Monday, August 26, 2013

RV Life: It Takes A Village

“As soon as I started to make that turn, I knew you’d be writing about it on your blog,” Shawn told me.

Oh, you mean this turn?  The one that was just a wee bit too tight and steep and caused the bottom of the back end of the RV to drag and scrape along the ground until it jammed and wouldn’t budge? 


We sure created a scene.  
Doesn’t it look like Shawn’s setting up to do some big presentation?  Or a magic trick?
Actually he was just getting his tools out, but apparently to the people of that small town in Corsica, it was fascinating.  Utterly fascinating.


And also - it makes it so much easier to get the skidplate of a 29 foot RV unjammed when you have an audience of people offering suggestions and shouting commands to you in French.
(Shawn told me it was called a skidplate, lest you think I am familiar with the undercarriage of an RV.)

I think the whole little town got involved. 
Do you see that car with the kayak on top?
The owner zipped it backwards down the street and told Shawn to get his tow rope because he was going to pull us out.
I probably don’t need to tell you that plan ended before it even started.


Oh, see that man kneeling on the right?  I like to call him Self Appointed Team Leader.  He pretty much named himself as the chief of this little project.  And the other man kneeling next to him?  Thank goodness for him – he was the only one in the bunch that spoke English.


There was a lot of noise, spinning of tires and general grinding of gears so I took the kids out of the RV and a woman who was watching the ruckus from her porch waved us over.  She and her husband invited us into their home until Shawn (and the rest of the town) could get the RV out.  At first I was hesitant because MAFIA but they soon put my mind at ease.  They spoke not a word of English, so we made do with my little French.  I learned that they’d been married 40 years, had adult children and grandchildren, had lived in Corsica their entire lives and rarely left the island.  Can you blame them?  I mean, look at the view from their porch.


Now, never mind my videography skills here, but pay attention to what Hannah asks.
If you can’t see the video, click HERE.

”What are they gonna do with that rock?”

This is where I started to get worried because if my engineer husband’s common sense approach and, you know, conventional tools had failed to dislodge the skidplate of a 5 ton vehicle and Self Appointed Team Leader was resorting to using A ROCK, well, this was probably more serious than I realized.

And by the way, the shouting you hear, that’s how Self Appointed Team Leader commanded the troops the entire time.  It was charming.

After about thirty minutes, they were able to push the RV backwards off of the skidplate and Shawn maneuvered it to a less steep part of the turn.   Once the RV was unstuck, the onlookers erupted in applause.  What I wanted to say was halleluiah and the Lord is worthy to be praised, but I didn’t know how to say that in French, so I said the only French expression of exclamation that I know:
Ooooh la vache! which literally translates to “Oh, the cow!” and is akin to “Holy Cow!” in English.

The sweet couple burst into laughter at my attempt at sounding like I know what I’m doing in French and I figured that it must’ve been the right thing to say for the situation.  They kissed us on each cheek, as you do in Europe and we were on our way.

To the people of that little town in Corsica: Merci mille fois.
Thank you a million times.
(And sorry for the burnt rubber.)


  1. Bwhahahahahaaha! Of COURSE this was going on your blog! Was there ever really any question?

    I love that you got pictures, video, and made yourselves comfortable in some stranger's house. My first thought when you said y'all got stuck was MAFIA and here you are getting help from this crime-ridden city and offered some shade and a view from gran and gramps.


  2. Tina and Shawn

    We miss you for a ton of reasons but this is near the top. Keep representing the USA. You make us proud.....lmao.