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Happy Belated & Early Thanksgiving

This weekend was closing weekend at Rainbow Acres Campground. This means all the seasonal campers have winterized their campers and now they probably won’t be back until spring. A few will still come in from time to time throughout the winter (at an extra charge of $5/person/night), but most we’re not going to see anymore. There are about a dozen full-time households here, like us. So the place is going to be pretty quiet from now on, which frankly, I don’t mind at all. Especially since our friends, Deb & Dana and Tommy & Irene, plan to spend quite a bit of time here during the rest of autumn and winter since Susie now lives here full-time since her husband Bill died.

The tradition at the campground is that they have a Thanksgiving dinner on the last weekend. It’s early for the US, late for Canada, but nevertheless on Saturday afternoon we all headed down to the rec hall for a Thanksgiving feast. Rose, the owner, had cooked nine turkeys. Everyone else brought some kind of dish to contribute to the meal. Everything was all decorated and the resident reverend said a blessing over the meal. There were probably about 150 people there. Many I’ve never met, some I recognize but don’t really socialize with, and my neighbors that I hang out with all the time.

Nobody ever tells me about these things, so I didn’t even know it was happening. Well, I knew it would happen sometime, but I had assumed they’d do it on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. So I was surprised Friday night when Deb and Susie asked me if I was going. My cupboard is getting pretty bare since Jay is working so much, so I had nothing I could make to contribute. Plus, apparently there was a list you were supposed to put your name on if you were going because they could only accommodate so many people. But Deb assured me there would be plenty of room for me because she knew of several people who had signed up but then didn’t show up this weekend. And she had some cranberry sauce that I could carry in as if it was from me. So that’s what we did. And everything was fine. Rose saw me there and never said anything, just remarked about how Jay works all the freaking time and to make sure and fix him a plate for his supper that night. So that was cool.

The meal was really good. Mashed potatoes, white and dark turkey, yams, green bean casserole, dressing, mac & cheese, collard greens, cabbage & meatball soup, coleslaw, pickled eggs, pickled beets, cranberry sauce, macaroni salad, potato salad, broccoli salad, rolls, gravy, pecan pie, brownies, cherry cheesecake, chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, brownies, fruit cake, hot apple cider, sweet tea, coffee, iced tea, and I’m sure other things that were either all gone by the time I got through the line or I didn’t notice.

Susie suggested I try the collard greens. I tried them once at a buffet in Georgia and didn’t care for them, but neither did Jay and he said they are really good if they’re prepared the right way. Susie said these ones were made by a friend of hers and they were done right. So I tried them again, and lo and behold I did like them. They might make a southern girl out of me yet! πŸ™‚

All in all it was a pretty good time. I really enjoyed myself.

In other news … John got back from Connecticut on Tuesday after being up there for a week or so attending to his mother’s death. He went back to work on Wednesday. On Thursday he had an altercation with one of the new local guys they hired as a hand, a black guy who is apparently no good for nothing as far as work goes. Hubert (the black guy who’s always been on Jay’s crew and came with us from Atlanta) was right there when it happened and told Jay and Stan that it wasn’t John’s fault. Because John is known for having a temper and running his mouth. But this time it was the other guy who started it and really stepped out of line mouthing off to John, who is the lead hand or Jay’s second. So if both Stan and Jay weren’t at work for some reason, John would run the job. He’s definitely all the grunts superior in the chain of command. Anyway, Thursday there was an incident. And Stan was quick to blame John and wanted to get to the bottom of it on Friday morning … which didn’t go over well. Jay says he should’ve just stayed out of it and it would have blown over. So I get a call from Jay on Friday morning saying John quit and went back to Georgia. Jay tried to talk to him as he drove him back to the hotel, but there was no talking to him, so now he’s gone. I feel kind of bad. I look at his Jeff Gordon chair sitting outside our camper and it makes me sad. I don’t know if he has another job lined up or whether he’s going to inherit money from his mom or what. And he must be going through such a hard time right now anyway, it all just kinda sucks. Jay hasn’t talked to him since he left, so I don’t know how he’s doing.

Anyway, I hope he’s okay and lands on his feet. But with John gone, I fear my husband might not be far behind. The job situation is not good, hasn’t been good since the beginning and my hun is getting increasingly more frustrated with Stan’s incompetence. Yesterday, Jay had to fire two of the welders. Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) were the ones to pull the plug on the guys for safety reasons (even though their welds later passed x-ray). So VNG said these welders can no longer work on any of their jobs and since Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) owns VNG then the company couldn’t even just send them back to Atlanta to work. Stan really should have been the one to do the firing, but the guys have zero respect for him and he has zero tact, so it fell to Jay. Needless to say the guys were pissed and there was a lot of mouthing off at different people on the crew before they got out of there, but Jay ended it on a positive note with them personally as they exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch about other work etc. My husband’s phone is full of hundreds of pipe liners numbers and he calls everybody regularly so he’s always got irons in the fire for new work. The only reason he hasn’t walked out on this job yet is because he feels an allegiance to the owners of the company and likes and respects them a lot. If they were dicks, we’d have been out of here a long time ago. As it is, I never know from one day to the next when I’m gonna get the call that we’re dragging up and I need to say my goodbyes and get the camper ready to go. Apparently there’s a lot of work going on out west now, in California and Nevada, sooo … who knows where we might end up.

Most evenings around here I’ve been going next door to Deb & Dana’s and sitting around their bonfire. We generally just sit out for a couple of hours, have a couple of drinks, and get to bed relatively early. But Friday night, everyone seemed to be in the partying mood. It was the first (and maybe the last) time I actually saw Dana get drunk. He might have one or two drinks every now and again, but Friday night he got lit! We all did. It was a lot of fun. And I even took some pics for you guys.

Big John, Susie and CP

While some of my relatives have said that they think I married Larry the Cable Guy, I’m here to tell you that I have not! Because Big John is sooo totally Larry the Cable Guy. He doesn’t even try to be funny, he just is because he’s so freaking red neck! Because there are so many John’s in the campground we’ve not only got a Big John, but we’ve also got a Little John … who is not much littler than the Big one and almost equally as redneck.

Susie hugging on Big John, while CP stands by.

I surprised them with the first shot, so they posed for the next one. I’m not sure what CP stands for, Claude something or other but not Paul like a French name. He’s a little creepy to be honest. He’s one of those guys who totally undresses every woman he meets with his eyes. When we first moved in here Deb had asked me to check online to see if there were any registered sex offenders living in the park, because she was wondering about a guy. I checked and there aren’t. There actually aren’t many living around this area at all, only a handful. Not at all like in Georgia where there was one in the park and hundreds close by. It turns out the guy she was wondering about was CP.

Joey with Booger on his lap, Deb sitting beside him and Corey chopping wood in the background.

Joey is the operator Jay hired after we got here. He drove up in his motor home from Florida, but he’s originally from Kentucky. He seems like a good guy, even though he’s constantly making fun of Canadian accents (eh! and aboot) Despite the fact that I don’t even have any kind of Canadian accent that anyone can discern, it’s the first thing they always say when they find out where I’m from, that I don’t sound Canadian. I insist it’s stereotypical and I’m not the only one from Canada who can “pass” as American, lol. His dog’s name is Booger because he’s a 10 pound booger. This dog is quite the character. He’ll lock you out of the car if you leave him in it and forget your keys. Then he’ll roll down his window when he wants a bit of fresh air.

Jay talking to Corey about the finer techniques of wood splitting.

Corey just turned 18 a couple of weekends ago. They had a big party for him at the rec hall, but I didn’t go. He lives here full-time with his mom. Corey’s a little like my brother. He’s a little slow. And he can annoy the hell out of you pretty quick if you don’t have any patience. Everyone in the campground kind of looks out for him because he’s had a rough life so far and he has a pretty hard time of it at school and stuff. Kids pick on him. Last week he was mugged by two black kids who stole $85 in cash, gift cards etc. that he had gotten for his birthday. They caught the kids, but he hasn’t gotten his stuff back. He’s a good kid, has a big heart and gives excellent back rubs!

Dana tending his fire.

Dana is Deb’s husband. He’s kind of a different type of person, standoffish, quiet when you first get to know him. He watches Jeopardy every night religiously and knows most of the answers (or questions I guess.) He’s a total computer geek and will spend hours online surfing eBay and Craigslist always looking for good deals on stuff. I really like Dana a lot. He’s got that Long Island New York accent even though he’s been living in Virginia for a lot of years now. Maybe he made this his home base while serving in the military. He’s been deployed to lots of exotic places around the world. Now that he knows us better, he talks a lot more and him and Jay have become pretty good friends. I like Dana because he doesn’t pull any punches, he just tells you what he’s thinking straight up. I appreciate that in people.

Jay hugging on Susie.

Everybody loves Susie! She gets up early every morning and starts the day with a bloody mary that would knock most people out. She’s been going through a hard time since Bill’s death, but she’s kept a positive attitude about everything for the most part. She has her breakdowns, which are to be expected, but she hasn’t gone into any kind of deep depression or anything. Susie has more energy than most people half her age. She keeps busy all the time, cooking and cleaning and she loves to decorate for all the different seasons and holidays. I can’t wait to see how she decks her halls for Christmas!

Susie hugging Joey and Booger.

CP, Jay and Dana

Nice one of Susie.

It was freezing this night and Susie was still wearing her flip flops. She says she’ll wear them until it snows. And I bet she does too!

Deb, Jay and Dana.

Deb actually reminds me a lot of MB in Toronto. She’s one of those people who always wants to help and do things for other people. I really love her.

Deb and Jay dancing to old country music.

Deb and Jay.

Jay and Dana ... SMASHED!!

Deb and Jay ... SMASHED!!!

Deb and Jay still dancing.

Jay and Joey were still in their work clothes when all this was going on. They hadn’t showered or had dinner yet. So this nasty coat isn’t my hunny’s usual party attire πŸ™‚

Deb and me.

Deb’s Vermont accent is still pretty thick, even though she’s been living in the south for dozens of years. She says things like red-ee-oh for radio and saw-ree for sorry. She’s OCD about housecleaning and every inch of her camper inside and out is decorated with all things lighthouse … not a spec of dust to be found anywhere, nor a dog hair even though they have three dogs, Mekayah, Kojak and Cheyanne. Mom would totally go nuts if she saw all these lighthouse things.

Today is Sunday and Jay is getting off work at noon so we can go grocery shopping. So that’s all the pics and news for now!

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