Old Diary

Our Little Corner On The Forest


I’ve been teasing that it took retiring for me to get a corner office.  That’s not actually true — I’ve had several — but it gets a laugh anyway.  We have a window — which Peggy never had all the 33 years she worked at Aurora.  And we don’t spend all that much time here.  Well, we won’t be spending all that much time here once we get our systems sorted out.

I can’t adequately share how much I’ve been enjoying getting to know the other volunteers here.  If you reduce all the huff and puff to its essential elements — our real job is to be friends with the volunteers.  What could be better than that.  If this were a game of good cop / bad cop I’m the good cop.  Boss has to worry about all the negatives — I get to see how much we can do for these folks and how we can keep them happy.

I mean, come on… what’s better than trying to be good friends to people you share something in common with?

Reedsport is sort of 1/2 way between the two ends of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  And ODNRA is just one of several parts to Siuslaw National Forest.  Having this central duty station makes it easy to bop out to visit our volunteers.  We can be to any of them in about 1/2 an hour — although any idea that we could visit them all in one day have long since evaporated.

These people love to talk and we love to get to know them.  We have truck mechanics and truck drivers.  We have teachers and students (isn’t continuing education great)? We have crop dusters and loggers.  There are caterers here too and carnival popcorn sellers as well as retired medical professionals.  That kind of diversity isn’t as easy to find in a lot of work environments.  I’m looking forward to some stories to share as we get to know them.

I’m really interested in learning how or why some of them came to live on the forest.  Just goes to show that there’s no ‘right’ way to RV, or to retire.

Maintenance issues are real

A couple weeks ago when I was talking about the cold weather problems I mentioned some of the maintenance issues our volunteers were dealing with.  I wanted to share a couple other items before I forgot about them.

Living in an RV is kind of like living in a giant tin can.. and any time you cut a hole in a wall there’s always a weak point right there.  This time of year — with the winter rainy season coming on — we all get to see how good our previous preventive maintenance has been.

  • One volunteer replaced a rooftop a/c unit recently — with a bigger one — but didn’t consider the effect of the added weight and they are fighting with leaks.
  • Another volunteer has had mice eating the plastic fittings on the side of his trailer.
  • A third volunteer has had some power inverter problems — I’m hoping he gets them sorted out because we don’t want anyone getting electrocuted on the Forest.

As if RV maintenance wasn’t enough there is always HUMAN Maintenance.  Almost all our volunteers are over 55 and doctors appointments and little procedures are part of the mix.  Getting people to cover for each other in their absence is just part of being good neighbors and the folks here have a good history of doing just that.  For a guy who often didn’t know what month it was balancing the schedules of all these volunteers is getting to be an interesting experience.  (working on long projects often meant that my deadlines were months apart)

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.