The stay at the cabin was very relaxing and uneventful - but the pre-cabin time was no such thing. I kept my journal updated several times during this weekend, so I will insert those entries and, of course, make any comments along the way that come to mind.
Before I start the story, I need to tell you a little background info: At our previous visit a couple of weeks ago, the person in #4 (you remember, the man who parked his boat in our way, but also got us the can-opener) - well, he had mentioned that they had arrived early that morning. Short story here: I checked it out and found that if the cabin was vacant you could arrive when the gate opens to start your stay, and that they weren't particularly strict about check out times. This was great news, we could spend a longer day for the same amount of money.
So, now to continue with the story:
"Sat Aug 7:
Last night I packed the car, all but the cooler. Went to Wal-Mart and bought another cooler, bigger and better. They didn't have any life vests for Renee. Then I went to Kings to get the last minute food items. I wasn't feeling too good, guess all this heat and high humidity was getting to me, so I went to bed before dark.
Sat a.m. - got up about 4:00. Jeff had left me a "have a good time" message on my cell phone. I drank some coffee, then packed the cooler - got everything ready. Renee' got up and dressed and we were off by 7 a.m. In Roxboro, Renee' treated us to breakfast at Biscuitville, bacon/egg/cheese biscuit with hashbrown and OJ.
We stopped at Neal's store near the road to the park to get ice for the cooler. The cooler wouldn't hold both bags, so I sat one on top of the cooler and figured I would re-organize things when I got to the cabin.
At the park, I drove to the cabin area to see if the cabin was occupied. No one was in sight, only a car parked in front of #4, otherwise the place was empty. Great, I thought, so we went to the office to get the key. The man in the office, a park ranger maybe, "Charles" said that they people in our cabin had not checked out. I asked him if he had another one available - no, they were all booked, he said. So, I sent text messages to Sharon, Marilyn and Barbara informing them that we could not check-in until 3:00.
Needless to say, I was very very disappointed. Go back home? No other real choice. Renee' and I didn't want to sit in the car for 6-7 hours, and Renee' would not want to even sit and watch me fish (wasn't in the mood anyway). We went by the bathroom (across from the cabin) before we started home. Still no sight of anyone, there were two bags of garbage sitting outside near the walkway. I was getting more frustrated. So, I called "Charles" back and asked him if he was sure he had checked #5. He said yes. I told him it was empty. He said "I have no key." I suggested that they may have left it in the cabin. He said, no, but he would do some more checking and asked me for my phone number. (Should I wait 6 hours for him to call? One thing for sure - those cabins had better be fully occupied this afternoon - I was thinking).
So Renee' and I started back home. We stopped at the Walmart in Roxboro - no life vests, but got Renee' a couple of pants and tops - more camping clothes. When we got to Durham, we stopped by the swings near my brother's house because Renee' said she would like to do that and poor baby - this was her Saturday "sleeping" day, and I had dragged her out of bed at dawn, drove her all over the country side, the least I could do was let her enjoy swinging. She was handling everything like the camping princess she is! (better than me, for sure).
I've got enough food packed for lunch and supper and breakfast for the whole family - hope somebody shows up to help me eat it. Back home for a few hours, then we'll go back. From now on I will definitely call first and NOT speak to "Charles".
Since checkout is at 1 p.m., I decided to go back to the cabin at that time. About 5 or so miles down the road, Renee' asked me if I had packed coffee - it hit me - oh no - I forgot to turn off the coffee maker at home - - - so - - - I turned around, went home, cut off the coffee pot. When I got back to the car, Renee' said "here we go again, three times". I said, "yeah, maybe we'll make it this time, sweetie." - and we did. I was beginning to wonder if all this was a "sign" - like - stay at home!?! I was rolling over in my minds things I could say to "Charles", but when we arrived, a young guy was there and I just asked for the key and he just gave it to me and that was that. I sent another text message saying that "we are here".
Sat 3:00 p.m.
Finally! What a day! But, sitting outside in the shade, slight breeze and lower humidity makes all the frustration of this day worth it. Renee' is sitting with me, drinking her hot chocolate. We talked about who might come to see us. Sharon will be in a little bit, and maybe Barbara, my friend. I have enough food for a family reunion! Maybe I'll learn one of these days; I always cook too much or prepare too much. Maybe Sharon and I will munch all night and play games.
I still feel dizzy or lightheaded. It would be really bad to be sick when life is so good. But I won't think about that. Looks like all the cabins are empty - so that man at the office could have given us another one - get over it Deb, I though. Have you forgot about the flow? ! Marilyn sent me a couple of texts reminding me to enjoy and relax. I'll rest now and enjoy the nature and quiet around me.
Sun. 7:15 a.m.
After playing games last night until about 1 a.m., I slept late this morning, and like a rock. H'm having my first cup of coffee. It's so quiet and, yes, all the cabins are still vacant except I believe someone came to cabin #1!
Yesterday afternoon, Sharon Kayaked for a very long distance - to the bridge and back. While she was out, Barb drove up as I was starting the charcoal - yes, me - starting charcoal. It worked!
The chicken breasts were very good. I fried some sliced potatoes - yum! and baked beans (of course opened with my own can opener that I remembered to bring this time). I also fried a few hotdogs. Sharon went to the store and got ice and diet cokes while supper was cooking.
We all enjoyed the food. I have to say I'm turning out to be a pretty good cook on the charcoal grill. You see, I brought my own, the one with the lid which I think cooks better, all the heat doesn't escape into the air.
Renee' took photos!
Barb had to leave before the gate was locked. She wrote an entry in my journal, and left us with a watermelon, peaches and cherries. I think I'll cut up the peaches for our breakfast. But for now, I'm finishing my coffee and cigarette while Sharon and Renee are still sleeping ...and keep writing.
Renee' is drying the dishes. She loves doing her "jobs".
Sharon and I were sitting outside. Sharon said, "look at that bird, ma, or is it a chicken?" - I turned around, and from what I could tell, it looked like a hawk. So I took about six pictures, all the while trying to get closer. I have no idea what happened but the camera messed up (not me, I'm sure!). Anyway, - for the memory - this is a picture of a hawk, maybe a red tail hawk on the ground at cabin #4.
Last night while playing games, we at cherries, pistachios, and brat sausages. I'll record the game scores in my blog because I kept score in this journal. We played dominoes (Bendominoes, the curved kind) regular and all 5's, then rummy, then tried a version of spades called setback which I had played when I was about 16 - and I thought I could remember the rules? ha! Then Sharon creamed me in backgammon. !!! (everybody does, for that matter)
Renee' made Sharon and I a cup of coffee while we played games.
I was going back in the cabin and on the screen door there was a dragonfly! I reached out and took him gently by the tail, I wanted a closer look. He immediately curled his little self around and tried to bite me. I let go really quickly and he dived-bombed to the porch. "Oh no" I thought, "is he dead? Is that a sign?" I reached down to touch him and he flew away. - Umh - I'll have to think on that - but I'm glad he is alive! and me too!
Sun 10:00 a.m.
Breakfast: sausage (handrolled, won't say what the pieces looked like and I'm leaving out the picture), eggs, overly-cooked hashbrowns, tomato slices, peaches - really good - but from now on I'll stick to grits or handcut potato fries. The hashbrowns were not good at all. You know how you cook cookies until they "look" done and then they crumble? Well, that's what happened to the hashbrowns.
Um-um good. Peaches were just right, sweet, juicy. Thanks Barb!
It's a bit early for Renee', but she has adapted really well to this ourdoor adventure routine.
Sharon took her book-reader and accompanied Renee' to the bathroom. I've washed up the dishes. Now I think I'll sit back with my coffee and cigs and read a little "Mystic Grits". I don't wanna go home!
When Sharon and Renee' returned, they each brought me a wildflower, hugs and kisses.
That's the best of life!
Life is so good!
That's the best of life!
Life is so good!
We packed up and swept the cabin.
When I turned in the key to the young guy at the office, I asked him that if a cabin is not occupied are you allowed to check in early - "yes".
Also, if not and another cabin is available could you be switched - "yes".
So, I made a verbal complaint about "Charles" who had done neither of these.
I had looked at cabin #1 while we were visiting, and decided I didn't like it. So I told the office guy that I wanted to cancel my reservation for the 21st. He said it was a policy to have a 14-days notice - DUH!!! I looked at the clock on the wall and said, "could you make a 13 hour exception to that policy?" He finally answered, "yes".
We got home about 2:00, unpacked the car except for the permanent camping supplies which has just about filled my car!!! Now I need a bigger house AND a bigger car!!
Come again. /Deb
P.S. - about the dragonfly "sign" - I interpret that to mean: try to ruin my day, I will get right back up and fly! and we did!!
One more note: Turns out the lightheaded/dizzy stuff - today (Monday) I have sinus symptoms and a headache. Didn't want anybody to worry.