Hello again. It's been such a long time. As many of you know (and if not, you may have guessed), George passed away last week. He is, of course, missed so very much. He was such a fun man - full of chuckles and more than a few stories. He knew a lot about some things and a little about nearly anything. He was one of those persons who inspire a comfortable at ease feeling - he was so easy to talk with. I will miss our talks and his unceasing amazement at Rusty's little tricks. My dear grief-stricken mother-in-law is missing him in more ways than we can possibly fathom, as is the rest of the family who counted him dear. We appreciate all your prayers, concern and support that have been offered and shared.
I've been so preoccupied, I know I've shared very little about our life at the campground. It's certainly interesting and quite a change from our regular routine. I think we are getting into the swing of it, beginning to feel more comfortable with our regular tasks. We spend most of our time at the gatehouse (my favorite) and one day a week at the Outpost, which is a general store and equipment rental facility (camping equip, bicycles, etc.). The gatehouse is a lively spot, where campers check in and out, all entrance and exits are monitored and it's just basically the "command central" for the park.
This is the gatehouse. And here's an interesting note - we use radios when we need to contact other workers, the ranger, law enforcement or other parks. I can hear some of my family out there snickering at the idea of me using a radio!
I can't say enough about how beautiful the area is or how nice the people are, both those who work in the park as well as the natives with their melodious southern drawls. Someone please tell me, where is the line you cross to enter this whole other world of The South? I love the people here! They are kind and unassuming, genuine and charming. On a recent trip to town, a gentleman about our age was on the sidewalk just ahead of us. As he reached the door, he opened it and waited for both my husband and myself. My husband greeted him with a thank you and 'how are you today?'. His response in that drawl that just makes you melt "Why, I'm just fine sir, thank you very much for asking". Sir and Ma'am are standard fare around here, and not just spoken to elders.
I have to tell you one more cute story -- the charming little town nearest us has no library so we traveled to another little town close by. (Population 3004 and they have a fabulous library!) We had planned to go to yet another little town to eat supper at a recommended restaurant so as we left my husband asked for directions. When he mentioned the town, the girl responded, "That little town? It's so little, if you blink you'll miss it - whada y'all wanna go there for?" When he told her, she began step by step directions to the restaurant and -- no kidding -- before she finished, three other girls had joined her to help explain it to him, drawing maps and noting landmarks. But the best part was this - one of the girls absolutely insisted that we could not leave without her phone number. If we got lost, we were to call. Yeah, you gotta love the South!