Monday, June 4, 2018

Water Works

People aside, the week alone was immensely stressful. When the pool opens for the season, the operation of the park becomes extremely labor intensive. We have a robot that crawls through the pool at night and sucks up any little particles of dirt or grass. But someone has to put it in the pool and take it out and police the area for all the trash that gets tossed to the ground. Bathrooms have to be cleaned and stocked daily. And someone has to go purchase the stuff that stocks all this, as well as the camp store. It really requires two people.

The grounds maintenance is the most time consuming part of running this campground. We kind of have a schedule going for that and we have camp workers to help. But the store hours lengthen this time of year and I have to be in the store from 11 am until 8 pm every day. That extends to 9 am until 9 am on weekends and holidays. Not busy the entire time I am in the store, I am able to throw some laundry on and cook our meals and even go to the bathroom from time to time.

I may have stayed here while HeWho tended to family matters, but I worried the entire time and spent lots of time on the phone. It was especially hard for me, since I will confess that I do like to be in charge. So, one would hope that I might catch a break after dealing with people problems ….

I woke early Thursday morning to shuffle out with the dogs to preform their morning ritual. The bird that has been greeting me every day was in his favorite position on the support holding the antennae for the wi-fi signal. I nodded in his/her direction and we acknowledged one another. The warbling and chirping began and I talked softly to him/her while the canines took care of business. It was 5 am. I felt like I had just gone to sleep, but all the mowing had been accomplished the day before and rumors of rain had been on the weather channel.

Silly me. I went back to bed for a little more snooze time. Wall-E, the curious one, jumped down out of the bed. I could hear his toenails clicking on the floor as he ventured out of the bedroom. Wall-E is a secret eater. He likes to rise early and eat all the dogfood left in the bowl from the previous day. I suppose you could say that, like me, he prefers the quiet of the morning to be all his while he wakes completely. But, he began barking.

I figured he was looking at the monitor and must have seen some activity outside, I ignored him. He barked again and I yelled at him to "shut it or I will get my flyswatter!" He persisted and I was none too happy when I crawled out of bed to march in and reprimand him.

Wall-E is a good little dog. He was alerting me to a problem. I stepped over the threshold into my little den and was in three inches of water. The dogs food and water dishes were floating around. The water main burst and the pressure was so strong, there were waves. I was still in that half sleep state when I called HeWho plumbs to ask what I should do. Normally I would have rousted him from bed and started cleaning up immediately while he dealt with turning the water off, but he was not here.

I was directed to the breaker box in the electrical/water/laundry room to turn off the pump to the well that supplies water to the entire park. I had to pass a breaker box that someone HeWho tinkers with all things electric had left the door off, exposing the electricity to the water. I was quite annoyed about this and informed him that I would never forgive him if I was killed from my efforts.

Then I called upon my new favorite camper in the world, Craig. He brought the other new favorite camper in the world, Kevin and they fixed my pipe and restored water to the park. It took awhile and I fielded complaints while they worked and I swept water out the doors. I found that method to be faster than the shop vacuum. After I swept for what seemed like an endless amount of time, I mopped. I dragged all the rugs out to dry in the sun. Wet rugs are heavy, just so you know.

Water was restored by 2 pm and swimmers arrived despite the dismal forecast. We had a mere drizzle of rain come down. When I locked up at 8 pm, I mowed the last little patch of grass on the side of the building and pulled a few weeds. As darkness fell, I realized that I had not eaten anything of substance all day. I did eat a protein bar when I swallowed my pills in the early morning hours. But, nothing sounded good, so I ate a peanut butter sandwich, showered and crawled into my bed.

Friday dawned with the promise of a sunny day. I was outside doing some chores and watering my plants when my phone rang. It was our cousin and I unlocked the door to the store to head in and have a cold drink while we talked. I opened the door to see water rushing my way. The water main again. No instructions needed, I knew what to do. I felt like crying when I called Craig again. No need to bother HeWho was dealing with other things.

I did not cry, as that would just be more water to sweep. We had water again by noon. Practice had shaved two hours off the time. I do not want to know what a third breach in the pipe would be like! I had not put the rugs and mats back down, so when I finally had dry floors again, I was able to put the store back together, the living quarters had to wait. My laundry baskets holding dirty laundry got soaked and I could not seem to get my washer going, forgetting that the GFC was in the ladies room and it had been tripped. I hung the wet stuff on the line to avoid mildew. Friday was a very long day, there were a few moments when I thought I was not going to make it, but I did and locked up by 10 pm after checking in some late arrivals.

After another night filled with intermittent dreams and insomnia, I ventured out carefully, half expecting water up to my ankles, but the day started out pretty good with a text at 9 am telling me that HeWho is my forever hero was on his way home!!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Karma, Where Were You?

If you read the previous post, you will recall that I was on my own …… well, not really. I have some wonderful campers here. They have rescued me more than a few times while HeWho usually does my bidding is gone. 

The kid in the pool creating havoc and hitting other swimmers with his beach ball, subsequently telling me to "F" off, I handled on my own. To my credit I did not grab him by the earlobe and drag him to his parent, but I wanted to. He was about 8 or 9 and unsupervised in the pool. I have plenty of signage forbidding this, but that is assuming you can read. Yeah, I know, that wasn't nice.

The man came in late Sunday night looking for a tent site. Primitive, no electricity He claimed to have his wife and 2 children with him. That's all. So, he paid cash and went off to the site I assigned him. 

Monday morning was a mass exodus from the campgrounds. My favorite campers were busy cleaning up their site when I returned the dishes that delivered meals to me. They come every year and I have come to refer to the sites they inhabit by their name. I had not had much sleep the night before, but swimmers could not be disappointed and I drank too much coffee and carried on with my day. Kevin and Craig, my heroes, went around the park picking up all the trash and generally helping me maintain a sense of sanity.

At about 12:30, the primitive camping man entered the store with a toddler in a bathing suit. I gently reminded him that check-out time was noon and that swim diapers were required on toddlers. He got more money and paid for another day and assured me that his child was in a swim diaper. He wasn't, I could see his little butt cheeks clearly outlined in his thin shorts. He asked if he could fish. I said yes and reminded him that it was catch and release. At his blank look I pantomimed the action of hooking a fish, then un-hooking a fish and tossing it back into the water. He clearly understood the concept as he nodded vigorously in the affirmative.

As the day wore on, most of the weekenders left and the swimmers disappeared. I closed the store and grabbed the mower to get a head start on the grounds that would have to be dealt with. I was mowing under the apple tree that is close to the exit drive, listening to an audio book when a van entered the wrong drive and flew past. Sighing deeply, I turned off the mower and headed over to tell her about speeding and ignoring signs ……

So, there she was with the primitive tent man. I leaned into her vehicle and started talking before I realized that she could not understand a word I said. I thought that she was his wife and that they had two vehicles. He told me that she could not speak or read English …… which begs the question of why she was driving at all. He translated and I looked around to see extension cords going to sites with outlets. Deep breath. I let it go, trying to be generous and create some good karma for myself.

As I headed back to my mower, my camper who has a site overlooking the pond waved me down. Primitive tent fisherman had violated my catch and release policy. Not only that, but when another camper reminded him that he could not keep the fish, primitive tent camper fisherman DUMPED THE FISH ON THE GROUND AND LET THEM DIE. Thirty five of them, some not even big enough to clean and eat.

He was also seen tossing beer bottles in my pond. Trash was all around the site he was on, but you always assume they will pick it all up before they leave. You know that saying about assuming.

My campers that overlook the pond have taken it upon themselves to not only keep their site looking great, but they also have the shores around the pond in pristine condition. To say that they were upset is an understatement. Long story short, I told the primitive fisherman with more people than he paid for that he had to leave. It was already after 8:00 pm and I could count all the people as they left the pool and headed back to the site. 

He demanded a refund! None was forthcoming, and I told him he owed me money. He asked why I cared about the fish, what difference did it make to me. My tolerance for ignorance was at an all time low and I shared many of my opinions with him as I urged to get off my property before law enforcement arrived. 

Karma, where were you? There is more to tell about my week on my own. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Creating Karma

It has been an adventure, these past days. Memorial Day found no empty sites here. You can always count on at least one problem group on any given holiday. People seem to forget that they are not the only people celebrating an event. This year found me with several hot spots to deal with. Nothing too bad, mostly noise and speeding and pool issues.

The weekend began on Wednesday with the first arrivals. Other than having to assure men drivers that I knew what I was doing and "No, do not pull in backwards, your hook-ups will not be on the correct side" and reminding people that the signage and speed limit must be obeyed; my part went smoothly.

The pool filled with swimmers in that cold, cold water and I was up to my elbows in snow cones. HeWho was out and about trying to maintain stuff. He came in long enough to tell me that, although the pool was full of water, the pump motors on both pumps had died. He grabbed some money from the register and headed out for parts. He came and went all day and tinkered with whatever men tinker with when they are fixing motors.

He got one working and ordered a new pump. He tinkered and fixed all day Saturday as I shuffled late arrivals for the weekend and overnighters who were traveling without reservations. I was closing up when one of my favorite campers, a sweet girl I have watched grow into a lovely young lady came up with her hands full of food for us. Always a silver lining in a cloud, you know.

We ate and fell into bed exhausted. Sunday dawned way too early and I began the day in the bathrooms, stocking and cleaning. Pool pumps still not working properly and day swimmers coming in like ants out of a disturbed ant hill. HeWho was beyond frustration dealing with the mechanics of our life and me so busy a bathroom break was a luxury, when we had a family emergency and one of us had to go. 

It is a given that HeWho does not do well behind the desk. He absolutely hates it and would rather route sewer. There are lulls when it seems there is nothing to do and then there are times when two people would be great. Then there is the phone to handle. I have the business line forwarded to my cell, which pretty much guarantees that you will hear my voice if you call …. and some days it rings non-stop. Which one of us to go would need to give our full attention to the situation and for that reason, I stayed here and he left.

He left right after he got one pump going and drove through the night. I do not drive in the dark so this was another reason he was the perfect candidate to go. When you own your own business, it is true that you are the boss. It is also true that there is no one who can jump in and take over at a moments notice. Holiday weekends are the basis of our income and can either make or break our annual profits. It was just as hard to stay here as it was to leave HeWho to handle things. Maybe harder. One of my children needed us.

I have been on my own for nearly a week now. Thank God for my campers who jumped in to save me when I needed help. Now that the week is behind me, I can calmly relay all the calamities that befell me in the absence of HeWho fixes stuff.

So, what does that have to do with the picture? For awhile now, I have been doing little acts of kindness and saying that I am creating my own karma. I know that some may take offense to the term "karma", but call it what you will; whatever you put out there will come back to you in one form or another if you live long enough. While most of the time I simply ignore what people do, like lying about how many people they have with them, or stealing all the paper supplies out of the bathrooms. They are creating their own karma, as well. Sometimes, though …….

Yesterday morning I got a call requesting a site for the night. The woman was very abrupt on the phone as she relayed questions from her husband to me. They arrived just after noon and I found them both to be unfriendly  downright rude. I registered them and gave them a map to their site and went on about my day. My day started off with a major problem, the water main burst. I had water back on and had swept all the water out of the store and my living quarters, but I am sure I looked pretty bedraggled, not having had the opportunity to shower and put on clean clothes. I wanted to look down my nose at her the way she was looking at me and say, "Don't judge me, lady!"

At 6:30, they drove their camper up to the office, going the wrong way on the one-way road and the woman came barging in to inform me that she wanted a refund because our camp  ground was "disgusting" and they could not stay here. Not only could she not read road signs, it seems that it took her 6 hours to become disgusted. I gave her the refund, creating my own karma. In retrospect I wish I had responded in kind and charged her for the 6 hours she spent taking a nap so that they could continue their trip. I wonder just how many campgrounds have refunded them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pencil Me In

It is Wednesday. The Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend and it has begun. I got up at my usual time of 5:30. Let the canines out to empty their bladders and await the arrival of Martha, the boy cat. There is a bird nest in the chimney stack of the wood stove and every morning a lone adult bird comes out to serenade me. I whistle back and he/she turns it's little bird head from side to side as we "talk". Happens every morning since the snow finally melted.

Martha was taking his sweet time in coming home. He will jump up on a fence post and tease his doxies with his swishing tail before jumping down to follow us in and back to bed for a little extension of sleep time. I was not fully awake as the clock approached 6 am, but decided to have my coffee and sit a spell. I mowed feverishly yesterday with great determination in a sleeveless shirt and my upper arms got a bit of a burn. Made it uncomfortable in bed, so I decided to just stay up, thinking to have a little chair nap that would require me to re-heat the coffee. 

I had just settled in when the PHONE RANG. 6:02 am. It was the tent camper I had checked in the evening before who wanted to know if my hanging baskets and flower pots that adorn my front porch were for sale. He was a shouter on the phone, as if we were communicating with two cans and a string. He shouted "Are you up?" What with it being in the early morning hours and no coffee in my system, my politeness filter was not yet in play. I said, "I am now." Still talking too loud for such an early hour he started telling me about something he found and needed to show me and see if he needed to pay for it. In addition to his volume, he tended to run his words together and he had that way of speaking that I refer to as "juicy", spittle flying, making you watch his mouth in fascination to see if he was going to drool or swallow.

He told me to take my time waking up. How generous of him. I thought about waking the man of the house, then remembered that HeWho taxies folks had a early ride, so I just settled in and waited. I did not need his permission to take my time and I had absolutely no intention of going out to see what he had "found". That was a task for HeWho is likable without caffeine.

Turns out, he put a table top grill on our picnic table ...... without using the folding legs on the grill and burned the table. We do wait until the kits are on sale for $60 and then take all the damaged tables apart to rebuild into new tables. But still, I would have asked for more than the $10 he offered.

Yesterday was a night mare of phone calls, as well. While I was mowing, I had to keep stopping and starting. While I did everything. While trying to eat dinner Monday night a young sounding man called to see if I had "any reservations for the weekend", as he was looking to rent a campground. I just can't help myself sometimes. I told him that I had quite a few reservations and only a few empty sites left and went on to ask why he would need an entire campground. This went completely over his head and he proceeded to tell me that he just needed a campground to camp in.

I followed with the usual questions, RV or tent, with or without electricity. I had already pegged him for a tent. This done, he bade me goodbye and called back 5 minutes later. "How much will it cost?" When I am answering this sort of question, I always try to anticipate other questions and provide all the answers I can. I quoted the price and added that it covered 2 adults and up to 2 children under the age of 14; and that extra persons would be $3 per night per person. "So how much is it gonna be?" I countered with "How many people will be camping, including yourself?" "There is 4 of us." It was like pulling teeth. "Adults? Any children?" "No we ain't got no kids."

So, I told him it would be $6 extra for the other 2 adults. "Well, how much is it, then?" Well, let's see, if the base price is $29 and you have 2 extras at $3 per person, it would be $35 a night. "Yeah, but how much for the whole time?" How many nights do you plan to camp? "Well, I'm not really sure yet." I told him to decide how many nights and multiply that number times the $35 and that would be the amount, plus tax. He hung up.

He called back. "Will the pool be open?" I answered with, "The pool is always open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
weekend." He asks .......... "Yeah, but will it be open this weekend?" I said yes and once again he hung up.

My food was no longer palatable and I had lost my ability to swallow solids due to my irritation. He called once again and made a reservation. No, it was not a simple transaction, as he was relaying everything I said to people in the background and they were voicing opinions that were not very complimentary. When we got to the part about needing to secure the reservation with a deposit or credit card, I seriously considered just hanging up myself. I finally extracted the information, after assuring him several times that I only ran the card if he failed to show or notify me of a cancellation and that they is no cancellation fee.

I took a shower and hid out in the bathroom for as long as I could, then went to bed. His wife called yesterday morning and cancelled after warning me that I had better not charge a cancellation fee. I almost did, just for fun. I didn't because it would end up costing me if it didn't go through.

I figured I am better off without them this weekend. But, wait!! He called again today and made another reservation, using a different name and then told me he had to go put money on his card and that he would call me back. I use a pencil. I erased his reservation. If he calls back, I will refer him to another campground.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

The good thing about rain, besides giving me a break is the flowers. My peony bush is full of blooms. This almost makes up for the sleepless nights!

So, here I sit, exiled to my desk in my favorite T-shirt. I also have dachshund earrings. Don't tell my daughters. They think I love my dogs too much.

The coming holiday weekend is looming large in my near future. They will start arriving on Wednesday and some will stay until Tuesday. Talk about a long weekend! Keeping mind that this will be like six Mondays in a row for me, I am not looking forward to it. 

Memorial Day marks the official opening of the pool. Not that my phone has not been constantly ringing "Is your alls's pool open yet." "Well, why not, it's hot out." "I just don't understand, how hard is it to fill it up with water and open it?" Dare I enlighten them?

I am still too crabby to be dealing with the public. I think I will just lock the door and go back to bed. As good as that sounds, there is still too much to be done and I would feel guilty and those guilty thoughts would prevent sleep. Catch 22?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Choose Your Words Wisely

Rained all night. My old friend, Insomnia, has been hanging out all month. If she isn't keeping me up, my aching joints and four legged companions take over. If sleep were a cake, my slices have been very thin lately. Tends to make me a little cranky.

We have all been working 12 - 14 hour days, taking advantage of every bit of day light. The pool is finally done! The third round of paint was a charm. Well, I sort of took over and chose my crew wisely and we knocked it out. Too many cooks in the kitchen can be disastrous. HeWho is not a good supervisor. He lets everyone do their own thing, then complains about it later. I have no such qualms about telling people what to do.

The bath house is finally open after all the re-plumbing and the solar panels have been installed. No more fretting over the lights being on all night. When it is not your money escaping into thin air, you don't seem to care.

The only thing that looked remotely neglected was the grass. The rain of the past few days preventing the mowers from grooming the grounds. The pond, in particular, was pristine. One of my favorite tenants has been paying lots of attention to the pond and the grounds around it.

So, there I sat, held prisoner to the office/store, calmly painting the signs for the pool, listening to a David Baldacci novel on audio. Some pre-teen boys camping in a tent came in with a proposition. Remember, lack of sleep has eliminated my "nice" filters. "You know, your park is really trashy." I did not reply, so I suppose I still have some filters left. I just looked at the kid and raised my eyebrows. He went on to tell me that the pond was "full of trash", that there were flip flops and shoes, along with candy wrappers and "all kinds of trash" around it. "How much would you pay us to clean it up?"

Have I mentioned that I do not particularly like that age group? Not to say that I dislike all almost teens and teens, I actually do like some. But as a whole I find that age group to be obnoxious, having a feeling of entitlement and I just don't like them. That would include these two standing in my space with their ridiculous request. I said, "Tell you what, why don't you go out and find the man in the truck with the AAA logo on the side of it and tell him what you just told me. Perhaps he will be able to answer your question. He handles the hiring of outside help." I lied about that last sentence, but they didn't know that. I just knew how HeWho mows, tows and drives endlessly around the park would react to the "trashy" statement.

After I checked in my last reservation of the day, I locked up and picked a bowl of strawberries and meandered down to the pond to deliver them to the camper who keeps that area so nice. The boys were there, fishing, and as luck would have it, so was HeWho fishes, too. I asked if the boys had offered their services ....... HeWho is mostly nice, was not nice at all. I saw nothing in the way of trash around my pond. Nothing.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day

I toyed with thoughts of closing for the day. Sounded like a good idea last night when I was tired. Still sounded good to me when the phone jolted me out of sleep at 7 am. It was the phone of HeWho can't hear. On the loudest setting, it rang out four times before he heard it. To say it woke me would be an understatement. I went to bed at 10 last night, but sleep did not find me until around 2 am. Back up at 5:30 to escort the dogs out to take care of full bladders, I felt like I had just managed to fall into a deep slumber again.

But, enough about my insomnia. That first sip of coffee was like heaven to my brain. I ran through all the e-mails that magically accumulate in 12 hours. I thought about watching a little TV while sipping the rest of my allotment of caffeine. Would have been nice, if not for the constant interruptions.

A former tenant showed up looking for a full time site again. HeWho had dispatched himself to replace a faucet came in to ask where he should put him. Still in my bedtime attire and not enough half a cup of coffee in my belly, I have to admit I was more than a little annoyed. It is too early to have to deal with the outside world!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the land of Blog! I am off to put appropriate clothes and just enough make-up on to not scare the world.