Heavens to Betsy!

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… Who the Hell is Betsy?

Sorry!  I couldn’t resist.  Mom has been waiting to use that line for ages and can never find a place to put it, so I am taking care of it for her.  Aren’t I nice?  I think so.

Oh boy oh boy oh.  We got to see our family in Pennsylvania again.  Great walks, yummy food, and lots of lovin’.  We parked our little house at the same campground we stayed at before and I got to see my old horse buddy who lives down the road a ways.  We got some good walking in, including all around a farmer’s cornfield… until he put down some wonderfully stinky fertilizer and Mom refused to walk close to there again.  She can be very picky about some things.  Oh well, her loss.

Our best walks–on miles of wooded trails loaded with great, Mom-approved smells–were in a couple of really big parks with my Aunt and Uncle.  They are so cool, mostly because they are happy to be directly related to a sweet doggie like me.  They made a point of noticing what a model citizen I have become.  We passed lots of other doggies, and I behaved way better than 90 percent of them!  I reserve the right to “behave” any way I want to with the last 10 percent.

Then we had another road-trip day and today…  Well, today we made it back to my boy!  He’s actually a man now, but he’ll always be my boy.  Just like I’ll always be his pup.  He is handsome and tall and sweet.  And he says I don’t stink this time like I used to.  Stink… ha!  As if that’s something bad!  Ah well, I’ll let that slide.  I am nothing if not generous.

Anyhow, Mom says we’ll be here for a good spell and we’ll see lots of our old friends.  OH!  I DO hope Xolani and Arabia come to play!  I love my Mom and my boy, but they don’t get me like those poodles get me.  They think I am magnificent and glorious.  A doggy of the world.  Road-doggie.  Horse-friend.  Full of romance, mystery, and edge!  And they adore my smell.

My Room of Many Houses

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My room my nest my safe space

may be small, cozy, familiar

but open the door

Yes! open it!

and the house within which it resides

is ever changing, magnificent, unending

 

Today

stately, elderly pines shade my room

from a mid-Spring sun

their delicate scent surrounds me

as I crane my neck

to view the white-on-blue mural

vaulting

over the cathedral’s outstretched arms

 

Some days I leave my room

to find the hallways populated

with an assortment of other dwellers

of little (and some not-so-little) rooms

crammed horizontally, tenement style

within grid-like or winding lanes

inured over time to the traffic

roaring down an adjacent roadway

 

Those are the days when beauty can be found

within a face, a word, a song

as friendships grow

like little rooftop gardens

seeking and finding the miracle of sunshine

and magic of moonlight

in the hearts and stories

of fellow travelers

 

IMG_0831Another day my room

lies exposed

to the desert sky

and a stark

raving

madly beautiful terrain

carpeted with an old, dying lakebed

its face cracked with sorrow-filled lines

pays homage

to an emotionless, rocky horizon

praying for mercy

and finding none

 

But soon enough I will open my door

to an estate filled with laughter and life

its party at full tilt

windows alight

as laughter spills over the doorstep

rounding the harsh corners of all rocks

IMG_2532strewn in its path

with mossy

bubbly

glee

 

Sunset splashes its colors

like streamers on the wall

while children race bicycles with abandon

through a hedged garden maze

music blares

fish fries

campfires crackle their conversation

casting a glow into the twilight

that banishes all shadows

and childish nightmares

into smoke

poof!

 

FullSizeRender-357Occasionally I step out and find myself

hosted under a big-top tent

entertained by circus horses

out for their exercise

or jugglers

perfecting their skill,

my four legged companion

excited by smells galore

as we wander through 4-H barns

that await their prize animals

being fattened somewhere now

for the coming fair

 

No matter which house frames the day

at night I shelter back in my room

for though these many mansions

are filled with wonders

by night they can turn brutal

their blackened corridors

opening to frigid cold

springing leaks

and inviting in the wildlife

which has its own idea of a good party

 

But if I do dare to venture out

on a clear, crisp night

into the endless, unwalled space…

Look!

tiny stars!

millions and gajillions of fabulous stars

blinking around a sliver of a moon smile

tilted saucily on its side

whispering with a wink

Welcome Home

We interrupt this blogcast…

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I’m going to take a short break from my usual ramblings to sing (unsolicited) praises of my little house’s manufacturer, Phoenix USA (website:  www.phoenixusarv.com.)

Yesterday I was at their factory in Elkhart, Indiana, where they took several hours to go over my list of items and questions, one by one, while I am still covered by the one-year warranty.  Mr. Bob, who has been with the company for 25 years–most of Phoenix’s employees have been working there for similar lengths of time, which says a lot in my book–took care of each item on my to-do list with great care and efficiency.  He patiently addressed each of my many questions in a thorough, thoughtful manner, and showed me how to do some of the maintenance things myself.

Phoenix USA specializes in Class B+ motor homes.  These are smaller than the big bus-type Class-A rigs and more aerodynamic than the Class-Cs, which have a sleeper bunk over the driver’s cab.  This is a perfect fit for someone like me, who values simplicity and something easy to drive, as well as for many seasoned RV’ers who are looking to downsize to a more nimble option.

Because Phoenix does not use a dealer network, but sells solely factory-direct, the money a customer might spend on the dealer’s fee can instead go back into their pocket (more gas money!).  I put that savings into some options that I thought made a lot of sense for a full-time RV’er, like a solar panel, hydraulic leveling jacks, and paint protection.

Lack of a dealer network does not complicate after-sales support, either.  The company’s owner, Mr. Kermit, has readily reimbursed me for any repairs I’ve needed while on the road while I’ve been in the warranty period.  He and Phoenix employees are very willing to advise RV repair shops of any details needed to troubleshoot a problem and make a successful repair.  Many Phoenix customers go back to the factory every year or two if they are in the area to have the real experts work on their rig.  The charge for this, after the warranty period, is exceedingly reasonable.

Phoenix USA bends over backwards to accommodate customer requests and needs.  The model I purchased, the 2351, was created because of an earlier customer’s request to modify the 2350 in such a way that it added an extra foot, a dinette instead of a couch, and additional storage.  It worked so good and generated such interest that the company went along with the flow and made it an official model–just in time to make one for me!

Back when I ordered my little house (a year ago!), I asked for a simplified paint job without all the swirlies you often find gracing many RV skins.  I wanted something low-key.  Phoenix was so accommodating that they didn’t even put their name on it anywhere.  The funny thing is that this has drawn even more attention to my rig as people often stop to ask me who the manufacturer is.

This kind of responsiveness is a tremendous strength.  When I was trying to figure out other details and options to include, I solicited suggestions on Phoenix’s customer forum, located on their website.  Their forum community is terrific, by the way–very helpful, supportive, and knowledgable.  When I went back to Phoenix’s sales manager, Mr. Earl, with endless questions and requests, many of those things had already been incorporated as standard items into Phoenix’s builds because they pay attention to customer input.

So, anyone out there who is interested in a small to mid-size, high quality motor home, made by a small company with a dedicated workforce, hop on over to Phoenix’s website (www.phoenixusarv.com) and check out what they have to offer.  When you first look at the floor plans, keep in mind that modifications can be made to the extent possible and practical.  Also, if you are like me, and value simplicity, some of the floor plans can be made with no slide (just something to keep in mind since their home page shows only rigs with slides).

I enjoyed taking some time to complement a terrific American company.  Thanks for listening, and I hope it has been helpful to at least a few readers.  Next post, I’ll be back to my usual style:  rambling while I ramble.  Or maybe Dawny will have something to contribute, since she is feeling feisty and insisted on hogging the picture for this post.