The original challenge in this job has been standing a full 8-hour shift. I haven’t stood an 8-hour shift in more years than I can remember. Most recently I have been working for myself. That allows you to set your own hours. Start and stop when you want, if you have problems, you can just bag it for the day and start fresh tomorrow. It also means that to meet deadlines you may have to work extra hours at a different time, but you are the one making those decisions.

So here I am 78 years old, low man on the totem pole, doing what I am told, when I am told, and it is OK, not only OK but super OK. I bear no responsibility for any poor decision making. I managed to finagle myself into the position of “stocker of gift shop items”, and my coworker does all the food and drink items. This seems to work good for us both. I like stocking, it’s not complicated, hard to screw up and it keeps me super busy. As fast as they buy those sweatshirts I have more on hangers and on the racks. I average between 3.5 and 6 miles a day just walking in the store. I’m getting paid to exercise!

I actually enjoy breaking down the cardboard boxes, it’s like meditation. Mindless work that needs to be done, but you can think about anything you want to while doing it and there is great satisfaction when it is all done and fits into the bins neatly. Same thing with sweeping the shop at the end of the day. No brainwork in doing it, your mind can be a million miles away, but great satisfaction when you sweep it all into a dustpan and to the garbage. I guess this comes from a lifetime of my primary job as a wife and mother was to keep things clean and tidy and orderly. I like clean, neat, and orderly!

But even in this ideal setting problems happen. Our general manager has not been a good manager since day one and with a personality that set off my BS barometer big time. Well it turns out he was a creep and a creep of the worst kind. He took off leaving everything behind except the last deposit and screwed with the Wi-Fi rendering it useless and us with no means of communication and also higher than a kite. He has a ton of charges against him and will get caught sooner or later. The company sent in some of their higher ups and we are back running smoother than ever.

All I have to do to release any stress is just look out the window, the mountain is so white and appears so smooth, reminds me of a freshly opened can of Crisco. Going hiking tomorrow.

Snow as white and as smooth as Crisco

Signing off KO


Our gift shop has been open about 3 weeks now and we are very busy. Folks start hiking here before sunrise and upon return are hungry and need snacks, sandwiches and such. Since covid, we have not had a “grill type snack bar”. Every thing is pre prepared, packaged, and trucked in, but we do have have a huge selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads and all sorts of snack items. We sell everything from magnets and key chains to beautiful local pottery and wood crafted items, jewelry and of course T-shirt’s and sweatshirts. My job is to keep the store stocked, so as fast as they sell the merchandise I replace it with more. It’s very busy work which is what I wanted. Something to do while my house got sold. But I do know that this will be my last job.

With her head above the clouds

My house sold for a little over asking price in just one week. I have sold or donated most of my belongings, just have a few things left. My oldest daughter was coming into town for her high school reunion and will return home with some of the “family treasures”. So at this point the home I have lived in for 26 years or so no longer feels like home. I’m not sad to leave it, I’m ready for the next adventure. And actually when I go home on my days off to take care of necessary thing. I sort of get the “Heidi syndrome”and I am looking for my mountain, can hardly wait to get back to my mountain and get excited everywhere I get a view of it.

Full view taken from my bedroom window with the Ranger Station in view

The snow is melting rapidly and wild flowers are starting to pop up everywhere, most days the weather gets very warm and folks are hiking in shorts and tank tops, but today turned cold we were in almost white out conditions all day and we just about sold out of knit hats, sweatshirts and gloves. The change in the weather took a lot of folks by surprise.

This picture taken about 3 miles from my “former” home in Port Orchard

Mount Rainier can be seen from nearly every where in Washington State due to her magnificent height of 14,411ft. Both Western and Eastern Washington can enjoy her beauty. I couldn’t see her from my home but 3 miles down the road on my way to Belfair there she is in all her glory.

Signing off KO