When Vacations Go Wrong III

See the first part here: http://nancieswebonline.com/blog/?p=1288

Inside the door of Camper

Everything that filled the cabinets and shelves are now on the floor. That black stuff on the cabinet was potting soil.

I woke up early Wednesday morning. Mike talked to the insurance agent already and the plan was to empty the car first.

As soon as the insurance company got wind from the tow yard that the car rolled over, they totaled it. Since the insurance company didn’t have a contract with this particular tow yard, they were coming to take it to move it to another tow yard.


The bag of M&Ms opened during the rollover. They were EVERYWHERE!

So Mike and Nathan started to make trips back and forth, with grocery bags. It took a while. They had to sift through the glass and M&M’s and other random pieces of items that were shoveled into the car in a hurry.

Ethan’s cars, pencils, and blankets; USB charging cables, charging adapters, a thumb drive (phew!), pillows, unopened and unused damaged food packages, headphones and earbuds, my Leatherman knife, sunglasses (which were now scratched up), Michala’s drawing supplies and notebooks.

We all spent most of our time on our phones, answering questions, sorting things out with the insurance agency. We found out that our hotels and meals were covered, but not the rental. We needed to get around somehow, so Mike contacted the rentals anyway.

We were not able to get a car that would suit our needs until 5:00 pm. Until then, we could only throw out broken items. We had no way of sorting anything.

Between phone calls from family, friends, and the insurance agent, Mike took pics of broken, valuable items. Michala and Nathan talked to their friends on their phones. And I kept an eye on Ethan while recording videos and taking photos.

Mike removed the wired shelf and found my coffee grinder, unbroken. It was a $20 item, but for some reason I got excited. In hindsight I guess, I just wanted some good news, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

At one point, I stepped into the front door of the camper. I couldn’t go far, but I could see the master bedroom. There was a gaping hole on one side. This prompted me to check my phone.

40% chance of rain.

I told Mike about the weather. We decided to make moving all items that were not destroyed but not water proof to the other side of the room. This means clearing a path to the bedroom and then sorting the good stuff from the bad.


That bright light just beyond Mike is from the outside.

It sounded easy, but considering that the soil no longer filled the planters I brought, we would be looking for some form of shovel.

I shifted my “Garden Box”, a little bit sad that I finally had tomatoes producing and they now decorated the walls and wire shelves. There was a strong scent of basil as I had a plant growing with the tomatoes as well.

We did manage to clear most of the floor when I saw my credit card (it fell out of my wallet just before we left for Vermont). It wasn’t even dirty. I told Mike about it. If we could not find it, we would have had to get a new card with a new number. That would have been problematic as this would mean changing all of our online accounts that use that card.

We had to take stuff out in order to get in to sort some of the items

We had to take stuff out in order to get in to sort some of the items

The cleaning was slow going. We couldn’t really bring anything out as we had no containers to put them in. Mike had planned on getting a few tubs to sort our items into, but without a vehicle, we couldn’t go to the store to buy them.

Sometime during the late afternoon, we finally stopped for a meal. Ethan had been snacking all day, and we had bought some milk from the local truck stop. I had used up a lot of wipes trying to keep his hands clean every time he wanted to eat because he was happily playing in the gravel with the sand toys we found in the camper.

Mike went with Michala and Nathan to a fast food place and I stayed behind with Ethan. We were a little concerned that Ethan may not be easy to handle as it started to get late in the day. He didn’t sleep well, and he hadn’t had a nap. By letting him play in the dirt or the swing set, he was keeping busy.

Mike managed to find a salad for me that had no wheat in a fast food place that wasn’t known to be gluten-free. So we all had lunch and continued to work. I had the two older kids keep an eye on Ethan while we worked on moving items away from potential leaks.

One of the employees let us use the tow yard’s dumpster so we were able to get rid of a lot of broken items. This allowed us to clear some space to do more sorting.


Our new ride, opened to keep it cool.

The last two hours went a little quicker and soon our van arrived, but not just any van, a Chrysler Town and Country. For the next few days we will be driving around as if we didn’t just have what’s left of our lives sitting in a tow yard.

The rental car employee pointed out what we needed: Walmart (for totes), hotel, and restaurants on the way to the car rental location. Mike had some forms to fill out.

Then we finally went to Walmart and got some totes. Mike signed us into the hotel for the night and then we went back to the tow lot. We used two of the tubs to fill with clothing and food from the fridge, which surprisingly, was still intact. We didn’t open it until the last minute because we knew that if they were good, the fridge would keep it cold. Indeed it did. We found we had another gallon of milk, homemade salsa, eggs, cheeses, etc, and the hotel had it’s fridge.

The day seemed to have gone on forever, but I was sure that the next day was going to be busier. We had our work cut out for us.


When Vacations Go Wrong II