Sometimes I have to concentrate and feel which hand I use to write, before I can be sure which is Left and Right. It is almost as if it is a new discovery each time, instead of something I know.
My family has often laughed at me when we are going somewhere and I am the driver. If I'm told to turn Left, I might turn Right, and they tell me "No Mom, your other Left!
Or if I'm in the passenger seat and giving directions, I am better to just point which way to turn rather than to say "turn left" or "turn right."
I have always just bluffed my way thru life with this. I understand maps, but following them can be a challenge. The only time I have experienced driving with a GPS lady giving me directions was in a driving rainstorm and she totally confused me. I would have been better off on my own.
Given that, I was quite unsure of myself about helping Craig back into the driveway. I was also quite sure, that based on past experience, he didn't trust my giving directions either.
I'm not going to go into details, but it did not go well!
We got her parked, but a neighbor walking down the road stopped to see if we were in trouble! By that time we had just gotten thru the worst, and Craig was in the clear to just go straight back. But I'm sure the whole mountain heard us getting to that point.
Sound travels miles across the hills!
One of our problems was that we had not agreed on what the hand signals meant, nor what or how to communicate. I kept telling Craig which direction the back end needed to go, and he kept telling me that was useless, because all he could do was steer the front end. He kept asking which way he should turn the wheels, and I could not tell him.
I need to say I had asked him for some practice time in a parking lot before we tried this on our own, but he didn't think it was necessary. So this mess was his fault too.
We might have done OK in a big open place, but the tight curve of the driveway bordered by a soft soil drop off on one side, and an RV denting stump on the other requires skill, cooperation, and patience.
We got it in, but we were very upset with each other.
I am determined that we can, and will do better!
People learn things in different ways. Some can transfer knowledge easily from one situation to another. I cannot. I can drive a car and I can it back up. (All right I did back into Craig's car some weeks back) But, until yesterday I could not have told you which way to turn the steering wheel to make the back of the car go left or right unless I was sitting in the drivers seat and doing it.
I say "until yesterday," because now I know!
My toy RV came in the mail yesterday. Using it has a learning aid will help me be a great RV parking guide!
I realized that to give Craig the information he wanted, I had to think in terms of which way to turn the wheel, and not just which way I wanted the back end of the RV to go.
I needed to learn to think in terms of clockwise, and counter clockwise.
I took a pair of white cotton photography gloves and marked both sides with words, a big letter, and arrows. If I put them on the correct hands, my mind and eyes won't get confused.
I marked all of the corners of the toy RV, and used tape to make little direction arrows.
I then went out to my van and moved the van in each of the directions I had marked.
Back end to the right, back end to the left, etc. At each point I noticed which way I was turning the wheel.
I got out and looked at the front wheels to see which way they were turning. I noted all of it on the toy RV top.
Now I know that to move right you turn the wheel clockwise, and to move to the left you turn the wheel counter clockwise. Not "earth shattering" information, but for someone who has my kind of mind, a real challenge,
I have also written this on my kitchen white board. I will see it often like a big flash card.
I think the headsets will also help a lot because I will know if Craig is understanding me or not.
He will have to learn to trust me, and to go slowly.
Patience and cooperation.
I asked Craig if we could just drive the RV to the entrance of the driveway after the stump is removed, and practice backing it back in, but he said it would not be good for the engine to idle it that much. I had read something about not running the engine on idle for more than ten minutes in reference to starting it up at least once a month. So I guess we won't be able to try all of this until the next time we go on a trip.
Meanwhile we both can play with the RV toy. I can practice giving it backing up directions,
and Craig can rearrange the furniture.
(It has a working slide too!)
Note: funny what you learn about people reading blogs! Craig likes colorful PJs. I call these his clown PJs. He picked out the fabric and I sewed them for him.