Gary GruberCelebrations Gratitude Travel‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
December 25 , 2016 /


Most of us know how dependent we are on basic utilities, things like electricity and fuel and, depending on the weather, appliances for heating or cooling and cooking. We may not be aware of how dependent we are until we don’t have them. When some, or all, of those fail to perform as expected it can be a frustrating, disappointing and stressful experience.

Add to this scenario the fact that this happened to us while living in our 32’ motor home in Mexico, fairly removed from readily available service and repair facilities or experienced personnel. Our troubles began in Roca Azul, an RV park near Jocotopec at the eastern end of Lake Chapala. The first symptom was an ever-declining source of 12 volt supply of electrical power. For the uninitiated, that 12 volt current powers our lights and other appliances separate from the 110 AC units. Motor homes are like sailboats but on land instead of water.

We patched things together by keeping a deep cycle marine battery charger plugged into a 110 volt, 15 amp, shore power source and that sent enough power to the three house batteries to keep things working albeit at a reduced level of power. Thinking that we probably had a faulty battery in that bank, we replaced all three but the problems continued and only got worse with the total loss of propane, our fuel source that powers the stove for cooking, the hot water heater and the refrigerator as an alternative to electricity,

People nearby were sympathetic, offered suggestions and support and we were reaching our limits thinking perhaps we should give up and head back north. That means start toward home in the United States where we can find help more readily. These problems were quickly put into perspective when one of our immediate neighbors here in the campground was getting ready to leave for Amsterdam. They were going to visit a brother dying of cancer. It was proof that when you change the way you’re looking at things, the things you’re looking at change. Our stress was nothing compared to what our friends were facing this week.

Then, on Thursday evening, at a social gathering, I was sharing some of the aforementioned issues with a fellow camper who said her husband was an electronics wizard having worked for many years as an electrical engineer for a large, Canadian hydro installation in Manitoba. Besides that and their own RV experience they also have a sailboat. Long story short, he appeared yesterday, literally the night before Christmas, with his experience, his skills and a small black bag. He was complete with white beard and for added effect, a ponytail. Instead of a red suit, he had on a flowered shirt and shorts, but the disguise didn’t fool anyone who knows that Santa Claus really exists.

“A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread”…….And laying his hands on the faulty, hidden fuse, he removed the problem and shared the good news. Whatever we needed was ours to use.

With heart-felt thanks and appreciation to Marlene, Santa’s helper and to Juan Carlos, our Santa Claus this year in Mexico, we say Happy Christmas to all of you, wherever you may be.

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