Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Life of the CampHost

It is August.
The last time I wrote was March.
How can it be?  oye. Pondering that thought....maybe....maybe because it is easier to write about life when I am movin' ahead on the journey, than life sitten' in one place.  But really, that IS a journey too. I guess parked in one place can be a trip as well.  True that.

So, here we are, still in El Chorro Campground -- CampHosts.  We are planted  1/2 way between San Luis Obispo Small Town Life and Morro Bay by the Sea.  It is cooler than I remember it being.  As in temp's. Maybe just cooler than PA summers.  And Hawaii days.  Here it is usually foggy summer mornings, and blue sky afternoons with a cool sea breeze ruffling our campground trees.

I sort of thought we would be here , Campground Host El Chorro here, through September.  That was my Plan A. Looks like it will be more like through the fall months and beyond. At first I was rather wah-wah about that unfolding-plan, however, after a minor nervous breakdown, God massaged my heart and emotions a bit, and I then felt like I could lean-into this season of CampHosting for a bit longer, and rather enjoy the simplicity and the ride.

We've created a "home" in Maxine, and a GuestHome on the back of our property  :-) ...    A fancy-shmancy, comfy-cozy, tent experience for our friends who love to camp.  And amazingly, our guest-tent is getting pretty-well booked from now through October ~~ so far, friends from Tennessee, Colorado, Idaho, & California are on the reservation calendar.  woohoo.  Bring on the s'mores and wine, warm conversation and laughter, around the campfire.  (still taking reservations  :-)  )
Maxine and the GuestTent.  Oh, and Chester. Such a handsome boy. 
my favorite kind...still taking reservations....

walks by the sea with one of my favorite buddies, my most fav buddy is taking the pic.
In addition to the CampHost part of life. We are making friends. Slowly. Pet Therapy appt's are beginning  (check out .   Slowly.  Life in a new land is beginning again.  Slowly. It takes awhile. It does. To discover friends, to find favorite spots for hiking, relaxing, eating, exploring. Find the dentist, preferred grocery stores, and where the peanut butter is IN that grocery store.  To meet a church family that is a fit,  find a vet for the pup, and the best spot for fish tacos and guacamole.    Just takes time. But life is unfolding.  We are enjoying farmers markets, evening summertime concerts in the park, vineyards and wine tasting, the county fair, walks on the beach, long drives up/down the coast & through the vineyards, visits from family , time with kids and grand kids who are close by, the sounds of the sea. And often, I am jaw-droppingly amazed at how God orchestrates a meeting with a new friend, or a pet therapy appt., or a camper that just needs something more than a campsite.

Still reading to Chester.... a favorite.

exploring....Keith and I worked here in the late 70's...still standing, (it and us)

Fair Fun.

Time with our grand-treasures.

About CampHosting .....We are learning much .... and life is NOT dull at the ole campground.
Each day is different. Summer weekends are packed and overflowing with tents and motor homes and people and parties and campfires and laughter and some craziness and family reunions and beer fests  and bikes and dogs and selling endless bundles of firewood and answering countless questions oh...and bathrooms to clean and trashcans to empty :-/ . 

Here are some stand-out-memories  & of course they are wrapped around the people we meet....

*Our friend Chris, who found himself homeless after college days. Living out of his car, daily, he would come to El Chorro to begin his day with a run in the canyon & a hot shower. Keith invited him for dinner ~~ twice he joined us at our table. You know, we all have stories to tell.  God Bless You on your journey, Chris.

*There are the children who shout...."HI CHESTER" as they zoom past on their bikes and skateboards. Somehow they all know his name & he thumps his tail and grins at each one. 

best campdog ever. totally.

*And dear Kelsey. Her "boyfriend" drug her behind her car. He was raging. She tried to get her bag out of the car as he sped away. We found her scraped and bruised hiding in the woods, brought her home to bandage her wounds. And hug her tears. When the police arrived, she would not press charges.  sigh.  If, when, she is ready to get out of the cycle of abuse and violence, we asked her to please call.  She has our number. Please Lord.

*Gabe & Ethan, the little boys who wanted to take Chester home with them. Thankful for this dear family. Dad has served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. Loved watching and listening to them p.l.a.y. together for a weekend. How thankful we are for your service and sacrifice.  Blessings to all xxoo

Gabe & Ethan, boys and dogs...match made in heaven
*Each time Danny the butcher visits our campground,  he brings us the best cut rib-eye steaks, always delivered with a firm-warm handshake, and a "good to see you!"   deeeelicious.

*The guys who camped across from us, Bill-Miguel-Angel.  They shared their beer & schnapps with us & toasted to new friends. All because we delivered some free firewood to them.... just because.

*OH, and then, the family whose teenage kids were doing drugs and these kids took off hitch-hiking up Hwy1. The parents asked us for help. A call to the ranger and the police ~~ and the kids were back. We took the family some fresh-fruit, reassuring hugs, and words of encouragement ~~ though they didn't speak English very well, and we didn't speak Spanish too well, we had no trouble communicating kindness.  As Keith and I sat around the campfire that evening, they brought us THE MOST delicious plate of freshly baked corn tortillas, Cornish hen, and yummy broccoli salad.  Expressions of a thankful heart.........

*Gabriel  & his family, they've  camped next door to us twice.  One hot afternoon, when Keith got off work, Gabriel came by with an ice-cold Corona  laced w/ hot sauce & lime.   A Hispanic favorite. bueno.

*Let's see...There was the night we called the police because NO ONE in the whole flippen' campground could sleep --- too much partyn'  and &%$#^ going on from a large group in a certain campsite in the "c loop", and bummer for them they were camped too close to the sleepless in El Chorro CampHosts  ...  And let's just say these partiers were not too welcoming to a Ranger Rima's midnight  request, thus, the police were happy to come on board and lend a hand. ooof-tah

*Angela a returning camper who waved Keith down saying "Hey, Keith, I'm back! " She told her friend, that Keith was "the one who saved her".  Earlier in the summer, Angela & group arrived to find El Chorro FULL.  It was late & Keith squeezed her in, even though it was a tight fit in the overflow camp area.  Then...he loaned her tent pegs. ...of course he did.

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*Oh and the couple we shared the Hawaiian Lilikoi Drink with.  We were taking Chester for a walk & said Hi! as we walked past. Noticing this giant bottle of vodka on their camp table, I said that a splash of Lilikoi would go great in their vodka. After our walk, we brought them a splash.  They asked us to toast with them. :-)  They got hooked on Lilikoi and are now ordering their very own from our Kona friends who market this yummy treat. .aloha friends are everywhere.

*And then there was Chuck and Louise.  They stopped by one morning to talk story a bit. Chuck was the last one to sit in "that" camp chair.  It ripped....and he fell through.  To the ground. ooopsie daisy.  Chuck was a good sport, and didn't spill a drop of coffee in the process.  Amazing.

I smile at the memories, the people,  the kindness of so many campers to share their personal favorites with us.    As long as it's legal (haha), we graciously taste test. And enjoy. 
                                                         Of course we do :-) .


So, that is a bit of the life and times of Rima's in August.  CampHosts and beyond. 

Thanks for continuing to share the journey with us. And for those of you who enjoy reading, thank you, still blesses me to know you are "here" ....and who knows, maybe, I just might write again before 6 months flies by.

                                       Love to all ~~~ and Here's to Friends! clink.