The Sky and I Cry – Why, Ford, Why???

Aug/2/2011 16 Malia Lane
Ford Escape - Towing Issues, Setbacks
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It’s raining now, but it’s a nice, soft and gentle rain.  Other than the sounds of the drops on my roof, the campground is quiet.  After the Ford Escape drama yesterday, I am safe in my motorhome, I assume my car will be fixed and I have a free rental car in the meantime.

I fully understand and appreciate how much worse everything could have been yesterday and that things are not really all that bad today.

So why am I sitting here crying with the sky?

Maybe the shock that I think I went into yesterday when I saw that axle broken on the ground and my wheel all cockeyed has finally worn off and I’m able to fully feel everything again.

Maybe I’m still scared because I can’t quite get the pictures out of my head of what could have been if I had been driving faster or if I had been towing the car when the axle broke.

Maybe I’m petrified at the thought of driving or towing that car again because I really don’t trust it at all now.

Maybe I’m really mad at myself that I bought into Ford’s hype from the documentary I saw “Ford: Rebuilding an American Icon” and believed they really cared about their customers at least as much as their profits.  I was so impressed that they hadn’t gone for the government bailout and picked themselves up by their own bootstraps and redesigned their company to be both more efficient and profitable, and their products more safe and reliable.

Maybe I’m mad that Mr. William Clay Ford, Jr. couldn’t even be bothered to answer the two certified letters I sent him back in May asking for answers about the towing issues I and so many others were experiencing and having our long planned for trips ruined because we believed that our cars could be flat towed safely based on Ford’s representations.

I tell myself I should just shut up, dry my tears and be grateful for it all – the rain because so many are experiencing severe drought.  The fact that I even have a car to deal with when so many are not able to afford one.  The fact that I have a free rental car so I’m still mobile whenever I want to be.  The fact that so many people have shown how much they care and went out of their way to help me, even when they didn’t even know me.

Yes, I know I should be more grateful instead of griping about things that are beyond my control and that “bad things” happen to everyone at some time or another.

And I chide myself because I’ve been saying my schedule was getting really hard to keep up with without feeling stressed and rushed, but now I’m griping because I can’t continue with that schedule and I’m mad that I’ll miss some of the things I had planned to see in Michigan.

I’ve often been asked if I get lonely because I travel alone.  I always answer that I really don’t and that I prefer doing things on my own and by my own schedule without having to appease anybody else.  But right now all I feel is lonely, so I have to admit that.

But I just had the thought that it’s okay to cry with the sky – rain and teardrops have their purpose and there is a time and season for all things under heaven.  So even while allowing the tears to fall, I’ll remember that I’ve cried before, but that my tears have dried and the sun always comes out to shine on me again.

Thinking about sunshine after the rain reminded me of rainbows, and I remembered this one I saw with my mom when we were in Stewart, Alaska:

 A double rainbow – in Alaska, no less!

The thought of my mommy made me want to be held in her arms and comforted and that just brought on more tears.  So maybe I’ll allow myself a period of pity party – I really can’t seem to help it right now – but I’m also praying to keep the faith in sunshine and rainbows at the same time…

 

  • Oliviameiring

    Yes! It’s always healthy to allow yourself to feel the way you feel. To identify and acknowledge your valid feelings.

    I think you might be feeling alone in the world and afraid of the unpredictable. I go through bouts of this and a sense of homelessness. But then something will come along to show me, unequivocally, that my life is being held and protected by angels, and I realise even when I’ve felt the most alone that there have ALWAYS been strangers who have helped me. Or friends. I’ve never been left to disaster. The universe seems to cherish and favor me. I look back on a long list of seeming disasters in my life and for every single one there was at least one if not many saving graces. The universe loves you. You are safe. And you are surrounded by people you don’t even know yet who will one day love you or save you. As you travel you collect more and more angles and more and more people thinking of you with love and missing you. Homes you can always come back to.

    You are envelopedby this blanket of love. Close your eyes whenever you feel alone or sad. Feel the blanket softly enclose you in a cocoon. In no time you’ll even feel the warmth through your skin.

    • Olivia, having read your own “adventures” – especially recently – I know you know what you’re talking about!  So I really appreciate the reminders and I particularly loved your statement, “The universe seems to cherish and favor me.”  I SO know that can be said truthfully about me as well, having had evidence of that in spades at many times in my life, but especially since I started following my “crazy” dream of fulltime RVing. 

      I believe and affirm your statement for myself also, “I’ve never been left to disaster.”  I may not agree with – and am certainly sometimes not amused by – the circumstances that come my way, but I do always come through them with the love and grace of amazing people who seem to drop out of the sky to help me.

      This circumstance still seems to be at least a major inconvenience to me, resulting in at least delays in my plans or having to miss some MI wonders, but it helps to hear your words of wisdom and I will look for “at least one if not many saving graces” that prove that I am loved, safe and surrounded by angels, even when they’re in human form. 

      Thanks, Olivia.  I love you and hope we can hug again in person soon!

      • Would that be wonderful! I am trying to find a way to move back to Austin affordably. Its so expensive. Right now Im just trying to get back on my feet so I might have to go to Bisbee or stay in Pittsburgh for a while. Who knows. It would be wonderful to hug you again.

        Thiago made a wonderful comment on his wall a while back that has stuck with me. It was in reference to the frustration we are feeling over our physical and seemingly indefinite separation from each other, but it applies to everything it seems:

        “La frustración no es nada más que la sensación de vértigo que nos afecta, cuando todo el universo, en su infinita sabiduría, suavemente nos invita a cambiar de opinión.”
        Translated: “Frustration is nothing more than the vertigo we feel when the whole universe, in it’s infinite wisdom, gently invites us to change our mind.”

        • I remember seeing that you were considering Austin and I thought how cool that would be if it worked out.  But mainly, I just want you to find your little place – tree house, whatever – that makes you feel the way you deserve to feel – safe, cozy and happy!

          I absolutely love Thiago’s comment!  I copied it and pasted to my computer as a “gentle” reminder of that which I know is true when frustration finds me.

          Vertigo is another interesting analogy – I have felt like my world has been a bit dizzy since yesterday and not sleeping well last night hasn’t helped the haziness I still feel today.

          May both you gentle souls find your way back to each other, as I affirm you will when the timing is perfect for each of you.

  • Richard Marcoux

    Bonjour Malia,

    I have been following your incredible journey since 2002, I have seen you go way up hill and I also seen you go down hill on occasion. You seem to be going uphill more than downhill and it is such an inspiration. I admit that I’m sitting in my cubicle still working, I don’t have as much courage and determination as you do.

    That rainbow you are looking for, it is not in front of you, it is inside you, you are the rainbow…  You are also humain, I don’t have any great quote that would just bring the sun back but I will be there thinking and appreciating you.

    • Bonjour Richard!

      I don’t know if we’ve ever communicated before, but I really appreciate your comments today.  To know I have such a kind soul following my journeys for so long, using the word “inspiration” in connection with me, even while acknowledging my ups and downs, does wonders for my mood right now.

      Also interesting that you seem to berate yourself for not having “as much courage and determination…”  One thing I have been determined to do since starting to write about my journeys is to be honest about the black moods, fears and discouragements I experience.  So many people write and say they would do what I do if they had my courage, so I want to be sure everyone understands that I most certainly am NOT always strong and brave.

      It’s not always sunshiney, but I survive the storms – and with the help of people like you who inspire and encourage me – I hold on until the rainbow appears.  Or, like you say, until I acknowledge the rainbow resides within me and I choose to let it beam out.

      You didn’t need “any great quote” today, Richard.  The sincerity of your words and the sweetness of letting your heart speak was exactly what I needed.

      Merci,
      Malia

      • Richard Marcoux

        Dear Malia,
         
        This morning you made me speechless, words can’t do justice to the “electric” shock that I got when I seen your email J When one of your idol take time to acknowledge one of their fan, it just  bring so much sunshine in that one fan day!
         
        We had never communicate before, I don’t comments on the Internet, but yesterday I was so touch by your post that I had to do something. My purpose was to send you a virtual shoulder where you could safely gain some comfort.
         
        I had read your replied to my post, it make me smile, there I am trying to send words of encouragement to you and I received a response that make ME feel better. I am still smiling from your replied.
         
        I realized something yesterday, since I have been following your  odyssey, I have always wonder why a beautiful women with a killer smile would choose to get into this lifestyle by herself… I always thing that sharing amplified experiences and that sharing also attenuate bad situation  but then I realized, you are sharing, you have people here and there cheering, praying, encouraging you on your way.
         
        Lately, one of my close to my heart daughter moved far from home, I would say like you, she follows her dream. Often when I think of her, I get a lot of comfort by your example. Since she is by her own, she must deal with all kind of “life steps” that come up from time to time. As her father, I would rather be there and help her but when problems happen I think of you, I admire that you have that “drive” that has been moving you for a long time. Because of you I know that she will sheds some tears, she will be frustrated, but she is growing into a beautiful independent women.
         
        Thank you so much Malia, you are truly inspirational in probably more ways that you might realize.
         
        If there was such a thing as “virtual love”, I think you would be that to me, I already thought that I was a “stalker” from the way I have been following you, maybe I should consult a professional hahaha

        Best of luck with your Ford when you pick it up. One of the thing I have on my “to do” list for this afternoon is to write to Ford (I also have a Ford truck) and I would let them know that I am dissapointed in their business way… I think that if they get enought letters, they might realize that we are not only a name at the bottom of the purchase document but we are also people that has a right of having what we paid for and that if they want to boost that Ford is reliable, there should be action and not only empty promises.

        One of your fan,
         
        Richard

        • Richard, you are officially my hero today!  To hear that I have had an impact on you for so long and it even helped in your understanding your daughter’s dreams means more to me than you can imagine.  Since I do travel alone, this kind of feedback means the world to me!  And you’re right, that’s how I know I “have people here and there cheering, praying, encouraging you on your way.”

          I also appreciate your feedback to Ford.  I do believe that people need to take a stand against this kind of thing and speak up.  Someone is going to wind up getting killed or seriously injured and we need to do all we can to get the attention level up in hopes Ford will do something to prevent that before it’s too late!

          I’ll report back after I get back from the Ford dealer today.

          But, again, thank you – and merci beaucoup as well!  🙂

          • Richard Marcoux

            Bonjour Malia,
             
            As stated, I wrote to Ford, this is a first for me, maybe this courage that you have is rubbing off 🙂 It look like you are having me move to first times on a few things…
             
            Since you are mentioned, I inserted the correspondence, I don’t think that will move anything for you, I think that they will need several more thousand complaining customers before acting. I am afraid it is more like a drop in a really pollute water body.
             
            You are such a sweetheart… you responded that I am your hero today, but the true is you have been my heroine for a lot longer than that! I was just being really really secret about it!
             
            Ton ami,
             
             
            Mr. Mrs Ford,
             
            In the past 9 years, I have been following the travelling journey of Malia Miles. She is a Solo women travelling in her motorhome all over the US and Canada and she does that full time. As a lot of person adopting this lifestyle, she is pulling a car, a 2009 Ford Escape.
             
            I invite you to have a look at her blog (http://www.maliasmiles.com/blog/2009-ford-escape-dinghy) where she mentioned the problems that her Escape is giving her.
             
            In the “virtual World” Malia Miles is a superstar, I always thought that Ford was paying a fortune to have their name associate with reliable and safe car. In this case, it looks like empty promises that were delivered and not a car that I would want to have anything to do with.
             
            If you read a little bit her blog, you will appreciate that she is not bashing the Ford name, she kept giving credit to everyone at Ford that do help her. She even wrote to Mr. William Clay Ford Jr. but it seems that she didn’t get any response to her pleading (Isn’t it strange that with big corporation, you have to plead to get the service that you paid for!)
             
            Personally, I can’t do anything else then take a stance, this is not an empty promise, I will never buy a Ford unless I believe that your company truly care about the security of your customer.

          • Richard,

            The word “hero” is no longer enough – you have absolutely blown my mind today!  Not because of your nice comments or because you have followed me for so long and call me an inspiration… but because you took the time out of your day to actually write a letter to Ford on my behalf. 

            I do admit that I loved that you called me a “super star” though – how cool is that – LOL! 

            Seriously, that kind of caring is so appreciated by me that even as a writer I can’t find the words to express how much it means to me at this time.

            And while I understand what you mean about one letter being a “drop in the bucket” so to speak, I disagree that it won’t do any good.  One letter does count because all of those thousands of letters you think will eventually matter are all made up of one letter at a time – so thank you sincerely for yours!

            I just got back from the Soo Motors Ford dealer and mentioned above in my response to KGH_Colo a little of what I was told.  I will do another blog post with as much as I know later tonight after I get some work done for my virtual assistance clients – got to get some more gas money together to continue on with my wonderful summer in MI!  🙂

            Thank you again, my friend (ton ami really does sound nicer) – we’ll keep in touch!

  • darrell_g42

    Malia,
    Good luck with your current challenges. I know it isn’t as good as a real one, but here is a virtual hug for you,,,,,  (((((((( Malia ))))))))))

    darrell

    • Aw, thanks, Darrell – it means a lot that you even took the time to share the virtual version of a great hug!

  • Glenda Alexander

    It’s okay to cry once in a while; tears can be healing.  You’ll be on top of the world again soon, I just know it.  I’ll be the trip through the Soo Locks will put you back on the sunshine track.

    Love that Alaskan rainbow!  

    • I agree – I think I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow.  Already feel better than this morning, but just extra tired and not wanting to do much of anything so I’ve rested and played video games today – my great escape when I want to stop my mind from getting all negative.  🙂  I think I will try to do the Soo Locks boat tour tomorrow – good idea, thanks!

  • KGH_Colo

    I have a one year old 2010 Mercury Mariner with just 10,000 miles on it, that I bought specifically for towing.  I towed it behind my RV 3 weeks ago for the first time (unaware of any potential transmission problems) and after only 65 miles my transmission was wrecked.  It was towed on a flat bed truck to C. Springs, CO where the transmission was replaced (which took over a week while I used a rental car provided by the Ford dealership).  After it was all over, I begin researching all this information, and read about TSB 9-20-13.  I went to the dealership in Denver where I purchased the vehicle to ask for a copy, and they gave me TSB 11-7-15 which just came out and supersedes the old TSB.  I attempted to trade the car on a Honda CRV, but can’t afford the $9300 loss I would have to suffer.  Everyone who has one of these vehicles should get the current TSB and an April 2010 letter from Ford to all dealerships which sheds light on the problem.  I will provide them in PDF format if you can give me an e-mail address.     KGH_Colo

    • Hey there,

      Like I said on your comment on the earlier blog post at http://www.maliasmiles.com/blog/ford-escape-worse/ I really appreciate your making me aware of the newest TSB because I hadn’t seen that before.  I just got back from the Soo Motors dealer who did this latest fix.  They say they can’t be 100% sure, but it seems like the dealer in SC who did the fix to the left axle in May did not torque the nut/bolt that holds the left front lower control arm and it finally worked its way off which made the axle fall off.  Breaks my heart because I know that Service Director really cared.  I realize everybody makes mistakes and if this one was from her shop, she should know to keep it from happening again.

      No matter what the cause, I just wish I had more faith in Ford, but that’s pretty hard these days.

      But I keep hoping they’ll find the “final fix” because I do believe it wasn’t malicious on their part – I’m sure they really did think that transmission was flat towable.  But they either need to find the real fix soon or just admit they made a mistake and the Escape (and others like it) are really not safe to be flat towed.

      I’m going to do another blog post with update with all info from today as soon as I can.  Just wanted to thank you for your input here – I firmly believe we all need to stick together and keep this issue at the forefront and in Ford’s face until they really address the issue with us RVers so our trips aren’t constantly being ruined or delayed!