Monday, May 27, 2019

A Memorable Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 is , indeed memorable. 

Last year I did a good deed for someone and it came back to bite me this weekend. "They" say that no good deed goes unpunished. I don't want any accolades for what I did, I was just trying to help someone get on their feet. There were children involved and I am a sucker for young children. They were crammed into a very small camper and an opportunity arose with another camper leaving and wanting to sell their camper. It was such a good deal, but they couldn't afford it, so I bought it for them and let them pay me back as they could. No interest, no monthly plan. I just wanted the children to have room and for them to get on their feet.

The man did pay me back. HeWho is also a sucker for children and just likes to help people, got the guy a good paying job. I don't know what happened, I can speculate, but I won't. That is their business. The guy stopped working and decided to leave the park. That is fine. I don't hold people hostage here. But, he owed rent and I will hold property hostage to get what is owed me.

To be clear, I never even threatened to hold his camper here for my money. It is just common knowledge that campgrounds will do so, just like any other landlord. They did not even state an intention to leave until after they called the sheriff's office for a civil assist to get their belongings out of their camper ......... ON A BUSY HOLIDAY WEEKEND. That was fun. They paid their rent today and pulled their camper out. Little did we know that he also yanked the guts of the electrical box out, rendering that site useless until we fix it.

Last night, the tent campers that I found to be of questionable character when checking in .... I said, "You two look like trouble and I am not sure I want you here", proved my instinct st be right. I know, pretty blunt, but I just had this feeling. I warned them about shenanigans and last night at closing time they decided to have a free for all fight. They were camping with what was presented as a family, man woman and two children. The nasty language started at the pool and went on to the tent site, where witnesses say some slapping around of the woman took place. 

The child looked to be about 6 that the father, boyfriend of the mother, whatever he was, slapped. I kicked them out. The instigator was definitely drunk and his pupils were pin point. I think he considered slapping me for just a second, but I didn't back down. HeWho came up behind me with his calm voice and told them they had 20 minutes to get out. The woman/child slapper said it would take longer than that to take the tent down. I told him he needed to put it in high gear, he was wasting time. I think he probably wanted to slap me again. I told him to hurry, because I cared not if he left in handcuffs. Those tents went down quickly.

I overslept this morning. Got up at 6:30 and decided to sleep just one more hour and woke at 9:30. That was unfortunate because we are supposed to open at 9. All weekend long I have been juggling who is staying one night, two nights, or three nights. So folks are coming and going and not everyone is parking where I tell them to. It happens and you just have to rearrange and do the best you can. All the while I am selling ice and making snow cones and selling candy and sodas and pool toys and answering phone calls from travelers who forgot to make reservations.

The view out my window is the parking lot. I can't see the back of the park. I took one of those quick power naps after eating a sandwich for lunch and HeWho manned the store. It wasn't a real busy time of day, but he did check in a tenter and a camper. The camper pulled into a vacant site that happened to be a seasonal site. The seasonal camper was not in the site. The site was empty and I am sure it just looked like a vacant site to the camper. I was still foggy headed when the phone rang.

Although soft spoken, the caller had a accusing tone. The site holder was upset because someone was in her site. I didn't tell her that the phone startled me to wakefulness and I was trying to figure out what might have happened. I asked her to let me find HeWho was out in the park and see what I could do. I did know that the night before a red van pulled in after hours and apparently parked on their site to sleep before traveling on. They paid in the morning and the site was checked to make sure nothing was disturbed. I thought that perhaps they were here and trying to access the site, but she said they weren't and went on to say that she did not appreciate us LETTING someone park on their site. I tried to explain that we never intentionally put anyone on any site that "belonged" to a seasonal camper. I knew that she was not happy when she hung up, but I also knew that nothing I could say would make her happy.

I went on with business and sold some candy and lots of ice and then things slowed down. I normally close early on Sunday and it was 8:00. I decided to lock up and go outside for a bit. A little weed therapy would clear all the cobwebs in my head and the strawberries had not been picked for a day. I dead headed the pots on the porch and was headed to my strawberry patch when a truck pulled in. 

I am not a vehicle connoisseur. If asked what make and model a vehicle is, I couldn't say. I could tell you the color and whether it is a car or a big truck or a little truck. I just don't really care about vehicles. I drive the car I am given. As long as it is in good working order and has fuel and does not smell bad, I am content. The truck was the seasonal camper who called. I didn't recognize her until I got closer, having abandoned my glasses inside. She seemed insulted that I didn't recognize their truck, it is apparently one of a kind.

The whole issue of the camper on their site began again and I told her that we were happy to relinquish the fee we collected from the invader. She asked how much it was and when I told her, she said it was not enough. It was $30.53. Based on her thinking that was not enough, perhaps I should raise my rates? According to her, I should be outside walking the grounds and know where every camper is. 

It was about then that I got a call to be on the watch for an ambulance coming to get Kamper Kevin. He was in pain and not really able to get up and walk. Yes, I was upset. This put the problem of the seasonal camper in perspective, so I told her I would buy her out of her contract. I opened the store and calculated what was owed to her and even included this month in it. I wanted to have her on her way so that I could see about my friend. I over paid her, based my calculations on a 50 amp site instead of a 30 amp site and included a month that would be due into the next year. The entire time she is complaining and telling me that I am not managing my campground correctly. I just wanted the woman to shut up. I admit that I did raise my voice and tell her that I could not be in two places at once. She went to the door to get her husband. Why? I have no idea. The man never said a word.

After the ambulance pulled out and things got relatively quiet, I sat and waited for a camper headed my way. I had warned them not to engage a GPS to locate me. I give good directions and the lady on the phone wrote them down. The man driving did not follow my directions and the had to double back, adding 18 miles to their trip. They pulled in at 10:30. And this is when we discovered the broken electrical box on the recently vacated site. Good times.

It was after midnight before we settled down and then I could not sleep.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Scary Event

This event was by far the strangest one yet. I know you find that hard to believe if you read my blog much ….

I was gifted two nice benches after a wedding ceremony that took place here last year. I decided they needed some froggie d├ęcor, so I painted some frogs on them. Whimsical little creatures, but no teeth like my other frog that greets campers as they come in. I decided I should letter the one bench with our campground name. I sat on a stool with my back towards the road and took advantage of a pleasant day and happily painted while listening to a novel on my phone. I heard a vehicle come into the parking lot. It was a small SUV towing a small camper. A woman was driving and needed propane. None of my propane fillers were available, so I asked which direction she was headed and advised her where to go to get what she needed. I had noticed a boy get out of the vehicle when she did. Not unusual, I was focused on her and didn't really pay attention to him. 

She thanked me for my help and got into her vehicle and I turned back to my paint brush and settled back in to paint. I did hear a child's voice and what sounded like a car door slamming. I didn't look around, figured the boy was getting back in the car. He didn't sound distressed.

She drove out and quiet fell over the park and I was in my happy place painting and enjoying the nice day. Then I heard feet pounding towards me. It was the boy running! When he got close enough for me to hear him he was shouting that he needed a phone. 

"My mom drove off without me! I need to call her!!" I had my phone in my hand and asked for the number and as I punched it in, I learned the rest of the story.

Like me you are, no doubt wondering why a mother would drive off and leave her child at a campground. I confess that I did put one of my own out on a corner and drive around the block before letting him back in the car. They were all fighting and screaming and I said the next one to make a sound would be evicted from my vehicle. You have to keep your word, you know. Empty threats do not work. It was the 80's, a more trusting decade than the one we live in now and I was watching him in the mirror. It worked, too. Not a peep did I hear for the remainder of the trip.

But, this was different. They were traveling, on vacation, I assume. Why would she want to double back? Was she leaving him here like a stray dog? What would I do with the child? So many scenarios are running through my mind as I put this number in my phone.

"I went into the camper to get something while my mom was talking to you." he said. "She must not have known I was in there because it started moving and I knew it was dangerous, so I JUMPED OUT OF THE CAMPER AND ROLLED INTO THE DITCH so I wouldn't get hurt."!!! "Please tell my mom to stop immediately, I left the camper door open."

She never answered the phone. We looked up and she was pulling in the drive. The boy ran to her and told her what happened. They both got in the car and drove away. I suppose she was so scared, then so relieved that she couldn't talk. Me? I was so relieved that she realized he wasn't in the car and came back!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Driving Faux Pas

So, yesterday started off with a bang. I was dizzy and queasy, then I could see the squiggly lines that precede a hum dinger of a headache. I don't get them often, but when I do …. Realizing that I had to stay on two feet and check all the campers in,  I dosed myself with Ibuprofen and Tylenol and caffeine and sugar. 

I kept the headache at bay, but I was still not 100%. Four different campers yelled at me because they wanted to just change sites at will and did not like the sites I assigned them. One woman literally screeched at me. There is mud on my grounds. Mud is unacceptable it seems. I gave her a refund and sent her on her way.

But we are talking about drivers today. You know you can go to any RV dealer and drive out in a 45' motorhome with no training to drive one. This does not let those pulling campers behind them out of my rant. I think you should have to take a course to be able to pilot these down the highway. Thursday's railroad tie dragger being a good example.

Yesterday, a man towing a travel trailer about 32' long informed me that it was impossible to park in the site I  assigned him. So I moved him and spent a lot of time rearranging sites with my pending headache. Wouldn't be so bad if the guy had not been such a jerk and yelled at me. Later, I parked the really big 5th wheel whose site was taken by travel trailer guy in that same site and he knew how to drive and pulled right in.

I happened to be standing up when I saw a truck towing a camper come flying in and do a 180 turn in front of the office. Dust was flying and I waited expectantly for the bad driver to enter so that I could chastise him. Some of my regular weekend campers I have watched grow from toddlers to teens rubbed their hands together in anticipation.

"Going a little fast, aren't you?" I said to the driver. He tried to charm with his boyish good looks and golly gee little lady attitude. Didn't work. I told him he could ask the state trooper who ran my stop sign how I feel about those who disobey my rules. Then I asked if they had any discount cards. I reeled off those acceptable - Military, Veteran, AARP, AAA, Good Sam, active police and firefighters. His wife said, "Well, he is a policeman" very quietly. The good dose of public humiliation he got was the highlight of my day! I heard his little boy tell him that he should stop speeding.

I checked in my last camper at 8:30. Never have I been so happy to be done for the day!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Long, Long Day

I made a fairy garden in a flower pot. Can you see the gnome at the door?

They even have a well to get water when they need it! Not lately, though. Plenty of water keeps falling from the sky.

My most favorite part of this little garden is the tiny "Eddie dog"! A gift from kamper Stacy. She knows how much I love my fur babies. See him on the "gravel" by the travel trailer, just beyond the fairies on the see-saw. They even have a good supply of firewood for s'mores. Gotta have s'mores when you camp!

Memorial Day weekend is here. All week long I have fielded phone calls. Wednesday brought 11 cancellations for various reasons. One man proclaimed he could not be here because the Missouri River is cresting. I am not close to the river, nor any body of water that would cause flooding. We are on a knoll of sorts and we get wet when it rains, just like everyone else, but we do not flood. 

I filled all 11 spots with campers just hoping to find a spot, then 3 called back and cancelled. Yesterday my phone rang every two minutes from 7 am until around 4 pm. No exaggeration! I have no sites left to rent and I now hate the phone! This morning a man called "to check on my reservation". I asked what he needed to know and he said he just wanted to check and make sure it was still here. "Did you call in and cancel it?" I asked. No was his reply. I checked and found his reservation still on the books and assured him that he still has a reservation. Can't wait to meet this guy.

It started yesterday with those folks lucky enough to be able to get a jump on the revelry. Unfortunately, they all seemed to show up at the same time. HeWho drives had my car, getting new tires. His transmission died in his truck and he was driving my car the day before and had a flat tire. He says he was doing this for me ….. I really could have used some help here and I won't be going anywhere for the for the weekend, so why this needed to be done on a day when we both knew it would be busy is beyond me. 

I plowed through it, answering the phone and checking in campers without incident …. I thought. We have maps of the park. Pretty good ones, easy to read. And I always highlight the path to the site. I try to always talk to the driver and have been known to tell them to pay attention when I highlight that path. I speak clearly and enunciate and use terms easily understood. 

Sometimes the driver will dispatch his wife to check-in and wait for her in the RV. These women will ask questions to make sure they know exactly how reach the site. I call them the navigators. Sometimes the drivers ignore the navigators. And, of course that happened yesterday. Big motorhome towing a pick-up truck decided to go his own way and took out about five railroad ties. Three were caught up under his RV and the truck was up on another one. Kamper Sharon saw him turning the wrong way and yelled and tried to stop him, but until a man told him to stop, he just kept on going.

We put the railroad ties there to keep vehicles off the soggy grass and prevent them from getting stuck. I arrived after kampers Terry and Craig were helping get the ties from under the RV. The man's wife was frazzled and said she tried to tell him he was going the wrong way. Then she said she needed a stiff drink, but that she is not a drinker. I understood her sentiments.

It is noon now and I have already checked in 4 campers (check-out is noon, therefore check-in is anytime after noon). Two of them came to tell me that they did not like the sites I put them in and wanted to move. I might have been a little witchy, since I am booked solid, but I did some magic rearranging and managed to keep my thoughts in my head and not let them come out my mouth.

It is going to be a long, long day. I am getting far too old for this.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Cold Feet

This weather! I refuse to put real shoes on,  it is May and my feet like sandals!

I hope this cold snap goes away quickly and does not affect my peach tree. It already has tiny peaches on it. The strawberries are ripening and my tomatoe plants have finally started growing.

The peony bush was looking ripe.

It started popping with blooms and now it looks sad after the heavy wind and rain from last night.

My side of the bed felt empty last night with only the two short legged babies. I reached out several times in my half sleep to touch Wall-E before remembering that he was gone. This morning I stepped out in my bare feet on the cold wet grass while calling his name to come in, having forgotten again. I will probably do that a few more times. 

This is the last picture I took of him. He wanted to get down and find one of his favorite woobies to sleep with. He doesn't look sick, does he? His blanket was in my desk chair this morning. HeWho put it there when he took it out of his truck. I admit that I sniffed it before I gave it to the other three dogs. Toni Louise has claimed it now and is taking a nap on it. Cujo and Eddie were excited to smell him and both ran to the door to see him. Then I felt guilty for getting their hopes up.

If I can just make it through this day, tomorrow will be better. I hear the sun is supposed to shine again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Last Letter From Wall-E

Dear Gavin, 
Gramma says I can write to you today. She is being really nice to me today, because I am sick. I have a really bad stomach ache. I don't feel like doing much and I am not hungry. I like to lay by myself on Gramma's little couch. She calls it a sectional, a MINI sectional. I don't know why she has to name everything. It is just a couch that she sits on. It has a thing for her to put her feet on. This leaves lots of room for us dogs to sit by her. 

I really like to sit next to Gramma. Cujo shares, but Eddie gets jealous and tries to push me out of Gramma's lap. He does that to Toni Louise, too. I guess it is because he is the youngest. I used to be the youngest when I first came to live here. Gramma held me a lot then. There was just three of us dogs here then. Oscar was in charge and Emmy was his wife-dog. That big blue cat lived here then. His name was Gremlin. He was snobbish because of his pedigree. Emmy was sweet, though. She helped me get adjusted.

There was also a cat that stayed outside. She wouldn't come inside, even when it was very cold. Her name was Spooky. She didn't seem very spooky to me. Toni Louise came to live with us one day and then she was the youngest. I don't know why she has two names, do you? Gramma says that she is full of adventure, just like another dog Gramma had that was named Louise.

Both those cats were here one day and gone the next. I didn't care much for Gremlin, he wasn't very friendly. The other cat didn't come around us dogs much. But one day Emmy went to see the vet and didn't come back with Gramma. I thought maybe she just wanted to sleep over at the animal hospital like Toni Louise did one time when she got hurt by that truck and had to have her hip fixed. But Gramma was really sad and she told us that Emmy wouldn't be coming home. I was very sad. I really liked Emmy, she was my pal. Oscar was okay, but he would make fun of me when I did something dumb. I was just a puppy and had to learn. I bet he did dumb things when he was a puppy, too.

I had to take a nap, but I am back now. I am very tired, did I tell you that? I went to see a new vet. Papa took me, while Gramma said she was holding the fort down. That Gramma says the funniest things, we don't even have a fort! I was dreaming about the last time I visited you. As you know, I do not enjoy riding in cars. We came in the motorhome and that's not so bad with the shades down. Eddie likes to look out the window, so I stayed nice and low next to Gramma so I didn't have to see all those cars and trucks whizzing by. Eddie is just plain weird! Cujo and I slept most of the trip. Don't tell Papa, but Gramma did, too. Toni Louise sat right behind Papa and she would stand up and sniff his head. I have no idea why.

Anyway, when we got to your Uncle Jeff's house, your Mom came over and told Gramma to grab me and we went to your school to pick you up. I was not at all pleased about this. I rode in Gramma's lap, but I could see all the cars and stuff just flying by (your Mom drives fast, but I guess you are already aware of that!). Gramma kept her arms around me and kept telling me that we were going to surprise you. I still trembled all the way. Your Mom thought I must be sick, but I just hate car rides.

We parked and all of a sudden you opened the door and you were there! I was so happy to see you. Gramma says I scratched her legs when I jumped over the seat to you. I didn't care then, I just wanted to get to you! I did feel bad about that later, though. I was amazed at how big you were! You are way taller than Gramma, and even your Mom! I have to tell you, I have always been a little scared of your Mom. Gramma says she is a force to be reckoned with. Whatever that means.

I remember that time you came to see me when you were just a little kid (Gramma said you were just a pup like me) and your Mom was mad at you for losing your shoes. I have to confess, I stole them. It was me. I hid them in my kennel. I thought maybe you would stay if I did that. Then your Mom said she would just buy new shoes for you. I felt a little bad for getting you in trouble, but I liked the smell of your feet and the smell lasted a long time. Well, until Gramma went looking for a bad smell and found them. She said that little boys have stinky feet and that your shoes were disgusting and she threw them away! She let me keep your socks, but she washed them and it was never the same.

After Emmy left us, a new dog came to live with us. Cujo. Gramma brought him into our house and sat him down on the floor for all of us dogs to sniff. Toni Louise took an instant dislike to this little red dog and still is not fond of him. Oscar accepted him and Gramma said that I was Switzerland. I thought maybe that was a breed of dog, but Oscar told me it meant that I was very agreeable and did not like conflict. He tried to tell me that Switzerland was a country that always remained neutral in times of war. Whatever, I like Cujo, he is always nice to me. He doesn't annoy me at all.

Oscar was old and after some time he lost most of his teeth and he couldn't see very well. Gramma said that he had cataracts on his eyes. She likes to use big words, your Gramma. She explained that it was like looking through really cloudy glass. She told us dogs to be extra nice to him and not put our toys all over the floor, that he would trip. That cat named Martha, the boy cat, likes to annoy us dogs with what Gramma calls shenanigans. He will hide and jump out at us. Sometimes he will just stick his claws out to hurt us as we walk by. He was pretty mean to Oscar until Gramma had a sit down talk with him. He made the mistake of clawing Gramma and got put in the kennel to think about the ways of the world before she would let him out. Personally, I don't think he was sorry.

Oscar got very old and one day, Gramma was very sad and she took Oscar to our vet. She was crying and Papa was sad, too. Oscar came home with her, but he wasn't in his body anymore. We all wondered about that and Gramma told us that he had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. She told us that he was happy there and that he could see again and that he was playing with Emmy and Gremlin and Spooky and other dogs and cats that I never met that had lived with Gramma.

This Rainbow Bridge has me thinking. I might want to go over that bridge soon … as long as it is not in a car. Gramma laughed at me. She promised that no cars were involved in that trip. She keeps kissing me on my head. You know how she is.

She has been feeding me today. I just ate some mashed potatoes and gravy. It was quite delicious. She let me lick the bowl and made the others stay away. I hope they don't feel bad about that. I had some cake, too. I like the cake, but she also fed me some cookie butter. Now that stuff is good. I think she might have hid some medicine in that. Don't tell her that I knew, okay? The medicine makes me feel very sleepy, but nothing hurts now. I think I will have to go have another nap before I finish this letter.

I had a wonderful nap, my boy. I dreamed of you again. I am still very tired and I hope to get more of that cookie butter soon. I don't mind that Gramma is hiding medicine in it. That vet told Papa that I was very sick and he sent some medicine home with us. I was so sick that I hardly noticed that I was in a truck. I think I might like to cross that Rainbow Bridge soon. Gramma promised to hold me in her arms until I was there. She has a nice lap and arms, that Gramma of yours. I am glad you don't have to be here and be sad like Gramma. Don't be sad when you read this, okay? I had the most wonderful life a dog could ever have and I was honored to have you as my boy. When you grow up and have a family with a boy of your own, don't forget that he will need a dog, too.

Love, your forever faithful dog,

Monday, May 20, 2019

Bad News

The news from the vet is not good.

Our sweet boy has a large mass on his liver and the blood analysis shows that it is cancer.

He is resting and not in pain as I write this. He came home with a supply of pain pills and I am being generous with them. We are left with a decision to make and the pills won't last forever and they won't fix what is wrong.

I called Gavin's mom as soon as I realized something was very wrong with Wall-E. Gavin does not want his dog to suffer, so we will have to make the awful appointment soon. Today. I have slept very little, so afraid I might accidentally bump him and cause pain. 

He bit HeWho loves this little guy beyond measure, yesterday when he leaned down to kiss his head. On the nose. HeWho sent a text to me that looked like he was telling me a whale bit his nose. When I left to run my errands he was working in the bathhouse, so I assumed he meant wasp, not whale. I texted back to let him know where the sting pen was for fast relief. He must have startled Wall-E in his drugged state.

I almost hope he will just die peacefully in his sleep. He has eaten very little and drinks a lot of water when I help him get off the pile of afghans he has made a nest of. As much as I want to scoop him up and hold him, I am afraid I will cause him pain, so I just lay my hand close to him so he knows I am there.

In the meantime, there is much to be done before the weekend comes. They will start coming in on Thursday, so my week is not as long as it could be and the grass waits for no one. We are hoping for a late in the day appointment for Wall-E. I will be totally useless after that.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


Crazy busy here. Trying to get everything done before Memorial Day. Don't know why I stress about it. We will still have Memorial Day even if I don't finish everything. 

In the midst of all that, life goes on. Wall-E, the wonder dog, whose boy is Gavin, (my grandson) is sick. He has been listless this past week and lost a good bit of weight. Last night was a nightmare. He is in pain, but I don't know where the pain is coming from. When I picked him up (very gently) he yelped and actually tried to bite me. Wall-E is a gentleman and would never bite me. He was trembling non-stop all night and would cry out occasionally if one of the other dogs accidentally bumped him.

The best sleep I had was when I got up at 5:30 to let the short legged dogs out. Toni Louise was in her usual position next to her master and Wall-E stayed on my side of the bed. I let the doxies explore the yard for over an hour while I slept in a sitting position on my couch. Wall-E usually goes out with the short legs, but he just looked at me when I offered to help him down to the floor.

He lay on my couch until HeWho took him to the emergency vet. There appears to be a knobby looking growth on his rib cage. The way he was laying made it quite visible. I had felt something there a couple of days ago when I was trying to determine why he was in pain. Today it is a lot bigger.

I am waiting to hear what the vet has to say. I have to stay here because we have campers in for the weekend. I have to admit that I am not very patient and quite worried. He is only 11. So far the only information I have from HeWho takes dogs to vets, is that he has lost 4 lbs. That is a lot when you consider that he was only 18 lbs. to start with and that he lost this in a little over a week.

But more than anything, he is first and foremost my grandson's dog. I am only his caregiver. His heart belongs to Gavin. The dog loves us and would, no doubt, be unhappy without us, but when Gavin is around we are just a background in his little dog life.

So, I am desperate to find something to take my mind off everything while I wait. Something physical. I have already re-worked the pool supply wall and filled the soda machine and moved all the merchandise on the floor and swept. I think I should mop it now. The store is just busy enough to be annoying and the sky is threatening rain, but not delivering. Yes, mopping it is. I thought about cooking, but I might set the kitchen on fire again if I get distracted. I have already done that twice. Yeah, I think I will stick to mopping and maybe painting something, like a wall or a ceiling.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

They Don't Make Things The Way They Used To

I wrote the previous blog in advance of the farewell party. I was counting on being able to just read the words and not cry. That was the plan. I cried, DJ cried, Andrea cried. I think some of the others in attendance cried a tear or two. They are still loading their U-Haul truck. Who knew you could accumulate so much stuff living in an RV?

I notice some of their outdoor belongings gracing other sites as they decide what to take and what to leave. Quite a bit ended up in my gardens and my store. An old wooden breadbox with a roll-up door has me pondering possibilities in the wee hours of insomnia. Any ideas would be appreciated. I plan to repurpose it. I am lacking in counter space and if I put HeWho's Wonder bread in a box he would not think to look there and would be standing forlornly in the kitchen with a jar of Jif and a butter knife.

I have been going about the business of weeding, as usual. I found some old frogs all faded and sad and hidden in those weeds and ground cover. This one is missing some toes, but I like him. He looked like he was grinning at me and lent himself to a goofy personality …… so I gave him some teeth! I had to make them from popsicle sticks and corn dog sticks (I really do hoard junk just in case inspiration hits me). Everytime I look at this frog I giggle.

Here's a front view. Now I just need to add a coat of poly and he can go spread happiness in a flower bed. 

One of the items gifted to me from DJ was this food heating device. Never been opened, still in the original box, I learned that it was DJ's dad's before it became his. Regifting? This is so old that it had flat head screws in the box! Kevin put it together and we used it to keep the meats warm for our dinner.

Worked like a charm. They don't make things like they used to!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Farewell To DJ and Andrea

Nearly a decade ago I recieved a request for a campsite. Not  an unusual request, given that this is a campground. The man was nice, nothing unusual at all about him. I see a lot of nice folks and forget most of them. If you pay and stay and cause no problems, I won't remember you.

He told me he needed to live in his RV for a lengthy time, until his wife could join him. Again, nothing outstanding. Then he moved in. Had I realized the value of the friendship this remarkable man had in store for us, I would have laid out the red carpet!! Dressed the fatted calf and held a gala in his honor.

I have often said that if you looked up nice guy in the dictionary, a picture of DJ would be there. He is the guy who comes to your rescue before you even know you need it. Always helpful to everyone who crosses his path, I am honored to have known him.

He was a lonely guy when he first got here, we all heard a lot about his wife, Andrea. Until she finally showed up, we were beginning to doubt her existence. Not as outgoing as her mate, she is equally nice. These people are the nicest people I have ever met! Andrea works quietly in the background, leaving her mate in the lime light. The Bible describes this as a good wife. A perfect match, these two. Getting to know Andrea was a treat! The woman has two green thumbs! She brings beauty to everything she touches. 

Everyone who drives through our park comments on the site occupied by DJ and Andrea. I doubt I will stop referring to their site as DJ and Andrea's site, no matter who stays on that site in the future. 

We have been blessed to encounter so many wonderful people in the past 15 years. Campers come and campers go. Memories fade over time, but their are some people who are unforgettable. They are kampers, spelled with a "k". They become family and they can leave, but they will never be forgotten. DJ and Andrea are definitely Kampers and more than that, family.

I will miss looking out my window to see Andrea with her garden tools and bucket, quietly weeding one of my many gardens. I would never kid myself that my gardens will ever be as neat and lush as hers! For the first time in years I did not buy banana pepper plants for my garden. I always bought them for DJ. Peppers would be my least favorite food, but DJ can cook up a batch that seems to have come down from heaven!

Life is bittersweet today as we say goodbye to our friends. Though I will miss them, I am happy they will be going home to be with their family and especially their grandchildren. I am a little green with envy over that part!

Friday, May 3, 2019

What Was I Thinking?

It has been a busy week here. HeWho plumbs has been breaking water pipes left and right. Making numerous trips to the hardware store and leaving me to deal with complaints. 

Yesterday, he finally told me the sewer back up had been resolved. I won't bore you with details other than to say they had to dig a giant hole to access the workings. This was great news since he had made two sites inaccessible. The flood waters are cresting in this area, but I am high and damp with just the rain to deal with. Campgrounds nearby have had to cancel reservations and I am getting the overflow (nice pun there!!)

I got 12 reservations yesterday, one after another. So, when I got up this morning I did a quick run through of my "seating chart" and then decided to give my floors a once over. I vacuumed both my living area and the store and then mopped. I cleaned the kitchen and made the bed knowing I would be in the store all day long. Thought about how nice it would be to come into my home, tired and not have to think about cleaning a dirty house.

I got three cancellations, but I am sure a lot of people will simply show up without reservations and hope for the best. I was all set for the day, all my ducks in a row. Until …..

HeWho laid the water line, broke the water line AGAIN. He was trying to backfill the hole and the bucket hit the waterline. He came stomping in to tell me he hit the waterline and had to go get parts. You may be thinking that someone who routinely hits the waterline would keep said parts on hand. I think so, too. But I don't do plumbing, so what do I know?

What I know is that the man crawled in the muddy hole and came into the store in the mud encrusted boots, pants and coat. I was checking campers in at the time. He announced that he needed some clean clothes to go get yet another part. I got the campers started and went to our room and gathered the necessary items for him. Since he asked me to go get them, I figured he was trying to NOT track the mud everywhere. I was wrong. The campers went to their assigned site and there was no one in the store except me and Kevin. I would have thought he could change his jeans right behind my desk. His shirt was okay. 

But, no, he went into the living area, where, it looks like he might have tried to shake the mud from his body like a dog would. Did he try to confine his mess to a small area? No, he did not. Right inside the door behind the reservation desk that leads into my private arena is a bench to sit upon and remove shoes. Close by is the dog feeding station. Just a water bowl and a food bowl set in a boot pan. Two steps in and you will encounter a rug under the dining table. 

In dry clothes he left and I went about my business of building a bird bath out of a ceiling light fixture. I had an idea in my head that should have worked, but didn't quite make it. I will need to use some of my insomnia time to tweak it. I needed my tool bag, as Kevin was helping me with a chain link I wanted to widen. I ran slap into the muddy boots that should never have crossed the threshold. The muddy jacket was laying on the upholstered bench (not a big deal, as I tend to change upholstery as often as I change sheets), the jeans were in the laundry room, as if I would toss them in my washer! And there was chucks of mud everywhere, even in the dog food!

I took the boots outside, his jeans are on the bucket of the bobcat and the jacket is on the ground next to the hole .........his boots are now in the hole, suctioned off his feet. He is currently back in the hole up to his knees in mud trying to locate the end of the line to connect it with the whatever he bought to fix it. 

Okay, I was really mad about my rug and the floor and the wall, but now I am feeling sorry for him out in the drizzling rain with mud up to his knees and elbows. I am not too happy about fielding phone calls to ask why the water is off, but .... part of the job.

As long as I am venting, I will just say a word or two about people who want to work camp. In fifteen years, I have had good ones and mediocre ones and worthless ones. Hands down, I would say that Kevin (aka my wife) is the best work camper ever. Never complains, in fact worries when he can't help. I have a man here who expressed a desire to work his rent off. You would think he would come up and ask what he could do, but even when he is asked to help with a project, he doesn't.

His rent is past due and I know he will tell me he is going to work. Eventually, one day, don't know when. I don't think so. 

So right now, I am just wondering what I was thinking, cleaning things up while the rain still falls!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Customer Service Survey

Yesterday I mentioned the two hours spent on the phone with my mail order pharmacy. Three calls and enormous frustration. I first tried to register on-line and could not. I had an e-mail telling me that there was something holding up my order. Since there are HIPPA laws, you must register and go into your account to know what the problem is.

Unable to get into my account, I called. I got a representative and explained my dilemma. She transferred me to another person. This person did not have a good grasp of the language I speak. I spoke slowly and distinctly, but she seemed to be in a speed talking competition and I could barely understand her. She kept telling me they could not "release" my order because there was a balance due of $13. Yes, only thirteen dollars.

I became somewhat agitated, since last month HeWho spent a considerable amount of his time, giving them a credit call to keep on file for both our accounts. He was not patient with his last call. Took three calls for him to get accounting to apply the card. So, he takes my phone and the very first thing he says to the woman trying to use English as a second language is to speak up and speak clearly because he is hard of hearing. Maybe he should have used a different phrase, because this did not help and he got mad as the conversation escalated. She hung up on him.

He called back and either got the same representative or someone else speaking English as a second language. This was not going any better, so I took control of the phone again. It went downhill from there. I have only two days left on what I refer to as my "crazy pills". This is not a medication one can just stop taking. She tells me I don't have a credit card on file and I respond by telling her it wasn't my fault that the person who took the information failed to do there job. THEN she tells me that the estimated cost of this prescription was $8 and had to be paid in advance or they couldn't ship it and that even then it would not ship until May 3!

I kept offering my credit card info and she kept talking about the $8. I hung up on her. Then I took a deep breath and called again. He must have been a supervisor. English is his first language and he took care of everything. My prescription will be shipped tonight and expedited to over night at no additional charge to me. This is all well and good, but I am still annoyed over the amount of time it took to get through to someone who could grasp the situation. 

I will be filling out that survey. Oh, yes, I will. Their customer service rating will go down at least one point.