Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A bit of a culture shock, but not a bad thing

Well, we are here. Gary is a bit freaked because our cell phones have very sketchy service, and the internet service at the park is equally sketchy, and often completely unavailable. Given that his contact with his business is through the internet and the phone, he’s justifiably freaked out. However, as I keep reminding him, we are now entering into a holiday weekend, and nothing is going to happen, business-wise, until Monday, and on Monday, we should be getting some sort of cable internet access. (There is some question as to the reliability of that internet, but we’ll see. Most of the people in the park here are not super-internet-dependent, so I’m not sure that that the information that I’ve gotten so far is 100% accurate.)

Hopefully we’ll get reliable internet on Monday, and Gary will feel a little more settled. Me? Heh. I’m enjoying the ‘vacation’ from the world. I’ve got an ATT wireless card that works fairly well (interestingly, Gary’s, which is newer and supposedly better, doesn’t get the signal mine does…), so I can check emails, and my phone gets intermittent service, so I can check voice mails. Calls out, not so much, but on the 9th, we’ll have a local phone line (VOIP, I think… which could be good or bad, depending on the internet service!).

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the break.

Tonight is the pre-Thanksgiving beer and pizza night at the restaurant (on the river at the RV park); I’ve elected to pass on that. Gary wanted me to sneak down and grab a few slices of pizza, but given the level of sociability of the place, I don’t think I’d be able to escape quickly, and I really don’t want to be stuck being social in a bar/restaurant while Gary is at home relaxing with the kids. So we’re having hamburgers at home, instead.

Tomorrow, however, is the Thanskgiving dinner thing, and we are pretty much obligated to go to that. It is an afternoon/evening-long event, but I doubt we’ll stay that long. As it is, our ‘block activity organizer’ (a very nice lady who comes from British Columbia with her husband, and lives two doors down), gave me the social run-down of activities, and suggested that since no one had volunteered to bring pies to the dinner (the resort provides the turkey and important stuff…. Residents bring the extras), I could maybe bring a pie or two, if I was interested. Recognizing the Northern “a guy could….. if you want to” statement, I immediately signed up to bring a couple of pies.

(And I think I got the rookie-sucker ruse; the local Safeway (another entry in and of itself) charges $7/pie….. I’m used to the $4/pie at Albertsons (and usually $3/pie at the holidays)). Anyhoo, we’ve got pie and whipped cream in a can, so I think my duty is done. Between 2 pumpkin pies and an apple pie, I think we’ve earned the right to grab out food and go at any time….)

Besides, I did make it clear to Mary, the Canuk-block-organizer (in her early 70’s likely, and far too cheery…. As is her husband), that we aren’t really ‘joiners’. After hearing the schedule of poker games, womens’ pool tournaments against the local VFW (no, really…. Gods how I wish Granny Shively were alive and could visit – she’d LOVE this place!!!), womens’ walks (at 8am MWF….. we’ll see… and only because I’d like to get to know the area…), golf foursomes (one guy in the park works at the scheduling desk at the local golf course, and gets everyone the tee times they desire…. Not 100% kosher, but much appreciated), shuffleboard (really), and horseshoes (apparently there are some pretty fierce team rivalries…), I think we are going to be pretty much staying to ourselves.

That said, we’ve got some ‘family obligations’; Gary’s aunt and uncle (his mothers’ brother) came her for close to 20 years, and are WELL remembered. Gary is known as ‘Ernie’s nephew’ to a great many of the ‘old timers’, and we’ve already received a table for the patio that belonged to Ernie and Joanne. So, we’ve got some eyes on us, to some extent. Which isn’t all bad; people come to this resort year after year (as opposed to the 30 others on the same 15 mile stretch of river) for the sense of community. And while we aren’t looking to make life-long friends, you never know. And we certainly won’t be able to ‘hibernate’. Again, not a bad thing.

The road biking looks promising; we may be riding on a freeway for some of our rides, but the place has very wide shoulders, and a 55mph speed limit, so I think it will be good.

As it is, it is raining (should clear up by the weekend), and by then we should be ready to start to ride. I did one very short ride on the mountain bike up to the local state park (one of them), and am quite excited to get out riding again.

In the meantime, Fiona has made quite a name for herself (generally good, I think!), and is starting to see that not all dogs are sick/geriatric. Speaking of which, I took Ben to the vet today; about a 15 minute drive (no biggie), a small operation (husband and wife team, which, ironically, makes them easier to get ahold of in emergencies, but they seem well-suited to deal with our kids. I am comfortable with them, and I think all of the kids will get great care. They are members of the same Animal Hospital Associate as the vets in Park City were, which adds another level of confidence. Ben is holding his own; he’s not doing great, and we have had to up his pain-meds, but he’s comfortable.

And that’s all the news that is fit to print, right now!

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