Life in a Sherman Tank

March 28th / 29th

If you recall, it was windy when we arrived at Canaan Valley State Park in West Virginia, windy enough to rock the RV, even with the stabilizer jacks down. We tried to ignore it by watching a downloaded episode of Hinterland. As soon as the credits rolled, I said, “Let’s go stay in the parking lot, at least we won’t get crushed by one of these pulsating pines!”

To his credit, my husband went outside and surveyed the overhanging tree situation and declared us out of harm’s way. He said that there were no large branches overhead and no large trees that were likely to tumble down upon us. I was skeptical. I’m always skeptical but I was also thoroughly exhausted after my grueling 400-mile trek. So, I said my prayers, including a prayer to Attis, the Greek God of trees, and crawled reluctantly into bed. I took out my Kindle and tried to read myself to sleep. It was not working. I pulled my blanket over my head because everyone knows that a blanket pulled over your head will protect you from falling trees.

The sound was terrifying. WHOOSH, then, low whistle, then rattle, then tons of tiny twigs being hurled against the sides of the RV. Bang. Crash. Bang. I felt as if I were trying to sleep in a Sherman Tank whilst under enemy fire.


Perseverance. You’ve got that right, Yoko.

The winds had blown through and we thought that we were in the clear, and ready for an easy ride home.

Then the snow came. There was not much, but it was enough to turn the parking lots into a frost covered nightmare. Enough to cause panic about icy roads and skiing sideways, out of control, over the mountains, in an RV.


The gales had not completely subsided. With the wind chill factored in it was a balmy 15F. Everything was frozen.

The driver’s side door of the tow vehicle had not been completely shut during the night. I crawled in and sat on a cold, frosty seat. With a wet, cold posterior, I followed the RV to a spot where we could hook up the truck to the tow bars. There was a constant beeping coming from the truck and a dashboard display that said DOOR AJAR. Upon further inspection, I discovered that the mechanism that keeps the door closed, was frozen solid. After running the heat at full blast for 10 minutes, and thinking that we may never get back on the road, the door finally thawed and thankfully closed.

Harvesting the energy of wind.

A mobile home has a large profile, and like a boat with a fly bridge, the wind wants to change your course.

It is no small wonder that there were dozens of windmills atop West Virginia mountain ridges. The wind is plentiful, strong and unrelenting. I’ve had a death grip on the steering wheel long enough to cut of circulation to my fingertips.

I had a premonition.

As I yanked my blanket up over my head last night, I had visions of a tree falling on our home on wheels.

Surprise! The tree was actually falling on our garage at home!

This is the sight that greeted us after a 4,000 mile journey. What a crazy end to Big Bertha’s maiden voyage.

Was it all smooth sailing? Far from it, but there were valuable lessons learned along the way.

And now, to tackle the tree, and get a few roof repair recommendations….

3 thoughts on “Life in a Sherman Tank

  1. Oh Amy! This is a made for Netflix series!
    I can laugh as I read and you will too eventually.
    Have you written any books? You are such a gifted writer!


  2. Thanks, Becky!! I am able to laugh at most of it already… probably because, in spite of a series of misfortunes, we are still very blessed and alive to tell the tale.
    I would love to write a book.
    Perhaps when we are done being the proctor/referee/enrichment teachers for our virtual-learning grandchildren 🙂


  3. Wow, how crazy! You did an amazing job describing in detail all of the situations and your feelings and so forth! YOu are a great writer old friend, keep writing!! I hope your home was not damaged from the tree!! Glad you are home safely. hugs and love, MRF


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