Current Location: Chester, CA
Last week I wrote about how the summer was beginning to wear on me. What a difference a week can make! Several things have happened in the past week which have encouraged me to rethink and appreciate my own situation.
First of all, our neighbors left and the cabin has not been rented for the last 4 days. Our serenity has returned, although just for a short while. But we decided to take advantage of the peacefulness while we had it and spent one of our recent days off at home. Admittedly we felt a little invaded upon. But I have to remind myself that for the majority of our time here, we have this area to ourselves. No doubt, we are spoiled.
Secondly, I shifted my mindset a little. I reminded myselft that most of the campground guests are on a brief vacation from the stresses of their lives. This is their brief opportunity to let loose and relax. Because this may be their one chance in a long while for vacation, they want everything perfect. And in some cases, they don't know how to let go and end up sharing their stress with everyone who steps in their way. Whether it's a weekend or weeklong vacation, they eventually have to return to their overburdened lives, the hustle and bustle of the city, the heat of the valley, or whatever it may be. Me...I am lucky because once their vacation is up, I still get to stay here.
The third thing that happened which gave me pause was that I talked to one of my former coworkers. This was a person I worked with very closely; she was actually my client of sorts. Talking with her brought back so many familiar emotions. Things haven't changed much since I left. The same frustrations which caused me to want to leave still exist. The pressures and the anxieties have not gone away. It was a very strong reminder of why I am where I am now and how happy I am to be here!
The fourth thing was that one of our blogger friends, Ken and Nanette, abruptly and without warning, lost their workamper job for the summer. This was completely unexpected and left them in a bit of a financial pinch, but they were able to maintain a positive outlook and have already landed another opportunity for the remainder of the summer. Their whole experience reminded me to focus on the positives. Although I'm sure they had their moments of anger and feeling victimized, they did not express one negative word towards their former employers in their blog. If they can handle what could have been a crippling situation with such an attitude, certainly I can deal a little better with the occassional grouch. And if nothing else, it reminded me to be thankful for what I have because I really do like where we are and what we're doing.
Lastly, was a personal message from our friends and mentors, Howard and Linda Payne . They were working here last summer and Linda felt much the same way about the same time of year. She shared their blog entry written on July 22 last year, in which they were feeling the need to escape. I found it ironic that my post last week was written on July 19, almost exactly a year apart. Reading their entry helped validate my feelings - that it was ok to feel the need for a break. No matter how good something is, it eventually can become tiring.
Their escape was to Juniper Lake, a beautiful lake on the outskirts of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Because it is several miles up a sometimes rough gravel road and it is not accessible from the main road in the park, the lake does not tend to attract as many visitors. This has been on our list of places to go, so yesterday we decided that it was time. We took Linda's suggestion, packed a picnic and headed out for the day. We took our beach chairs and our books and enjoyed several hours of peace and quiet. There are several trailheads that take off from the lake, but because we had Hunter with us (dogs aren't allowed on National Park trails) we couldn't explore much. We did walk, or rather waded, along the lake shore, but mostly we just sat and read and marveled at the beauty. It was a really nice day and helped to refresh us for the coming week.
imagine some pictures here...I tried to upload a few but was experiencing technical difficulties. I will post them another time.
We are planning a longer get away for next "weekend". We don't have a specific destination in mind, but we're going to pack up the car and head for the coast, with plans to stay overnight somewhere. Once again, we'll have Hunter with us, so that limits us somewhat, but we're hoping to find some beaches and/or trails where dogs are allowed. This is the kind of road trip that we love to do. We just set off in a general direction and wander. I'm really looking forward to it.
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