Saturday, May 31, 2014

This, that, and the other thing...

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

When we have a workamp job,
a lot of time on our days off is just relaxing,
being with friends,
and getting the chores done.
Since we were in this area last fall,
we haven't done any sightseeing around here this time.
Also, since it's been in the 90's every day,
it makes outside activities a bit difficult :-)

I thought I'd just give an update of our time spent this last week...

Last weekend was Memorial Day.
We had a very busy gatehouse,
and saw a lot of families coming through to enjoy the lake.

Wednesday we had a potluck with most of the volunteers here..

There was a lot of good food, of course.
A few of us stayed after and played cards.
There was a beautiful rainbow blessing our time there as well..

We've been spending a lot of our time with Mike & Terri as well..
either on their 'porch' or ours.

Unfortunately, they are leaving on Monday (insert very sad face here!)
We invited them and Jim & Linda out to lunch yesterday.
They had told us about a good Mexican restaurant, 
called El Alazan, it was great!

Last night we had a big storm roll through.
The clouds looked ominous!
Of course I took them with my phone through the back window.
I wasn't going outside!

At one point, we couldn't even see across the way
to the other RVs!

There was a lot of lightening, and at one point some hail.
It all finally blew over, and was quiet once again.

Today we're back at the gatehouse for the weekend.

and that 'other thing'..

I'm sad to say that my Dad's cancer has flared up.
He's been in remission from pancreatic cancer since February.
This past month or so, he's been having pain again,
so he went for a CT scan.
The results were back on Thursday,
and they found 2 tumors on his liver,
and one in his lung.
For now they're putting him on oral Chemo meds
to help with pain management.
Their 58th wedding anniversary is in June, 
and they had booked a cruise back in February,
one that is on the Maine coast.
At this point, since it's only 2 weeks away,
they are still planning on going.

Your prayers for healing and comfort are appreciated!
This is a picture of my Dad, and cousin Kalene.
She spent Mother's Day weekend with them..

Thanks! :-)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Water Safety

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

Yesterday we had the privilege of accompanying Mike & Terri and Jim & Linda
to watch them present the Water Safety Program to elementary school children.

Over the last year or so, a few of the volunteers have put together
a great program to educate children the importance of safety on and near the water.
This lake has over 1200 miles of shoreline, so water safety is very important!

We followed the four of them to McCormick school complex in McCormick, SC.
George and I helped them carry their supplies into the gym.
They quickly got things set up..

It wasn't long before the first group came in, adorable kindergarten children.

This is a great presentation, keeping their interest with visual aids.
Linda begins with 'Bobber' the mascot,
wearing his own life vest..
..and Jim, her swim buddy..

Then Mike explains how to pick the right life vest (or jacket)..

Terri has a great presentation using oranges,
to show what would happen if the life vest isn't
securely fastened around you, or not worn at all..

The final part of the presentation is Jim and Linda
showing the importance of swimming in designated areas..

..and the importance of swim buddies,
and how to assist them if they're in trouble!

We were very impressed at the way they get the message across.
I think there will be a lot of children (and adults!) paying more attention
when they're in or around the water.

During their break between presentations,
we followed them over to Michelle's for a great lunch.

Glad we got to go along!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Slow weekend

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

This was our first full weekend at the Clarks Hill gatehouse.

Saturday was children's day at all 3 day use areas on the lake.
We really expected to be busy, as everyone's fee was waived.
For some reason, it was a slow day!

We're not sure that the Corp advertises these events very well.
Most people were pleasantly surprised when we told them there was no fee!

Today we woke up to cool rain showers,
we even had our fireplace going this morning!
The rain kept the people from visiting the lake.

George finally got the key to the board...
it displays the shelters that are reservable,
and we post the names of the parties when they do.

Finally about 11 am we got a call on the radio that
we could shut down the gatehouse and come home.
Next weekend is Memorial Day,
so I'm sure we'll be very busy.

There have been a few visitors to our site..
This cute little guy is making George a bit nervous.
He (the field mouse, not George) is eating bird seed off the ground now,
but...  :-)

There are two different goose families that come off the lake
to graze in the grass..

This afternoon we enjoyed lunch out with Mike & Terri at Cici's.

The sunsets are different every night, but the clearing rain clouds 
made tonight's especially nice..

We have a busy day tomorrow - grocery shopping and the like.
Looks like the week is shaping up to be a nice one!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our days off

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

Since our job keeps us busy on weekends,
we have a lot of time on our hands during the week.

It's been pretty warm, in the low 90's since we got here.
For the most part we've been keeping busy
watching some movies that we recorded on free HBO & Showtime weekends.
We take advantage of that every time DirectTV offers it.

George has been doing some more things to Harvey's outside,
including installing a power cord that is easily accessible
when we want to use the generator.

We took a walk around the village the other day.
There are a few dirt roads that lead to other parts of the lake.
We found the boat ramp..

Looks like we'll have no problem launching the Sea Eagle from here.
You can see the village campground from that vantage point..

There has been some beautiful sunsets here..

...and on Wednesdays some of the volunteers get together
for game night..

Today we woke up to pouring rain,
which has cooled it down somewhat.
This afternoon we're going out for lunch
with Mike & Terri.

We love it here!

Monday, May 12, 2014

First day on the job

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

We felt like we were properly trained on Saturday,
so Sunday we were thrown to the wolves (so to speak).

Our hours are 9-5, but we drove the 10 minutes
to Clarks Hill Park a bit early to get everything prepared.

There's an alarm to turn off, the door to unlock.
Air conditioning gets turned on, 
and log into the cash register.

George hoisted the flag in the front of the building..

Once we're all ready to go,
we open the blinds and take a cover off the "iron ranger",
which is an honor-system container for the $4.00 entrance fee.

The morning was slow at first.
Being Mother's day, we figured that it would get busier later,
after church let out and some moms got their breakfast :-)

It did get busier later,
a slow steady stream of picnickers,
boaters, and people wanting to enjoy the lake.

Most people were pretty nice!
I got a few 'Happy Mother's Day!',
and I returned the greeting to most of the women :-)

We chuckled at the cars that saw that the gatehouse
is now being manned after a long winter season,
and immediately turned around.
Geez, $4.00 is going to break you?
Apparently they weren't using the 'honor' system before :-)

The steady stream of customers made the day go quickly,
and at 5 pm we closed up shop,
counted our money,
and deposited it into the safe in the gatehouse.
Next Saturday & Sunday we'll do it again!

I had a great Mother's day as well,
hearing from both my boys,
and calling my Mom when we got home.

Hope everyone had a great day yesterday as well!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

OJT - On the job training

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

We started our job today by doing a bit of training.
There are quite a few day use areas around the lake.
Today we went with another couple, Paul & Peg,
to their gate at Lake Springs,
to take a look at what our job will entail.

This job does not require a lot of hard work.
It costs $4.00 per carload to get in,
so each family has to stop at our gatehouse to pay.
We collect their money and issue a hangtag for their mirror.
We also can sell annual passes for $30.

Our hours are from 9-5 Saturdays & Sundays.
Once the day is completed, we close out the register,
count the cash,
and drop the deposit into the safe, which is in each gatehouse.

Our gatehouse is air conditioned,
and is equipped with a bathroom as well.

We've been told that our particular park is quite busy,
so our weekends should go pretty fast!

During the week we've been getting settled,
going for groceries,
and having some happy hour times with Mike & Terri :-)

It's going to be a great summer!

Monday, May 5, 2014

What a great place to work!

Volunteer Village
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Modoc, SC

Friday we arrived at our new home for the summer..
working for the Corps of Engineers
at J. Strom Thurmond Lake.

We were thrilled to pull in and be directed to our site
who have been here since September.
They will be working here also until the end of May.

Our site, #6, couldn't be more perfect..

..with views like this!

Mike and Terri were nice enough to invite us over for dinner on Friday night.

It's great to have a site to call our own, and it feels more homey
with our bird feeders out.

Even Mr. Gnome is quite happy to have something to look at!

Today we found out our duties.
We will work the weekends and 3 summer holidays
manning the gatehouse at Clarks Hill Park.
The park is a nice day use area,
with picnic and swimming areas and a boat ramp.

The Corps set up this village for 12 workampers
in October 2011.

Everyone has a nice view of the lake,
as well as full hookups, a grill, picnic table,
fire ring, and lantern pole.
There is also a common area with laundry facilities,
work out equipment, fireplace, and TV.
There is also a kitchen for potlucks, etc.

With these accommodations,
I think the summer is going to fly by too fast!