Thursday, March 14, 2013

I know!

I know it's been forever. Hell broke out in my life, again related to being Suddenly Single at Sixty, and it's taken me a while to find my way out. Winston Churchill said, When you're going through hell, keep going. That's what I've been trying to do, keep going. The second hell took me back to the beginning of the pain and the fear, and let's mention anger and an overwhelming feeling of betrayal, and I've had to make up lost ground.

It's a little better. I have the best friends in the world, better than I could have ever hoped to have, and they have carried me through when I've been incapable of moving, let alone thought. So thank you, all of you, and you know who you are. I can't ever hope to repay you for your love and support.


A few weekends ago I took my van, who I'll introduce you to a while later, to the Oregon coast for a couple of nights. One of them was spent at Fort Stevens State Park, near Astoria. While I was there I talked to a campground host about volunteering. Campground hosts greet visitors, get them signed in for camp sites, answer questions, do light maintenance, deliver firewood, light duty like that. In exchange, they receive a free site with full hookups for water, electric, and sewer. It can save the hosts a minimum of $20 a night at state parks. The more popular parks charge more. There may be a minimum length of duty, like a month, but in many cases the host can stay for the season. This is a good deal if you really like the area you're volunteering in, and you're not just assigned, you choose the campground you want. Some have more competition from volunteers than others, as you can imagine.

I'd known about this kind of volunteering for some time but it hadn't yet trickled back into my brain since I decided to cruise at 60, and talking to this volunteer got me thinking. One of these good friends I mentioned above told me she met volunteers doing work like this at Glacier National Park and thought I might be interested in one of these short-term jobs. When I got back to the house I started searching the website, just looking for what was available. It's late in the season for the hotspots like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Point Reyes, or Glacier, but there are still lots of slots for other places.

So here is what is amazing, and proof positive that God does shine his light down on me, or that a net will appear if you just take the leap. Petrified Forest National Park advertised for a librarian to organize and catalog their collection, minimum commitment of two months. I have a masters degree in library science and worked several years as an archivist, which turned out handy because they have work in that area too. And maybe in the museum, working with the collections manager. I am thrilled. So excited. Pleased as punch. I start at the beginning of May and am their woman until the end of September.

I admit to being nervous about heading out to parts unknown with no agenda, just following the lines on the map. I know it's the dream of a lot of people to be able to do exactly that, but I've never done it before on my own and I was scared. It was way more than being nervous. But here is a compromise, a transition that will give me a purpose to my days for several months. I couldn't be more pleased, plus I still get the free RV site with full hookups. What a deal.