I woke to a cool moist breeze wafting through the window I opened in the wee hours of the morning. The humidity and heat yesterday was stifling. My joints told me that a break in the weather was on the way when I lay me down to sleep last night.
I ventured out to toss the kitchen trash in the dumpster. As is my usual habit, I yanked a few offending weeds in my path as I meandered around the garden that my sweet Gavin helped me build when he was a very helpful 4 year old. From there I headed to my side yard and vegetable garden to admire my work of weeding two rows of beans and corn when raindrops started falling on my head. Just a gentle rain hitting the steel roof .... and me and all my gardens. It sounded like a thousand little elves dancing on my roof, chanting "You get a day off, you get a day off!"
Back inside, I pour my coffee and here I sit, sipping and writing. A very good start to the day. Then I remember that I have tent campers in residence. They arrived yesterday morning at 8:00. HeWho was heading out the door to get his daily breakfast biscuit at the local McDonald's. I was tending animals and other morning necessities. I was unaware of the exchange. HeWho is impatient for his fast food told them to just go ahead and set up, that the office would be open at 11:00 and they could settle up with me then. He told me when he returned, having had his tummy filled. He did bring to me an iced coffee, but I was still annoyed at the early arrivals.
I was even more annoyed when the man came in to pay. I had talked to this man several times on the phone as he inquired about the rates. He probably called several places, but that is not the point. When I quote rates to would be campers, I always tell them that check-in is any time AFTER NOON ........ because check-out is NOON. Suppose you make a reservation for a particular site and arrive early to find it occupied?
What's done is done. He wants to stay for two days. Four adults and three children. Looks like three generations. No big deal, I just get annoyed with people who seem to think that rules do not apply to them.
My day, which did not get off to a good start, goes on. The office does not open until 11:00 am. That block of time in the morning is MINE! I want to play in the dirt, or get my household chores done without interruption. The phone is a constant and that can't be helped, but yesterday was filled with interruptions. It didn't help that my headache was still with me. Stuck in the office until 8:00 pm with just enough traffic to make me be unable to accomplish anything is no fun either. My joints were screaming yesterday and I think my office chair hates me, because everytime I stand up, I hurt!
I was painting a small sign at my desk when Early Arrival came in to inquire about bait. With him was the older gentleman. I quoted the price for the twelve night crawlers and they carried on a mumbled debate between the two of them. "How many fish can we catch?" I had to let that one rest in my head as I pondered my response and how best to word it so that he might understand. I was tempted to say "Gee, I don't know, how many fish can you catch?" but that would have just been mean and made the inter-change prolonged.
I decided on, "You can catch as many as you want, but it is 'catch and release'." I was unprepared for the reaction. Both men looked appalled, like I had just tempted them with a steak dinner and then snatched it away. In unison they said, "What, you have to put them back!" Then the older man said he sure wished he had known that before they paid to stay here, that they were just trying to give the kids a real camping experience. They were roughing it and wanted to catch their own food ....
Roughing it would be in the woods with no amenities like hot showers and a pool, but I chose not to enlighten the men and just stood firm with my policy .... which is clearly stated on the brochure and the website. They left the office, still mumbling about their misfortune. They have paid to stay today, as well and I fully expect them to ask for a refund due to the rain .... so much for roughing it.
For now I will enjoy my solitude and my coffee before I have to deal with campers.