I arrived on Monday, and I’m slowly getting set up. I’m exceedingly thankful that I have the truck camper, it’s proving invaluable in the last couple weeks. Honestly, I have no idea how people move everything they have across the country without one of these.
I got in on Monday, late in the evening. Pulled in to the driveway, put the truck in park, and went to bed. The drive in was uneventful thanks to the recent maintenance, so that was nice. And there was some very pretty scenery along the way, particularly on the Indian Nation Turnpike in Oklahoma.
Tuesday we (my parents and I) started the processes to try to get the water and sewer turned on. Turns out, that’s a whole lot harder than it should have been.
The power company couldn’t find our address. They can find it on a map, just not in their system. After far too long, someone finally figured out that the address on the meter and the address of the house are different, off by a single digit, but it took a full day to figure that out. Power came on Wednesday morning.
Also on Tuesday, I unloaded the truck camper into it’s new “home base” under one of the garage awnings. The previous owner installed 30-amp RV-style outlets on both sides of the garage, so that’s a nice bonus. With the awning, the camper is protected from rain and a lot of sun, but that also means the solar panels are basically worthless and a power connection is really necessary.
The water company is beyond silly. To get the water turned on, the owners (my parents) had to fill out a 6-page form, have it notarized, sent in, and then I had to show up in downtown Tyler and pay them cash or money order and then they’ve scheduled a crew to unlock the water valve. That crew is due to show up Friday morning between 7am and 5pm.
The previous owners of the house had dogs. Smelly dogs. I’m not a dog person, and I don’t really want to live in a house that smells like dog. For that reason, I haven’t unloaded anything into the house yet as I’m working on de-stinking the place. The carpets are the first priority, and that’s where the smell is the strongest. I’ve applied some pre-treatments, and will vacuum those up tomorrow. Then I’ll apply a second kind of treatment and vacuum that up later in the day. On Monday I have a carpet cleaning company scheduled to come out, and they’ve got some tricks up their collective sleeves’ as well.
I moved the trailer into the garage/barn/huge metal building today. It fits, but just barely. The door is 12′ tall, the trailer is 11′-something. I don’t know the width of the doors, but it wasn’t exactly generous given that the trailer is 8.5′ wide. Oh, and just to make things more fun, there’s a mud pit in front of the entrance due to it being a heavy traffic point. The Great White Knight started to earn back a bit of respect today as it was able to push the trailer around with ease, even through the mud, even while stopping and starting in the mud and not only never got stuck but also never even so much as spun a tire. I’m really glad I got new tires. Overall, I’m impressed.
At one point while trying to put the trailer in the garage, I had to disconnect it from the truck and reconnect just because things were so tight and I needed to reposition the truck. Apparently the angles I was at caused a significant amount of stress on the jack, and the concrete block I was using as a spacer (most people use wood blocks, but they’re too small for my application) actually broke under the stress. Yep, I think I’m dealing with a lot of weight here.
Once the trailer is in the garage, it fits pretty well. There’s a couple of feet extra in front and behind the trailer so walking around it is easy. The garage has a tall ceiling as well, so any work on the top of the trailer won’t be an issue. It doesn’t look like in the photo, but there’s actually enough room behind the trailer to open the rear doors completely and still have space to walk around.
There’s two nearby Walmarts, approximately 12-16 minutes away (depending on which one and route), and I’ve been visiting both frequently. One of them has a route that goes through a quiet section of road and there are tall trees on both sides that have branches spanning the road, creating a covered canopy. It’s very pretty, and I haven’t a chance to get a good photo of it yet. Along that route there’s also an open expanse area that almost looks like Minnesota. Wide open, some trees here and there, and very green.
Radio stations have definitely not impressed me thus far. Back in MN, I had two NPR stations I listed to, one for news and one for classical. I had a Jazz station, and a couple of more contemporary music stations. Here, I haven’t found anything to use a preset on. I can’t find the local NPR, if there is one. No classical. No Jazz. I might eventually find some kind of modern music station, but searching in the morning hours probably isn’t the greatest. If on the other hand you’re looking for anything Jesus-related on the radio, this place has you covered!
Another item: Internet. The T-Mobile signal seems to come from the west at this location, and is pretty weak. I have the camper set up on the east side of the garage. This means that the phone gets almost no signal (at least nothing usable) while in the camper. My solution has been to place the phone in a water-proof leftover container (glass and plastic) and set it in the yard north of the garage so it has a clear view of the west where it’s getting its signal from. In the morning I put the phone in its box, and set it out on the lawn. In the evening, just before bed, I bring it in and plug it in. It works, for now. Internet in a left-overs box.