Hi there. Has it been 2 weeks? Oh, 3? Really? Oh boy. That means I missed my deadline for my biweekly blog post! I am sure y'all will be much more forgiving than my job is about missing deadlines ...
Overall, we had a pretty good 3 weeks, if you consider we had no car accidents or break-ins! However, without getting into it too much—because honestly, I could write about 5 blog posts about it—my job is tough. The clients are extremely demanding, and frankly, I have a hard time keeping up with the work and not taking the demands to heart. All of my coworkers are completely overworked and no one really seems happy. Plus, I love the hostel (so far). I love being involved in the lodge business, so I long to be here and "present" more. Can't really do that when you are running on empty. Don't really know right now what my future holds, but I hope it is brighter than the present!
However, instead of being a complete debbie downer on the blog, let's just focus on the positive things in life, like BugZookas.
What is it? It's a lifesaver, plain and simple. We have the most annoying bugs here at the lodge. Stinkbugs. We never experienced them until here. I don't know anything about them, except that they are invasive and occasionally let a "stinky" out. Gross. I know. But, it's part of life here. Luckily, Mac/Fire Marshall and Alex (really need to come up with a nickname) brought us a BugZooka. It looks like a super-soaker and sucks up the bugs one-by-one, which is glorious is itself. Plus, it is turning out to be a big conversation piece among our guests.
We've had quite a bit of excitement on the property since we've been here. The previous caretakers said they had to call the police for different reasons a "handful of times" in their 4 years here. We have called the police 3 times in 2 months. Once, for underage drinking at the campground, once for some illegal drugs at the overlook and once for a spiritual dancer trying to serenade the gods on our lawn at 10:30pm. All good fodder for my future book, right?
Friends have been the key to our sanity these days. And we can't thank them enough. We have a sporadic schedule, clearly, so it's easier for people to come to us. Twice, fellow SOBOs have brought us food and fellowship. Foot-Z, who we met up in Maine in the beginning of our trek, brought us steaks a few weeks ago. Mac & Alex brought us Thai. Deal & I also got away separately and visited old friends recently. I went up to Philly for 24 hours and some QT with my college roommates - Kelly/Chile and Rachel/Charlotte. Deal went up to Atlantic City (surprisingly, not for a concert) and hung out with Jay/Hoss. Of course, I didn't take any pictures of any of it. I suck. We look forward to future visits with our friends (that means YOU).
Cats, Cats, Cats
You all know about our cat, McKinley, whom some would say we abandoned, while others would say my parents kidnapped. We finally came to a decision on his future. He will stay with my parents indefinitely. It's just that he is entirely too comfortable there and even my father loves him and would sad to see him go. They have grown attached. We know McKinley would adjust to all the hustle and bustle of the hostel life, but why rock his world?
To make ourselves feel less guilty, we decided now would be a good time to do foster care for animals. The Loudon County Humane Society has many animals without homes and doesn't have a physical location to shelter them. So many times, they end up in cages at the vet. It breaks our heart. We first had 2 older cats (Gizmo & Corolla) for a week. They were a little crazy, though. Someone in their life decided it would be a good idea to let them steal and eat people food. They literally would steal our food right under our noses. We felt bad, but we traded those 2 back in for a younger cat. She is a sweetheart, and although she is very kitten-like (2.5 years old), she listens when you tell her not to do something.
I think I've mentioned the amazing network of volunteers connected with the lodge. Well, we had some more come and they are a HUGE help. One group weeded and mulched all our grounds. This other couple is here redoing the ceiling in the hiker hostel. This place takes a lot of teamwork to keep it going!
We've done 2 more presentations about the AT for local events. We really like doing these presentations and educating people about the trail!
I think that sums up the last 3 weeks. Maybe, just maybe, no promises, I'll do another post this week!!!! A bonus for my lapse!!