When we left Rockport, we were smack in the middle of the Corona Virus out-break, most restaurants, bars and stores were closed. We wanted to keep our distance from others as much as possible so we planned on getting to Rogersville AL in four days. We expected to make three overnight stops…Round Rock Tx, Texarkana TX, and West Memphis, AR.
First stop Cracker Barrel, Round Rock TX. We were able to meet up with Brad and Rachelle again. They live in Georgetown, which was only about 30 miles away. Of course, we were all keeping our social distance to keep ourselves and others safe, so we sat out in the parking lot with our comfy RV camping chairs (placed 6 feet apart of course!) grabbed some BBQ take out and had cocktails. It was great to see them again and indulge in a little responsible socializing. It was a little sad to not be able to give them hugs but for right now it is what it is and we all have to do our part.
Second stop, Texarkana Texas Cracker Barrel parking lot. It was Wednesday March 25, and it was my birthday :). True to form with life in an RV, most days when moving about the country something goes wrong. This day was no different. When we started up the coach, we noticed a Low Battery Voltage warning on our dashboard. We got it started fine, but kept an eye on the battery charge as we were driving. Unfortunately, the battery wasn’t holding a charge and was not increasing in voltage, so we decided to get it looked at. We called half a dozen places and finally found one that worked on Freightliner chassis'. Thank goodness for United Engines, in Little Rock, Arkansas! Turns out, our alternator was going bad and we needed a new one. United Engines had the part and put two guys on it. Three hours, and $1400 later, we were back on the road! That wasn't exactly the way I had expected to spend my birthday, but we got our coach working again and we were one step closer to Rogersville so I was happy.
A few days later we arrived in Rogersville at Joe Wheeler State Park and met with Haley the Volunteer, Day Use, Campground and Marketing manager. She was awesome! She showed us all the places that needed work. The campground store needed to be completely remodeled, Elk River Lodge needed a room repaired and the kitchen painted and the newly created trails needed bridges built and installed.
A little background, a tornado hit this park dead on back in December. It didn't cause enough damage for federal funding so their current budget got reallocated to repair the damage from the storm. That’s where A Year To Volunteer came in. We were here to do the work that was planned but the budget got reallocated for. By the time our volunteers showed up, we had a pretty good list of things the park wanted us to do:
1. Country store. This included removing current wallpaper, putting up new wallpaper, replacing all florescent ceiling lights with new LED lights, taking out all damaged drywall, putting up new drywall, painting trim and cabinets, applying tin to lower 4 feet of all walls, taking down, cleaning and painting AC vent covers, paint all 7 doors, convert storage room to office and replace ceiling and apply new paneling to the walls, rewire electrical, paint under counter cabinets, remove bubble board from hallway and replace with wallpaper and tin.
2. Elk River Lodge. Paint kitchen cabinets, clean overhead light covers, power wash exterior, paint exterior door trim, and replace ceiling in the back room.
3. Trails. Assemble and install 10, 20 and 30-foot bridges, add rock armor to stream, add culvert to high water flow areas.
4. #JWSP Rocks. Paint rocks with cute designs to be hidden around the park for others to find.
While we were working on all these great projects, I saw something on Facebook that really made me think. It was a meme with a quote from Ronald Reagan that read, “There’s no limit to the amount of good you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit.” After reading that it reminded me of a person years ago who asked what the number one human need was. Of course I was thinking food, shelter, oxygen, sleep, water, etc. She said the number one human need is to be right. That made me think, how many fights, conflicts, arguments or just hard feelings have been had because someone was trying to be right? Maybe I was right, or the other person was, but at the end of the day does it really matter?
How many friendships, relationships, family dynamics, etc have been damaged or lost because of one’s need to be right? Sure, sometimes it’s important, but does it always matter? Of course, I’m not talking about matters of life or death, national security or war when being right is really important. But, don't we push to be right sometimes just for the sake of being right? At the end of the day does it really matter? Something else I realized while pondering all this was, if you push to be right, that means that someone else has to be wrong? Honestly, who likes that? No one likes to be wrong and I don't know of anyone that enjoys having it shoved in their face when they are. If you love someone isn’t it better to just let it go?
Nowadays, I often ask myself if my need to be right is worth losing the relationship. I’m talking about regular day to day situations. I can honestly tell you, I find myself, more often than not, dropping it and letting it go because most of the time it doesn't really matter. I’ve also found that knowing I’m right in my own head, or doing the research later to confirm I was right, is enough. And sometimes I learn that we were both right. Other times, I find I was wrong, and when I do, I admit it.
Thank you Ronald Reagan for making me think. I realized that a lot more gets done when you don't care who gets credit and a lot more good happens when you don't care who’s right.
That’s all of my profound thoughts for now, while traveling and volunteering around the country. Thanks for reading and talk to you again soon!