The Van and the Burning Travel Trailer

The End Results of a Very Bad Day

The End Results of a Very Bad Day

WICKHAM CP, FL—Though the morning went well writing code, as soon as I left the coffee shop I had been working in, my day went to hell.

Not listening to my first instincts of covering the walls with fabric, I decided to try to cover them instead with this thin FPR stuff. I never got past the first panel.

After breaking one of my drill bits by hitting the tops of three different screws which I had used to attach the insulation to the wall (and leaving these ugly holes in the panel), the wonderful Craftsman Bolt-On suddenly seized up on me.

Hot and sticky and sweaty and frustrated, I took a look at my work and was thoroughly disappointed. The holes-over-insulation-screws glared starkly and the screws that I did manage to attach the panel to the wall with were all out of line and akimbo.

“Well,” I said, “I’ll just do it over and use that panel as a template” and I took a shower and, confident that I’d be able to swap out the Craftsman at the local Sears, headed off to the store.

The salesman I got was just covering the tool department while the regular guy was at lunch. He didn’t know how to do the exchange, so he asked his manager who informed me that though it’s a 90-day in-store return policy, after that (for up to a year) it’s a send-it-back-to-Craftsman policy. I pointed to the box of a new one where it displayed prominently “One Year Warranty” and I was almost certain that it was a one-year-in-store-exchange but couldn’t prove it and I once again found myself frustrated and tired and not at all pleased with myself or the situation.

Not wanting to wait a couple weeks for the exchange—and on the manager’s advice and assurance—I bought a new one with the intention of sending the other one back for a refund.

I called it a day, went home, cracked open a beer and got online and found out I was right about the one-year-exchange policy.

I gave up, decided this day would only get worse if I continued, and spent the rest of the evening reading.

I went to bed early because I was tired, but I couldn’t get to sleep, which is very odd for me. My mind was filled with all the tasks ahead of me, reliving the frustrating events of the day, and raising doubts about just how smart a move this was to build out a van.

It was at that point, at 1 am and still wide awake, that someone pounded hard on my door shouting something about a fire.


Twenty feet away, my neighbor’s rig (on my blind side) was engulfed in flames. No one was in it (anymore) but the people banging on my door were concerned my rig would catch next.

It didn’t.

My rational mind says it was just “one of those days where everything goes wrong” (oddly, that phrase is filled with superstition).

The Mystic in me wonders if it was a horrible day because:
A) I was taking events too seriously and—not living authentically—the day snowballed downhill as a result… and my neighbor’s rig was just a coincidence, or
B) something in me foresaw my neighbor’s rig burning and made the day miserable as a (terribly vague) warning, or
C) and this is quite scary—my neighbor’s rig burned because I was so frustrated. 🙁

The truth is, I simply don’t know. What I do know is this isn’t my first burning-home-in-the-night-coincidence. See Sometimes She Bites.


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8 thoughts on “The Van and the Burning Travel Trailer

  1. … OR, as in the classic story about the farmer (whose son gets a bye from military service because of a broken leg) MAYBE it was a horrible day/occurrence/coincidence … and maybe not.

    Still, I admit that first glimpse of a burned-out trailer on your blog was a scary thing to see. I’m glad you and the neighbors are okay.

    • Interesting you relate that story, because yesterday I talked to the man and his son who were sleeping in it at the time and they were remarkably upbeat about surviving it (the fire started at the refrigerator which stood directly in between sleeping father and sleeping son).

  2. Hi Wayne, I respectfully suggest D). none of the above. With all the disarray of energies bombarding the Earth plane these days there is a great deal of unexplainable, “not now” or just plain “no clue” going around. Still the physical evidence is disturbing and thought provoking.
    Sounds like you could use a “sit on a rock” day. I’m holding postive thoughts for all things to improve. ( :

    Kind regards, Donna

  3. Here’s a related perspective I often entertain:


    Whatever happens
    happens (in one theory)
    to be good, so that
    whenever whatever
    shouldn’t happen happens,
    it just so happens
    that it should.

  4. My take:
    None of the above ….. And
    All of the above.
    Plus dont forget the grumbling thoughts about his neighbors cat from the fellow three blocks away…
    And what about me, possibly causing the death of my zipper spider by my impatient thoughts?
    I mean, Wayne, uh…. If you and I and Jo Lightfoot and Donna and the rest are connected……..
    Did we all help you burn the rig?
    I say, if you burned we helped. And if you didn’t burn it, we helped you not burn it as well.

  5. puts me in mind of the eckhart tolle story when he freed the pain body of one of his clients during a counselling session and took it with him to an indian restaurant where it caused another diner, a disabled man in a wheelchair, to go bonkers. the diner had to be removed from the restaurant. it’s from ‘a new earth’, i think.

    years ago, my dad had an electrical fire in his vintage car restoration workshop. it completely destroyed a car he had spent 2 years restoring. it was pristine, awaiting collection by its owner. also destroyed was his own car, restored when he was a young man. apparently, i’d been in a moses basket in the back of that car (i was in my 20’s when the fire happened). it had a lot of sentimental value. all his tools and other work in progress was damaged and the building structure was compromised also.

    my first thought when i heard about it – i couldn’t help this, it just came into my head – was ‘good, you can finally stop working all the time and start living your life. what a great opportunity you’ve been given’. my dad didn’t see it that way at all and started re-building, everything.

    i helped him do that. i felt somehow responsible for the fire.

    if the world is made up of thoughts and we all are thinking them, then we can directly affect one another, positively or negatively. i think it must go something like that.

    or not.

    • Yes Stephen,
      How much of one souls bitterness or anger or grief or resentment contributes to another souls hip pain? What if I, in some unknown way, with some stored animosity, am affecting the outcome in Syria ? Absurd? Maybe not. What is the power of a thought?…and where then does the energy go? ….and what does it do when it gets there? Steven King dedicated a book to thoughts and emotions and firestarters.

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