Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tribute to the retiring
Dodge Lodge II.

I found you sitting in a Roanoke back yard, and you said welcome home. That was what - 6 years ago? Henry and I took you to his place and for many many weekends we worked on your soggy cabover.
I drew your picture on the whiteboard at work and counted the days 'til you'd be on the road - and so would I. I'd sing of "taillights shining" and anticipate our travels. The heat of summer turned to the cold of winter and finally we took the tarp off. Some mechanical work, then a tow truck ride and a bunch more, and I brought you back to Lynchburg. You were the napmobile in the Timken parking lot as I worked the midnight shift, enabling me to get much needed rest during the last exhausting bit of employment there. You and I went to meetings in Lynchburg, and had campfires at the Moose campground. Danny visited us there, and together we took Danny to Myrtle Beach, where I reunited with an old dear friend.

We visited friends, and we went to work, even at 7 miles per gallon.

You carried my 18th century gear inside, jam packed around the chairs and cabinets. You took the wild mudslide through Belle Grove after the rain and missed all the killer trees. You toted the gear in the utility trailer after I bought that, and we were both relieved that it was no longer stuffed inside. But you wished the trailer had auxilliary brakes, I'm sure. We went to Eastern Rendezvous in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in West Virginia. After the West Virginia one, you got new rotors. Sorry about that mountain!

We went to OVPR many times, and to the girls' house for Christmas, and to Roger & Mitch's for party.

We went to the Coffee Cup Campers campouts. We visited Marsha in Tennessee and went to the bluegrass mexican restaurant in Cosby. Sometimes we'd take a week and just go, like the penny walk I read of as a child, wherever the wind blew us. We went to the Indian convention in Cherokee, and the campout in the spring - twice! How you struggled to get over the Eastern divide with your coil wire burnt! And to the garage in Swannanoa where we'd been before and knew we could get help.

In between, you waited patiently beneath the maple tree in Danny's yard. You took me up to the Izaak Walton campground when the housey thing was too much for me, and we hung out together in the campground and made music.

And then, you made it possible for me to do the work I do now. You and I went all over North Carolina, Virginia, and even into Maryland, to do resets. Remember when you needed a new ignition module on the way home from New Market - we sat by the side of the road for so long waiting for the tow truck, but it was OK - you're a motorhome so I had all I needed for the hours. It was the only time you ever broke down on a work trip. You've been my home, my friend, my comfort, and we've had lots of adventures together. So it is with wistful sadness that I clear out my things. I drag my feet on the chores of cleaning out, hanging for sale signs, etc. Truly, the new motorhome is very nice, and I'm excited to move in - but we don't yet have history together.

I fully expected to be driving you 'til you were all wore out and used up. Since Grandfather put the next one in my life sooner, I can only figure that there is someone waiting for you. It is my hope that person will be as fond of you as I have been and that you will get to travel all of your remaining days. Thank you, Dodge Lodge, for sharing my road for a while.

With love,

Gypsy Jane

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