RV Days , Issue #005– Of Seas, Spirts and Service

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RV Days , Issue #005– Of Seas, Spirts and Service
October 07, 2005
Here is this month’s issue of RV Days, where we focus on everyday living and having fun on your journey.

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October 7, 2005
Issue #5

In this Issue:

  • From Sea to Shining Sea
  • Why Orange and Black?
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Stuck in Service?
  • The Biggest Mistake People Make

From Sea to Shining Sea

We had both spent time on plenty of beaches along the eastern seaboard – in Maine, New Hampshire, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, Long Island, the Jersey shore, Virginia Beach, Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, Miami Beach and lots more in between.

But it was a momentous milestone to arrive at the Pacific Ocean after over two months on the road. We had made it from sea to shining sea!

It was late summer and our first visit to the Oregon coast. And we are impressed. Around each bend of the road we found MAGNIFICENT views of the Pacific Ocean. We had expected to see the rocky coastline, but we were surprised to also find broad, flat and seemingly never-ending beaches.

We spent several weeks exploring the northern and central coast from Seaside to Florence. Read all about this fantastic coastline here.

Why Orange and Black?

The explanation probably has to do with how the whole thing started. The origins of Halloween are typically traced back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween), marking the close of the harvest and the start of the Celtic new year. The time of Samhain was the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death (hence black).

The Druid priests of the Celts believed that all laws of space and time were suspended during the time of Samhain, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. Some accounts of Samhain state that dead friends and relatives would return, with their souls inhabiting an animal (often a black cat, still a symbol of Halloween today).

Another cited practice is the dressing in costume as protective disguise against evil spirits. It is also thought that Celts would go from door to door to collect food as offerings to their deities – perhaps a very early origin for present day “trick or treating”.

Later, with the conquest of Celtic territory by the Romans, two festivals of Roman origin were merged with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day commemorating the passing of the dead.

The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, often depicted with her horn of plenty. The color orange is associated with the harvest, which was celebrated by both the Celtic and Roman people.

The tradition of apple bobbing, like most Halloween customs, has been traced to multiple origins. It is interesting to note that the symbol of Pomona was the apple, there are tales of a magic apple in the Celtic otherworld, and the apple has been associated with harvest celebrations in many cultures.

Another orange-colored tradition comes from America’s harvest of the pumpkin. The original jack-o-lanterns were potatoes or turnips carved by Irish children to light Halloween gatherings. The story goes that Jack was a ne’er-do-well Irishman, unwanted in heaven and rejected by the Devil. So he wandered endlessly looking for a place to rest, with only a candle in a rotten potato to light his way. As the Irish immigrated to America, the plentiful pumpkin emerged as a likely and attractive alternative to the potato or turnip.

Within the Catholic Church, All Saints’ Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century, to recognize the saints who were without their own day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize. It originally was held on May 13, but was later changed to November 1, considered to be an attempt to substitute for the Pagan celebrations of Samhain.

All Saints’ Day was also known as All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day). The night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

All Souls’ Day on November 2nd is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have who have passed away. In Mexico, celebrations of “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead) coincide with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. It is a time for both remembrance and rejoicing. Local customs and traditions include the preparation of special foods and festivities such as parades of ghouls and skeletons.

If you happen to be traveling in your RV at Halloween, here are some ideas for an RV Halloween.

And a few links to fall sales
from REI and Altrec.

Autumn Leaves

Maybe it is a throwback to childhood to be fascinated by autumn leaves. Collecting and pressing them between the pages of books. Memories of those rubbed crayon drawings that show the silhouette of the leaves on paper. Raking, jumping in leaf piles, whirlwinds of leaves tumbling down the street.

Being on the road we find we are interested in leaves at any time of year. Probably because we are out walking and hiking in different places, we are curious to know the names of the trees, plants, birds and flowers we spot along the way. The Audubon Field Guides are popular aids to identifying flora and fauna.

We have seen more than one forest ranger pull them out of their pocket or backpack – endorsement enough for us. These handy guides come in versions for a particular geographic region and/or specific to trees, wildflowers, birds, etc. They make any nature trail more interesting to explore.

Stuck in Service?

Unless you have incredible luck, there will come a time when your RV needs service work beyond the usual maintenance. Having been there ourselves a few times, we have some thoughts on the subject:

For new rigs, take advantage of the initial warranty period. Upon delivery of a new RV, there are apt to be some items that need to be resolved. Take notes during the walk-through, make a comprehensive list and try to get the items resolved before you take off with your new rig. No doubt there will be other items that shakeout as you start using the RV. Keep track and be sure to get these items resolved within the warranty period covered by the manufacturer and/or applicable component supplier.

Plan ahead. Unless service work is of an emergency nature, book service appointment well ahead of time. Most service centers (whether independent, dealer or factory service departments) have a busy schedule.

Be prepared. Make a list of the work you want done and prioritize. Put it in writing to give to the service center and use it to follow up on progress. If the service center rewrites your list in their own form, do yourself a favor and compare their write-up with your version of the list. It is easy for something to be missed, and it is best to clear up any discrepancy from the get-go.

Understand root causes. If something is broken or malfunctioning, make sure you find out why before you agree to how it will be repaired or resolved. Otherwise you may end up spending time and money treating symptoms without addressing the underlying problem.

Know who is paying. This means understanding what is covered and not covered under manufacturer and component warranties and any extended warranty policy you may have purchased. Get your thoughts together on your rationale and expectations for any coverage issues that you think you might have to negotiate.

In our experience, when there is any question about who might cover a particular repair item, the service department usually doesn’t start the work until it is clear who is footing the bill.

Read All of our tips for RV service in the full article..

And you needn’t think of it as being stuck. We try to make the most of the situation – our latest service stop gave us an opportunity to visit the western Cascades and Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The Biggest Mistake People Make

Perhaps you can relate to this famous quote by Malcolm Forbes: “The biggest mistake people make in life is NOT making a living at what they most enjoy.” Perhaps you feel stuck in a job you hate or wish you could spend your time doing something more meaningful. Many people spend a lot of time saying “if only I could do…” or “what if …”.

Sound at all familiar? Check out this bulleting board of real life people for some motivation to turn the “what if’s” into reality. We love this collage of ideas and successes…including Ken’s own daughter who started when she was 14 years old. See how they found their special prize.

Short on time? Here is the abbreviated rundown.

While we were at the Country Coach Reunion rally, we attended a couple seminars about the Mary Moppins Cleaning System. We picked up helpful tips and supplies just in time to make our fall cleaning easier.

Popular interior products include Bi-O-Kleen, Ion-A-Clean, the Dry Sponge for easy cleaning of day/night shades and the Stain Eraser for tile grout. And to simplify cleaning of the RV exterior and windshield, check out the RV Care Wash Kits.

Time to Winterize your RV? Learn how here.

Sell a used RV, and have it listed on over 35 partner sites. You can post multiple pictures. Or search for an RV to buy – search by RV class or make! See the selection of RV Classifieds.

Thinking about working on the road? There are lots of job possibilities.
If you are toying with the idea of using the internet to create income or grow existing businesses – don’t miss the techniques in these FREE ebooks.

It’s never too early to start.
Yes, believe it or not, the countdown to the holidays has begun. If you want to jumpstart the brainstorming process for the RVers and non-RVers on your list, we have some RVer gift ideas.

NEW! You can add our site updates to your “My Yahoo” page (or My MSN or Google home page), or add our feed to your RSS reader. Here’s how.

Until next month, hoping you Put a Smile in Every Mile!

Jose and Jill

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