Working for a Living
It’s been a week or so and I’m kinda sorta settled in. This time the mind set is a lot different as I will be in-place for six months and that means an essence of permanence, as opposed to thirty days then moving on.
Also, I have a ‘job’ here.
Usually I have a virtually empty truck bed but this time I came back down fully loaded. The Park has cable TV included in the rate, so I bought a 32″ TV. And a table to place it on. I haven’t bothered with television in years, basically since Obama got re-elected. My mother doesn’t have cable in her condo, she has a digital antenna and picks up enough over-the-air channels to keep her happy.
I was looking forward to watching Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators football games. That will come to pass after next weekend but currently I am in training and working Saturdays. I hooked up the TV after a trip to Dolla Gentral to buy two lengths of coax cable, sort of aggravating as I threw miles of coax in the trash when I downsized out of the house. I got my TV hooked up and it found the 70-odd channels that are available.
The TV – a budget brand from Costco – is worthless. It shows nothing but commercials. On all seventy-odd channels. I did wade through one commercial-fest but the program was no good. It was the Blue Jays losing the ALCS to the Kansas City Royals.
I’d return the TV but the closest Costco is in Jacksonville, Florida, some seventy miles away. I do have an ‘in’ at Costco though. The General Manager and the Floor Manager of the Scarborough, Ontario, store were pointed out to me by a well-known store employee and a very good…uh, acquaintance… of mine. They were together watching the hordes of mostly ferrners process through the battery of cash registers one Saturday, making sure all was running smoothly.
Seizing the opportunity, I approached them and explained that I had a complaint. They were most concerned. I told them that I was from the Savannah Georgia area and I was most disappointed that Savannah doesn’t have a Costco. Could they exert any influence to have a warehouse built near me? Soon?
I’m sure they were dumbfounded until I explained who I was. They said they would work on it.
Driving down I-79 and I-77 through the mountains is still a killer to me. I hoped it might be easier on a day of sunshine instead of rain. Nope. Just as ugly, endlessly wrestling with tractor trailers and tankers up and down 8º grades.
I left Toronto at 6:30am on a Thursday morning. Surprise, Highway 401 was stop-and-go for most of the length through Toronto. I’ve driven in a lot of cities and a lot of rush hours, but Toronto is still the worst. Hardly an achievement to be proud of.
Despite the fact I told him I had $800 worth of newly-acquired merchandise, the US Customs Officer couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. He might have had to admit that he saw the cat and perhaps should have asked for his rabies papers. I have always had Tupelo’s shots up-to-date and the paperwork to prove it at hand but not once has anyone asked, in either direction, anything about him.
Then it was back into the land of cheap, less-taxed gas, pennies (Canada has done away with the penny and now ’rounds’), and no 13% sales tax. Through Buffalo, Dreary Erie, down to Pittsburgh and then on into the mountains. About eight hours later I popped out the other side in Wytheville Virginia and the same cheap-and-dirty motel room as on the way up that was easy to smuggle Tupelo in and out of. Plus complimentary biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast.
‘Workamping’ here at Lake Harmony RV Park means I get my site and utilities free of charge, in exchange for twenty hours per week of helping out, filling in and relieving. And cleaning toilets. So they are not going to assign me the best spot in the park, but I am exceedingly happy with where I am.
At the end of a row, I look onto a small clearing. When I step outside, it appears as if I am the only camper here. This will be a great site to tough it out over the winter. After a couple of trips via I-95 to Winn Dixie and Wal-Mart, I see I was slightly ahead of the Snowbird rush. The interstate southbound is now chock-a-block with RVs of every shape and size, headed for mid-and south Florida and the heat.
Settling in for a number of months and helping out here at the park is giving me the opportunity to get to know a number of the semi-permanent folks and the Snowbirds a little better. Saturday evening – Hallowe’en – we are having a get-together and Pot Luck dinner and we’re supposed to get dressed up. I’ll make another trip to Dolla Gentral to see what they have left. If all else fails, I go as a Canadian… “Trick or treat, eh?”.
It’s good to be home.