Monday, September 24, 2018

My Time ...

Another day is here. It is overcast with a good chance for rain and my joints are screaming. I woke at 7 and let the dogs do their business and then crawled back into bed to try to sleep away the pain. Didn't work. I did sleep another two and a half hours. Now I feel even worse. Like I had a overdose of sleep.

As soon as the pool closes I switch to "winter hours". I post the hours outside for all to see. I don't open until noon. Check out is noon, therefore check-in is AFTER noon. No reason to open, since you do not have to come in to check out. So, as I sit here sipping coffee and checking e-mail as I wait for the aspirin to kick in and provide enough relief to get through the day, I am super annoyed at the man who keeps opening the storm door to make the bell ring. I can see him on the monitor and he is not one of my tenants. 

Still attired in my night gown, I am not ready to face the public. I ignore the intrusion as much as I can with 4 dogs barking to alert me. He finally leaves. I take a reservation from a call, secure in the knowledge that she cannot see me in my sleep attire, with my hair standing on end. I do go put clothes on  and run my fingers through my hair. It is 10:45 and I still have some down time …..

Well, maybe not. The man in the white truck has returned and is intent on waiting until someone comes to the door. I go. I am not happy. I apologize for my appearance and point to the sign and explain that we do not open until noon. He points to the sign with the pool hours and says he thought we opened at 11. "POOL HOURS" is pretty prominent on the sign and anyway, it is still not 11:00!

Was he bringing me business? Was he one of my vendors? Did he want to make a reservation? NO. He just wants to know what I charge for firewood. Didn't want any. Just wanted to know what we charge, so he could charge the same when he sold it. He was from the state park. He could clearly see that I wanted nothing more than to creep back inside to hide from the world (my children tell me my face is very expressive) and I even tell him that my joints are giving me a fit and I am hoping my aspirin kicks in soon. He keeps talking, oblivious to the obvious.

As I finally close and lock the door, I bemoan the 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back.
I am not usually so crabby. I love to talk …. ask anyone. Now I feel a little guilty that I was not very receptive to the man. Now it is time to open up and the aspirin has dulled my pain.  My personal time is over. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Just Another Day

I was in my store, working and minding my own business. Suddenly I was hearing loud booms outside. Sounded close, so I ventured outside and saw this cloud of black smoke rising from the rest stop just behind those trees.

I joined most of my campers in the field near the pond to see what was going on. A car carrier was on fire. The cab of the truck and the car atop the cab was fully engulfed and the flames were beginning to swallow the next two cars. The noise was the tires and airbags.

Firetrucks started to arrive.

They managed to save the five cars on the back of the truck and no one was injured, so it ended well. Just another day. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

You'll Cut Your Finger Off!!

Yes, he said that to me. The man who really almost cut his finger off due to his inattention to safety measures that most people take.

It all started when I ask the man in charge of power tools to cut a few boards for me. Okay, it was a shelving structure in the store. I wanted to cut it down because I am always having to fill in space with odd stuff. It takes up a lot of floor space and I ask that it be cut in half.

After two days of explaining the simple task to him and seeing the blank look in his eyes ….. a tool he uses to make me think he is simple minded when he just doesn't want to do the task. Finally I asked Kevin. He said he would cut it for me. I wanted it done yesterday so I could work on it today while I am stuck in the store. Kevin was still mowing and delivering wood when it turned dark. I restrained myself.

This morning, while HeWho procrastinates was sitting in his recliner after a run to procure his breakfast, I asked him if he could do it. Big sigh. He measured and diddled around and borrowed my drill. He began taking it apart. To cut it in half. This would leave a shelf long enough to make another shelf on top. He was not in the best of moods, doing his wife's bidding, so I was happy to see Kevin walk in, tools in hand.

Before he had made much progress dismantling, I suggested that he leave it intact and cut it just beyond the middle supports. This would be a whole lot quicker. I did realize that it would also mean that the shelf left would not be long enough to put on top. I know things. This took awhile to explain and I was interrupted by the phone for a reservation. I apologized to the woman for sounding irritated and told her I was trying to explain something to men, She understood, being a woman and all.

Finally the sound of the skill saw filled the air and I exited to water my plants and escape the noise. The task was very nearly done when I returned and I noticed that the skill saw was really cute. Green and small. Battery powered. I said I wanted one. That's when he said , "NO, YOU'LL CUT YOUR FINGER OFF!!"

I have used saws before. I am not an idiot. Why would I put a body part in the path of the blade? And besides all that ……. who was it that I carted around from hospital to hospital because HE ALMOST CUT HIS FINGER OFF!

I am getting a saw, yes, I am.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


You will recall that I mentioned a time or two that HeWho has trouble following instructions. We both turned 65 this year and our clinic has us both having tests. HeWho had a colonoscopy this past summer. In this electronic age we live in, he opted to have the instructions for the prep e-mailed to him. I picked up his prescription that came with no instructions …… because they had been e-mailed.

The day before his procedure came and I reminded him that he had the instructions in his computer. "Oh, I deleted the e-mail." This said while he was eating his morning biscuit with sausage. I was annoyed. I told him he was not supposed to be eating. He was indignant. He went to see a friend who recently had the procedure and I spent a day listening to him justify all the food he ate because so and so said you could. He drank not even half of the jug of prep and complained throughout the afternoon. He agreed to a cup of broth for his supper and said he was going to set his alarm to get up and drink the rest before he left to go to the facility for the procedure.

I informed him that if he waited to drink it right before we left that he would need to procure another driver and car because I would not be the one to drive the considerable distance. He must have believed me because he didn't do that. I meant that he should finish his jug of cleansing liquid before he went to bed.

I woke up early to drive the patient in and discovered the half full jug of the wonder liquid languishing on the counter and the loaf of bread, a knife and the red ring you pull off the bologna before you eat it. HE ATE A BALOGNA SANDWICH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

I drove him there and waited dutifully while he underwent the procedure. They came to get me to wait to see what the doctor had to say while the patient was trying to wake up. There I sat, arms folded across my chest, as if in denial that I was anything but the driver. "The prep was (long pause) substandard, I encountered a lot of (pause) debris." I remembered the words because I found them to be very polite, given the subject matter.

He went on to tell me ( my man was still drooling and trying to look alert) what he found and did during the procedure. The end result was a second procedure today. But this one had to be done in the hospital due to the size of the polyp that had to be harvested. The hospital in downtown St. Louis. Do I like to drive in a big city? No, I do not. How many hospitals do you think might be in a city the size of St. Louis? Did we go to the correct hospital? No, we did not. But the nice people at the admitting desk called until they found where we were supposed to be and even printed out directions for us and it was a miracle that we made it on time.

I kind of think that the prep directions might have had the necessary directions to the hospital, but got lost in the head of HeWho almost completed the directions for the prep this time. He did not eat anything all day, I am happy to report and only left about 2 inches of the prep solution in the jug. He received much praise from the doctor for this good work.

The prep day was spent in another city with the hand surgeon. His stitches were finally removed and my attention to changing bandages and cleaning the wound were praised. His finger looks good if you saw the freshly injured finger. There was a lot of skin and tissue missing, but he still had 12 stitches to be removed. Some of the existing tissue will continue to slough off, but the problem now is that the last joint in the finger was in a downward position too long and the tendon is too tight. A new splint will force the tendon to stretch and all will be well with the pinkie finger of my would be McGyver. 

Two long days of early mornings and running around has left me too tired to mow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Life Is Not Boring

My life is not dull, what with me being married to HeWho fancies himself to be a geriatric McGyver and has hoarding issues that rival those of Fred Sanford. And there is always the odd person I encounter here. Let's not forget the four leggers.

We had a slow weekend and that suited me since I had to take down the summer merchandise and re- merchandise the pegboards on the wall. As the Labor Day weekend started I discovered that my ice cooler was not working. Just imagine my delight to discover bags of water instead of ice. Not all the bags, but enough to make me want to curl into a fetal position and hide.

I called my vendor instead and vented my displeasure. I spoke with the owner. He is such a nice guy, I ended up apologizing to him. This company is great at service, but like any other company, not all the drivers who deliver are careful about servicing the equipment and rotating stock. My cooler was inside. I had one outside when we bought the park and I forgot to lock it up one night and all the ice was gone the next morning. 

The indoor machines are few and far between and they had to replace mine with an outdoor cooler. It is a pain to have to go unlock the cooler every time someone buys ice, but, such is life. My regulars will just go in and get the ice and leave the money on the counter. Not everybody is honest, though.

Besides the inconvenience, it left a big gap on the wall. I didn't move all the big coolers and freezers when I last painted the store, so that had to be addressed as well. The wall has been painted and now awaits whatever I decide should take the place. I am still thinking. I had an idea that involved cutting down an existing fixture …….
HeWho built it told me there was no way to cut it down. No Way. He was very clear on that.

I consulted Kevin. Of course I knew it could be done. It is a double sided fixture that runs down the middle of the store. It takes up a lot of floor space and I have to get clever to make the shelves look full. Kevin and I will wait until the master is on a mission and will be gone a few hours. Then we will take it apart and rebuild it. 

The grass still grows and needs to be cut, although it is cooler now and I am so tanned that sunburn is impossible. I was mowing just now, but, alas, I ran out of gas. There is plenty in the can, but I took it as a sign that I should take a break. Even though I had a nap today, I am still tired. Had to get up at 5:30 to get HeWho to his out patient surgery. More about that adventure later.

Before I napped, I took my four leggers outside. They were all ecstatic to see that we made it back home. I was standing there watching Eddie search for grasshoppers and felt something warm on my little toe. "Awwww, Wall-E missed me and now he is licking my toe." That thought was stuck in my mind before I realized that he was peeing on my foot!! As I said, life is not boring.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Teeter Totter No More

I posted my new store hours Tuesday as the last of the campers were leaving. I will not open until noon weekdays and close at 6 PM. The pool is done for the season and check-in is not until AFTER noon, so why open up earlier. That makes me working only 6 hours a day! No, that makes me stuck in the store for 6 hours. You will, no doubt find me doing other necessary chores, lest you are picturing me with my feet up watching TV during the down hours.

Saturday I will stretch it to 9 hours and open 10 AM til 7 PM. Sunday will be my short day, opening at 10 and closing at 5. Bringing me down to a 44 hour work week. This would mean that I work 67 hour weeks during the season. It occurs to me that I am too old for this! Holiday weekends are even more hours, since I am usually in the office until 10 PM, waiting for late arrivals and I keep the store open 9 AM until 9 PM for the entire weekend. Yes, I am complaining.

Since I am stuck in the office for 12 hours a day, I like to have access to wi-fi. I can read blogs, I can stalk Facebook, I can download audio books, I can communicate with the outside world or just play spider solitaire if I so choose. Makes the hours go quicker. But this past holiday weekend I was denied that simple pleasure. Someone in the park was streaming movies. 

When that happens, it knocks everyone off, including the movie streamer. I tell people this will happen, but there is always someone who decides to try anyway. They must have tried all weekend. At one point I felt like going door to door and finding them and telling them to get their butt outdoors and enjoy the pool while they could!

In addition to the speed demons that plague the park constantly, we had play ground equipment broken. About 10 years ago, I mentioned to HeWho loves to go places that we needed a see-saw. The base was already there. He purchased the board that same day. It lingered here for the next 9 and a half years waiting for the day of installation. When I was asked what that particular board was supposed to be, I told Kevin (aka my wife) what it was purchased for and he installed it the very next day.

Although it was a very sturdy board, it was meant for children. Young children. Not obese adults or hormone crazed adolescents. I saw a young man standing on either side of the center of the board and banging it up and down. I did yell at him and he did get off. But I could not be outside forever. I think he may have taken on the project of demolishing it as a challenge to me. Unfortunately, we don't have a camera on the playground. We no longer have a see-saw. It was broken in half.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dragons and Speeders

Holiday weekends, let the madness begin! We have a very big parking lot. Really, really big gravel parking lot with plenty of room for parking as well as turning around. But, some camper, who remains a mystery decided to demolish my fairy garden. It happened Friday night. After everyone was checked in and I had gone to bed.

I did not notice it at first. Everything seemed to be running smoothly. My most favorite holiday camping family brought dinner plates to us. I was still in the happy glow of my first cup of coffee as I went out to inspect bathrooms. No surprises awaited me there and I had just enough time to gather the ripe tomatoes and two cantaloupes. 

I rinsed the biggest cantaloupe and took it to my campers to thank them for the meal and was on my way back to open the store when I discovered the travesty to my fairies!

The sign says it all. Dragons! Although there were some distinctive tread tracks left I was too busy to do a thorough investigation. But, this is why I loathe holiday weekends. People have no respect for the property of others.

Then there was the young man speeding ……. I bet his license was still warm he was so young. I had noticed him twice and was too busy to leave the office to catch him to tell him to slow down. I alerted HeWho and everyone was on the lookout for this kid. I did not know who he was or which campsite he belonged to. He was in a little Jeep and was just zipping around the corners without a care in the world.

Sunday morning as I was coming out of the laundry room with an arm full of toilet paper to restock the bathrooms, I spied him round a curve where there are almost a dozen small children in residence. He was heading to the front of the park and it was all I could do to drop my armload and race to the front of the parking lot to beat him there. There was a truck pulling a camper speeding along right behind him.

I stopped him and told him he could not speed in my park. I also told him I had witnessed him speeding twice before. This is when his mother in the vehicle behind him came at me. She told me I could not yell at him, because he had not been here this weekend. According to her he was only here to meet up with them as they were leaving. she thought she could win her argument by talking over me, but I held my own and told her that she was speeding, too.

When I catch someone speeding why do they always say they weren't? I was not the only person who witnessed her son speeding in the park. Several of my campers and my work campers saw him as well. And, incidentally, he was seen parked in the grass right next to my fairy garden Friday evening. But, that was all beside the point …… both vehicles were going way too fast in a park where children are playing. I have signs posted all over the park to watch for children and the speed limit. 

So, this is when the father of the boy in the Jeep chimes in by yelling "Fifteen, fifteen, fifteen." at me. Fifteen what? Was this the age of the child in the Jeep? No, he was saying that I was getting all upset that they were going 15 mph. Not true. They were going at least 20. Yes, I do have radar in my head. If your foot is on your accelerator, you are speeding. How do I know this? Because I have to keep my foot on the brake and watch my odometer closely in order not to speed in the park.

I never speed ….. in my park. I have to set a good example. HeWho has been known to disobey the speed limit here and you may rest assured that he hears about it. My regular campers feel free to bring it to the attention of those who choose to speed here.

Today is clean up day. We are all mowing and weed whacking and picking up trash. Not much trash to get up as most of my regulars do a good job cleaning up before they leave. My break is over and I have miles to mow.