Tuesday * October 6th 2015

Now I know…

why I live in New Mexico


Yaquina Bay Bridge – Newport, Oregon

I’m not one for cloudy, misty, overcast days.  Sunless days tend to leave me “flat” and “uninspired.”  When you’re on the Oregon Coast, some days are like that…

It’s been almost a month and I’m leaving South Beach State Park on August 31st.  Originally, I had asked for the month of August.  However, the ranger in charge of volunteers asked if I’d stay for September.  Due to a communication snafu, she thought I only wanted August and has someone new coming September 1st.

To be honest, even though the coast is lovely I’m bored.  I’ve cleaned Yurts for two months and I’m ready for a change.  Part of my duties here include showing the “family movie” on Thursday evenings.  I’ve spent two hours each Thursday popping popcorn, showing the movie for a couple of hours, and then cleaning up the nuclear aftermath of popcorn.

Tomorrow is my last “Thursday,” and there will be NO POPCORN.  Actually, the ranger in charge told me it’s “optional” and up to me.

Newport is a small town and most people come her to vacation.  To be quite honest, I’ve felt somewhat lonely and isolated here.  I’m surprised that some full-timing couples make a “circuit” of Oregon State Parks in order not to pay camping fees.  I don’t think I’d like that at all – there’s no real flexibility to “travel” and explore other areas.

Ideally, camp-hosting is best done as a “team.”  If you’re a “couple” you get assigned the same workload as a “single.”

You do the math…  :roll: 

jettySouth Beach State Park “jetty”

I’m looking forward to being “free.” 

The park rangers have been nice, and work isn’t that difficult.  However, I’m looking forward to being in a larger community and doing activities on my “timeline.”

I’ve decided to travel to Portland and take two different sets of tango lessons for the month of September.  It’s funny, but I’ve neglected my dance for so long for various reasons (not being in an area that dances tango, etc…)  I’m planning on staying at the Moose Lodge (I have before) and of course I’ll have my car this time to navigate Portland.  I’m also throwing “caution to the wind” and plan to take some private lesson with two different instructors.  I can’t tell you exactly why I’m so focused on dancing tango at this time in my life.  It’s a throwback to a golden age of beauty and grace, the music is hauntingly beautiful, and a tanda (usually three dances) is an inexplicable “connection” with a partner.

It makes me happy…

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Moments of Grace…

OK, I’m relaxing after cleaning seven (7) Yurts today.  I’m doing my laundry and having a margarita.  It’s amazing to me, that I still “feel and learn” about life.

Pine ConesLet me explain…

A woman came to visit the Hospitality Center at South Beach State Park the other day.  She once was a camp host, but has had a myriad of health issues that have prevented her from “following her bliss.”  She was from California, traveling in her car and seemed “fragile.”  Although she was uncertain about medical facilities on her journey, she was once again traveling.  Like all of us “older wiser women,” she yearned for a partner to share her experiences.  Kudos to her for following her dreams and traveling again…

Hungry Squirrel

We had a LOT of Yurts to clean today in the park, so the other hosts who have lighter duties pitch in.  A man (who has a daughter in Eugene with my name) was assigned to clean three Yurts.  He told me “It hurts my back, but I have to do it.”  I wanted to tell him to “go home” and that I would do his duties, but I knew in my “heart of hearts” that I’d be demeaning his “virtue.”  He’s seventy-five, has had open heart surgery, a knee replacement, etc…  However, he’s “kind” and wants to “pull his weight.”

It almost reduces me to tears…


When I feel “down,” I’m reminded that I have relatively good health and much of my life left to live.  It’s totally up to me to find the good…

I wish the same for you…

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I think in our lives we’re all searching for ways to be happy…

This summer I’ve been thinking about “happiness,” and ways to “feed my soul.”  When I was in Bend at Tumalo State Park, there was a ukulele festival held a nearby charter school with many participants staying in the campground.

I got to know many of the participants, and even though registration was closed I was allowed to attend “Uke U.”


I really liked attending the workshops, and decided I could make a $100.00 investment in something fun.  So, after talking to some folks I decided upon a Luna Concert “Tattoo” ukelele.


Honestly folks, this comes from a woman who played the violin in grade school and managed once to break all the strings.  My “music education” came to a screeching halt when my instructor “Mr. Thomas Dick” yelled at me.

The ukulele is fun and “relatively” easy to learn to play.  The ukelele community in Bend would meet every Tuesday night at a local pub and play together.  I miss it already.  😥   I’ve surprised myself by practicing every night.  The only “downside” is the tips of my left hand fingers feel a little “numb.”  However, I hear that’s normal.

It makes me really happy…  😀 


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Sleepless in Oregon…

No, I haven’t really been sleepless but now I have your attention.  😉 

My time at Tumalo State Park near Bend, Oregon flew by quickly.  Even though the rangers were nice, there was “lots of work” and unfortunately one host couple were slackers.  The weather was often hot (hotter than Las Cruces), and at the end of the day I would just sit in the air conditioning and “chill.”

I moved from Tumalo to South Beach State Park on August 1st.  There are more camp hosts, so the workload isn’t so grueling.  Additionally, the weather is much cooler.  :-)  For the most part, the hosts are friendly and helpful.  However, one sad person has obvious issues (that’s putting it nicely).  I’ve chosen to just ignore ignorant and toxic people.

There’s one in every crowd…

So, my duties for August/September here at South Beach are cleaning yurts and their fire-pits, and showing the family movie on Thursday evenings.

Yurt Host

Yes, I have my own site tag.  :-)

My RV Site

My RV site…

Yurt Exterior

Yurt Exterior

Yurt Interior

Yurt Interior

Fire Pit

Fire Pit with “Zen” raking!

Gee, and the best part…

South Beach Ocean View

The Beach!

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Busy, Busy, Busy!

Gee, I’m really sorry folks.


I’ve really neglected my blog, but camp hosting in Tumalo really “ate my lunch.”  When I turned in my volunteer time sheet for July, I had logged in 121 hours.

This is a short post, just to let Contessa know that I’m OK (thank you my dear for worrying about me).  I’m at South Beach State Park in Newport, Oregon for August/September, and it’s much cooler as well as a lighter workload.

I promise to write more later – now it’s a glass of vino, and sleep…

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