A Hitch in our Plans

This year for Christmas Tom and I gave each other a new truck.  That was all because it was so much!  And I can proudly say that I have resisted every instinct I have and not bought Tom another present.  Not one.  He won’t have anything under the tree – because he has a big truck in front of the RV.  As do I.  Which is fine, but weird.  We don’t have any room to store more stuff in the RV anyway.

We thought when we bought the new truck all our worry over weight would be over (ha ha!).  The new truck is a couple of inches taller than the old one and the Trailer Saver Hitch, which is important because it makes sure the RV follows the truck down the road, had to be installed with adapter rails because we needed to tow with it the day after it arrived.  The adapter rails added another four inches to the height of the hitch.  This additional height concerned us because we thought it might add too much stress to the back axle of the RV.  So last week we loaded everything up, hitched up the RV, and drove to the CAT scale down the road.

We weighed the rig again (truck and RV) and the numbers showed that the back axle on the RV was 700 pounds more than the front axle.  When we weighed previously the front axle was 100 pounds more than the back.  So, even though the tires seemed to be handling the additional weight okay (all four showed very even tire pressure), we decided we needed to lower the hitch.

Unfortunately there isn’t any place in Columbus that knows how to install a Trailer Saver Hitch.  We needed it removed, a steel plate put in the bed of the truck, and then the hitch re-installed on the steel plate.  No one would do it and we called lots of places.  Finally we worked our way out to Elkhart, Indiana, the RV building capital of the world.  Trailer Saver told us that Utility Bodywerks in Elkhart was a certified installer of their hitch.  We called Utility Bodywerks on Tuesday and they said they could work us in on Monday if we could get there.

So Sunday night we drove to Elkhart and had the truck in the shop by 7 a.m. Monday morning.  By noon Utility Bodywerks had installed the steel plate and a third airbag in the hitch, and raised the truck suspension airbags to the proper height.  Just in time for us to race back to Akron for Tom to see the dentist at 4 p.m.

The hitch installed on the steel plate.
The hitch installed on the steel plate.

Which brings me to the point of the post:  so many people have done so much for us in the last couple of months that Tom and I have been feeling guilty about it.  We generally don’t like to depend on the kindness of others – we want to be self-sufficient.  We are glad to help other people but slow to accept other people going out of their way for us.

Over the last couple of months many people have helped us solve one “problem” after another.  Briggs Dodge in Topeka Kansas helped us find the new truck.  New Horizons installed the hitch in record time.  My doctor in Akron got me an MRI of my should during the week we were in Akron.  An orthopedic surgeon in Columbus made room in an overcrowded end-of-the-year schedule to see me.  Utility Bodywerks got us in and out with(out) a hitch.  The physical therapist I am seeing is skipping lunch for three days so she can teach me the exercises I need to know to strengthen my shoulder before we leave Ohio.  The dentist in Mogadore stayed late to get Tom in and out.  My family has fed us, put up with lots of visits, and let us do laundry.  So much kindness.  We feel undeserving, unworthy and guilty about it.

Tom and I talked about it and realized that this is what people are supposed to do for each other.  We would never hesitate to help someone in this way and, in fact, have done it many times.  We should graciously accept these kindnesses by others with a heartfelt “thank you – we couldn’t have done it without you.”

God puts people in our lives so we can help each other.  The help flows both ways.  When Tom and I can help others we do it without thinking, without grudging the time or effort, glad that God has given us this opportunity.  When we have a hitch in our plans, God puts people in our way that are glad to have the same opportunity.  Hopefully we can be as cheerful about receiving as we are about giving.