First day on the job

The campground opens in two days and three people are registered to spend this weekend here, so today Mark and I started helping with cleaning in preparation for the beginning of the season.

Kathy showed us an adult use area where a lot of people bring their laptops to get a better signal.  There’s also a book exchange, games and puzzles, a piano, and a fireplace.  It’s a really comfortable looking room but it was quite dirty this morning.  Mark and I cleared all the cobwebs, dusted, vacuumed, and polished all the wood till it shone.  Kathy said she didn’t think it had ever been so clean!

She also had us clean the game room.  This is where the teenagers and pre-teen wanna-be’s will hang out this summer.  It has the big coin operated games that make all kinds of noises.  It also has a pool table and a couple small tables where people can play board games or card games.  There’s a couch in there as well.  Mark and I cleaned it from top to bottom, including opening up the florescent tube boxes and taking out the lights that were burned out.

Then Kathy had us clean the laundry room.  Mark pulled the washers away from the wall and the floor under them was filthy.  He got it swept and mopped under there while I removed cobwebs and dusted.

Kathy found a blue spotted salamander on the wall.  He was seriously dehydrated and wasn’t fast enough to get away.  I asked what kind of habitat they like and she said they like to be wet.  Tim and I took him out and tried to find someplace wet and Tim said they like to be under logs where it’s moist, but even the garden area where the landscapers had just watered wasn’t wet enough.  I said I could find a swampy area for him so Tim pointed me in the right direction.

I should mention here that the campground and surrounding areas have deep woods with rises and dips in them.  Most of the dips are swampy.  I found a place where I couldn’t tell for sure there was water because there were so many leaves covering the ground, but I knew it must have water because it was a small dip in ground level.  Sure enough, when I got down on my knees I could see the glint of water beneath the leaves.  I set the salamander down next to the water and he slid in and made his way in under the leaves.  I would have to say that was the highlight of the day for me.  It felt good being able to get him to where he needed to be!

When we finished cleaning the laundry room, Kathy commented that the floors were so clean you could eat off them.  She said she didn’t think anyone had ever moved those washing machines.  I was happy we had made a good first impression.  Hopefully that’s a good omen for this summer!

Mark was gone for a few hours late this afternoon so I did a few more things to help around the main building while I did some laundry.  I got a lot of walking in today.  Then as I was about to take one last walk up to the laundry room for the cleaning rags I’d washed and dried, one of our co-workers called me over to his site to introduce himself to me and find out who I was.  His name is Fritz.  He’s eighty one years old and will be turning eighty two this summer.  He has been working here every summer for the last sixteen years.  (I think Mark and I are the only newbies!)  It sounds like he’s had a very interesting life. He was stationed in Hawaii when he was in the navy, he’s been a pit man for NASCAR, he’s played in pool tournaments, and he’s a Republican.  I told him Mark will enjoy hearing all his stories.  As he was talking with me, another co-worker, Susan, drove by and called out the window, “Don’t believe anything he says!”  I like Susan.  She’s very friendly and funny!

There are still some co-workers expected to come.  One of them, Roseann, is currently in the hospital after having had hip replacement surgery.  I guess as soon as she’s able she’ll be working in the office with Susan and Judy.  Judy came by and introduced herself to us the first day we were here.  She has a dog named Nefie, short for Nefertiti.  Nefie is a rescue dog that Judy had only had for five days before we met her.  There is a couple we’re eager to meet whenever they arrive.  They also ride Harleys.

We are enjoying meeting everyone and it felt so good to start working again today.  Being off work gets old after a while and it’s good to start getting our bodies moving again.

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