There’s a constant battle in our home of trying to keep boots and jackets on these boys. I’m always ringing through the house…”Boys, do you have boots on? Grab a jacket it’s chilly”. They almost always never have boots on, and i’m pretty sure they’ve forgotten what jackets are. Their rebuttals, however, are sometimes quite comical…
“Mom, it’s not like it’s zero degrees celsius or anything. So I could survive without a jacket today.”
I lay there less then gently nudging dear Ranger trying my best to coax him into answering his blaring cell phone with any limb of mine I could sleepily swing about.
“Hello?” he finally mutters in the sleepy raspy voice everyone has when their awaken and are forced to answer the phone.
The other end of the line is a women. An incredibly chipper woman who without missing a beat or even a “Did I wake you?” starts rattling off what seems like 1,000 words a minute. I quickly try to translate what she’s saying but I can’t get over the fact that 5:30am this woman sounds like she’s been up for hours and might even be on a caffein drip.
After a few minutes I realize that it’s a 911 operator and something has happened at the Park and she is explaining all the details to Ranger.
We’ve always had an issue in every home that we’ve been in this far. We don’t get very good cell phone reception indoors. We’re usually forced to head outside and talk on the phone otherwise the call will become a dropped call. Ranger has still yet to remember this little important detail.
As he’s responding to what this 911 operator is telling him she keeps saying, “Sir…you’re breaking up…sir…are you there?”. Ranger decided to take a little different approach on how to keep the call in service at this point. He leaps out of bed and proceeds to charge around the room. He darts from one wall to the next, “Can you hear me? Hello?”. Meanwhile I’m watching this unfold and trying to muffle the sounds of my laughing uncontrollably into my pillow. Ranger, still sprinting around the room in the dark. I finally motion for him to go over by the window where he finished the phone call with his head pressed firmly against the glass window.
As much as I dislike being woke up before the sun, i am so thankful for the 911 operators who are up. Who are there to answer the phones for people in need and to get the information onto the appropriate authorities. Thank you for everything you do. I would like to apologize now for the half comatose state, the 1,000 “Hello’s” Rangers said and for me laughing in the background. We will try to do better next time.
In order to explain this title I must rewind to the beginning of the day.
7:15am I hear the creak of our bedroom door open and 2 tiny feet skurry in and rush over to my side of the bed. “Mom, hey mom. Are you awake?”. “Yes son, wide awake. This pillow over my face and warm blankets wrapped around me should show that I’m wide awake”. I dont think he comprehended my sarcasm. “Ok good, can we have breakfast?”.
7:32am A cold tongue swipes itself across my arm, over and over and over again. I’m praying in my dreams that this isn’t one of the children. I pry open my eye just enough to see a giant hairy beast staring straight at me telling me she’s ready for the day.
7:45am Coffee….dear coffee. Thank you.
9am We air up the tires to the bikes, throw them into the back of the truck and hit the road.
The weather was incredible. Nothing but blue sky’s as far as you could see. The sun was just hot enough to keep it comfortable with jackets. We rode 4 miles of the discovery trail today. It’s a beautiful paved trail that any bike tire would swoon over. We started out beneath the rocky cliffs of Beards Hallow and wound our way out to the Dunes. Dune grass surrounds you on both sides. It’s straw color is highlighted in the sun and it sways in the breeze. The ocean sits just on the other side of the Dunes and the crashing waves bellow at you to keep peddling. So we did.
2:34pm Back home. Seafood stock is simmering on the stove. Laundry is folded. I’m sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard reading an amazing book while the boys try out their new Bow and Arrows with breaks in between for sword fighting. All seems right in the world
6:19pm “Mom, I think i’m so smart at math because i’m mixed with brown.”. Great, how did this kid learn what racial profiling is already! Make note to correct this train of thought.
7:46pm After asking the boys 12 times to GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, they finally slithered to the bathroom. immediately I hear gagging and “EWWWW”s and “What is that?” I immediately knew this wasn’t going to be good. Our lovely pup had been in the bathroom unsupervised and had done her business in there and afterwards she thought she may get into trouble for it so decided to get rid of the evidence by eating it. Or so Ranger thought.
8pm Upon further investigation, or as I would like to call it…Me cleaning it up. I noticed that she had in fact NOT been the one who did her business in the bathroom. But one of the BOYS had done it and forgotten two very important steps. 1. Flushing & 2. Closing the lid. I’ll let you fill in the blanks from here on out.
8:32pm Dear dog is outside…for the night. Kids are in bed…for the night. And I’m officially done…for the night.
Ranger said this is a very valuable lesson to learn; Don’t Eat Poop!
I on the other hand have another lesson to be learned;
Do NOT skip step 1 & 2!
Always flush and always always put the seat down. I will be, from here on out, making sure those two steps are engrained in those tiny little heads.
Raising boys, you’ll never be able to predict what your day has in store for you.
I Sit down to write….and nothing comes out.
I Sit down to write…the dog needs to go out.
I Sit down to write….blank. blank. blank. blank.
I Sit down to write…”mooooommmmmm”.
I Sit down to write…scroll through social media.
I Sit down to write…Oh work! I need to create this thing for work.
I Sit down to write…nothing… nothing… nothing.
I Sit down to write… I need to quick pay the bills first.
I Sit down to write…didn’t I see something super cute on Pinterest?
I Sit down to write…youtube. A black hole.
I sti down to write…maybe I have a new email. Surely someone has sent something within the last 4 minutes.
I sit down to write…we have nothing to eat. Eating is more important, meal planning it is.
I sit down to write…doesn’t the garage need cleaned?
I sit down to write…We should definitly do some school lessons first. I don’t want my kids to be completely illiterate. I’ll want them to read my writings one day.
I sit down to write…I can’t write without a cup of tea. Put on the kettle. Forget about writing.
I sit down to write…research articles on writers block.
I Sit down to write…come on! Write!
I Sit down to write…”boys, stop fighting!”
I Sit down to write…11pm? Screw it. I’ll write in the morning.
I Sit down to write…nothing, there is literally nothing in my brain that wants to come out.
So I’ll just be quiet and still. It’ll come out when it is ready.
A Rangers ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the Night before christmas and all through the Park,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a lark.
The Stetson was hung by the stove with great care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The Juniors were nestled snug in their bags,
With visions of tree forts, slugs and steep crags.
Mamma with her tea and I with my beer;
Had just settled down & taken off my gear.
When out in the Park there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my lazyboy to see what was the matter.
To the Contact Station I flew like a flash;
Tore open the gates and threw up the hatch.
The moon reflected on the new fallen puddles,
Gave way to the doe and her babe in a huddle.
When what to my rain speckled glasses appeared;
But a mini ford ranger and 8 tiny mule deer.
With a little old driver holding a hiking stick;
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid then bears his coursers they came,
and he stood there saluting and calling them by name.
Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now Prancer! Now Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid!
On Donner! On Blitzen!
To the tops of the trees just like a bird;
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away herd!
As water that before the wild tsunamis flood,
head to the sky when they are met with mucky mud.
So up to the mountaintop the coursers they flew,
with a sleigh full of duty gear and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof;
The slipping and sliding of sopping wet hoofs.
As i grabbed for my light and was turning around,
Through the trees St. Nick came with a bound.
He was dressed in Olive green pants, shirt and hat,
A stetson, black boots, and a duty belt made him look fat.
A sack full of provisions was slung on his back,
probably wishing he’d invested in a better hiking pack;
and he looked like a transient opening his bag,
All this rain really made the thing sag.
His eyes-how they twinkled, his hair wet and soggy;
he had a glow i could see even though it was foggy.
His mustache lined mouth was drawn up like a knot;
He looked like he could be someones prison mug shot.
The stump of his pipe looked like it came from a tree over there,
I quickly scanned the man once over as I didn’t want to stare.
He had a chubby face and a fat little tum,
He even smelled like he’d been sipping some rum.
He was chubby and plump, a jolly old man,
A pacific northwestern and no sign of a tan.
He gave a firm handshake and kindly patted his deer;
It was then i knew i had nothing to fear.
He chatted along while he went straight to work,
Filling stockings with mag lights, and then turned with a smirk.
New stetsons for all and rain gear all shiny,
We can finally stop listening to the Park Aids all winey.
He blew his emergency whistle and out came his team,
I could tell from the tracks that they’d all been upstream.
He grabbed his paracord reigns and as he drove out of sight,
I heard him yell “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”
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.
1. Close your bedroom window by dusk. Or you will spend the rest of the night corralling and trapping bats.
2. The little tapping and footsteps at night my or may not be mice. Or ghosts. I am not brave enough to check.
3. Carry a jacket. Even if the sun is shining. The weather changes quick here.
4. Go explore during low tide. You seem some neat things.
5. Make sure you have a house key to the house you are moving into.
6. We’ve made many new friends.
7. 5 kids CAN get a lot of stuff moved into the house.
8. The view will never be served justice through photos
9. We can see the lighthouse at night from our bedroom window
10. Claw foot bathtubs are romanticized. They are not the most practical for showers.
11. You always take a risk buying someone else’s washer and dryer. At least i get exercise running down the stairs ten minutes into the cycle to turn the power off to the washer, then turn it on, and then start the cycle again.
12. Sound proofing was not a priority back in the early 1900s
13. It is green here. And lush. And colorful! But of course we already knew that.
14. People will stop and help you, especially if you have your head buried under the hood of your car.
15. We are relishing the fact we have such a variety of stores again within 15 minutes. A dollar store, home depot, Costco. Goodwill…and so much more.
16. Clamming is some of the easiest and fastest ‘fishing’ we have ever done.
17. I forgot how much time it takes out of the day washing dishes by hand, but I better get used to it.
18. If you don’t feel like pumping your own gas, take the 10 minute drive to Oregon. It’s cheaper, they pump it for you, and there is no sales tax.
19. It is windy here!
20. It is rainy here! Locals tend to measure how much it is raining by the times a week they mow the grass.
21. Number 19 is not a lie, but there are honestly Gorgeous days here. A Lot of them. I just have to say it is really rainy here, because we want you to think that. And it is true.
22. The humidity doesn’t do much for any good hair days.
It is always fun to learn the little kinks of a new house, a new area, a new town. I know the coming weeks will present many learning opportunities for us, but we have already learned quite a bit being here in the first week.