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The dentist's office

Part of our summer routine is unfortunately to catch up on medical and dental exams, so today I visited the ever-friendly dentist and had everyone take a look at my teeth. When E&E were getting their teeth cleaned a few weeks ago, our dentist asked them to have me bring a current issue of Airstream Life along. They like to see how Matthew McConaughey's trailer is coming along. It's a reminder to me that even non-RV'ers like to read the magazine.

I also left a copy in the waiting room. We do that all over town: the ophthalmologist's, the dentist's, the periodontist's (but thankfully I don't have to go there anymore), the allergist's, etc. People get tired of reading the same magazines all the time (People, Newsweek, Conde Nast Traveler and other staples of the waiting room).

I used to do it just for fun, to make people sit up and say, "What the heck is that magazine?" But in the past year I found the effort actually paid off in a small way. We picked up a few subscriptions in those towns not long after I left the copies. One person even wrote me a letter, saying that the humor column made her laugh so much that she forgot she was waiting for a root canal. She concluded with this: "Are people really this crazy about Airstreams? I've never seen a magazine like this before!"

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The dental hygienist who was working on me today was very interested in the full-timing life. She had to keep stopping to allow me to answer her questions. Since she had a sharp pick in her hand, a bright light shining on my face, and plenty of other dangerous-looking instruments on the tray, I imagined I was being interrogated by an enemy government ... "You will tell us the secrets of the RV life, Mr. Luhr, or my associate here will be forced to take, shall we say, unpleasant measures." Needless to say, I answered all her questions truthfully.

They want me back in a few weeks, if an appointment time can be found, for replacement of a filling that fell out. So I'll find out if the current state of Matthew's trailer has found approval with the dental office staff. This is a little like doing a focus group survey. It's useful feedback, really.

For the past several days the thunderstorms have continued to march through. Yesterday we had four, each separated by a couple of hours. Two of them were monsters, with damaging wind and hail. The power went out in the house for a while (but of course, not in the Airstream since it has battery backup).

In the late evening and early morning we get light rain showers, the evidence of dissipated thunderstorms that petered out over the Adirondack Mountains in New York. As a result, nothing will dry. The humidity is running 85% inside the house and higher outside. Anything made of paper lies limp, Eleanor's hair threatens to frizz up like a shocked cat, the beddings feel damp, and as I drove past plowed fields today I noticed them actually steaming in the sun. Fog forms in low spots at any time of day.

But the temperatures are moderate, mostly in the 70s. It is the polar opposite of our home in the southwest, where it is scorchingly hot and dessicatingly dry. Eleanor and I have decided we like the contrast. It's much more interesting than going from, say, New Jersey to Florida. Each year we will go from green/damp/cool to brown/dry/warm and back again.

In our past travels, we've found that moving from one corner of the US to another always brings delight, because it is so different. We're looking forward to saying, "Oh, it's great to be back!" no matter which direction we are headed. Even if the green part does require a visit to the dentist.


Doesn't Eleanor occasionally like to do an impression of a shocked cat? So maybe she's ok with humid hair ... temporarily? :-)

As for the your dental team, we'll have to watch "Marathon Man" again and then coach them on some lines, like: "Is it safe... to tow with only a mid-sized SUV?" (Cue sound of dental drill.)

For your part, for your next visit to the dentist, you can strap your lug-nut torque wrench to your inside forearm (and cover it with a long-sleeved shirt, of course) so you can slide it out at a moment's notice. Come to think of it, you may want to perfect that trick, and have the lug nut wrench strapped on that way when you start towing your silver 'stream again after your summer hiatus. You'll want to check the nuts every 50 miles for the first hour or two, right?

Just tell the curious on-lookers that you're pretending to be a cross between Dr. Christian Szell (Lawrence Olivier's character in "Marathon Man"), and Handy Manny.

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