With just a few days to departure, and still much to do on the bus, we made a sacrifice of RV conversion time by taking the bus in for some preventative engine maintenance (oil change, etc.)
"Oh, and could you check out that oil leak?" we added, after they had begun work.
Well, the oil leak turned out to be preventative too. It is preventing us from taking the bus on the trip to Oregon for cocoaconf. The leak is due to a rear seal, and we were advised that if the seal failed on our trip, we would lose all our oil in a flash, and it would turn our transmission into coffee grounds without any warning. The shop we took it to gave us an estimate, but even if we had them do the work, we would be without the bus for a couple of days and would not be able to get it ready in time for departure. So, that was a no brainer.
We really like it when God makes it obvious. And we are thankful that we are avoiding having a breakdown on the road.
So, all of our elaborate plans for our RV trip included: working crazy hours to get the bus interior finished, packing bedding, camping stuff, space heaters for cold nights, traveling at the slower bus speed (meaning more days/nights on the road), having lots of leg room, and being all in one vehicle ... plus lots of (now unnecessary) shopping and expenditures for the RV conversion.
We also have to scientifically plan for clothing changes, as getting in and out of a hotel quickly with 16 suitcases crammed into the vehicle of your choice is pretty challenging. For the bus, we had these cool tubs we found that fit under the benches, and we would be sleeping in the bus or a nearby tent. No space for tubs with the van/truck plan; space is a luxury. We will bring bags for each family member, but for our hotel nights on the road, we are thinking of using one of those hanging shoe storage bags for everyone to pack one night's necessities.
I am thinking we will load it up and roll it up, one per hotel room (we take three per night, by order of the fire marshal!).
Today we got the bright idea to get Zak's truck into the shop, in preparation for the trip. That was mostly uneventful. They noticed a belt needed to be changed, so our guys did that this evening out in front of the house...after accidentally dropping a socket and other things into the engine, then having various younger siblings with various kitchen utensils try to fish the stuff out, then getting one of those cool magnet wands at the hardware store to finally do the extraction, and then having to return the first belt to the store because it wasn't the right one.
There was a time when things like that would really burn some of us up, but the whole belt replacement thing made for a happy family memory. And it allowed us to be in the right place at the right time when a neighborhood kid came by, selling candy bars.
When it seems like nothing is ever easy, we try to remember it is preparation and opportunity. Opportunity to really give thanks in everything. And preparation for future service and hardships. The amount of time we spend thinking "Bummer" is steadily decreasing. We have tons for which to give thanks, and soldiers for the Lord are not trained by having everything go smoothly all the time. While we would hesitate to call our recent turn of events "trials," we do want to learn to "count it all joy."
So, we are working on Plan B and looking forward to an awesome adventure with the Lord on the road to Oregon.