Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Unique Start to My Day...And An AWESOME Ending

So, I woke up a little later this morning...I was a slow to get out of bed, really enjoying the snooze button--which is a rare thing for me...I usually like to get out of bed and get going. I would call myself a morning person. This sets the scene because I was a bit more hurried as I hustled out of bed this morning, realizing that I would need to step on it if I wanted to be out the door in order to stop for coffee (yes, old habits die hard). At 7:10 am I go to turn on the water to brush my teeth and find.....no water. I try the shower (no water) and the kitchen (no water). Now, I was wishing I had gotten up on time.

At this point, I look out my back window to see if Mr. Lanham is out there (we often see each other in the mornings) and I see he is. So, I quickly get dressed enough to have a conversation and go out the back door....except, by the time I get out there (literally a minute and a half later, no joke!) he is in his pick up truck and out the driveway. He sees me and waves....I feel badly but I give Mrs. Lanham a call, probably waking her up. She checks and confirms that the entire house doesn't have water and adds that this isn't a planned outage to her knowledge.

So, I call Mark (yes, even thousands of miles away I call hoping he could do something about it) and he wisely suggests the camp grounds here. Hmmmm....good thinking. I call Lauren to tell her that a) I will probably be late (and why) and b) to ask Chris if he knows if the campgrounds have water.....They're not sure about the campgrounds but suggest a particular (and close) campground to try first. There is a shower in the exercise room that the rangers have access to. I don't have keys but CW, one of the camp hosts could let me in if he's around. With my uniform on hangers, my bag of shower goodies, and my bag of stuff for the day I take off. Ironically, I do leave the house on time--just not showered or uniformed.

I arrive in the campground and see CW outside (whew!).....and explain my predicament...and he kindly opens the room for me....I was so relieved! So, in the end everything worked out (despite the fact that, of course, I forgot a towel).....so glad I got a shower (and I'm sure others are glad too!)! As we found out later, most of the city was out of water due to a water main break.

I made it to work with 2 minutes to spare---but sans caffeine....I braced myself.

Ron is out of town on vacation so Lauren and Eric are acting for Ron while he's gone. This meant that Lauren had to attend the Management Meeting today and she invited me along. This was my second meeting of interest this week. Yesterday I attended the safety committee meeting. I am fascinated by all of the meetings--I guess because it's behind the scene things that I don't think about as a visitor to a park.

(Here, rangers on the safety committee practice throwing the buoy bag in the event someone is having difficult swimming/in the water---we practiced this just before the 4th of July with Ron as an interp staff too.)

Today's meeting was a reporting out by the Superintendent and each of the division chiefs about their respective divisions. It was just really, really fascinating to hear about the other divisions---their challenges, concerns, thoughts, ideas, happenings, announcements, positive goings-on, etc. And I learned that the water coming from Vendome is 10,000-14,000 years old vs. the water coming out of Buffalo springs is 40-60 years old. How wild is that? Water that is 10,000 years+ is in our national park???? Just wild!

And a special thanks to Sharyl who came with her bowl of candy. Not only was I caffeine deprived, but I was starving (in my rush I forgot my breakfast too)....so a few mini Twix and Kit Kat bars later, I was feeling better. The bowl of candy was a big hit. :) Thank you Sharyl!

After that meeting Lauren and I headed to Ada. It's a long story but we spent a few hours in Ada on assorted business for education (to be discussed in future blog writings).

When we got back, Lauren looked in her box and found an AWESOME letter! It's from a 10 year old boy who says it's his family's goal to visit 100 National Parks by the 100th birthday of the NPS in 2016. He is mailing letters to all 391 parks, asking them for a postcard of their park, why his family should visit that park, and what other park (other than the one we each work at) we should visit. And......Lauren said it could be my task to write back to him!!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! Narrowing down one other park to visit has been a challenge so I decided to solicit everyone's top ten list and then send his our staff's picks. I also think he needs something more than JUST a postcard.....cute, cute letter. I'm very excited to be the park ranger who gets to respond. Stay tuned for pictures of the final product Satch will receive.


Mark H said...

So how can you pick just a few parks to suggest to this kid? He has no idea what type of answer he is about to get does he...

Jonny T said...

Rough start to the day is rewarded with a very cool assignment. That kid is going to get the EXPERTS opinion.