Thursday, July 7, 2016

Previously on…..(6/25-7/7)

        Proverbs 3:8
This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.

Hello eveyone! 

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. It’s been quite the whirlwind of work and adventure here at CBCC. With guests coming and going, staff events and sickness abound. I’ve found myself lacking time to write. Today however, (7/7) I’ve found myself once again under the weather bad enough to call in sick again. Ugh. However, it’s given me enough time to catch everyone up on what’s been going on. 

Since my last post, my perspective on CBCC has adjusted slightly. I’ve realized that I get to work with great people! The staff here are dedicated to the guests comfort. From the food service making meals, to the program watching the children so the parents can go to the conferences without distraction and of course the housekeepers (shout out to my Department) who keep the place tidy and clean. I always felt that the staff were good people. Despite some administrative issues. This place is special and God has his hand in the everyday workings, even if we’re unaware. 
Now since it’s been over a week since my last post I won’t exactly be able to remember every detail of every day. I will endeavor however to relate the more interesting happenings. At the end of my most recent post I had mentioned that I was going to captain a building for the first change over of the summer. Here’s how that went:
Captain’s personal log Stardate: 62516
Today my crew and I embark on a three month journey, patrolling the Cannon quadrant. I’ve recently been promoted to Captain. With all the confidence of my superior officers in me I was still nervous to be in command of a new crew. Fresh faced cadets, some yet untested by the perils and challenges of space travel and taking orders. I woke this morning with a pit of dread but then pushed it down to allow courage to rise. I dressed in my new uniform. The gold pips gleaming in the mirror. I set myself to rights and headed to the mess hall. I entered with all the enthusiasm of a well seasoned captain, assured of their victory. My crew was less than enthusiastic about the journey. Knowing that it would be a bit doldrum. Patrol and maintenance wasn’t the most exciting assignment. I didn’t let this discourage my positive outlook. We had a job to do and by God we were going to get it done right the first time. After eating, all Captains were to report for an officer’s meeting. Admiral Dawn, Commander Aaron and Vice Admiral Andrew were present. Starfleet took this mission very seriously. We were briefed on our assignments. My stomach nearly dropped when I was told that I’d be captaining the U.S.S ‘Anchorage’ an notoriously difficult ship to master. I set my jaw despite the sympathetic looks from my fellow captains. 
“Challenge accepted” I said out loud. A few smiled and launched congratulatory well wishes. I took them all. God knew I’d need them. With a quick prayer we were off. I took my assignment tablet and was off to inspect my ship. 
Okay, now for a bit of fact filled details. By ship I mean building. Despite my dramadic telling. It was true Anchorage was known to be one of the more difficult buildings to get done on time. We only had from 10 am to 3pm to get every room stripped, stocked, cleaned and made. I was nervous my first morning but like I said, I went to breakfast with a ready smile and enough positive energy to infuse my team with courage to take on the challenge. During change over days (where we clean every room in every building) The housekeeping department staff, who have been deemed building Captains, are given their buildings and crews. The crews are made up primarily of food and program staff who normally do not do housekeeping all week. Hence only housekeepers can be captains. It’s a privilege to be a captain. You have to know sight on scene how something should look. Hospital corners, how many sundries and towels. Whether a room’s been properly stripped or put back. It’s a detail orientated job and one that I’ve been proud to do for the past two weeks. I was assigned Anchorage (which I can see from my dorm) It’s a two story open deck building with 14 rooms, bathrooms, kitchenettes and 35 beds. It has three stair wells two split one straight and two closets for supplies. Three garbage cans on second floor and four on first floor. It’s a long building with all the rooms on one side while the open air deck on the other. I know almost all the stats on this building because as I’ve said on facebook. Anchorage is my white whale, my everest. My challenge. My first change over my crew (program and food) worked well. The goal is to have all the bathrooms done before noon. We didn’t meet this goal that day and it frustrated me but we pressed on anyway. What made it difficult especially is that I was the only one running back and forth stripping and suppling at first. One of my crew, affectionately known as Tugboat, having a bum knee became my number one that day. He stocked first floor which saved us a little time. We got our beds done right after bathrooms. As the chores came up other buildings sent their people over. Which was helpful but again, flustering. I wanted to get the building done on time. In the end I was walking away at 3:23pm which is nearly a half hour late. I was determined then to get it done faster the next time. 
That night I had gotten a co-worker to take my On Call shift so I could hang out with my friends, Noel and Linnea who had come down to see me. It was a much needed time away from Cannon beach. Having lived here for, at the time 26 days, I REALLY NEEDED time away. The day hadn’t gone the way I wanted. It was nice to hear about things going on at home versus talking about closet counts and schedules. When you live in a community that you not only work with but live  with in some capacity it can becomes very isolating. While I love everyone I’ve worked it so far it’s an example of how your life can become very small while living in one place (especially when you don’t have a car!) Noel took Linnea and I to McMininmen’s for dinner. Knowing I was going to see them at the end of the day was the motivating factor behind getting done. We went to Seaside and after dinner walked about. It was around 6 in the evening so most things were closing but we got some chocolate and eventually headed back to Cannon. Sitting at Whale Park we just enjoyed each other’s company. It was great seeing them. They planned on coming down again. I hope soon. 

The week went along fine. I was sick on my days off which sucked because my family and more friends came down that Wednesday to come see me. I felt a little better. It was fun hanging out with everyone. It felt good to get out on the beach and just play. My nephews and niece and I built sand castles. We ate chicken. I gave everyone a tour of my ‘home’ my oldest nephew cried when they were leaving. I miss them everyday but I keep my focus on work and God right now. I had to call in sick that Thursday, knowing that I had a change over that Saturday (like every Saturday) I came back on Friday and had an early morning (ugh) We got it all done and were done with our chore list at 4:45 versus five. I was so happy that I’d have enough time to shower before dinner. I glimpsed at my captain sheet and saw that I was going to have a co-captain. At first  I thought I was lacking in some way. But then Dawn explained that Anchorage really did need two captains to get everyone done. Marci was my new co-captain and we work beautifully together. It reminds me of how Noel and I know and anticipate each other’s actions. We communicated well and got everything done with only seven people (crew of four, two captains and one extra when chores were done) by (drum roll please…..) 2:54 pm! We were closing doors and walking away by 2:59! I had said out loud that I wanted to be doing chores by 2pm. And LO AND BEHOLD we did! My crew was awesome. People were amazed that we had gotten it done in such a short time. I too was impressed with my team. We rocked it. My plan is to get down to 2:50 this coming Saturday. The key to last week was that we had not only all our bathrooms done before noon but ten beds! Which saves precious time. Next week, not only will we have all our bathrooms done but fifteen beds made. Before my team knows it we’ll be doing chores at 12:30 (which is when our lunch is over) I’m determined this will happen, and with Marci’s help and good communication we’ll get this done. 
This past week was weird. Sunday night live was good, I connected well with a fellow co-worker our lives nearly mirroring each others. Priscilla gave a talk. We sang Amazing Grace (appropriate since the 4th was the next day) and I broke down crying. I had realized by the third chorus that that song was the LAST song I ever sang with my sister, Jennifer  even before she was dignosed. It hit me hard and I cried through the next song. Monday was of course the 4th of July. Monday’s are my longest days… I have early morning, then I work over at ECL then I help with chores at CBCC then I have a serving shift. Well the night before I had a hard time falling asleep.  Antonia (ECL) wanted to see the parade so despite all of us being a little/lot sick Julie, Marci and I hustled to get as much done as we could so that Antonia and her daughter could go to the 4th of July parade they have every year here in Cannon. The parade being at 11 am. I had the idea that since the guests at the lodge would likely go and watch the parade before checking out, the three of us wouldn’t have much to do. So, we walked back. I asked Dawn if we could take our lunch an hour early and she agreed that it made more sense. At the coach house (on the housekeeping tab, thank you Dawn) the three of us ate. Will, Marci’s boyfriend/our fellow co-worker) was struggling with the pepsi machine across the way. I’ll leave that story for him to tell. It was a good laugh all around and much needed. We got back to ECL and finished up the day early. Back at CBCC we did chores and the day continued from there. For those of you who know, I love the fourth of July! Barbecues, fireworks and patriotic clothing. I was so exhausted from the past week’s madness that I was more than a little flustered that I was working on a NATIONAL FREAKING HOLIDAY! By the time I was done with my serving shift I was crying and wanting to be any where but here. I was thinking about how at that moment (5:30 pm on the fourth) I’d be at Noel’s parents house sitting around wishing Nana (her grandma) a happy birthday and eating delicious food. Later we’d gather in the yard and watch as their firework budget went up in a spectacular display of muli-colored flames. That’s what I would have done. The previous night I had asked around to see if we had any plans other than going to Seaside to go watch the big fire work show. I suggested we have a bon fire. A few people were interested. After a much needed nap, I went to the front desk to retrieve my wood I had bought with Leslie earlier that evening. The newest Megan and I walked down to the beach via Pacific View Lodge across the street. We found a good spot and with help of some boys moved a sizable drift would log to the designated place. Megan went to get her blanket while I remained and tackled the challenge of making a fire. I went with the loose log cabin method and it worked! It almost went out a couple of times but the wind helped and I set more paper and kindling to the infant embers. Once it was really going I was proud of my accomplishment. I believe it was a visual testament to my time here. I’ve done and achieved things that before I was too scared of scarred of doing before. Now, I no longer want to live my life in fear and pain of rejection. Here I’ve learned that I’m a worthwhile person and while I hardly doubted that I could make friends I did however have self-doubts about my ability to go to work and keep a cool head in heated situations. I’m a freakin’ Building captain! That job is given to the cool headed, the calm voiced and the motivating. I’ve been told that I can cheer up the sad and comfort the lonely. That I accept and include everyone around me. It’s not hard for me to understand why I’ve made so many friends now. I’m doing my best everyday and while at times it’s tiring it’s also refreshing so feel as though even when I’m not sure of what I’m doing God is there to guide me. To show me that this is our walk together. As I sat and watched the sun slowly descend and as more friends gathered around the fire I felt happy and content. Not wishing for more that the company of my co-workers and a warm fire. It was gratifying to be at peace. Real peace. Real satisfaction for the day. Knowing now how tired I was for the rest of the week. I’m glad I went down the beach and started that fire and sat with friends. I was out on the beach till midnight (which I previously hadn’t done before) Spreading the still smoldering coals I headed back to the convention center, showered and went to bed. It was my day off thank God. 
Tuesday, my only day off that week since I volunteered to work that Wednesday for the strange (once a summer) midweek change over. I spent my Day off with Emma, my former roommate and good friend. We got an early start and went to Seaside for a friend date. Nothing was open until 10 am. We arrived around 9 am. The ride on the bus while comfortable was bumpy at times I came out of my seat a few inches. Taking it in stride and with an air of adventure we laughed. Walking about seaside we peered in the windows of yet opened shops and talked. As everything was opening up we stepped in to a little bakery, and split a cresant. Next we went to Shamus’s rocks. The owner operator had his life-long collection of rocks for sale. The tiny shop was filled with them. From floor to ceiling (Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in seaside) We crossed the street to a little book store that had a fat tabby laying in the window. We continued our journey through town popping into seemingly every bakery for a quick glance. Stopping in a cash/check only thrift store Emma was able to find a pair of pants she needed.  We had lunch at the Crabby Oyster. Excellent food for a reasonably price and top notch service. Afterwards we headed toward the promenade and to the aquarium (Which I had previously not been too) It was awesome to see all the creatures that live in our very own Pacific ocean including a giant  octopus. Emma and I each made a rubbing picture of creatures at a table with raised metal images. I got an octopus of course. Our day winding down we headed toward (what I believed would be a bus stop) We kept walking it seemed endlessly. Emma, sure we were going in the right direction, kept on going. Finally I asked if she had looked up the closest bus stop. She hadn’t but agreed that that would be a good idea. It’s a good thing I love her so much. We made it to the stop and waited for the bus (which was right there in the parking lot) to go back on duty. On our way home Emma and I fell asleep. I woke up and kept watch. I realized that it takes a lot of trust for someone to fall asleep in your presence. I felt honored to be trusted to sit next to my friend and guard her while she slept. We made it back to Cannon and little under an hour and got off. We met up with a few friends and walked back to CBCC. I was so tired that I went back to my room and slept. I needed that. I built a fort using my bunkbed and blanket and slept. It was glorious. A bit of privacy. A time to recharge. Knowing that I hat the mid-week change over. 
Wednesday (7/6) 
It was like any other change over except we didn’t have as many rooms and Marci wasn’t with me at Anchorage. A few new people had be switched out for my regular people. It worked out. After devotions at the morning housekeeping meeting. We grabbed out buckets and went to our buildings. Unlike on Saturday change over days, when I’m pumped to be there and ready for the day, I had woken up every hour the previous night. Which made for a tad surely captain. By the time I was at the laundry dock waiting to meet up with my team I was getting a little energized. I refused to bring down my team with a bad attitude. We had the same time schedule 10 am to 3 pm with half hour lunch. We only had 9 rooms to change over and two maid services (weird I know) But I had the brilliant idea to have two of my more experienced people do maid service while the rest and I made beds. We got our bathrooms and a few beds done before lunch. By the time we got back we were doing chores by 1:13pm I was so freakin’ excited. We were moving and grooving. I had all the chores figured out before the beds were done and I was locking up the building at 2:20pm I was elated! According to my calculations with the addition of all the rooms with the pace we were working we should be done by 2:50 come this Saturday! I can’t wait to see how God prevails in our work. 

Like I said earlier today I had to call in sick. With all this hard work it’s been crazy! I appriciate my supervisors understanding and flexibility. Everyone here works very hard and when our bodies give out we need a day to get back on the horse. Plus, I got be back on my game for Saturday. 2:50 here we come! 

I’ll leave you with this; with great power comes great responsibility. 

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