Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Day Off

Taking a day off is hard to do, but I am determined to avoid as much as I can today.
Yesterday was the last mow of the year ……. I hope. After I finished up with mowing I tackled some garden chores by pulling dead annuals and collecting too much seed. One marigold plant had the biggest root structure I have ever seen with branches going in all directions. I yanked a little too hard and killed my shoulder.

Many annuals still languish in many gardens, but I am determined to rest my shoulder. You never know how much you use a body part until it fails you. I suppose I could clean the kitchen and cook, but here I sit contemplating life. 

Today is my granddaughter, Layla's birthday. Hard to believe that she is 18 years old. Not so very long ago (in my mind) I was walking into the hospital holding her 5 year old brother's hand, on the way to meet her for the first time. I asked Gage if, since he was my heart, his baby sister could be my soul. He looked up at me with those amazing blue eyes and said, "No, Gramma, I am all of that to you!"

Then we held her for the first time and my heart swelled even bigger, as it did with every new grandchild. There are no words that can describe just how much a grandchild is loved. My Layla has grown into an amazing young lady. Painfully shy as a little girl, she now displays poise and grace as she dances in competition. As smart as she is talented, she excels in everything she does. My only recent picture of her is in the dress I wore when I married her Grampa. I would add it here, but she asked me not to. 

It is also Charming Eddie's birthday, he is 2. I rarely remember my dog's birthdates. The fact that he was born on Layla's birthday makes him an exception. Like Layla he is gorgeous and sweet. I don't do birthday parties for my dogs. They lead exceptional lives every day. I sure wish I could see Layla today. Maybe I can take a trip soon and see them all. Not today, though. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

I Hope

It's the most wonderful day of the week …… Oh wait, not all of them are leaving.

While it is quite satisfying to watch the departure of my weekend guests, it has been a very long weekend with some arrivals last Wednesday. Some on Thursday and then Friday and an equal amount on Saturday. Most left today, some are leaving tomorrow, some Tuesday and some on Wednesday. Looks like I am coming full circle with no down time all week. It was also very difficult to make sure that the early arrivals were not blocked in with the late departures.

And that makes for complaints. Guess who gets to hear complaints? I do. While most people understand when I explain my reasons for their site assignment, there is always one who will not be satisfied, no matter what you do. I always start my explanation with an apology and most people can accept that and move on. If they are really irate, I have been known to compensate them with something free to soothe them.

The lady this weekend was not to be assuaged with anything. She was mad and flew into a rage at me. I apologized and tried to explain my situation, but she cut me off. Told me I chose the absolute worst sites in the park and that the sites they wanted were occupied by some campers from another state and "how often do you thing they will return?". Guess I should not have replied that this group returns every year, as that added fuel to her flame (and she didn't need any). After standing mute through the remainder of her tirade, I asked what I could do to make her feel better. I was prepared to refund a night's stay, but she replied with "NOTHING". So, I gave her that.

Later I still felt bad that I had failed to appease her. Her husband did not seem to be as unhappy with the site as she was and their friends had not complained. But, like the rest of the world, I want people to like me …. and my facilities. I decided as I went to bed that I would give them an night's stay as soon as I saw them the next day.

The next day found me just as busy as the previous one checking in campers and selling fire wood and ice and answering the endlessly ringing phone. I had no wiggle room at all on sites, completely booked and no cancellations. Everybody assigned those double sites knew they would have a neighbor backing in. These sites are about 100 to 150 feet long, so it's not like you are on top of each other. I have been in some really tight parks and mine is spacious enough.

The camper who was to occupy the site in front of my disgruntled customer arrived. Very nice people with a puppy. I got a puppy breath fix and lots of puppy kisses before sending them to their site. I get a call telling me the site is blocked by a truck. I send HeWho helps folks park to investigate. The sites in question were on the end and have extra parking space. I even pointed this out to the man when he checked in. I even let him pull in backwards so that his awning would meet the awning of the friend's camper. So, I can only assume that they parked their truck in the remaining space to annoy me.

HeWho always thinks the best of people even agreed that this was the case and he helped the front camper back in the remaining space in front of the truck with just inches to spare. Two can play that game! The front camper with be leaving before the blocked truck and should create no problem for them, but I am betting that it will. HeWho is not quick to anger has agreed to handle the complaint, should it arise.

Just writing this has made me tired! I only have about 4 hours to go, since we try to close early on Sundays (rarely happens, but I can hope). The pot of chili bubbles away in the slow cooker and I am looking forward to a ratty sweatsuit, thick socks, a bowl of chili, cornbread and a movie this evening. I hope.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Scary Is Good

In my last episode I told you about the man who could not back up or win an argument.

He was my very first camper of the day and the day did not improve with time. I checked in another camper. He was to go into site 2. When he reached his site he called to let me know that someone else had taken his site. I did some quick rearranging and got him settled before investigating the problem. Site 4 from the previous evening had taken the wrong site. He was away from the campsite. This mistake on his part created a domino effect since I had also parked a camper in 5, which is in front of 4. Wonder how crazy they thought I was when I made them back in and they could have easily pulled through, since 4 was in 2. This rendered 4 unusable and I lost $70 because I could not park a 5th wheel in that site and had to turn them away. This was irritating to someone already irritated with the world at large.

So, I decided to do a little sign painting, while stuck there at the desk. Something to calm myself and listen to an audio book. I was happily painting away and checking in campers. I had just stood up to stretch my back when I saw a small red car come flying into my campground. The car did not stop or even slow down at the stop signs. Looked to be going about 30mph and headed down my private drive.

Of course I went out the door to investigate. By the time I got out the door and took the ten steps to the left, I see the red car hurtling through my grassy field, still speeding. It had been raining and she was leaving tracks and just missed a pvc water pipe as she made her way back to the road. She turned left (away from me), then suddenly threw the car in reverse and back into the grass at high speed to turn around. When she got to the end of the road (going the wrong way on a one-way road), I was standing in the middle of it.

The woman was young and had a child in the front seat who looked to be too young to be in the front seat (especially with an idiot at the wheel). She was grinning like a fool and looked at me and shrugged her shoulders. I walked to the drivers side and motioned for her to put her window down. She did and I asked her if she needed assistance. She looked at me like I may have lost my mind and said, "Uh, Noooooo."

"What are you doing here?" I ask, still keeping a tiny hold on my patience. "I am lost, I am not familiar with this area." she said impatiently. I probably would have lost it, pill screw up or not. She was speaking to me with no respect whatsoever like a teenager, and her child seemed to find it amusing, as he was laughing and she would look at him after she spoke and they both would laugh.

"So, does being lost render you unable to read?" No answer. "You just blew through my stop signs, speeding in my park, then going down a road clearly marked private before deciding to plow through my grass …. twice. What is wrong with you?" Again with the snort before she replied that she wasn't aware that it was MY grass. Then saying "F#&K YOU!" and spinning her tires as she sped out and headed for the state park down the road. 

The only thing in my hand was my phone and I wasn't going to throw it at her. A hammer, a shovel, a rock …… I would have. Of course HeWho tries to calm me down was not there and just about that time all the reservations start coming in. I was so mad I could have chewed nails and spit them at her. And we wonder why the children are so disrespectful. 

I did get some signs painted in spite of my, um, attitude. This one is my best seller.

Halloween is coming, I sold the broom stick sign.

I am partial to this one …..

Not too happy with my cat, it looks a little scary. Scary is good, I guess.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Coping Skills

I did a really stupid thing not long ago. As careful as I am with the meds of HeWho has no idea what he takes or why, I am not as careful with my own. I get interrupted a lot when I am doing this task. I try to do it early in the morning, but the phone will ring and I will have to abandon them to take a reservation or to listen to a recording trying to convince me to get help with my student loans or tell me I am a lucky winner of a dream vacation.

I count out loud while I am filling to help keep place, but that doesn't always work. While I was filling mine last time about 10 days ago, I got a call and was in a hurry to finish, as I was on the very last bottle of pills. I totally went temporarily stupid and just put one in each of the 14 slots. Supposed to take THREE. But my mind was on a problem in the park and my need to get someone to take care of it in a timely fashion.

About three days into the first week of those pills I noticed that I was becoming quite irritable and just felt crappy. Everybody will have an off day, so I just chalked it  up to that and figured the next day would be better. It wasn't. I even snapped at "my wife". HeWho is used to my moods and really doesn't take offense when I bite his head off. Sometimes I will apologize, but he just blows it off. This went on for 6 days before I figured out what the problem was. During that time I was struggling with insomnia and not getting any good sleep.

Day 6 of this adventure just happened to be a Friday. The busiest day of the week here. I got up and informed my sweet, easy going husband that I hated my life and everybody in it. Even the dogs! Every time I made a sudden movement of my head I could hear what sounded like a cookie sheet full of nuts and bolts being tilted from side to side. "There is something wrong with me," I told him. He was smart enough not to agree whole-heartedly with me and just suggested that I call the clinic and make an appointment.

As I sat there sipping my coffee and pondering life, I remember that I had had the symptoms before …….. when I ran out of those same pills and forgot to re-order them. I got up and checked my pill holder and sure enough, there was only one of those in each slot. He Who calls them my happy pills and he once said he did not care how expensive they were, that he would prostitute himself, if necessary, to pay for them. He really wants me on drugs!!

One of the side effects of stopping suddenly is suicidal thoughts. I can tell you that is not a problem with me. Homicidal thoughts did occur, though. I took two more pills immediately, but the effects do not hit right away. I am still having lots of insomnia, but I am a lot nicer to be around since I corrected my stupid mistake.

That Friday, however was not fun, not at all. My tolerance for stupidity has diminished with age and it would appear that I had no tolerance at all last week-end. Arguing with me was not recommended. Well, to be honest, it never is. I pretend to be happy and smile a lot when I am in a not so terrific mood, but I did not seem to be able to cope last Friday. 

The first man to feel the wrath of my tongue was the man who decided to argue with me about the site assignment. I did not build the park, the sites were here when we got here and I have no choice but to use what we have. Most of the existing sites are double sites, with the hook-ups on the same side. This means that, in order to be able to use both, the camper coming in first, can pull in to the back site, uh-hook their vehicle and the next camper will back-in to the front site.

I make a chart mid-week before the coming weekend. It is like a wedding seating chart. No matter how hard you try, somebody will be unhappy with my decisions. I have to know who is leaving first, so that I don't block them in. I never know who will arrive first, unless they are arriving a day early. So the chart is not written in stone, I am constantly rearranging it as the campers come in to accommodate the coming and goings.

So, when I told the man to park in site 8, leaving site 9 open for a back-in, I did so because he was not scheduled to leave until Monday, while most everyone else would be leaving on Sunday. His wife actually checked in and I told her that they would have a camper in front of them, but that I would make sure not to put anyone in who would be staying longer that they would. I went so far as to explain my reasoning to her.

Not 10 minutes later the phone rang. With a slight hint of hysteria (maybe she screwed up her pills, too?) she informs me that there are no hook ups on the site. Knowing full well that there are, I tell her that I will send someone to help them ……

I had this particular camper charted to go into a back-in initially and changed it when his wife told me he could not back up. Instead of waiting for the two minutes it took for HeWho never walks to drive to the site, they left and came to the office. The man is irate. He tells me that he would rather pull up to site 9. I carefully explained that this would render site 8 useless, unless a short motorhome pulled in behind him and since I have no idea what may come in off the road, I would possibly lose revenue. "Well, I don't care, I want 9."

It was like he flipped a switch on me. "Well, I DO care, since this is how I feed my family and pay my bills. I need to use all my resources." Telling him this I went on to assure him that I would be careful not to put a camper in front of him that would be staying longer than he would be staying. This man was not a good people reader at all. He kept telling me that I was not listening to him and we went about four rounds of explaining the ways of the world to him before I totally lost it.

He was trying to talk over me, so I went totally silent and when he finally shut up I said, "Let me put this in terms that even YOU might understand. It is my way or the highway. This means that you will park where I tell you to, or I will refund your money and you can hit the road."

He went meekly to his site and I texted HeWho shows people how to hook up to sewer and water. "You might want to head to site 8 and try to soothe this man I just emasculated with my words. I don't think I should be behind this desk today ……"

Come to find out, the whole problem with not being able to find any hook ups was because he tried to back in ……. You may recall that his wife said he could not back up.

Tomorrow is Friday again. I am booked solid. No wiggle room at all unless someone cancels. I am not really looking forward to it, although my coping skills are almost back to normal.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Blocking Calls

My posting lately has been hit and miss. Between wi-fi issues and the pain in my thumb joint …..

I am supposing that with age comes a certain amount of pain, but I wish my body would decide on one part to annoy at a time. My right thumb joint and elbow joint have been collaborating to cause as much pain and inconvenience as possible. Just moving my hands over the keyboard has become an event that will make me pay. I am gooped up with Tiger Balm and have some pain meds on board, so I may not be coherent, but I am not hurting right now. 

It is all a trade off, pain versus a sound mind. The weather is a bit chilly and I woke in pain this morning. I dutifully washed the dishes from last night, hoping the hot water might loosen things up. It did, so I went on to tackle the changing of the sheets that I avoided yesterday. All that pulling and tugging because I like my sheets to be taut and without any wrinkles.

I even managed to get an early start on tonight's dinner before I succumbed to the pain killer. While awaiting the onset of relief, I was outside pinning my sheets to the line and enjoying the brisk wind that whipped them about with satisfying snapping noises. My canine companions were overjoyed to follow me about the yard. That went so well that I decided to hang all the laundry out to let the wind and sun dry it free.

On the third trip out, it all went to hell in a handbasket. I tend to favor slinging the wet items on my left shoulder to avoid bending up and down to a clothes basket. This is really important if I forget to take my bifocals off. Bending up and down makes me dizzy if I am wearing them, and I can see well enough to pin clothes to a line without them. My left shoulder was piled high with the work shirts of HeWho wipes his hands on his clothes much like a 4 year old. The phone rang. 

The phone was tucked underneath the pile on my shoulder. I was annoyed as I shifted my load to access the phone. I continued out the door and tripped on the boy cat Martha, who looked up at me disdainfully, but refused to move. I called out my normal greeting and a man kept hollering "Hello, can you hear me?" I could, the problem was that he could not hear me. I pictured an old man driving hurtling down a road trying to make a call with his phone on mute. Whatever, I hung up.

It rang again as I was in the middle of pinning a shirt to the line. I answered again and the same man asked if my phone was working "now". That annoyed me, as nothing was wrong on my end, but since it was a possible money paying camper, I made nice.

It was not a camper. It was a man trying to convince me to change my account to process credit cards. He tells me that he is "getting back to me and returning my inquiry" about his company. My pain meds are kicking in and my filter of niceness has dissipated. "No, you aren't, because I have not called you." I say to the man. Not knowing what he has just stepped in, he decides to argue with me. I am most always up for a good debate, so I decide to participate.

He tells me my name, first and last like this is some sort of proof that I have called and left a message. I tell him that does indeed have my name and that the information is easily accessible in a number of ways. I also tell him that I do not handle this particular aspect of the business, so talking to me would not really help him. Then he says that he has spoken to my husband and says his name, as if parroting this information makes him more believable. "Well, if that is true, why are you bothering me?" I ask. "Well," he says, "do you take credit cards?" That information is also on my website and I am becoming more annoyed.

"Of course, we do. And, once again, I do not handle that aspect of our business." He proceeds with his sales pitch and I interrupt him and ask him why he is bothering me, that if he had indeed spoken to the man in charge he already knew what his answer was to his proposal.

Finally I interrupted him for the last time and said, "Look, if you talked to my husband and he was even remotely interested, you would have been given a different number to respond with. This just proves to me that you are either stupid, or you believe I am and will entertain your proposal. I can assure you that I am not stupid, just extremely annoyed at the likes of you. Goodbye."

He called back before I had a chance to block the number. I wonder if he gets paid by the call, or by the results.