Thursday, June 21, 2007

Life’s Little Circles

As we drove West again in late February, 2005, we watched with some trepidation as streams of motor homes, 5th wheels, and trailers hightailed it East on I -10. What did they know that we didn’t? The only thing that had never worked in the Winnebago was the radio and given Big Jim’s disenchantment with that world, we’ve never gotten around to doing anything about it.
We finally got to Quartzite, AZ, a place I’d always longed to go, about a month late for the biggest flea market in the world but right on time for a rain of biblical proportions. We camped on the famous free BLM land one night, woke up in a lake and headed out. Every single booth along the road was buttoned up tightly against the torrential rains and we missed out on the whole shebang! As we traveled farther into the West, the stream of RVs became almost bumper to bumper as hundreds of Snow Birds fled the wildfires in Southern California.

: >{ : > { : > { : > {

Northern California, a lovely campground, lovely town, not so lovely job as it turned out to be nothing like we’d been promised. (We had not taken Jaimie Hall’s advice to ALWAYS get it in writing!)

We left amicably after 3 months and ended up right back where we started from - at Moaning Cavern in Vallecito, (off of Highway 49) the place we’d spent our last few days before hitting the road a year before. I went back to work in the same gift shop I’d left on June 14th, 2004! We became the first Workampers the company employed and hopefully, there will be more in the future.

But what a difference! Big Jim, who was well known there as my hubby and #2 son’s Dad became a knowledgeable and respected guide and discovered a passion for caving hitherto unsuspected. Moaning Cavern is the deepest chamber,open to the public, in California. RVers are welcome to dry camp overnight for a small fee. Jim took hundreds of people into the cave by the famous spiral staircase while hundreds of others entered via a 165 foot rappel. Jim also served as night security and even took off on ten minutes notice to lead tours in another of the company’s caves, Black Chasm, near Volcano. Interestingly, he’d only been in that cave once before! He occasionally made deliveries to the other locations and soaked up all the cave lore he could.

There we sat, parked in the employee parking lot, able to “go home” in less than a minute from work. I was able to perform the merchandising job I had advanced into right there, at a picnic table, in the shade. Clancy sat with me near the picnic area and began her career as comforter to children who became frightened going into the cave and having her picture taken hundreds of times with school groups.

The staff loved taking their breaks and chatting with me under our canopy, away from the store. Since I also worked occasionally in the office we all got to know each other better. I was called on to host cookouts, and pot lucks and then wonderfully, an engagement party for #2 son, Jugglesorcerer and #3 DIL, Buttercup.

Ahhh, there’s a story… The woman who finally stole the heart of our confirmed bachelor and showed him the way to HIS new life!

Are you ready for this?

She was my BOSS!

She was also HIS boss!

But she’s an intelligent woman; she was well aware of the rules. She told me what to do until 5:00. At 5:01 I was the MOTHER-IN-LAW!!!

Also a writer, someday Buttercup will tell her own story but in another Ramblings I’ll share the story of their beautiful wedding - 155 feet below the earth at Black Chasm Cavern!

But now we are almost caught up to the present so I’ll tell you about what we’ve done in the past six months and where we’ll be starting in June when next we meet.

See ya down the road,



Sage Words said...

Backwards chronology...
...hurting brain...
watch "Back to the Future"!

Actually, it's not THAT bad!

Here's a question, do jugglesourcerer and buttercup have blogs? Just curious.

-Sage Words

Yarntangler said...

Jugglesorcerer and Buttercup barely have time to read a blog these days let alone compose one. But perhaps if enough of us suggested they do a joint effort... Don't tell them I thought that up! LOL

Adrienne Kristine said...

Hi there--

I think it was you who sent an email about the dehydrated foods. If you did, would you resend please? The wi-fi went down and I lost the source.