The Last Day in Chelan: late night knocks, missing Rangers & strangers in the house
Our last day in Chelan was a memorable day, yet it wasn’t out of the ordinary at all.
We planned on having a quiet couple of days before we moved. Of course we were busy throwing things in boxes and knocking the last of the cobwebs out of the corners, but we were determined to enjoy the last two days in sunny Chelan.
Walks along the shore, BBQ birthday parties for the Junior, and just soaking up the sunshine. Mostly we were looking forward to the late night knocks on the door, strangers walking into our home, and searching for a missing Ranger. Ha!
The two weekends prior to memorial day camping in the park really revs up. It starts to look like an actual park again instead of a secluded piece of heaven that we get to enjoy all to ourselves in the off season. It’s ok, we’ll share. It’s more entertaining that way.
Our house was known as the ‘go-to’ house. Need shower tokens? Goto the Rangers house. Need first aide? Go to the Rangers house. A tree fall on your camper? Go to the Rangers house. Need directions? Goto the Rangers house. Fire wood…camping fees…complaints…dogs barking…music too loud…just go to the Rangers house. Well I, the Rangers wife, was almost always home and almost could never help with any of those issues. But still, they all came to the Rangers house.
That particular morning the Jrs and I were bumming around in our PJs, enjoying the morning when I heard the door open. I didn’t give much thought as it is always Ranger coming in and out while he is at work. I glanced up for just a second and realized that Ranger is a 200lb man with a beard, a bright orange construction jacket, and smelled of cheap coffee.
“Can I help you?” I asked, probably with a look of complete shock on my face.
The man went on talking for a while with his eyes darting from here to there.
Mid sentence he stutters, “Is this someones home?”.
I wanted to ask him what his first clue was….the couches, the toys on the floor, or the fact that we were in our PJs. But I couldn’t because the poor man had turned a shade of red I thought I only changed to and was slowly backing up and trying to find his was out of our home.
After a few appologies and wipes of his brow he darted out of the house and disappeared rather quickly. I think he learned the lesson “knock before entering” that day and will never again open another door without knocking.
That night Ranger came in like he always did, hung up his duty gear and uniform and settled in for the night.
A complaint. Another camper had their music too loud and was ruining the other campers camping experience. Well we sure can’t allow that. So Ranger suited up in his uniform and duty gear and headed out the door.
After a bit of an argument, the park was at peace again.
Ranger came in, hung up his uniform and settled in for the night, again.
Ranger and I shot a glance at each other and laughed.
Back in uniform he shot out the door. I swore to myself that next time I was going to time him to see how fast he could suit up.
While Ranger was out fulfilling some more Rangering duties I noticed that a fellow employees truck was still parked in the parking lot. He was supposed to have returned two hours ago and be off work for the night. Yet there his truck sat.
When these sorts of things happens your mind starts to go every which direction.
- Did he have an accident?
- Did he get stranded somewhere?
- Is he hurt?
- What if he had a heart attack and is laying on the ground somewhere alone?
So immediately we start backtracking to find out where he was last. He went out the satellite park 10 miles up the road. There’s no cell service out there, so if something did happen there would be no way to get a hold of him.
Ranger jumped into his truck to see if he could find him. Before he even left the parking lot I whipped out my ninja computer skills to find his wife’s number. Luckily the town is small enough there was only 1 number to try and luckily it was the missing Rangers wife.
We found out that there had been an accident, and he was at the hospital. Luckily he wasn’t the one needing the medical attention. A camper had needed medical attention and Mr. Big Hearted Ranger drove him to the hospital himself and was going to drive him back to his campsite when he was good to go. Mr. Big Hearted Ranger is also Mr. Old School and doesn’t own a cell phone, but luckily he had enough sense to call his wife from the hospital and give her a heads up so she wasn’t worried sick. She was ever so appreciative that someone had called to check up with her as well as she “never can be sure what that man is doing”.
Sigh of relief.
Back at home Ranger once again hung up his uniform, the final time for the night.