5000 miles and a 7 month old puppy

IMG_4048IMG_8952It is early Saturday morning, Bart is getting tired and pulls off of highway 94 at the last rest stop in North Dakota! He needs to catch a few hours of sleep after driving the long hours across Minnesota and North Dakota, on their trip West.  Waking around 4 AM Bart decides to start driving again; Justine hears a strange noise, waking up from a deep sleep, wondering what is happening, and starts pondering what could make that noise? The RV drives well enough to the gas station so she thinks everything is good.

Arriving at  at gas station a few blocks away, Bart fills up with gas, and drives away from the pump when CRUNCH! SOMETHING BIG happens! It feels like a flat tire; hard to move. Justine gets out of the RV looking for a flat tire but doesn’t see one.  She suggests to Bart to try he move the RV so she to can see what the problem is; Bart pushes the gas pedal; the RV moves a foot or two but, the right front tire freezes up! Justine’s guess is the ball bearings in the wheel. Realizing he wasn’t going anywhere Bart backs up as much  as he can so he is no longer on the road to block traffic.

They are broken down in their new/used RV; sitting in the driveway of a gas station at exit 1, of the North Dakota-Montana border and it is snowing! Their front right wheel has locked up and will not move!

They are thankful it is 2016 and smart phones are able to connect to the world: Bart connects to the insurance company with his  app on his phone. The insurance agent he is talking to is not used to the distance between towns in this section of the country and it is causing a them bit of a trouble. She wants to have them backtrack to Bismark, but she isn’t sure the place that they would be arriving at would be open or they would be able to work on the vehicle at all. Bart tries for hours to get in contact with that company the insurance agent wants to send us to, without success.IMG_3523

The police arrive to see if they can help, asking Bart about the possibility of moving the RV out of the driveway of the gas station. Bart explains to him how he has called the insurance company and they have dispatched a tow truck because the RV is stuck; adding to the drama, Justine sees a tick walking up Bart’s neck; she grabs the tick, thinking she doesn’t have tape to stick to it, she throws it out into the snowy weather: Bart keeps on talking to the very nice policeman.

Finally about 8 am, the tow truck arrives with this very young looking attendant; Justine makes the comment, “He is probably older than he looks, and just because he is young doesn’t mean he doesn’t know his job.”

The tow truck driver asks to see if they can move the RV out of the driveway/street and Justine is very thankful when when Bart tries and the RV still won’t move! Yeah! It wasn’t their imagination! (Don’t you just hate when you have a problem with a vehicle and bring it in to get fixed and the problem won’t show it’s self?)

The police force has grown: 3 police vehicles are in the parking lot across the street, waiting; the tow truck driver crosses the street to talk to them about how to block the street.  Bart and Justine aren’t understanding why the police need to block the street, it has been very quiet.  All of a sudden a semi starts moving, and another, and another; THAT must be why they need the police cars!

The police block the street on 3 sides and  the tow truck backs up into the street, hooking up quickly to not block traffic any longer than necessary.  With the RV partially hooked up, he pulls them across the street into the parking lot adjacent to the rival gas station. The tow truck driver hooks us up securely and suggests that he could tow us to Sidney; the people he works with can fix the problem.

Bart and Justine are discussing if they should be towed to Bismark and head back home or continue on West. Justine suggests going home is like giving up. “Forward!”, they agree, West. Hopping into the cab, they are ready for a 100 mile trip in a tow truck: Charlie and Sam ride in the RV by themselves! Surprising, it was a very pleasant trip. The tow truck driver does mention a few times he is 21 and he graduated in 14!

Bart’s first thought arriving in town is to find a motel in walking distance that takes dogs. Then tow truck driver suggests they can stay in their RV over the weekend, on the property; he gets his coworkers to charge the RV battery that lost it’s charge to calm the alarm that is sounding!  Bart asks, and the crew agrees to allow them to stay hooked up to the dealership electricity, Yeah!!!!  What more could they ask for?

Bart and Justine and 2 dogs, find themselves early on a Saturday morning waiting for Monday; Sitting in their RV in a car dealership in Sidney, Montana.

Believing it is God is working for them, bringing Good out of a tough situation, Bart checks his Weather Channel App on his phone and sees the temperature here in Montana is 40 degrees with rain, a Blessing!   The temperatures in Bismark, North Dakota are below freezing! While Learning about the RV, Justine was told to watch for freezing temperatures because the pipes could freeze if they ended up in temperatures below freezing for an extended time. They are very thankful for 40 degrees!

The tow truck driver tells them about a park to bring their dogs to run and play. It turns out to be a beautiful big park with plenty of space to play Frisbee with the dogs.IMG_1068 FullSizeRender

Sam is a 7 month old puppy; he is a big dog, and no one knows what kind of dog he is. He just keeps getting bigger; every time he sleeps, he wakes up bigger! Charlie is about 5 years old and is a lab/Dotson mix and has been a part of the family for 3 years: Charlie needs attention. Charlie is why Bart wanted Sam.

What do you do with a big 7th month old puppy in a dealership parking lot? Bart heads out first to find the park with the puppies; he comes back praising the park. After a few hours, Justine allows Bart to take a nap and she takes the puppies and a 50 foot wire leash with a frisbee to play in the park.  She throws the frisbee and runs with the dogs as they chase after the it. They precede to both grab the frisbee and run together, tugging and pulling and growling and playing. Sam does try to bring the frisbee to Justine to have her throw it again, Charlie doesn’t often want to give it up.

As night falls everyone in the RV gets ready to sleep and they are taken by surprise with the amount of cars driving through car lot all night long; they pray for protection and sleep peacefully all night.

Being new at RVing Bart and Justine wake on Sunday and realize the water doesn’t last long and the sewer fills up fast; it is time for stretching water as far as it will go! Justine makes breakfast and learns how to wash dishes with about a cup of water;  a little while later Justine washes her hair in the sink and is successful in only using a cup of water Yeah!!!  Success!!

The couple spends their time taking the dogs for runs, eating, and talking! With nothing to distract them like tv or radio.  Once the dogs sleep, Bart and Justine relax and talk like they haven’t talked since they were dating 32 years ago. It reminds Justine a weekend in a small motel, in northern Minnesota: it is very Good! They enjoy their time together, leaving all the worries for God’s to take care of!  Bart and Justine find Joy in the moment, trusting God that all will turn out well. This is Heaven on Earth!

Later, Justine takes the dogs for a run in the park; Charlie runs behind her, the leash catches her right leg, the dogs take off after the frisbee, and Justine’s feet go up into the air: Boom, her head and right shoulder hit the ground!

Justine lays on the ground for a few minutes in shock not even caring where the dogs are; gathering herself she decides nothing is broken and choices to confess out loud and believe, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus!” Justine gets up and raises her hands in Praise confessing again, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus!” Justine decides she is not going to let this stop her from playing with the dogs so the 3 of them run and play for 30-40 more minutes. On the way home Charlie decides to stop and leave his offering, Justine has the hardest time controlling both dogs and cleaning up after Charlie; pain is growing and she wants to call Bart to come help, but she pushes through.

Arriving at the RV she gives the dogs to Bart, struggles to climb into the RV and tells Bart about the fall: they discuss what the options are. Justine decides it is smart to let her arm and shoulder rest, thinking if she goes to a doctor it would be put in a sling.  Justine keeps confessing, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus” all day long and by the evening she is able to use her arm. She knows with a good nights sleep she will be good as new.

Bart takes over dog duty for the rest of the day; He also goes looking for water because the water tank is very low. Sam need to go for a walk as evening comes; Bart takes both dogs at 8pm and 10 pm. They are hoping for a good night’s sleep and head to bed.  Sam decides he needs to use the facilities around midnight so Justine gets up, grabs a coat, flashlight, bags to clean up and shoes because clean grass is 2 blocks away and it is dark. Sam and Justine dodge puddles made by the rain, it is messy, Sam has diarrhea! Justine wants to clean up after the dogs to be good citizens. Sam asks out again at 2 and 4; Charlie joins the party at 5 am! Bart takes over at 7am.

Justine’s plan is getting up and ready to make food and get dressed but being awake every 2 hours has put a dent into her plans; she tries to get every ounce of sleep she can squeeze out. Justine jumps out of bed as she hears men arriving to take care of the RV!  She throws clothes on and grabs the dogs for a morning of the unknown.

Two dogs and two people enter the sales room trying to stay calm and not make noise.  Bart takes one dog at a time out for walks trying to keep everyone quiet in this place of business.  Sam loves to speak: he has had the desire to talk since he was born.

Very Thankful, the RV is finished by noon; Bart and Justine give their Thanks to the people who helped them  and they drive off realizing it was a wonderful weekend in Sidney Montana! They continue their trip West! If you ever happen to be brake down in Eastern Montana, Sidney is the nicest place to spend a weekend as plans become interrupted! God Bless the people in Sidney, Montana.

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