new beginnings in 2022

Fact: sometimes things just don’t turn out the way we anticipate.

It’s hard to believe January has already come to a close!

In a nutshell, here’s what’s been going on in the Schutz’s #nomadlife: We celebrated the first day of 2022 in Alpine, cozied up in our RV enjoying a movie and a delicious steak dinner. (I’m happy to say we’ve adapted pretty well to cooking in the coach.) The next day, after church, we packed up a few day’s worth of clothes, toiletries, dog supplies, etc., parked the RV outside the mechanic’s shop, and checked in to a nice hotel in Mission Valley. Deron met the mechanic at the shop early the next morning to get the repair of our cooling system set up.

The next day, we heard from the mechanic that he was anticipating the repair would take at least three weeks. So now we were in a dilemma – we had RV parks booked and paid for in Temecula, Lakeside, Chula Vista and Santee that we could no longer stay at, and staying in a hotel for three more weeks would be quite expensive. Our good friends in Arizona immediately extended an invitation for us to stay with them for the duration, but we didn’t think that would be ideal, as we would be putting one of their sons out of his room and adding two more dogs to their three, plus we would have to figure out how to transport us and all our stuff in one small CRV. In addition, we wouldn’t have access to anything in our RV, and we would almost certainly end up throwing out all our cold food again. (If you remember, after our lengthy repair in Alamagordo, everything in the refrigerator had to be disposed of because the propane ran out and the fridge died.)

Deron immediately began attempting to cancel all our RV park reservations, while I searched around and found the best price at a dog-friendly hotel with a kitchenette (so we could cook our food instead of throwing it out), but we were still torn on what the wisest solution would be. Fortunately, some sweet, generous friends who were going out of town for a week offered to let us stay in their home while they were gone. So we stopped at the RV, grabbed another week’s worth of essentials, plus all the food in our fridge, and moved into their home – with a week to decide what to do for the rest of the repair time.

The following Monday, January 10th, was our 18th anniversary. As we were preparing to celebrate simply, with a home-cooked meal, Deron got another call from the mechanic. At least three of the six fuel injectors we’d had replaced in Alamagordo were bad and needed to be replaced again (UGH!), plus probably the head gasket would also need to be replaced and at least one cylinder re-sleeved. Which meant we were now looking at a very pricey four-to-six-week repair. What a great anniversary gift!

Once again, we were so tempted to start thinking: had we made the wrong decision? We’ve come up against this thought a few times on our journey, but whenever we start to look back at how this whole season began, we can’t deny seeing the hand of God in it, and that dispels our discouragement.

Another thing I’ve had to pray through is my natural distrust of mechanics – most of my dealings with them have left me feeling like I’m being taken advantage of – and this experience has been no better. But what is the alternative? We obviously cannot do the repairs ourselves, so I have to trust that when we’ve done our due diligence to choose a reputable business, God is in control of the outcome.

And of course, God is so faithful! We ended up getting most of our RV park reservation money back, and Deron got a paying side job, plus some other random money came in, all of which helped cover that first week at the hotel. And then some dear friends helped us work out an RV rental, and our Alpine friends agreed to allow us to park there again – which together amounts to a little more than we would have paid at the RV parks, but lots less than we’d pay at a hotel.

So the second half of January was spent acclimating to a different RV, and making sure we had all the supplies we needed to make it through six weeks away from home. (The mechanic told us once work started on the engine, we would no longer have access to the RV. Unfortunately (but also fortunately) that date has been pushed back several times because the parts have not come in. So the RV has been sitting at the shop for three weeks without any work being done (boo!), but we’ve been able to grab things as we realize we need them – like silverware, a sharp knife, olive oil, clothes to wear to an upcoming wedding, etc. (yay!))

Our takeaway from this whole experience is: thank God we are in San Diego! Whenever we make our travel plans, we ask God to give us His wisdom on where to go, and His protection as we go. So we believe it’s no accident that we decided to head back to San Diego for this season – so that He could prepare the best way for us to live while we get this long-term repair done. And the bonus is that we’ve had lots of extra time to spend with friends and family, visit my brother’s coffee shop, go to movies, enjoy pedicures (Allison) and haircuts (Deron & Allison), get the dogs some more training with our awesome dog trainer, and be part of our home church during a baptism, baby dedication, two memorials, and a legal battle for the church’s preschool to reopen. My brother has graciously agreed to be our mail receptacle during our stay, so we’re able to have our important mail (think: tax return) forwarded to him, and to stock up on Amazon items that we’ll need on hand when we head out. And we’ve taken advantage of having access to our storage unit, and pulled out some things we realized we needed in the RV. None of this would have been as easily available to us if we were holed up for six weeks in a hotel in a place like Alamagordo!

Although six weeks seems like forever, time is actually passing quickly, and we know we’ll eventually be on the road again. Our hope and prayer is that when we do finally settle down, we’ll find friends like these!

I’ll keep you posted when our leave date is official!

2 thoughts on “new beginnings in 2022

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