take some time to process this whirlwind of travel through life and time, so the trip is not my focus. A week or so before we left, the microwave broke again. This time I waited before I called insurance. I felt obligated to come back after a few days to see if it started to work again; it didn’t. When I waited to call insurance, Wife and I became proficient at life without a microwave. So, I never called.
The day before leaving for Baltimore, our garbage disposal stopped garbage disposaling. Bummer, but I knew this would be Wife’s problem and not mine because I still got time to spend in Montana. So, I didn’t call then either. The call is $75, but they can fix multiple items on a single claim. Double up when she gets home, simple.
I arrived in Montana with the boys, and Wife sends me a photo of water pooling around our laundry room. Hydronic pipe leak in the wall causing extensive damage and mold. I never heard of a hydronic pipe until this moment, and if I’m honest, I don’t care for it either. It looks like it’s time to triple up on this $75 claim. I almost feel as if I’m winning even though everything is breaking.
Insurance did its job. Plumbing companies, on the other hand, gave a bit of the runaround game. I ended up coming home from Montana, and everything was still broken. So we opted to make do with what we got until I come home from my camping trip. It’s $75. We’re winning.
Change of plans
I stated earlier that I and the homies made a five-day camping trip. I had planned on ten days, but a few hiccups shifted that timeline. On the third day, my roof rack gave up on me, which is insane. Coming down the trail, I managed to break a bolt causing all the weight to shift, leaving me with a crooked roof rack. I didn’t want to head home after only three days. Made it work and sucked it up to things break when you use them.
On day four, the wind took out my awning. I snapped two of the poles when high winds pulled the stakes out of the ground and folded the awning over my tent. At this point, I begin to get a little discouraged. A lot was going wrong. When things go wrong, my go-to thought is I must be living wrong.
That evening I witnessed a lightning storm partnered with the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard. This encounter with lighting has led me to the decision that lighting is God’s mortars. At a distance, it was almost beautiful watching the strikes hit the barren, dry earth. Then they began walking in on my position.
This is disheartening, and each strike moved closer and closer to my vehicle. Finally, when I saw a strike about 10-15 feet away, I decided to zip up my window. I don’t want to see myself get struck by lightning. As I sat in the tent, I realized that this is precisely what it’s like to be mortared. Nowhere to go, I managed to fall asleep amidst the chaos that is nature.
Stop drop and roll
1:30 am, I wake to the sweet smell of smoking earth. Why was I smelling smoking earth? Well, there was a fire about 50ft. from where I had set up camp. I observed the fire through my window and thought to myself, fire… that sucks. Few seconds go by, hmm… a fire. I should get out and look at what I’m dealing with.
From the time it took to exit the tent, climb down the ladder, and orient myself back to the fire, the fire had noticeably grown. A fire, and it’s getting bigger pretty quick. Hmmm, I should probably leave. Yeah, I should go. I went up to the tent to start grabbing items and putting them in the truck. On the first trip down, I realized that I’m moving way too slow, and fires move quickly.
We made it out. I’ve since talked to the dogs about how they’re supposed to warn me when dangerous situations arise while camping—no response yet. Our campsite was engulfed by fire in less than 10 minutes of me noticing there was a fire. The decision was easy, drive home.
Arrive home at 7 am. Wife had to head in early that Friday morning, so she wasn’t there when I arrived. I didn’t intend on driving through the night, but I was ready to be home instead of making another stop to rest. I was at an exceptional level of hangry when I arrived home, so it’s a good thing Wife wasn’t present.
Wife told me earlier in the week that there would be food available when I got home. This fact gave me the confidence to not stop and eat fast food early in the morning. Instead, I parked the truck, grabbed the homies, and went inside. I moved directly to the fridge, saw food, made my portion, wet the paper towel, draped it over the sustenance, and threw it in the microwave. Force of habit, I always hit three min on the microwave regardless of how long I want the item to warm.
Before I hit start, I stopped myself. Damnit, the microwave is broken. I feel like an idiot. I go to open the door so that I can return to our pre-historic ways of warming meals with a nonstick pan on our stovetop. I stop myself. Why not give it a shot. I hit start on the microwave. I watch the timer go from 3min to 2min and 30seconds. Open the microwave, remove the meal and place my hand on the wet towel to see that it gained warmth. I threw it back in and hit start. Let the timer run out and removed a steaming bowl of food. I thought to myself…
At least the microwave works.