Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Wonderful Volunteer Life!

Though we’ve been at the park for 5 days now, we just completed our second day of “work”.  I use the term “work” loosely, as it is so enjoyable; it hardly seems like actual work!  We are signed on here at Devil’s Lake State Park as “maintenance hosts” which basically means we’re volunteering for a little more than campground hosts.  We (by “we” I mean Steve) could be doing lawn mowing, weed whacking, use various pieces of power equipment, fix broken things, etc.  Steve is actually the only one who is working as a maintenance host.  I am helping out with things that campground hosts would be most like to do, though I’m helping Steve out some also.  It’s the best of both worlds!

Today, the pathways to the 3 different restroom facilities needed some pruning.  You know how things are in Oregon in the summer.  Nothing grows faster than berry vines!  We pruned back, or up, any vegetation that might be in the way of a camper on his/her way to the restroom facilities.  Nobody wants those sticky berry vines around their ankles, or scratching their arms.  Well, the campers are safe tonight!

It was a lovely day to be working outside.  I might say we never had this kind of sunny, but cool weather last winter at Fort Stevens.  Having not been “summer campers” for the most part, this whole experience is new for us.  I understand it is to be way too warm back in Hillsboro today, where I know the Oregon Air Show is going on this weekend.  We knew it would be warmer here today too, but as I told my Mom, our warm 65 degree day must feel warmer…. as it’s a “moist heat”.  You know how people in the desert heat will say it’s not that hot as “ it’s a dry heat”?  Well, here it might be 65, but it feels like 73 or 74.  It’s all relative!  Steve and I actually came in this afternoon because we were feeling a little cool!  At 3:00 in the afternoon!  Too lovely!

While tooling around in our gas powered golf cart today, a young woman flagged us down.  It seemed she had set out an ice cream bucket with some supplements (vitamins), which had disappeared.  She wondered if raccoons would perhaps take them?  I told her I doubted a raccoon would take anything he couldn’t eat, and if he did, he wouldn’t have been so neat and tidy about it!  We decided to go ask the other 2 pairs of hosts in case they’d picked it up thinking it was litter.  We also thought we could let the ranger at the registration booth be on the lookout.  By the time we accomplished all that and came back around to find the lady, she cheerfully thanked us, saying it had been found.  She said, “Thank God!”, and I agreed.

It’s those little encounters we have where someone actually needs our help and we willingly step forward to try to help that makes this job particularly fun to me.  I truly enjoy helping people.  People in those positions are so grateful and thankful.  I suppose we are receiving our reward in full here, but it isn’t bad!  Heaven will be where we are thanked for all the things no one knows we’ve done!  That’s how most jobs are:  If a camper found litter around their camp, they would think poorly of the park.  If there was no litter, they wouldn’t notice and would simply enjoy their camping trip.  We both love sweeping up a broken bottle, knowing that our park comes across as a beautiful, clean park.

Every Wednesday, between 10:30 and noon, we have a tsunami warning system test.  We have a handheld radio we were told to keep inside the motorhome.  It went off for the first time Wednesday, but we were outside.  We heard the sirens go off in the city.  One of our neighbor campers asked what that was.  Imagine how smart we felt when we actually knew the answer!  It's nice to learn some of the "behind the scenes" kinds of things.  Looking forward to more of that!

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