Monday, September 1, 2014

Creepy Man Returns

There I sat at the table in my store, surrounded by my coffee friends celebrating the end of the long weekend, Cujo in my lap, all happy to be among the ladies that camper DJ refers to as The View.

We sat there sipping coffee and watching RV's leave the park, some one by one and some in groups. There was a lull in the traffic and I watched as a blue van approached from the direction of the state park. I idly think to myself that it looks an awful lot like ........ it turns in the drive, driving too fast, and blows past my dual stop signs ( a driver informed me that I had the STOP sign on the wrong side, so I put one on each side). After that he pauses midway between the drive and my store and then speeds up and comes flying up to the store.

I am brave, my fellow campers have my back and I have a dog named Cujo in my arms. I jump up and run out the door and approach Creepy Man while he is still trapped in his van. I have no intention of letting him get out of his vehicle. Pointing my finger at him I shout, "You ran my STOP sign and you are driving too fast in my park! You need to leave!!"

Today he has a head dress on. Looks like one of those woven "Indian Blankets" you would see at convenience stores close to the interstate. I have no idea what image he was trying to convey. I feel sure he should have had no confusion about what I had just said to him ...... but, he said, "I just wanted to see if anyone was here." I encouraged him to leave again and went inside and called He Who was tending to a sewer situation.

He Who came immediately to the front of the park and gave chase to Creepy Man. Wasn't hard to catch up with him since his right rear tire was going flat. Not that I noticed the tire, but camper Barb did. When He Who caught up with him at the nearest gas station and asked him why he had returned to our park, Creepy Man replied that he needed a tire and thought we might have one ....... since we are the only people he knows ........

We haven't exactly been friendly, so, why he would think we would provide him with a tire is still a mystery. The Creepy Man has California plates on his ride. I closed and locked the door as soon as dark approached, didn't want any lights beckoning to him should he drive by.

Now that I think about it, most of the creepies I have encountered here have been from California.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Creepy Man ......

So, here is the picture I took from behind my locked door with tinted windows of Creepy man. Note the blackening sky behind him.

After He Who is my hero sent him away the last time with the threat of law enforcement, he did not return. I called the other campgrounds in my area and warned them. Really not good for business to have a creepy person who sleeps in their van in the park.

Now, my next project will involve more signage for the park. It was brought to my attention that my sign spelling out the pool rules did not include anything about putting the chairs in the water, or jumping in the water with the chair attached to your person ....... they have unwittingly brought attention to the fact that they can read and have read the existing sign. But, that is not all I will add to the sign.

Apparently some parents think that those little pellet guns that shoot tiny little plastic beads are appropriate pool toys to bring along to the swimming pool. The skimmer pump died and we actually thought that it had been struck by lightning. It was down for 12 hours. More than long enough for the water to start to form algae.

Although we shocked it and poured the algaecide and the clarifier in, it still has a green cast to the water. Upon disassembling the pump, it was discovered to be full of those tiny plastic beads.

He Who is in charge of all things pool related was none to happy about this turn of events. He did get them all out and the pump (which is not all that old) is once again running. The other pump will need to be taken apart, too, as we are sure it must have some beads in it, too.

Fortunately, He Who is good at taking stuff apart,  has already had an adventure with the old pump when someone pulled the grate up out of the bottom drain and stuffed their swimming trunks in. I guess you could say we were lucky that they made their way to the pump, instead of remaining in the line underground.

I find it appalling that common sense does not prevent such events, but it does provide fodder for my book.

I already have signs on my trash receptacles and aluminum receptacles. Most people see them and will put the appropriate item in the appropriate container. There are always those who, for whatever reason, decline to do so. I don't particularly like fishing used diapers out of the aluminum cans , but I do. 

Along with all utility bills, the cost of garbage removal has gone up. We only get picked up twice a month, but we have a huge dumpster. Still, when we have a big holiday weekend, it can fill up rather quickly. I am always annoyed when people fill the front and then just start throwing the bags AT the dumpster and don't bother to look in the back. It is not unusual to have to call for an extra pick-up after a holiday weekend. The cost is $70. I pay it if I need a pick-up. I may not be happy about it, but I am livid when I have to get an extra pick up because someone put a mattress in my dumpster. Or their truck fender. Or their old couch. Or their BBQ grill. Sometimes I think they bring all the things they want to throw away, and would have to pay extra to do so, along on their camping trip and dump it after I go to bed.

Then , there are those who will drink cases of beer, and go to the trouble of bagging the cans separately, then just toss the bag in the dumpster instead of into the barrel right next to the dumpster that has been designated for aluminum. This makes me think I need a visual aid along with the sign for those who can't read.

Then I remember that they CAN read because they will tell me what is NOT on my signs. Good thing I don't mind painting signs. Maybe I should change the name of my blog to "People Piss Me Off." Then I remember that not all people do. Most people don't. Most people are good. 

Like Andrea, the Weeding Elf. She just appears and pulls all the weeds out of a garden and then disappears with all the debris. Like Martha, who sees me loading firewood on the golf cart and comes bringing me a glass of wine. Like the camper I deliver the wood to, who hands me a frosty glass of lemonade with quite a kick! Maybe I shouldn't be drinking it while I write .....

Then there is DJ and Butch, coming in the door with a plate of ribs and chicken and corn just when He Who was towing asks what there is for dinner. And my church group that comes on Labor Day weekend. Their leader takes care of all the details and collects all the money for me and they leave their sites pristine.

Yes, I should really drink some water now and lock up before I get maudlin'.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Texting and Creepy

He Who Texts fancies himself to be a technological wonder now. He loves to text. No complete sentences ...... or even words complicate this new vocabulary he so readily embraces. Punctuation is a thing of the past. Oh, wait, he never cared much for whole words and punctuation before, so this is just like a dream come true for him!

Texting is harder for me. I still want to spell words and use punctuation to express myself and my texts tend to be a little long. The keyboard is too tiny and my arthritic thumbs hit the wrong keys and I end up pecking the entire thing with my right forefinger. Takes too long and I become impatient and want to fling the phone at the wall.

I like the fact that you can text and have a private exchange in public, but was not a big fan of the whole thing until recently .........

Wednesday afternoon I was counting down the time til closing so I could finish the garden work I had started that morning. The forecast had called for a rainy day, but nothing had happened except a nice breeze and cooler temperatures. It was approaching 6:00 and I had only one swimmer left in the pool. I stuck my head out the door and decided to go ahead and lock up, leaving the happy little frog sign saying I would be "right back" in the door.

I had restocked the store shelves and needed to take the remaining rolls of paper towels out to store in the laundry room. I stuffed the phone in my pocket and loaded the paper towels in my arms and headed out to see a van pulling in. The van did not stop at the stop sign since it came in the exit drive, so I was already annoyed when the young man parked and got out. His driving skills left much to be desired. 

Sighing deeply I put my load of paper towels on the chair and turn to ask him if I can be of assistance. He stands staring at me and a long pause follows. "Well, I want to know about your park." He follows me into the store, as I had not yet locked the door and I ask what kind of camping he was interested in. Another long pause, so I ask if he camps in a tent or an RV, thinking to speed things along. "Well, I just sleep in my van." he says. I tell him that we don't really do that here and hope that our chat has come to an end. "I really like the looks of your park." he says an he runs the tips of his fingers over the surface of the registration desk. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck are started to rise and I feel around for my cell phone.

"Do you live here?"  Yes. "Are you alone?" By now my canines have picked up on my unease and are all barking and scratching at the half door leading to the office. I tell him, "Of course not, my husband is on the property." All the while trying to see the keyboard on my phone so I can text him.

"Oh, that's my husband texting me now!" I pick up my phone and pretend to read a text, then text him to get home asap, I have a really Creepy Man in the office. I say, " I need to take some things to my husband and kind of push him out the door, locking it. I grab my paper towels and head to the side of the building, out of sight of Creepy Man.

As I spy from the corner of the building, he continues to rub the surface of the map he got in the office. From time to time he appears to be staring at the roof, then at the pond and at the clouds in the sky.

The clouds behind him are turning the color of a bruise and the wind is picking up. I see lightning in the distance and hear a clap of thunder. I hear my poor Toni Louise half barking, half crying. She is terrified of storms. He Who should have been there quicker finally arrives and tells the creepy man to leave, that we have no availability.

This is when he let Toni Louise out into a brewing storm. He Who loves to communicate by text calls me to tell me he told the man to leave and that he has a call to a wreck on the highway. By now I have walked to the back and around to the other side of the building. "Did you just leave me here?" I ask into the phone. Yes, he did, while Creepy Man is still standing gazing into the heavens.

Then he goes on to tell me, as he drives to this wreck, that he found this same individual asleep in our parking lot that very morning (he was in the van and his shoes were outside the van) and had already sent him on his way then. I really want to go back inside and get my dogs in before it starts to rain, but Creepy Man (in his shoes now) is still there.

My Hero, He Who Tows, suggests that I just go unlock the door and go in and if Creepy Man  follows me, then tell him to leave. Really, that was his solution. I am thinking that if the dogs picked up on my distress, Creepy Man would, too. I solved the problem by breaking in the back door.

I watched from behind my tinted windows as Creepy Man continued to look at my roof and then my pond. I did not unlock the door until I saw a big diesel pusher coming in the entrance drive. Creepy Man decided to leave at the same time and played chicken with the giant bus as he went out the wrong way.

But wait, there is more. The rain came and thundered down on us for a short time and the sun reappeared. I went out and finished some mowing and picked some beans and tomatoes. I came in while He Who Builds was making new doors to his barn (Fred Sanford Emporium). At 9:45 I texted him to suggest it was bedtime. He texted back that Creepy Man had reappeared and he was watching him leave, then decided to follow him out and would be back soon. Creepy Man advised He Who that I had told him to return .......

I have to admit I did not worry about spelling or punctuation when I texted! Maybe texting can be a good thing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Paper Work

The countdown continues .........  some campers will be pulling in tomorrow for an extra long weekend. This is my last lazy morning. I sit here sipping scalding hot coffee as I contemplate what to accomplish today.

My restrooms are out-dated. As much as I would like to gut them and start over, that is not money that will be easily recovered. They are clean and I try to keep them well stocked. The toilet paper dispensers were from another era. I replaced them. Maybe not such a good idea, since my campers try to use them as an aid to rising from their seated positions. I am constantly re-attaching them.

I will usually put extra rolls on the top of the toilet tank, but, as in my own home, no one seems to know how to put the roll on the dispenser, or to toss the paper wrapper in the conveniently located trash can. But, I sort of expected that to happen.

The last time someone yanked on the dispenser and pulled it out of the wall, they took the little middle part that holds the roll with them (trophy?). I was buying a replacement when I was struck with a marvelous idea. Why not put two dispensers in each stall? Why did I not think of this before??? I raced home to install my new dispensers, patting myself on the back for having had such a revelation.

This would stream-line my chores! It would eliminate someone opening a new roll and setting it on the floor to get wet and have to be discarded. I could put two rolls in each stall and they would use up one roll and start on the next. I could then restock the empty one and not rely on some kind soul to have the courtesy to do it for me. It would eliminate theft. People will only steal the new, wrapped roll. They don't want to have to go to the trouble of taking it off the dispenser.

I was so happy with myself as I imagined a whole new life with such a small investment. Always optimistic, that's me. It is not working out as well as I had imagined. They are still yanking the dispensers out of the wall and I am running out of new places to re-attach them. And ...... instead of using one roll before going on to the next, they are using them almost equally, making me have to check more often than before, as I am loathe to waste any paper.

So, my first chore today will be re-attaching a dispenser. One side is secure, firmly attached to a stud, but I will have to move both sides .......

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Must Be THe Heat

It must be the heat. This is the week before a holiday weekend. Most folks have already made their plans and reserved their sites. Fortunately for those who have waited until the last minute I am here. Unfortunately for me, I missed quite a few because I was in the land of no internet and because I was not extremely specific with my requests, someone did not check the web reservations. In my defense, I did text him while sitting in a doctor's waiting room with my dad. I even followed up to see if he understood the previous text that had all the pertinent information. He replied yes to "did you understand my last text?" How silly of me not to include the content of the text I was referring to, because he did not get that text and said yes to the text that I had texted the day before when I texted goodnight.

There is one reader out there who will totally understand what I just wrote.

So, when the phone rang at 9:45 pm on Sunday, even though I was all snug in my bed cuddling with my canines, I pulled myself up and came out to the office to take a reservation. The man was surprised I answered since he was so late and was prepared to leave a message for me to return his call the next day. He thanked me profusely for having a site for his family and went on and on about how wonderful I was for being so nice as to have a spot for them.

Next morning as I sipped my coffee and washed mountains of laundry, the same caller rings my bell. "I don't know if you remember me, but I have a reservation for site 26 that I need to cancel." Of course I remember you. "Well, the campground we really wanted to go to called and they have a spot they can put us in. It is not as good as the spot you have , but since we called them first and they put us on a waiting list we feel like we should camp with them. Sorry. Are you gonna charge us?" No, there is no cancellation, just like I told you last night. ......... He hung up. No thank you for not charging us, just hung up. Perhaps he shouldn't have told me his reasoning about changing his plans. It was annoying, but not the end of the world. I am sure I will rent the spot to someone who didn't make reservations in time.

My annoyance only grew when a camper who will be here until tomorrow came in to ask how to get to Graham's Cave. I tell her, then she says, conversationally, "My husband says you have peaches in a tree. It's okay if we pick them, isn't it?" Let me insert here that although I have two trees that produce and lots of baby trees that I have planted, the one and only tree that has peaches on it right now is in my private yard. That would be the yard on the residence side of this building, down the driveway marked 'PRIVATE'. I usually get about a bushel of peaches from that tree, but this year the tree had only a handful that I have been watching daily to grab at the very peak of ripeness. "You are talking about the tree in my side yard down the private drive and I would prefer that you didn't. If you would like to pick an apple or two, please feel free to do so."

I was anxious for her to leave so I could go check my tree. Another camper pulled in and I couldn't check it right away. Not only were the peaches that were on the lower limbs that I had taken note of that morning gone, but so were my tomatoes that I had planned to gather when I closed the store at 8:00. I wanted to have a small fit, but the intense heat from the day had barely faded and I just didn't have the energy.

After mowing the dog park in 90 degree heat this morning I came in to let the sweat dry and cool my body. The phone rang, "Do you have any sites for this weekend?" Yes, I do. Tell me what you need - tent or RV. "Oh, we just need a tent site. Do you have any without reservations?" Right now I still have a few sites left. "But do you have any without reservations?" Do you want to reserve a site? "No, I want to know if you are going to keep sites open and not reserve them all out." Right this minute I have a few sites left, but will  not guarantee they will still be left by this weekend. If I can rent them I will. As she is hanging up, I hear her say "What a stupid bitch, she has no idea what she is doing."

Oh, I am so looking forward to this weekend.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home Again

I am back from the land of no internet! Things are almost back to normal here. Whatever normal is. Time to get ready for another holiday weekend here at the kampground.

I spent the last week with my Dad. I was picked up by my daughter and her fiancé for the drive south. Her car was super economical on fuel ..... but the tiny back seat was killer on my back! I shared it with my grandson, Gavin, my new favorite traveling companion.

I admit that I am still tired, can still feel the road in my butt. I have plowed through the 240 e-mails just waiting for my attention, the laundry waiting to be washed and today will find me behind a lawn mower.

Too many feelings to put into words. I am already looking at dates for next month to head south again. I met my dad's oncologist and took him to numerous appointments. I am thankful for the medical team administering his care. They were all so caring and kind. I just wish they weren't necessary.

I feel cut off from the world while I am there. My world, anyway. Mama's cooking and insistence on having 3 meals daily has not been kind to my waistline! Daddy's love of the game show channel has made me see way too much of Howie Mandel! I feel the need to end a reservation request with "deal, or no deal?".

My mind is blank. I hear a mower calling my name!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lost and Found

Here I sit, coffee too hot to do much but sip. The day stretches before me as I consider what to do with it. I smell rain coming and am glad I finished my mowing and transplanting seedlings yesterday. I am thinking about mulching another garden bed, but my aching joints are arguing with me.

Only 3 hours to myself and those hours will be filled with all the necessary chores of making the park ready for another day. Rain will bring some relief, but it is Friday in a campground and reservations will be here to check in.

I don't have an official "lost and found" area. If something is turned in to the office or I find items in the bathrooms or the pool area, I keep them in the office for a time, waiting for someone to claim them. Usually it is a towel or water toy left at the pool, or a swimsuit left in one of the bathrooms. Shoes, too. Occasionally I will find a set of keys, jewelry and once a cell phone. Those items are claimed pretty quickly. The towels and clothes aren't. Since they are wet when I find them, I wash them and fold them while they linger in my care.

They are usually not claimed and I drop the clothing off at a thrift store. I keep the towels. Sometimes they are nearly new and I add them to my collection of pool towels for my grandchildren to use when they are here. If they are old and raggedy, they are put in my "dog towel" section.

I currently have two items in my lost and found. A toe ring of dubious value and some teeth. Yes, you read that right. Dentures. Left in the men's room. I assume that some man is walking around toothless. It has been a week. I would think that this missing item would have been noticed by the owner? It has been a week.

"Honey, I found a set of dentures in the bathroom and they have been here over a week ....." He Who has just awakened and is donning his everyday clothes with reflective stripes and steel toed boots, asks, no demands, to know who they belong to. I just give him an incredulous look in response. "I am assuming they belong to a man, since they were in the men's room, but I have no idea who this man is." "Oh", he says, "I thought you meant our bathroom."

This is my life. I am tossing the dentures today, lest they decide to jump out of the pink cup and bite me. Perhaps I should display them on the counter, you know, like a conversation piece. Maybe I should just go put them in the infamous barn, where things are lost, never to be found again.