Wednesday, September 7, 2016

On The Way To BO at The Beginning Point on #MYride

This one may be kinda long. It's a great story from the road and so far it may be my favorite. When I left Monteagle Tennessee almost a month ago, I didn't leave with the funds that I thought I would. They entire couple of months there was really a waste. Maybe it wasn't, I worked with a guy older than me and for the first time I saw me in another person, I thought. It turns out - not at all.

You see over the last few years I had become very jaded, hurt, broken and really forgot who I really was. This entire journey that I have been on for several years has put me right here - where I belong. Although the my life up til this point I had given so much of myself to try to make it professionally. After moving back to East Tennessee, spending time on the farm with my family I realized that I love them dearly but I have been on such a different path then them for so long that I really didn't belong there. So in turn that started the peeling away of the layers. Those dark broken layers that I had put on to protect myself. So all along this bitter man that I was working with was the man that I didn't wanna be, God put him in my life to show me that this is NOT what I wanted to become.

I left Monteagle Tenneesee on the day that I had planned as planned with $300 in my pocket. At 6 miles per gallon I knew that I wasn't gonna eat well, much less pay $294 in fuel to make it to Orlando where I had to pick up my samples from WoodRoze, one of my brands that I represent on this ride.

I had met some awesome folks several months ago when I was selling things at regional craft and expo events. Bobby and Jenni Mills from The Woodshop of Alabama I needed to stop by there and get some things from them, like education, because they were kind enough to allow me to add their wonderful products to both my retail and wholesale portfolio.

On my way to New Market Alabama where the woodhop is just miles from their studio I had a blow out on Wood E. Wagon, the 30 year old RV, and I was devastated. I didn't know how I was going to do it. there goes half of the money I had. I limped to The Woodshop of Alabama but I made it.

Bobby and Jenni were so welcoming. So accommodating to Wood E. and I. Almost hard to believe. Yeah - That nice.

I was there a couple days gathering education, throwing up my website, gathering samples and to my surprise fixing major repair on the RV and getting the tire fixed that blew.

Bobby was so busy with work while I was there but he still took time to help me repair the RV, he says the Gorilla Tape and Duck Tape that I had holding the Wood E. Wagon together wouldn't make it to Florida. So he worked endlessly to get the RV repaired. What an amazing guy. What a true statement of his concern.

They had employed me to do a couple things to their web site so I was really only out of pocket $33 for the tire because they were so kind to employ me for that work. Off I was and I had to go because I was already late getting to Orlando.

I was on my way 15 hours behind the wheel. I didn't leave until 3:00PM that Friday and I needed to be in Orlando by Saturday morning. I had a market that I needed and had to do just to keep revenue coming in.

I was quickly burning through cash and wasn't sure I was gonna make it to my destination. The PayPal account was depleting and I didn't really know what I was going to do. No matter what I had started the trip tho. #MYride was under way.

Although I was a nervous wreck and several hundred dollars shy of what I had planned to take this journey, I was so excited. I drove for hours and I kept seeing signs as I drove through Alabama that Chattanooga was only 70 miles away. For hours. It was temping to skip out and go home. I had enough to get back the Pepperoni (my goat that we bottle fed), Mason (my Great Nephew), My parents and what was comfortable. I pressed on and the gas bill kept getting larger, I did hit Atlanta traffic and at that point I was nervous and this 44 year old man had to break down and ask for money from good ol trusty loving MOM. She was nice about it. She was willing to help, I was just afraid at 5am while she was sleeping I would be tapped out and stuck on the side of the I-75.

Something I didn't mention before is how emotional I was. Crying at every thought of home and every friend and family I was leaving, When Mom helped me with out question. I lost it. I was so upset. This is my journey and I should be able to fund it my self. This time I had planned, budgeted and I was busted.

I had no sleep, some cute samples from The WoodShop of Alabama and some friends that I had met in Monteagle from Mount Dora, FL and I made it to the market I was to set up at. The Mount Dora market was so HUGE and it's where my friends are from American Heritage Antiques and Estate Sales, Ken and his partner even paid for my booth fee.

I did the market and moved on. Still broke. I got my samples from WoodRoze, spent time with friends in Orlando but I had heard a storm was coming our way so I worked a day or so in Orlando and bolted. I wanted to get to the West coast and get away from Orlando. I didn't know I was driving straight for a hurricane but I was. I will write about that in a later post.

My first day out - Two Sales and my first stops, AWESOME. I left that day and headed towards Clearwater. Just to get away from  these storms that were coming to Orlando,

I stopped in Haynes City where I met some ladies at the Mount Dora market and stayed over there in Haynes City at the Pilot Travel Center. I had to do laundry and shower. I had my laundry bag abut after fueling up I only had $2.98 to my name, I felt I was toast. How was I going to do this? This is how - thanks Cindy, my friend back in Tennessee bought a WoodRoze Watch. Can you believe it? I can go on. Plus I was awarded my first commissions for the sale I made.

Well I left the net morning and made it to Clearwater Beach. Toes in the Sand finally. I felt I was really on my journey. Umm. No. There wasnt really a place for me to park Wood E., I had not researched the parking there, AND here comes rain!!! What? I just rain from this stuff and now your telling me I rain right into it? Oh lord.

I needed to get parked. My windshield wipers had stopped working and I just needed to park. I googled "Truck Stops", I had just drove 81 miles to get to Clearwater to work and I was headed back 55 miles to get to another truck stop for the night. Somewhere safe,

On my way to the Pilot I saw a sign for "Camping" tons of it. So I only had $50 to my name but I said that I would stay in a camp site only if it was around $30. I mean I had fresh fruit and canned tuna I could make it. I hoped.

I took the exit. There were camping places to my left that were .2 miles away and there were more campgrounds to my right that were 6 to 8 miles away. I figured turning right, my odds for a $30 site was better.

I turned right and drove forever it seemed like. I was worried. I had already driven 81 miles from Haynes City to Clearwater and now almost 50 miles back up to the camping exit. I knew my fuel level was questionable. See the RV gas gauge doesn't work.I have to calculate as I drive.

I came to the first RV park, I missed the main entrance. I turned back and made it to the office. I don't even know the name of this place but there was a contact phone number on the door so I called it. A sweet lady named Mary answered the phone.  I ask about availability and  she said she had a spot for me. I was like thank goodness. My generator on Wood E. will not power the air conditioning after a few minutes of running so I needed a break from the heat. As we were about to hang up, I ask the rate. I almost forgot, I was on a budget. She said it was $34.00, I expressed how pleased I was but then I remembered that I recently joined Good Sam, so I ask if it helped, she said "OH sure it's $30.". Wait, what? That is amazing. Right on my mental budget.

She had the maintenance guy come park me. It was the last Friday of the month and the office wasn't open on the weekends either. After I was parked and plugged I ask the guy if there was a store near by I needed smokes. He said Family Dollar and he would take me. Well I got smokes and yes a bottle of wine. Honestly I thought if I was gonna be roadside and miserable tomorrow morning I would have a cheap wine hangover, just so I would have something to do sitting roadside.

He brought me back to the campground and I continued to set up. First thing was get the air going I was dying. As I was doing that this guy drives up. He has a cigar from his mouth, his upper teeth not in, a "Make America Great Again" hat on. I walked out the RV door and he says, "You got any kids or Dogs?" I say, " No sir." He replies " Good, I was gonna say keep them away from that pond their is an Alligator in there."

Wait? What? Yeah he continues, " There use to be one here. He got my finger. (holds up his hand to show me but I missed it kinda) He says, " I use to feed that damn thing. It would come right up and eat outta my hand. We called it (a guys name I can;t remember) but then the damn thing had babies and we changed it to Elvira. I was feeding it one day and somebody spooked it and it took off my finger."

I didn't miss it that time, I questioned it, he showed me again his finger that was missing, GOOD LORD. I ask what happened to it. He said, "I was on vacation and came back and I whistled and it didn't come. I looked everywhere for it and finally found it's skinned shell, Damn guy that works for the circus killed it and ate it while I was gone."
This guy that I am telling you about is BO the manager of this RV park for 18 years. In our conversations he found out what I did and ask to see my product, and he bought a watch - cash! How awesome. I was able to stay a few more days because of that and get more done to the RV and stay nice and cool in the RV.
The last day I was there was Sunday. What a day that was, Bo sold two more watches for me and as we went to meet the lady that wanted them, she gave me more than a sell. She gave me hope, and restored my faith. It was what she said and she wasnt even talking to me but I was supposed to be there. You see I thought that this trip was going way to well and this could be the end. After all I had been through recently and dealing with "church" folks - I was done. Not today. I was alive. I felt like God sent all of this to tell me I was on the right track. I was doing the right thing.
I will never forget BO and BEGINNING  PLACE RV PARK it put me on the right path for #MYride.

I AM TRULY BLESSED. I am not ahead, I'm living in the negative finacially as I build a new business on the road but I am so far ahead in life now that I smile, let people out waiting in traffic, open doors for people and speak and smile to everyone I see. I am blessed by God and I will keep going. Easy or hard broke or with cash it's my ride!

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