Scene: July 15, 2016.
4:30 in the afternoon. 90’s. Humid. Kids and parents tired from traveling all
day. Finally at our destination, though, which is an RV Park in Pigeon Forge,
Tennessee. Second trip out with our newest addition.
are at site 52, right by the pool,” she says, blowing her bangs out of her eyes,
and handing me the map after circling our site with a sharpie.
The pool! Yes!” the boys yell, pretty much in unison.
first glance, I think there is no way we are going fit in site 52, right next
to the pool. It just seems tight, and this will only be Raymond’s second time
backing the trailer into a rather tight place.
boys and I hop out of the truck and Raymond drives around the loop and then
begins the test: backing the 33 ft trailer into site 52, by the pool.
job is to direct him with little hand signals and since we have only practiced
this teamwork a few times before, we don’t really “have it.”Typically, I will wave one way or the
other, and I can’t tell if he can see me, so I continue to wave one way or
another, pretending I’m one of those people who helps a pilot park an airplane.
Then he nods and says smugly, “Yes, I see you. Got it.”
back to the scene.
trailer’s hitch creaks and pops, and the guy at Camping World said it would do
that. He said not to worry, even though it will sound like a gunshot, and then
a cow in labor.
attempts his first back in. Too far to the left. He nearly hits the water
pulls up and starts over. Still too far to the left.
other campers start to watch. The more experienced RV drivers. I feel the need
to announce, “This is our second time everyone!! We are newbies! Can you stop
people smirk. Maybe they don’t, really. Maybe I just think they are. Actually I
just see one and he is smirking, for sure. He is sitting in a chair by the RV
across the road, a beer in his hand.
decides now is great time to get out his juggling balls and juggle. Kevin
exclaims, “We have a lot of neighbors! Can I start visiting them, mom?”
feel sweat drip down my back.
truck and trailer are sprawled across the road, blocking all traffic. Raymond’s
still trying. Creak. Snap. Pop. Moan. Time seems to slow.
man driving a truck stops, waiting to pass. The man raises his hands in an
exasperated manner and mouths something that looks like, “What the hell?”
that moment, David glances up from his juggling balls and says, “That guy needs
to calm down!”
man continues with the rude impatience, Raymond continues backing up and
straightening up the trailer, David continues juggling, and Kevin is now
knocking on another camper’s door.
the smirky, beer drinking guy from across the road walks over to our truck and
says something to Raymond. The smirky guy then moves his own truck out of the
way to give Raymond more room. Raymond then straightens the truck and camper
and drives around the loop again, to start over. The impatient man passes,
revving his engine as he does.
the smirky guy takes my place in site 52, beside the pool. I move away a few
feet. He reeks of beer and his words slur a bit. He flaps his arms
around and yells to Raymond, “Turn it sharper! Yes! Like that! Back up! Turn!
To the right! Perfect!”
this time, both boys are standing next to me.
these things is a bitch!” the guy says, half to us, half to Raymond.
clamps his hand over his mouth and looks at me, eyes big. “Mom!” he whispers loudly,
“That guy called Pop a bad word!”
“No, he didn't. You heard him wrong. We will talk about it later,” I
Raymond backs in with the help of smirky guy.
dad did a great job! It took me years to learn how to park these things,” The
It took him forever!” Kevin exclaims.
are new. Thank you for your help,” I say to the guy.
I figured!” the guy says and laughs, slapping his knee. “Your dad did great!
You should take him out for a nice dinner!”
drunkish smirky guy stumbles back to his campsite and we can now add some more
trailer parking experience to our camping resume.