Saturday, April 11, 2009

Help on demand

I was standing outside a-ticket this evening, owner's manual in hand, trying to figure out how to turn on the hot water heater. The picture in the manual didn't match what I was looking at so it may as well have been a garbage disposal or a robot brain in front of me. The couple in the fifth-wheel next door were walking by and Daryl, whose every finger is the size of my fist, walked right over and without asking if I needed help or consulting my manual started turning knobs. He left briefly to get one of those long-snouted lighters and we were in business.

I love these full-time RVers. There's none of this "let me know if you need any help." They're on constant patrol and if they suspect you might even appreciate some help, they're right there with their own tools. It was the same way when our electric hitch shorted out a few months ago. And while Daryl was helping, Ted, next door the other direction, who was grilling, came by to help and chat. I now know 100 times more about hot water heaters than I did an hour ago.

These folks also keep a keen eye on the park and their neighbors. When we took a-ticket out for the day to have some work done, no fewer than 3 of our neighbors asked about it. Just curious. But it shows they know us and what's going on. There's no greater safety than that--at least I think. I'll take a fist-fingered Army-retiree with an open eye over the most sophisticated alarm system any day.