Monday, June 30, 2014

The Phone Does Ring

I know I have mentioned the need to carry the phone wherever I go. I even take it into the bathroom when I grab a quick shower, knowing that some folks will not leave a message. They will simply call my competitor and stay there.

I always have the handset in the cup holder of the golf cart. I always answer when it rings, even though I am sometimes a little out of range and have to high tail closer to the building. People have told me to forward it to my cell ..... Might work fine, but I usually have no idea where my cell is. I have to call it to find it. Not to mention having to remember to un-forward it ......

The one place I refuse to take the phone is my bedroom. I can still hear it at night. It still wakes me, but I can wait for the message and listen for a familiar family voice before going back to sleep.

If I happen to be up with my old-man dog, Oscar, I might hit re-dial just to annoy the caller who has annoyed me. I was on just such a mission when I decided to listen to the after midnight message on the machine. The caller waits patiently for the prompt that tells you to leave a message, then asks "Hello, is the Graham state park?" and  waits expectantly for an answer. Then says, "Sorry, I must have the wrong number."

How did she know she had the wrong number? No one answered her question. Well, not after she asked it. The prompt says that you have reached Kan-Do Kampground. Why even ask that question when it has already been answered?

I ponder these things as I try to fall back into a peaceful slumber. The call this morning at 7:15 was no less frustrating. Most businesses don't open until 9, some at 8. I am a lot nicer to talk to after a couple of cups of coffee. This caller wanted to know the cost of a site. I can recite this in my sleep. But, no, she wanted to know the exact cost for 3 nights, plus tax and some extra people. That knowledge is not stored in my brain. I told her the per night cost of the site and the per night cost of the extra people and figured she could do the math herself. That seemed to be beyond her capabilities and I had to open the office and grab a calculator.

After all that, she didn't even make a reservation. She wanted to think about it. Maybe the deal breaker was telling her that her children would not be allowed to set of their own fireworks on their site. As the holiday weekend approaches the calls will get more interesting, I am sure. There is always one requesting a secluded site. I would suggest that you stay home if you are seeking seclusion.

If you are seeking a fun weekend come on out to Kan-Do. Saturday will feature a golf cart parade, followed by a picnic in the park. We will provide the burgers and hotdogs, buns and condiments. Bring a dish and join us. No fuss required, a bag of chips will do fine. If you want to show off your culinary skills, I will be at the ready with a plate and fork. Desserts are my favorite and I think should be eaten first. I will volunteer to give them all a taste test before you eat! When darkness is approaching, grab a chair, a blanket, or a golf cart and meet in the big field on this side of the pond to enjoy the fireworks. 

He Who loves danger will be on the other side of the pond with the explosives. There are always a few brave(?) pyromaniacs who will join him. I will be on this side, cell phone in hand, ready to dial 911 should the necessity arise. Family fun.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wonder Why?

 Not the best picture of my nesting martins. I was standing on a chunk of wood, balancing with only one foot when mama and papa birds swooped at me. They aren't at all friendly! See if I bestow names on them!

The babies all flew away today and I can clean up the mess they left behind. Just occurred to me that they are the reason my clematis is thriving so well. They fertilized it!

Applied polyurethane to the 22 site signs I have done. That mistake should have been 56, but the six was backwards. Had to repaint it.

Now, as I sit here watching people try to park, I wonder. I wonder why you would drive to the pool from your site near the pool. You still have to walk from the parking lot to the pool, why not just walk from your site? I wonder why everyone at that site chose to drive separate vehicles to the pool. I wonder why people come in separate cars to camp, then complain about the cost of fuel. I wonder why the lady in the red car thought it would be okay to try to drive into my garden and under the small maple in my garden.

I wonder why I am not more upset? I wonder why I wonder.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Check out my lilies. More have bloomed since I snapped this. Many things have happened since I took this picture .......

Last weekend I trudged out to the dog park, determined to mow it. The mower had other ideas. I mowed the perimeter and the mower quit. It does that sometimes. I checked the oil and of course I had just put gas in it. I flipped it up and cleaned all the grass stuck under it. Still, not starting. You just have to let it sit until it gets good and ready.

Not to be outdone by a mower, I attacked the weeds and the vines trying to take over the trees again. It was early and everything was still wet with dew. I got wet as I pulled and stacked up the debris, then loaded it on my golf cart to be disposed of. My time is short on weekends and it was time to open the store before I knew it.

Did I consider the fact that I was pulling VINES? Did I go immediately to the shower and wash  myself as I should after a good weeding? No, I went about my business and did not shower until that evening. I apparently came into contact with poison whatever and now I have a rash on my right abdomen, right wrist, left foot and the top of my left hand. Insane itching. My own fault!

Since being in the sun intensifies the itching, I have been working on new signs for the sites. I made 22 so far. I was super busy with swimmers the day I painted the numbers on. I was laying them out to put polyurethane on them when I thought something did not look right ..... See it? Maybe I should re-do that one.

Now I must go mow that dog park again. I will ignore the vines this time and shower when I am done. Another weekend looms large.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Joy .......

This is the table on the pavilion next to the pool .... the designated eating/drinking/smoking area. I am always amazed at the number of young people who still smoke. But that is another story.

Are you wondering what else is on the table? Could it be grapes ....... No, it is tiny green apples that some one plucked from my tree. Why? I do not know. I have 4 apple trees, so I will not suffer the loss of the apples. I give them away. I certainly can't eat them all. But, why would you think it would be okay to strip the tree before they had a chance to ripen? Think it was kids? Not necessarily. I have seen adults plucking away. When I ask them what they are doing, they will look at me like I am on their property, defacing their tree. Then they will ask what kind of tree it is.

Trash cans are conveniently located right outside the pool fence a few steps away from the pavilion. One is designated for aluminum cans, the other is for all other items. You will see that someone did indeed make it to the cans. Lifting the lid and putting this aluminum can in must have been just too much.

I find items other than cans in that receptacle. Swim diapers, tiny green apples, half eaten sandwiches .......

Lest you think we profit from the collection of cans, let it be known that I contacted the local boy scouts and offered them up. I only asked that they come and pick them up. I made it clear that we did not mind collecting them and that they would be in receptacles lined with bags. I was told that the only way they would take them would be crushed, bagged and delivered to them! I declined. Instead, one of my campers gathers them into his truck every time he comes out and the sale of them goes to benefit disabled veterans. This brings me joy.

Speaking of veterans ........ last week I was honored to make the acquaintance of a young man who had served our country. He was looking for a tent site and I happened to be outside gathering my tools together, getting ready to call it a night as the light faded. He drove to me and I was annoyed at first. Then I saw the wheelchair on the passenger side of the car. He apologized for not getting out to register and grab a map, so he was a little disoriented with the lay-out of the park.

After I chose a nice grassy spot  that would be easy for him to navigate he asked if he could just pay me, in lieu of going up to the office. I told him, "No, absolutely not." He looked surprised and I told him that he owed me nothing. He assured me that he intended to pay and was not trying to avoid it. I told him that I was old enough to be his mom and that he would just have to accept my generosity because I said so. His name was Max. He lost his ability to walk and it was my honor to host him for a night. That gave me joy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


My last post had a comment that has given me pause. The comment asks if my "job" brings me any joy. I have given much thought to that lately as I go about my days.

While it is true that a certain percentage of my daily contacts annoy, irritate, baffle and sometimes enrage me; most of my encounters are pleasant and do bring me much joy. We have met wonderful, generous and thoughtful people in the last 10 years. Some are part of our lives for a short time, while others have been with us for the duration and have become dear friends. 

My friends get me through the rough times with their steady support and love. They inspire me to keep putting one step in front of the other when I am overwhelmed, as I have been lately. My sweet Nan cooked my dinner and Barb delivered it to my desk Saturday night.  I have stuck my hand in the drop box before and found sweet notes with money tucked inside ....... always anonymous, leaving me to ponder who it may have been. Seems like every time I think about just giving up, my family of close friends or a perfect stranger will pull me back up.

Not extraordinary, these things, just life. That being said ......... it is the outrageous acts of those who enrage me that inspires me to write. I suppose it is a way to vent and get all those feelings out. For the most part, I enjoy doing what I do. Fatigue and the acts of idiots sometimes overwhelms me and I have to vent. 

You have to admit, it does give you food for thought.

My joy is my gardens. Nothing quite so satisfying as walking out every morning and seeing the blooms I have worked so hard to make happen. So, in answer to that question; yes, I do have joy in my life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wishing The Week was Over

Friday is here. It has been a miserable week for me. The only highlight being the two nests of Killdeer hatching and watching the babies run around on the ground. I held two of them, much to the dismay of the male parent. Hilde accepts my presence more than Henry does. The other set of parents are new and the male of that set was a little confrontational. He stood his ground and fussed at me the entire time I inspected his nest.

It has been hot and humid. This seems to bring out the less than favorable qualities in everyone ....... including me. My tolerance for stupidity is at an all-time low. Just because you pay to swim doesn't give you the right to destroy property.

My tree-stump wedge I cleverly painted to look like a giant slice of watermelon was defaced. I knew it would not last forever, but that doesn't mean it should fall victim to someone with a pointy object and vandalism on his mind. I say "he" because the chunks of the "rind" removed were then taken into the men's room and distributed all over the floor, the toilet (inside and out) and the weapon (a piece of 2 X 4, with a pointed piece jutting off) laying on the floor. Why would that be fun? If it was a small child, why was he not being supervised?

Late yesterday afternoon I knew I was at the end of my rope when I told the gentleman on the phone to "shut-up and listen to me". He had called for directions, but kept interrupting me to tell me what his GPS was doing. I was really surprised when he showed up and stayed.

Today is not looking good. I don't open until 11 am. I cherish that time in the morning when I can get some gardening done in relative peace. The phone is my constant companion, but that goes with the territory. People see me and people stop me. This morning a camper was sitting there when I tried to sneak out the front door. Before 9 am. Check-in is any time AFTER NOON. If you are traveling (as these folks said they were), you can't have gone very far by 9 am, can you? They even inquired about the check-out time and I should have told them 9 am, but I had consumed only 2 cups of coffee and wasn't at my sharpest. They wondered if they would be ready to go by noon.

It was supposed to rain yesterday and I needed the break from people, but we only had a brief shower. It was overcast and the sky was rumbling when I closed up shop and went out to finish my mowing. I saw lightning in the distance and then had to holler at some swimmers to get out of the water, though I have to admit I wanted to keep my mouth shut and tempt fate .......

Now as I sit here scratching ant bites on my back with a long handled serving spoon, I realize I am not fit to be greeting folks today. Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Meet the newest resident of the kampground. Just hatched, this is one of the four new baby birds. There are more than just the one nest. I just met two more babies on the other side of the park.

The highlight of my week. Baby birds are popping up all over the park. Makes me happy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Squatters and the Lack of Sleep

Still finding a handful of strawberries and a random spear of asparagus in my garden. Some green tomatoes on the vine, too.

The forecast yesterday was for a major storm front coming through and rain off and on through Wednesday. Pushed myself to get all the mowing done in anticipation of this. Nary a drop did fall. Forecast is all new today. Sun and heat, no, intense heat. So, no rest today after the work of yesterday. The pool will be busy and I will be confined to my desk.

Another squatter appeared in a tent Sunday morning. Way in the back, barely visible from the office. I woke He Who should be the enforcer. "We have another trespasser ....." After a couple of "huh?'s" and repeats of the statement he finally understood what I had said. "Who is it?" he asked. Really, he asked me that. "Gee, they did not fill out a registration ......... that is what identifies them as trespassers."

He just looked at me through bleary eyes, then went back to sleep. I grabbed a clipboard, paper and pen and mounted the mighty golf cart. I pulled along side the tent being careful to make the brakes squeal as I stopped. I taped a note to the vehicle. A 1997 Honda Civic with expired temporary plates. I recorded all the information and left a trail of dust behind me as I blatantly disregarded my own rules and sped away. Oops, I might have awakened them.

I finished my morning chores, got the coffee on and went back to report my findings to He Who sleeps late. I made my presentation in a crisp clear voice (avoiding the "huh?"). Brows furrowed, he asked, "Did you go down there?" No, I used my super powers. He said "Oh." And went back to sleep. I am beginning to think his ability to go to sleep is his super power.

Coffee with my favorite people was loud and raucous. We tend to be enthusiastic in the morning. He Who never joins us, preferring to sleep. No coffee for him. Diet Coke is his addiction.

I was watching the semi-hidden tent as I watched my weekenders leaving. Everyone was pulling out early in anticipation of the storm threat. I spy a lone child in the playground and know the squatters must be awake. Once again, I awaken the master of my universe to see if he might want to try his hand at enforcing. It is nearly 11 am and he decides to get up and be my back-up.

The would-be squatters have found the note taped to their vehicle and they drive up to the front. I watch from my perch behind the tinted glass. I can see them, they can't see me. The woman is driving and a man is in the passenger seat, child in back. The woman finally exits the vehicle and comes inside, two five dollar bills in her hand.

She is apologetic saying that they have stayed here before and she did not know she had to register ...... My note said "You are not registered to stay here. Please come to the office and register."  The "please" was not heartfelt. I do not recognize her as a former guest, so I take this to mean they have stayed without paying before. This time they got caught.

She offers me $10 and I tell her it costs $20 to stay, squelching the urge to tell her that this is not a swap meet where the price can be bargained. Didn't want to further confuse her, since the whole concept of paying to stay seems to have her baffled. She goes back to her car and returns with another $10, apologizing and repeating that she did not know she was supposed to register and pay .....

He Who is awake has joined me in the office at this point and decides to tell her that her plates have expired and that she needs to take care of that little problem, lest she get a ticket. I just figured that she did not know about registering her vehicle and paying for the plates. He Who is nice advises her to travel the back roads and wishes her a nice day ........ much to the annoyance of his mate.

Back outside I wave to my campers as they leave and encourage them to come stay again. One group had a birthday party for their daughter on Saturday. The grandparents camped next to them and came up a few hours after their arrival on Friday to inform me of a problem. The water is leaking on their site. Not the site they are hooked up to, but the site behind them. Their grandchild was pulling on the pipe and bending it and broke it. Both shrug and say, "you know how kids are". The two campers are leaving, one after the other and have stopped in the parking lot and the driveway, successfully stopping all the traffic behind them as they are all out looking at one of the campers. They seem to be inspecting it intensely. They final decide to pull up far enough to let others pass. The older couple wave at me and smile and I wish them a safe trip ........

Hours later a camper in the back decides to tell me that he heard them hit the water pipe as they left and that it is now leaking again. I need to cultivate better spies. He didn't call earlier because he didn't want to "tell on them", but decided to call then because the water was running. They didn't hit the water pipe. The kid must have messed with it again. He Who plumbs had done a temporary fix, wanting to wait until the campers were gone before digging (lest that 3 year old decide to fall in a hole and have to be rescued). No, they hit and demolished the post with the site number on it. Would have been nice if they had told me about the water and the damage to the post ....... and the picnic table, since they hit that, too?

See what I mean about Memorial Day setting the pace for the season? But, that is not why I am profoundly annoyed this morning. Father's Day was yesterday. I offered to cook whatever He Who is indeed a father wanted. At 8:45 last night I was cooking breakfast. Bacon, pancakes, eggs. I was very tired. Said so as we went to bed. Mentioned that I did not feel at all good because I realized I missed a dose of my BP meds. My hands were puffy and my joints were achy. But, I am always tired after a weekend of being confined to the office for 12 hours a day. I would rather dig a ditch!

At 6 freaking 30 am He Who sleeps through disasters got up because "I was just awake". He advised me to go back to sleep. Never mind the thumping of Toni Louise's tail on the mattress beside my head, or the cold nose of Cujo trying to snuffle my neck and get me up. Oscar was whining to get up, despite the fact that he was up at 1:30 to roam aimlessly in the yard searching out the perfect spot to lift his leg. Wall-E was watching. Just waiting to see if I would stay or go. He was agreeable either way. I lack the super power that would allow me to ignore my canine charges and fall back into blissful slumber. I have a feeling the day will  not improve much.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tales of Squatters

Come, sit a spell. Ice tea, soda, water? Get comfy, this might take awhile ........

Memorial Day is the first big holiday weekend of the season and it has come to my attention that this weekend usually indicates what the season will be like. This year is no different so far. Memorial Day was not good from my perspective this year. Lots of issues and people problems. While I do know that one can't please everyone, I still try.

It has been either raining or overcast all week long. The temperature has been on the cool side. This means that the pool was empty.  Not so good for the cash register, but it does afford me the opportunity to get a lot done outside. Monday was mow day and we did. I also got some mulching and weeding in.

Woke up Tuesday to a cloudy sky, with the promise of rain in the air. Wednesday was an instant replay. I checked my vegetable garden as I sipped my mug of coffee, then sat in the rocking chair on the front porch a bit while I checked e-mail. Looking out into the sites on the tent side of the park I notice several tents placed close to each other. I was outside until after dark the night before and did not close early, so I know that they checked in after closing. I am smart like that.

No registration is in the box, so I text He Who is towing to see if he had taken the registration and payment. He does that sometimes, if he happens to be coming in when people are doing a night registration. Sometimes he will leave it atop the cash register for me to see and sometimes he will put it in his pocket or car if he is leaving. Best to check with him before I approach the tent city laid out before my eyes.

He Who had indeed talked to the man and told me the man would be up to pay later. I stored that little nugget of info and went about my business of hauling mulch until time to open the store. Now, the very last thing I do every night after closing is check the bathrooms. Mostly to restock paper product and a quick sweep. I mop and scrub in the morning unless the park is full, then it gets done twice a day. Since I had not had anyone using the bathrooms since the weekend, it was an easy job. Both had toilet tissue on the roller and an extra on the back of the toilet. Paper towels nearly full and the soap dispensers full.

So, imagine my surprise when two ladies came in to buy ice cream and told me the bathrooms needed attention. The two ladies were in the tents, each had two children and told me their "men" were at work. They went on to tell me that they only had $5 between them and they wanted ice cream, but would have to eat it before the children saw them. One lady told me there was no toilet paper or paper towels in the bathrooms, that she had to use her own personal toilet tissue ...... Told me there was none on their arrival. "Gee, that's odd." I said "The last thing I do every night is stock the bathrooms."

I went out as soon as they had eaten their ice cream to check. The men's room was occupied, steam coming out the door. The ladies was also occupied, but open, so I went in with paper product in my arms. The place was a disaster. The sink was muddy and looked like they had filled it and let it overflow. Trash cans were running over. I remedied that situation, although I wondered how they could have generated that much trash in half a day. The steam shower was still going strong, so I left extra paper outside the door for the occupant.

He Who had talked with the tenters told me there was a family ..... husband, wife and two kids. I told him that it was two families and well past check-out time and no one had paid. I admit that I nagged at him on and off all day. I had to clean up after these people and I was none too happy about it. The one night stay turned into two and at closing I sent He Who should have demanded payment up front to go collect.

Yes, you guessed it, they didn't have the money. Could only pay for one night and admitted there were extra people. I mean, He Who can count, after all. Just neglected to mention the other man, since he was not there at the moment. Then came the sob story. Electric company cut off their lights because they didn't pay the bill. I hear this happens when you neglect to pay your bills.

Oddly enough, one of the ladies had try to buy my leather furniture that same day! Bathrooms were both occupied when I closed, so I did not get an opportunity to check them before I went to bed. I did when I started my day and let me just say that it was quite unpleasant. No paper product in either, despite the fact that I had put extra out for them. The clean up had me holding my breath. I will not go into detail, but every body fluid imaginable was involved. There were clothes draped on stall doors and in heaps on benches. Feminine hygiene products graced the back of the toilet. Dishes in the sinks .........

Noon came and went and I demanded He Who was not there come home and eject the squatters. At this point I decided to cut my losses and just get them out. But, another appeal to He Who is a sucker for a sob story and they got a stay on their ejection! One night turned into 3 and they told He Who they had decided to just stay long-term .......

He Who is a tender soul lied to them and told them we were booked for the weekend. Me ... I would have just told them they had to move on. Noon was approaching and I refused to go clean another mess until they left. I worked outside and watched, waiting for one of the men to go get the money from the bank to under pay me. They all got in the pool. A truck came in with a washer and dryer and a table on the back. That really scared me. I could just picture this set up in my tent area with extension cords running willy-nilly throughout the park ......

They paid part of the money owed and went on their way. The three day stay  for 8 people involved 9 rolls of toilet tissue, 7 rolls of paper towels and emptied the soap dispensers. I could not afford for them stay any longer. Not even taking into account the 30 minute hot showers the kids took .......

They finally left at 2:30 today. On to the next campground they go ....... with their washer and dryer and table on board. I did a final bathroom scrub down and replaced the paper product once again. Now here I sit, iced tea trickling down my throat, as I wait for the next catastrophic encounter with camping.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's Greedy Time!

What do you do at the kampground when you are bored? Call everybody up with a promise of a strawberry dessert, then make them play a dice game, that's what!

A good turnout, and Martha brought popcorn and ice cream. And wine. I made a pound cake to serve with the fresh strawberries. Nan brought the dice and Barb laid out the rules for Greedy. Barb kept score and He Who manned the corkscrew ......

He Who tows was not playing, in case he got a call. He just threw the dice for players who may have retreated to the outdoors to smoke. Seemed the logical choice to open the wine ....... or maybe not.

He actually broke the neck of the bottle trying to get the cork out! Did we toss the wine? Really, you know how I hate waste. I was prepared to sip it very carefully. Patrick suggested a coffee filter to strain the wine and we did for the first round. After that and finding no shards of glass we drank more. Oh, no wait, that was ME who had more. And then more. I am told I was very happy. I had no trouble falling to sleep. I did not win, but I did not care.

I do remember thinking it was too hot and He Who was not playing held the fan on Tom, then me. I think we ate, the cake and strawberries were gone ......... but, then, so was I. I don't get out much, you know.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Isn't She Lovely

This is my granddaughter, Layla. I love this picture. Her face is still that of the little girl I love so much. No big girl make-up or sophisticated expression, just that little girl. I am awe-struck by her poise and grace. She is amazing, my granddaughter!

She is taller than me now and is as smart as she is beautiful. She has her mom's long legs and her dad's grin. She is turning into a lovely young woman. I am proud to be her Gramma.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Celebrity Weather Forecasters

I was busy at the registration desk when my cell rang. I assumed it would be He Who delivers fire wood with a question, but when I looked at the caller ID, I saw it was my daughter-in-law. I didn't answer fast enough and lost the call. I would just call her back when I finished with the customer. Then the store line rang, It wasn't my daughter-in-law after all, it was my sweet Jada. I told her I would call her right back and I did when my customer left.

Oddly enough I was talking about her before she called. She asked me if I had had any tomatoes yet. That is what I thought she said. So I started telling her all about my tomato plants and asked if she had planted anything. I really didn't think it was odd that she asked me that. She likes to look at my vegetable garden when she is here. One year she dug potatoes and then ate them for supper. But, in answer to my question, she said, "No, Gramma, twister." My mind ran through tomato varieties and I thought this must be a new one.

I prattled on about the garden and she kept saying twister ...... and I could hear someone laughing and a whispered discussion. She kept asking about this twister tomato and I was getting confused. I can only imagine how confused she was, since the entire time she was saying "TORNADO".

Bet she thinks her Gramma needs hearing aids. She was watching the weather and saw all the bad weather headed my way and she was worried about me. I love that child!

Yesterday I got a text from He Who was in his tow truck ..... "Who is this man" While I was impressed that he spelled everything correctly, I had no idea what he was referring to. I was busy reading blogs, so I just glanced at it and texted back "What man?" You will note that I used punctuation. I didn't notice that he had included a photo ....... I was busy ........ reading and commenting.

So upon his return he grabbed my phone and showed me the picture of a man from the side, really more of the back of his head than the front. Not a good picture at all. I could tell it was a black man in a blue button down dress shirt, not much else. He Who is not a photographer was amazed that I did not recognize Al Roker. Of course I could after he told me who it was.

Al was on his way to St. Louis and was at McDonald's eating a burger outside according to my source. Al waved at He Who tows who was in his big tow truck and asked if He Who had come to get him. He Who loves to talk to people offered to take him where he wanted to go, but Al chose to ride in the SUV he came in.

Not only did he spot a celebrity, they exchanged words! Maybe Jada will be a famous weather forecaster on the Today Show when she grows up!
I could be a celebrity by proxy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Am Feeling Positively Negative

Despite me intention to have a more positive attitude today ....... well, let's just say that circumstances have conspired to bring out my less than pleasant qualities.

Things started out okay. I had my coffee uninterrupted and then went out to start my day. The bathrooms awaited my attention and weren't too bad. There was an event in the ladies room that defies explanation, but I won't get into that. You really don't want details, trust me.

After the cleaning and trash emptying, I grabbed the mower and started mowing. I had barely carved out one row when the phone in my pocket beckoned to me. A reservation, so a good interruption. Back to the job of mowing and I managed to get all the areas around my young trees done on one side of the sidewalk. I like a wide swath around my trees. He Who mows has been known to simply mow them down. I was intent on getting the entire area around the pool prepped for the big mower, but another phone reservation interrupted me.

By now, it is really getting hot outside and I am anxious to get done before I have to open the store at 11. No such luck. Swimmers began arriving at 10:30. Thirty precious minutes would have made a huge difference. But, I stopped, resigned to opening early. I had planned to mow until 10:45 and then grab a quick cold shower. What is they say about the best laid plans?

Still determined to have a positive outlook as I stand literally dripping with sweat, I paste a happy expression on my face.  Still longing for a shower I continue checking in swimmers and selling snacks and cold drinks. I was pulling it off until I was asked what it was like to live here at a campground and "be on vacation all the time". Really. I can only imagine my expression as I asked the man if I looked like I was on vacation.

I forgot about it and went about my business, all the while wishing for a thunderstorm. I finally closed at 8 and went outside to do some gardening in the relative cool of the evening. I hooked the little trailer to my golf cart and was busy loading mulch when the phone rang. The caller wanted He Who knows about electricity. I honestly didn't know if he had returned from his trip to procure more fuel to feed the mower, but told him that he was not here. "Well, we are trying to check in here and I don't know what kind of power this RV takes." He went on telling me how he had just bought it and I cut him off, telling him I would be there in a minute.

Annoyed that I was losing light and still had two buckets to fill, I went to front of the park. There sat very old Class A motor home. I was pretty sure it was 30 amp, but asked if the plug had 3 prongs or 4 prongs. The man looked up from the registration form he was filling out with painful determination. I had been intent on viewing this RV, wondering what could have possessed someone to actually pay money for it.

I recognize the man and my stomach starts to churn. I fervently hope he is not thinking to park this here and LIVE in it. Upon hearing my query about the number of prongs on his plug he walks over to me and gets close enough that I am feeling violated. "Well, it did have 3 prongs. 'Til we drug it off down the road." I see that a woman is with him. She has taken over the registration form on the hood of her car.

Might as well get right to it, I think to myself and ask how many nights they will need the site. I am all set to reject the request to "live in it" and am told "only one night". The woman tells me she just purchased it and wants to "check it out" and "clean it up". I am confused. How will they do this with no cord to plug it in? The man tells me he has a friend with a cord. I didn't wonder aloud, it was like he read my mind.

I open the store again, since she wants to use a credit card. My dogs are not happy. I think they sense my reluctance to have these folk stay here. I see my VW pulling into the park and I am so excited to turn this transaction over to He Who never seems to be here when ne'er-do-wells are here.

I am being peppered with questions about fuses and I excuse myself to demand that He Who looks to be in a hurry to tow, make himself available to answer fuse questions. I finally get them out of the store and on their way to the site. I situate my unhappy canines and rush back out in time to see that the light has faded away and will not reappear again until morning. I managed to accomplish absolutely nothing.

I finally got that shower and was sitting here catching up on my favorite blogs when the phone rang. It was 9:58. Now, what are the odds it is my latest check-in? I was thinking this as I answered. It was.

"Yeah, we just pulled in and got a campground from you. Have you got the cord we need?" Took them about an hour to figure out that they could not actually plug the RV in without a cord. I answer in the negative. "I seen them hanging on your wall." he says stubbornly. Like I am withholding merchandise from him. I assure him that I do not sell the cords he is referring to. I know every item in the store. I put it there. I considered stocking the cords, but they are quite expensive and I doubted that I would have the need to sell them very often, if ever. "No, I seen them on the hook behind your counter. We need one." 

What he is referring to are adaptors for 50 amp to 30 amp. They are not for sale, we use them when the park is full and we are left with only 50 amp sites to park people. I briefly considered trying to explain this, but just told him that he needed to go to a RV dealer to get what he needed and hung up. 

The dogs have returned from their nightly pee-pee time and I am going to bed now .........without the phone.

Memorial Day ...... The Good Stuff

Every year the same groups and families return to celebrate the holidays here. They request their favorite sites and add to the number they need as the group or family grows. I happened to catch this shot of boys I have seen year after year. Seems like just yesterday they were in strollers or on the shoulders of their dads as they came in to get ice cream after a long day of swimming and playing. Pre-teens now, they are off to the pond to fish, no supervision needed. How fast they grow!

New people come, too. I was totally unaware that the Renaissance Festival was going on near St. Louis during Memorial Day. This family is from Wisconsin, here to attend. I suppose you may have already guessed that from their attire. They thought I should use this picture on the web site ..... to say that the campground has been here for a LONG time! I will need to crop the Pepsi machine , though!

I have been in a negative state of mind for awhile. Seems like everything tends to break down all at once. One problem piles atop another and suddenly I am overwhelmed. I realized yesterday that I had not left the property for nearly 3 weeks. He Who is always going somewhere is more than happy to pick up whatever is needed for daily life. Milk, bread, whatever.

I needed to refill some prescriptions for both of us and run some other errands yesterday. The skies were gray and there was rain in the forecast, so I made my list and checked it twice. He Who is responsible for fueling my vehicle, confirmed that I was good to go and I left!

As I drove along I let all the worries fall behind me. I gave no thought to the hours passing as I shopped in several stores and gathered the necessities of living along with some luxuries. I admit that those items were found on the clearance aisle, but it was still a pleasant shopping trip.

But, I did have to come back. I had hoped I would return with a better attitude, but it was all here upon my return. The coin-op washer in the laundry room was still not working after a belt replacement and a new pump. It now works, but sounds like an on-coming train. My personal washer refuses to drain and spin-out, making it necessary for me to use the public facilities. Not such a big deal, but inconvenient.

The phone rang and a sweet voice I love so very much was on the other end. My granddaughter, Jada. I was showing her picture to a total stranger and extolling her virtues when she called! After I talked to her I unloaded on my favorite daughter-in-law. Told her all the crappiest things that were going on and she laughed and laughed. Putting everything back in perspective. She thinks a reality show about campgrounds should be made and that mine is good for a long run.

So, as I drain this mug of coffee, I am ready to face the tall grass, the mound of mud and all the mulching waiting for me!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Shall I Meditate?

I have been less than pleasant to be around lately. Lack of good sleep has left me irritable. Especially when I can't have my coffee in solitude ......

The week was short. Only 4 days to recover from the holiday weekend. The daily showers we have been having have made it hard to keep up with the mowing and landscaping. The task I set out to complete Thursday evening was impossible to finish due to all the interruptions I was subjected to. I was hoping to make some progress Friday morning. After all, check-in is any time after noon, right?

Got up and had my coffee and was heading out the door when I notice that my first check-in of the day is waiting at my door ........ before 8:30 am. I slapped a silly smile on my face to cover my annoyance and check him in. By the time I have taken care of that and all the people who suddenly appear and notice that I must be open, the sun is beating down and I simply give up.

I wanted to make a toddler slide. I have the plastic slide and wanted a mound of dirt around the slide and under it, with "steps" up the mound to the slide. In his infinite wisdom, He Who loves to move things with a front end loader, decided to put the hulking pile of clay in the playground on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Not good timing, to say the least, but he had the use of the equipment and wanted to take advantage of it.

This mound of mud has proven to be an issue with the showers. I managed to get the mound into a reasonable shape and one step in place. Still needed to put the mulch on it, though.

So, already annoyed when I woke this morning after another restless night, I set out to do my morning chores ....... bathroom scrub down being the major one. I encountered the usual dirty floors, it rained yesterday and that always makes clean up longer. I sweep and restock them at night, but I scrub sinks and toilets and mop in the morning.

It would seem that some enterprising young boy had enjoyed that mound of clay mud enormously. The shower was backed up. I used the plunger to see if I could remedy the situation before calling He Who plumbs to the rescue. Along with all the standing water, a bar of soap (Ivory, if my nose serves me well) had dissolved in the water. I managed to get all the pea gravel and mud to come up and swept it all out before I mopped.

I was not all that happy when I headed back in to get the store opened. I had 15 minutes of time left and encountered He Who tows coming out as I was heading in (this happens a lot). But as we stood in front of the building talking I noticed the strangest thing. Over by the pond, not on a site was a travel trailer parked, still hooked up to the truck. See it in the picture above?

Here, take a closer look. Note the sign. STOP. DO NOT ENTER. TURN. Kind of makes you think that we may have had some issues with people driving down here. Hence all the signage. See the standing water in the lower left corner. Remember the rains of last week?

He Who was in a better mood hurried down to awaken our after hour visitors before his annoyed wife could do so. Two young men told him they could not figure out how our park was laid out, so they just parked there. I was not buying it. To get there, they had to pass the sign. To get into the park, they had to drive by the main building and the signs telling you to register. There is a map framed on the front of the building. The registration package comes with a map.

Having been "caught", they came up to the office as instructed by He Who was nice. Unfortunately for them they had to deal with me. I asked them if the signs meant anything to them, they told me they didn't see them. I went a little nuts then and started talking to them like they were my own children caught in a lie. It wasn't pretty.

They didn't get stuck in the mud and I will admit that I found it a trifle disappointing that they didn't. I confess that I do sometimes enjoy a good confrontation. They just happened to get caught trying to park free and I unloaded all the frustrations I have for all the ne'er-do-wells that have passed through the past 10 years. Not my proudest moment, but it was cathartic! Better than meditation!