One Year Ago

 Posted by at 5:05 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 052010

It was one year ago yesterday that we had the most frightening experience in our lives as fulltime RVers. Longtime readers may remember that it was on December 4, 2009 that we returned to our Winnebago, which was parked in the campground at an RV repair facility in Elkhart, Indiana, and came face to face with an armed burglar inside our motorhome.

By the time I realized what was happening, I was already out of our van and approaching the door of the RV, and he was pointing a gun at me. In the confrontation that followed, I managed to slam the RV’s door on his hand and disarmed the intruder. He got away, only to show up at a hospital three days later with seven broken bones in his wrist and hand.

As it turned out, he was a career criminal out on bail on other charges, and with outstanding warrants. He’s back in prison where he belongs, and will be for a long time, or until the next parole board believes his sob story about how he grew up poor and was victimized by life and the system.

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Besides some things that were missing, the intruder and whoever had been with him trashed the inside of our RV, throwing electronic components on the floor and stomping on them, slashing furniture, and ripping down window blinds.

A frustrating battle with our insurance company followed, but we finally prevailed, and were able to put our motorhome and our lives back together. Living well really is the best revenge.

What a difference a year makes! Back then, we spent the next week freezing our butts off in Indiana while repairs were made to our RV so we could leave. Now we’re in Florida, where a cold front is coming through, and temperatures are predicted to dip as low as 29 degrees in the next few days. So yes, we’ll be freezing our butts off again, but if that’s the worst that can happen, we can deal with it.

Our lives have gone on, and while we have put the burglary behind us, we still feel violated, and disgusted with a system that had let the creep out of prison early so he could prey on us and others. We don’t fear traveling in our RV, and we still dry camp frequently. Inside our motorhome, we feel secure, but Terry and I are both a little apprehensive when we return to our coach after dark, unless we’re parked in a campground we know.

We had a motion detector light installed at our door, and while we refuse to live in fear, we are not nearly as complacent as we had become. We realize that while what happened to us can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, the odds against the average RVer ever having such an experience are very, very slim.  We still feel that this is the greatest lifestyle in the world, and every new day is an adventure, whether we’re camping in the desert of Arizona and listening to the coyotes singing us to sleep, or parked under a palm tree in Florida enjoying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Thought For The Day – If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics are all wrong.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “One Year Ago”

  1. I am afraid the whole country is crawling with losers like the ones you encountered that have a rap sheet a mile long and still have wiggled around the system with a justice system that actually encourages release.

    I am thankful your encounter turned out well but it could have easily gone another way. I think your guardian angel was with you.

  2. Nick and Terry, i know this is going to sound a little strange at first, and i am glad that you were both unharmed,…but if this had to happen to anybody, i think that you were the perfect choice. If this had happened to anyone else i doubt that too many people would have heard about it. As it is, because of your love for writing and the large following that you have with the blog and the paper, a large number of people have been made aware that bad things can happen and that people need to be more aware of their surroundings. Spending a lot of time outdoors when i was growing up i learned to pay attention to everything around me. That plus a whole lot of luck is how i made it back from Vietnam in one piece. To this day i keep an eye out around me and if i don’t like the feel of something, even if i can’t pinpoint what it is, i will move or leave. Yes, i am one of those people that don’t like to sit with my back to a door. :>) Hopefully your experience will help keep someone else safe farther down the road.

  3. Nick, you are absolutely right. I once worked as a corrections officer and you should see what these guys do to get probation or parole. They are totally different people when in front of the probation or parole agents. Academy awards should be given out! Then when escorted back to their cell, they actually laugh about their performances. I never understood why the probation or parole people never caught on to their act. The only thing we could think of was that they needed people on parole to justify their jobs. If there wasn’t enough men on parole then they wouldn’t need as many parole agents. It didn’t matter though, the same guys would be back in a matter of weeks for crimes they committed while on probation or parole. The sad thing was the partially paralized police officer I knew who was shot during a robbery by a person who was out on parole.

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