Sunday June 26th to Saturday July 2nd 2022
Sunday morning and I’m awake at six o’clock, technically I’m still on call from last night, but I’m up so I just published last weeks blog, I have stayed on top of it better last week so now I’m working on this weeks blog already. I think the change in the weather has helped, and with some more sunny days this week hopefully we can do some more exploring. Today is an afternoon shift for me and Miss Laurie is in the store today from 8:30 to 3:30 so as she is coming back to the coach I will be heading off for my shift, but with most of the day to myself, it will be a slower day from the getting going point of view. It was around 11 o’clock and I get a call from the manager, one of the last of the winter campers (those who stay all winter without moving) was pulling out and the brakes of their trailer were locked on, she wondered if I could have look at it for them, I said sure, so I gathered up some tool and a jack and headed up the hill to the office.
It was a reasonably new fifth wheel trailer, and as I checked the brake drums on all four wheels, I found they were warm to the touch, and there were no skid marks, so the brakes were not seized (rusted) on, but for some reason they were being applied. So what applies the brakes on a trailer? And the quick answer was only two things, either power to the eclectic brakes being applied by the tow vehicle, or the emergency brake trip switch, with the truck unplugged from the trailer, they were still on, so where is the emergency brake switch? And there it was tripped, a simple reset the brakes release and everyone is happy and good to go. so I was back in the coach by 12:30, but an hours pay richer.
As Laurie is entering the coach, I’m getting my equipment gathered up to start my shift, and as I check in to the shop, there is a list of items that need to be addressed, although the most urgent problem seemed to be the fact that the new firewood we have been selling is quite green, and is therefore difficult if not nearly impossible to burn, so I found a few old bags of firewood, that had been under a tarp and brought them to the people that were having an issue. I knew the wood was green just by the weight of the bags, dried firewood is lighter, and even if it gets rained on it will still burn, green wood is impossible to lite and if added to a bed of hot coals will have water or steam at the end cuts as it has the moisture forced out, the good news is there could be a fire ban by next weekend.
I took my dinner break around seven o’clock, after that back to the work shop until 8:30, then off to the pool to shut it down, nothing special with the closing, but as I go to leave the pool area I notice one of the small fences has been hit, so I snap a photo and send it to the manager, the response comes back “Yes I know, Chrissy hit it” Chrissy is a staff member and apparently when backing a golf cart up hit the gas instead of the brake. Then I was asked to take care of it, I responded, that I would but it may not be tonight as it is already after nine, and I still have lots of items to address, so I placed some orange cones around the area and continued on with my evening tasks, I left a note in the shop thinking someone might look at it on Monday, and finished off my night in the work shop.
Returning to the coach I sat for a while listening to a book for a little while, because some of my tasks are late at night by myself and pretty routine like painting picnic tables, I have taken to listening to audio-books as I work, and i just wanted to finish off the chapter. So it was a few minuets to midnight when I crawled into bed, but it wasn’t long before I was asleep.
Monday morning and I’m awake at seven, again technically still on-call from last evening, Another afternoon shift for me, Miss Laurie is working in the office today, but not till eleven, so I’m going to give her a ride up the hill with the golf cart, and I will be working when she is done. So another day of catching up on the blog, reading a little and then I had a after lunch nap planned, I’m not a laydown napper, I’m more a leaned back in my chair kind of napper, so I’m trying to expand my ability to nap. And I’m going to report another failure on the laydown nap thing, although Mr. Sam was there for moral support and as an example, but a couple of hours latter I was up and now felt it was chilly in the coach, so I closed up the windows and threw on a sweatshirt, there was a bit of a breeze but it was still a while till my shift so Mr. Sam and I moved to the Clam for a while and to allow him some bird watching time. I downloaded another book, and just leaned back to relax and woke up after a thirty minute nap, just in time to start my shift.
Well no one fixed the broken fence so that will be my priority this afternoon, along with my regular closing and security, I need to do the fence while it is light and I’m not sure how much of a job it will actually be, so I will attack it first. I find a couple of old rails in the maintenance yard, so I gather them up, along with some tools, The difficult part is disassembling the old parts of the fence to install the new rails. It took some time but I managed to get it all done before the pool had to close and even had time for dinner in there, the rails were a little bigger, but they were all I could find and I think it looks OK now. Close the pool and the clubhouse, check the lots, office and store on my security round, and finish off the evening with some more painting in the shop and almost before I knew it was eleven o’clock and I’m headed to the coach. There is a cool breeze and rain overnight on the forecast so I closed up the Clam just to be sure, a good way to keep the rain away.
Tuesday morning and I’m awake at seven again, not sure why but, it is better than six, I off today, Miss Laurie has a shift in the office today, so Mr. Sam and I will be on our own again today. My summer schedule has me off for three days a week, and I think I will be OK with that, Miss Laurie is only off two days a week, so I have an extra catch up day, or a relax day depending on the day. There is a big change in temperature today from yesterday, and I’m wondering why I put on shorts and a tee shirt by noon, So I open the Clam up, grab a sweatshirt and Mr. Sam and we head to the the great outdoors, I check the feeders to make sure Mr. Sam’s entertainment will be there, and I lay back to listen to my latest book. This book is “No time like the future” by Michael J Fox, a look back on the most resent years while dealing with his “Parkinson’s Diagnosis” and some of life’s hazards.
Speaking of hazards, Mr. Sam and I have been enjoying a day in the Clam, but when I went in to make some lunch in the coach I noticed what I thought was a cat’s claw sitting on the counter, I thought it was strange that Miss Laurie, had not mentioned it this morning, but I assumed it was something that had happen the previous evening, so I left it where it was, prepared my lunch and actually spent most of the afternoon in the Clam with Mr. Sam sleeping between bird watching sessions. Laurie was home from her office shift sometime after five this afternoon, and as we discussed Mr. Sam, we found it was his tooth that had broken off, we have no idea how or why, but I’m pretty sure it will be expensive.
Wednesday and our first day off together with the new “summer” schedules, Miss Laurie is trying to find a vet clinic to check our Mr. Sam, but as with most things on the island, no one ever seems too interested in helping anyone. But Laurie leaves information with a vet clinic in Nanaimo and all we can do now is wait, knowing full well that this was not going to be a cheap adventure. The rest of the day was spent enjoying a cold beverage in the Clam with Mr. Sam and Miss Laurie, we had no plan for an adventure this week, with the “Canada Day” holiday being on Friday, we suspect many people may take this week off for vacation time, and now with Mr. Sam needing a vet visit we are staying put. Laurie got a call from the vet clinic but it sounded like it would be a next week, but he was now on a waiting list.
Thursday and the day started much the same as yesterday, but a phone call around eight thirty, changed the whole day, the clinic in Nanaimo had an opening at ten o’clock, we had not had breakfast yet and we are close to an hour away plus we need fuel as well, so a quick slice of toast and we were out the door. We have been very lucky with both our health as well as our pets, so I had a WAG (wild ass guess) as to what this little excursion might cost, but after the initial consultation with a vet, Miss Laurie came out with an estimate, and I was no where near the correct cost, I guessed all in it might be as high as $1500, so the estimate of over $4000, was a huge wake-up. And anyone who has known me very long will already now that as a old farm boy, that everything has a value and I would not have every spent that kind of money on a pet, but I guess I must be weakening or softening, because now my thought is that it will cost what ever it will cost.
So Mr. Sam is having X-rays, and check overs done today, and should be ready to be picked up between five and six this afternoon, so we went to Costco for a supply run then picked-up some lunch, and we headed to a beach in the area, as we have around four more hours to kill. It was sunny day but there was still a cool breeze, we road tested some new folding chairs that we had purchased at Costco earlier in the day, the beach was steeper than was comfortable in the chairs but with a couple of little pieces of wood, under the front legs making it more comfortable, we sat on the beach for the afternoon, I was listening to Michael Connelly “The Dark Hours” on another audiobook, as Laurie went for a walk down the beach, and yes there were rocks and glass gathered as you knew there would be.
Around five o’clock we made our way back to the vet clinic, to wait for our Mr. Sam, who when Laurie returned to the truck was not pleased at all with the situation, and I think will be less pleased as the week goes on, as he has medication that he needs to have twice a day, I suspect there could be a battle or two in the next couple of weeks. As we got closer to the coach he was becoming more restless after his days trauma and we know there will be more to come.
So tonight’s medication was ground up into a push-up, it is a cat treat that is a lick-able product in a tube that cats seem to go crazy over, we refer to it as “kitty crack” and worked well to discise tonight’s medication
Friday and I’m up around 6:30, Mr. Sam comes looking for his morning treats but none this morning, as he needs to take some medication, after yesterdays vet visit, and Miss Laurie is going to hide then in a morning treat a little later. I’m on the day shift today, it is also Canada Day, a celebration of Canada’s confederation on July 1st 1867. So I must admit I was expecting a bit of a quiet day, let me tell you that was a misconception on my part. At eight o’clock I opened the clubhouse, before heading to the pool to open it, a vacuum, which takes over half an hour, so the pool is ready to go at nine o’clock. Because of a breeze a couple of days ago the fountain in the mini-golf is plugged with debris again, so I get my boots and clean it out again, while I’m doing this and a couple of small projects, Bruce my supervisor is at the office getting the new list of priority projects for today.
We normally try not to run equipment on the weekends so I suspected the same rule would be in place for the holiday. I was wrong, all of a sudden there is an urgent demand to trim the grass at the fence surrounding the pool, so a weed wacker and a blower are fired up at ten o’clock with people already in the pool, after that the next urgent task is placing three repaired picnic tables on sites before check in today, so the tractor is used to move them with all the kids in the park, and of course there are only two rebuilt tables, so I have to finish one by replacing the seat on one side. Then there are around ten sites that people are departing from today so I rush to try to get the sites ready before the noon check in and here I have one site that is still occupied, when I ask the guest about departure, he says yeah we now it is an 11:00 check out, but we are running behind, I’m thinking no shit Sherlock, and he finally evacuates the site by 12:10. So I don’t get to my lunch break until 12:30, only a half an hour late.
After lunch the next urgent task is a group of picnic tables that some one had piled up near the work shop, which if they were to be repaired that would make sense but some are all wood and no one could make a decision about whether they would be repaired or not. Well I guess someone finally made that decision, three were steel framed, one frame was ok, the other two were destroyed when they were moved there. So I stripped the two damaged steel frame tables, then we moved all the wood tables to the burn pile, and we moved the last steel framed table to the work shop to be repaired and repainted. So I spent most of my afternoon fixing tables, grinding, hammering, and reassembling.
And just as a final kick in the ass, there are a whole bunch of new rules that they want enforced for the holiday weekend, why would management roll out a list of new rules mid day on a holiday? And this with a whole different direction of required tasks, things that make me wonder why? And it wasn’t long before the answer came to light, remember this park is one of a group of parks, and from everyone around here it is the treated like the unloved adopted step child, not getting the paved roads like the other parks have, and one has to stop to wonder why, if I have not said so directly, I have felt like the management was very lacking. Now I wasn’t sure if it was all levels of management or just at this park. But it is the style of management where information is treated like power, if your in the know you must be special, and if you don’t know your just a pion. I have worked for this style before, that get offended if you question them or their decisions, and quite frankly I don’t really care, other then just trying to understand why I’m being asked to do what I’m doing. And again honestly they are not paying for the insight or guidance that I could supply, so it’s more of a game for me to see people squirm that when I suggest more reasonable ways to do things, most likely one of the reasons I no longer get invited to any of the weekly work distribution meetings, and again I’m also ok with that as well, as this is not a career move for me, I’m not trying to impress anyone, those days are long over.
But after I return to the coach, and tell Laurie what has transpired, we have to just shake our collective heads as it is the most disorganized places that we have ever seen. But I did find out that the top dog from the ownership is making a visit soon! That explains the running around and new marching orders that have been distributed in the last few days, the whole operation is just reactive as opposed to proactive, and is what might be called penny wise, dollar foolish
So it is Saturday morning and I’m up at six thirty, Mr. Sam is pacing his food bowl is empty, and to say he is not amused with the new arrangement would be an understatement, so to quiet the complaining I add some kibble to his empty bowl, this will be my first mistake today, as when Miss Laurie gets up an hour later and prepares to give Mr. Sam his medication hidden in some food he turns his nose at it, now I’m in trouble for giving him some kibble. Mr. Sam still loves me but Miss Laurie is not amused because this means the method of getting medication taken has taken a nasty turn to the more difficult.
My first afternoon shift, and we are still peddling the green firewood, and people are still complaining, and now there is a concern from guests about some of the bags of wood only being half full. But I was still able to sell lots of firewood, as we kind of have a captive audience, and late on a Saturday afternoon what choice do they have? The park is near capacity, but after a few security rounds, there are a few areas that may be a concern later, time will tell.
The pool is busy as I arrive to close it down, and the water is looking cloudy, and as I check the chemicals, they are all good so it has to be from all the chemicals from sun tan lotion, always a problem as it plugs the pool filters and causes no end of problems with pool maintenance. And when I check the water flow through the filters it is restricted big time, but a long backwash and I am able to get the flow back to an acceptable level, and by the time I’m able to get everyone out it is well after nine o’clock. Then I head to the clubhouse to close it down as well, because it is nice out the clubhouse is nearly deserted and only takes a few moments.
I’m able to rebuild one picnic table between security rounds, there are lots of groups but it is a holiday weekend so I try to be as lenient as possible and hope everyone else is as well. And as long as there is no loud music I’m ok with leaving groups chatting and enjoying the long awaited better weather. And if you are going to a campground on a holiday weekend you must be expecting some noise in the evenings, again after the last holiday weekend I have no idea what could happen, but I finish my security rounds at 11:30 and head to the coach with another week in the books!
Happy Canada Day to our Canadian Family