Posts tagged workkampers

Wyoming, Montana and now………..TEXAS!!!!!!!!!

Of course anyone who just read the answer to my cousin Carole knows that I AM in Texas now and have been for much of a year!  Doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed and so many miles have been covered by so many people in my life.

I did get to Montana in time for my daughter’s college graduation May of 2010.  Other than some extremely cold and unwelcome snow that late in the spring season it was wonderful to be there with her.  She now lives and works in Helena, MT near her father’s side of the family, so she has lots of uncles, aunts and cousins to be with when she has time.

Once her graduation was over I headed up to Whitefish for a couple of days before it was time to drive to Yellowstone….I loved seeing the young men my grandsons have become….Grandma’s grandbabies are most definitely not babies anymore!  Thankfully they still are willing to stop long enough to give me a hug and a kiss before taking off to do whatever it is that keeps them busy…

Yellowstone had snow too once I got down there.  In that instance it was to be expected, the elevation is nowhere near as low as it is here at sea level! LOL 

I spent the summer enjoying the wildlife of Yellowstone and a few trips around the park on my days off revisiting old “haunts” from those vacations of long ago, but most of the summer was spent dipping rock solid ice cream into cones for the hungry hoards of people who came from all around the world to visit Yellowstone.  Yes, I lived yet another dream!  Will I do it again?  Not likely as that scooping isn’t work meant for 59 year old females unless they are built like the Amazons of legends!!!!!!!  And, I’m not one of those amazonions!  But, that only means I can try other adventures with the travelling years I still have left in me, right???!!!!!!!  You bet it does!   LOL

Once summer was clipping along last year I realised I really needed to start looking for employment for this past winter….Texas became my state of choice after having met and worked with a number of folks from TX who were in Yellowstone at the same time I was.  Thanks to them I was able to narrow my search area to the gulf coast areas down near South Padre Island and up here near Corpus Christi.  Narrow my search did I say????!!!!!!!!!!  Boy, that’s the biggest understatement I’ve made in a while!  Within two weeks I had searched online for parks that appealed to me and were of a size likely to be in need of a Workkamper with my qualifications.  As a result of that searching I sent out over 100 emailed versions of my resume and then hoped for the best. 

Well, in the meantime our economy went totally into the toilet and no one with a job was willing to let go of it for fear of having nothing else to fall back on until another job came their way.  For many workkampers this was almost a dealth knell tolling.  Many workkampers are retired and have some savings or at least Soc. Security benefits to help them over the rough times, but many of us are people with no other means of support.  We have chosen to be nomads and relied on the good Lord to help us provide for ourselves as the seasons roll along; and suddenly all chances of surviving became less reliable.  My son and daughter-in-law told me that I could come stay with them for the winter, taking whatever job I might find, if all else failed.  I knew that was not what I was supposed to do, but was most grateful to know that I had a back up plan if needed, until even that fell through.  That’s another story and one that I don’t want to think of anymore, just understand that it was not my family who wanted me out of that back up plan but outsiders who had some say in how the family lived their own lives…  Boy, I just confused even myself with that line of “non-speak”! LOL

Anyway, once I was finished at Yellowstone for the season, I headed back up to see the family and regroup a bit for a couple of weeks.  One day, out of the clear blue sky I received a phone call from a very dear friend of mine in TX.  Tricia and I actually met in Calif. the 1st year I went on the road.  She was the manager of the park where I worked!  We have always kept in touch, rather spottily at times but we’ve always had a feel for how the other was doing and she knew something was wrong in my life, so she grabbed the phone instead of dropping me an email.  Upshot of her call, I headed for TX safe in the knowledge that I would be staying with her until a job came through.  I had a few offers, some of them very hopeful, some of them so pathetic the people who called me should have been ashamed of even thinking of trying for a slave, which what they wanted.  Sorry, I need to make money to eat on so I can keep working just like everyone else does! LOL  So, I started another odessey in late September of 2010.  And, somewhere along the way, two things changed that I brought me to where I so happily am today.

You have to understand one thing first….  Montana is 2500 miles from Corpus Christi, TX….. No one pulling a trailer does that kind of journey overnight, it takes about a week since you can’t travel as the “crow flies”.  I loved seeing old territories and new places as I travelled towards my unknown future.  Funniest of all though came to me as I driving towards what I was originally thinking of as my winter destination.  I went from going to visit TX to moving to TX.  About ran myself off the road when I realised what I had just told myself!  But, I also knew it was true.  For some reason and by some means not yet known to me I was going to MOVE to TX to be safe in these economically challenging times.  Now, you have to understand something about me.  I am not a really religous person in that you won’t find me sitting in a church pew every Sunday morning BUT I do believe in God and rely on HIM to not let me get into too much trouble as I putter through life.  Sometimes I can behave myself and totally trust Him, other times I falter and try and take back control for myself.  Thank goodness He understands we are rather stubborn creatures and just sort of shakes His head and waits till we are ready to pay attention to Him again, because He does usually have a pretty good plan for us but we tend to get impatient so we create grief for ourselves that we shouldn’t.

Okay, so you all know I’m as stubborn as the next person and I get scared like everyone else when we feel our lives have gotten off the track.

Thanks to Tricia, I had something of a plan handed back to me, so I just held on to that steering wheel and prayed that I was doing the right thing.

2000 miles or so after I started my trip to TX I had to stop and call Tricia for final directions to the little city she lives in.  Having been travelling so long through areas where there is no cell service, I did like anyone else does and kept the phone off until I stopped.  Well, low and behold, I had a voice mail message waiting for me.  Nope, it wasn’t from Tricia wondering where I might be in my travels, it was a very sweet voiced young woman named Michele offering me a job!  Yep, the good Lord knew what he was doing when He turned my life into a bit of a twisted mess!!!  After listening to the message twice, and screeching with hope and relief in the truck I finally calmed down enough to call Tricia and ask for directions and to warn her I needed to make a call as soon I got in.  She was over the moon with me, so 30 minutes later, after sharing hugs I called Michele to find that she was looking for a front desk person not only for the winter season, but as a year round position if I should happen to be interested!  Me.. interested???!!!!!!!!!  I was totally overwhelmed with relief and joy!!  The plan was for me to come down about 3 weeks later so I could train before winter season got into full swing.  Thank goodness I had already become familiar with the type of work needed, it made things much easier for all of us for the most part.  I had three weeks of fun with Tricia and deepening our friendship even more as we laughed and cried over how things had happened to each of our lives since we last actually stood next to each other in Calif. and then I headed down through Dallas, Austin and San Antonio to arrive in Corpus the last week or so of Oct. 2010.

And, so, now I’ve been here for much of 9 months and can’t believe it has been anywhere near that amount of time.  For quite a while I worked 4 days and had 3 days off in a row each week, now I’ve added another half day to my schedule and am even happier.  While 3 days off is a nice thing, it gets boring after a while! LOL  I much prefer working 5 days and having a “weekend” like others do, even if mine happens to fall during the middle of the week.

I work with and for some truly great people and am only about 500 miles from friend Tricia.  She came down for a week in March and the hope is that I can work in some spare days off next yeat so I can go see her for a day or so before possibly flying off to see the family for a few days.  Oh, that’s another thing that has changed recently.  Dear son, daughter-in-law and grandsons have moved to Alaska.  My heart is with them even though I can’t be there at this point.  Their winters are going to be as nasty as the ones in Montana and I just don’t want to suffer through with the cold and aching joints.  Being able to visit them during the summer of this coming year or the next one would be my best bet.

As for what I have explored here in TX so far…  Well, the Gulf of Mexico for one!  I actually stood in it in November! LOL  Not what happens in MT at that time of the year!  I’ve watched dolphins leap and dance as they “lead” ships thru the channel between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas.  I drove around and around the Alamo one day on my way down here, but couldn’t find a good place to park for blocks around as I had the trailer behind me, so one day I will head up there to visit it and go on the Riverwalk near it.  San Antonio is only about 150 miles from here.

I’ve made friends with a couple of gals here in the park, we shop together and have lunch out once a week and in general forget for an afternoon that we are not as young as we used to be.  All of us are crafters, so we have a lot in common with each other!

Life is quite grand for now and I am totally blessed to be where I am.

Thank you, Lord, and Trev and Kerry.  Without everyone of you I would not be living this “dream” of a lifestyle!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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