Can you believe it…we only have seven weeks to go + one or two weeks of tear down and the carnival season will be done for this year. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago we made our way to Kelso and our first carnival. We have met so many people, learned some new language (bone yard, lot, show van to name a few) and have seen the Lord’s hand in our lives.
Before I begin my ramblings about this past week I need to wish a Happy 33rd Birthday to Jamie. This morning as I sat reflecting over the past 33 years I kept picturing that tiny little guy. He weighed in at only 3 lbs 12 oz and was 18″ long. Being eight weeks early things were touch and go for a while. You sure can’t tell that now as he is a strapping 5′ 10″ guy with a sweetie (Suzanne) of his own and a delightful daughter (Opal). We have been so blessed having him in our family. Thanks for being you Jamie. We love and miss you tons!!!
It is now Sunday night and the guys are busy doing tear down. We had lots more changes this past week. First off, we are celebrating the return of Rick & Theresa. As I posted earlier, Theresa does NOT need chemo or radiation and for that we are giving Praise to the Lord! She does need one more surgery which is yet to be scheduled. She goes back to the doctor in Portland tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for all your prayers for Theresa’s health and for the blue unit as we dealt with changes, new bosses and routines. All have been appreciated. Because Theresa & Rick are back, Debbie has gone back to the white unit. After working all night Sunday night/Monday morning she had to drive to Roseburg, OR.
This week began like any other. We made a successful jump from Hillsboro, OR to Longview, WA. We decided to leave Hillsboro on Monday morning. I am so glad we did. We arrived in Longview to peace and quiet in the bone yard. We slept from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and then got up, ate dinner and watched a little TV. We headed back to bed about 9:30 p.m. and slept till 9:00 Tuesday morning. People started arriving from Hillsboro about 10:00 a.m. and along with them came noise, lots of noise. I talked with Marva when she arrived and she said she was woke up 4x Monday night. I was so glad we were not in Hillsboro and just had a quiet day & night to ourselves. After all the condo’s, personal trailers and the blue unit crew arrived the guys started set up. They worked till about 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday I worked for a couple of hours with Kristy (Rick & Theresa’s daughter). We cleaned the show office and hired about 30 people. Ron continued to help with set up.
Wednesday I made a trip to the laundromat and Safeway. I was so glad I had our GPS (thanks Jamie & Suzanne) as I had been told the laundry was only two blocks away but the one I found was 3 1/2 miles from the fairgrounds. Once I finished up there I put in Safeway and promptly made a wrong turn. I turned right instead of left. After Maggie (our trustful GPS) recalculated the route and I got turned around. I made my way to Safeway and then back to the fair grounds. Theresa called me at 5:30 to let me know the ticket boxes were finally spotted in the right place on the lot and I could do the cleaning, organizing and readying for opening day on Thursday. It took me just over an hour to get them set up. We had two ottobockers and the yellow sub. We would be four ticket sellers this week. Ron & I, Cheryl and Barb.
Thursday and Friday were the crazy days of the carnival as they were both wrist band days. You pay $25 for a wrist band and you can ride all day long as many rides as you can. You can ride from noon to 10 p.m. but we quit selling them at 8:30 p.m. Ron and I are so amazed at how rude people can be. One instance was a lady came Friday night about 8:45 p.m. She got all bent out of shape, yelled at me that the website said the wrist bands were good till 10 p.m. I tried to explain to her that they are good till 10 you just had to purchase them by 8:30. She wanted to know what time they would be on sale on Saturday and I explained that we were not selling wrist bands Saturday or Sunday. She yelled at me that was ridiculous. I calmly told her she could take it up with Customer Service. I watched her walk to the show office and go up the stairs. I don’t know how long she talked with Theresa or Kristy but when she came back to the yellow sub, she stood off to the side and had her daughter buy their tickets. Later Theresa said the lady was quite rude to her too. Some people just don’t get it.
Saturday we answered many questions about why we didn’t have wrist bands. One person even asked what was wrong with us…don’t we know people have to work during the week and need the discounts on the weekends.
One neat thing that happened on Saturday was that Ron kept saying he wanted to go to the Rodeo and we all kept telling him no. He whined to everyone who would listen. Late in the afternoon, Theresa told me that after my break she would send Ron to the Rodeo at least for a little while but it would be a surprise for him. So at 6:45 Cheryl came to the yellow sub and gave me a break. I took a very quick one to the bathroom. When I came back Theresa had me tell Ron to take his cash box to the office as there was a major problem with the ATM and he needed to fix it. He looked so puzzled when he walked across the lot. Cheryl and I were just laughing. When Ron got up to the office window Theresa took his cash box and then asked him for his scan card. He looked at her in puzzlement. She told him to get outa there and go to the Rodeo. He could only go for about 45 minutes but that was enough for him. As he walked back past the yellow sub he waved at us and had the biggest grin on his face. I was so glad that Theresa made it work out for him to have an extended break and see some of the Rodeo. I think we all enjoyed bringing some joy to Ron.
Today was not a good day as a ticket seller. People were grumpy, angry we didn’t have wrist bands or a special deal for them. Ron even thought of asking one person what she did for her job and did they have half price day or specials every day of the week. He refrained but really wanted to ask someone that. The carnival closed a little after 7:00 tonight. Since Theresa is back and Kristy is here I was not needed in the office. Believe me, I am not complaining. I did fine last week working 72 hours but am much more comfortable with a 49 1/4 hour work week. So tonight I ate a nice dinner of a cobb salad and then balanced my checkbook so now I can pay bills tomorrow. I must say, it does feel good to have the money to pay our bills. Just one more reason we are thankful for our work with the carnival right now.
The guys are busy with tear down right now. The word is that they should be done between 3 & 4 in the morning. We plan to get on the road between 9 & 10 tomorrow morning to go to Graham for the Pierce County Fair. Set up will begin Tuesday morning. The plan right now is that I will help in the office on Tuesday as Kristy has to go to Canby, OR to do the hiring for the fair there next week. Because of Theresa’s surgery I will do the cleaning of the office and help to get the ticket cash boxes ready, also help with getting all the paperwork ready for the week: we have inspection sheets for each ride, a weekly summary report and a few other things. I enjoy working in the ticket box as well as in the office.
I found out that I will be doing Customer Service in Eugene and working in the Ride Time office in Salem and Puyallup. Ron will be working rides in Eugene, Salem and Puyallup. The reason for the changes is that in Eugene we have two units (the blue ~ us and the white unit together) and in Salem and Puyallup all three units will be together.
Here is the schedule for the rest of this carnival season ~~~ if you are in any of these places we would love to connect with you.
Monday, August 9 ~ we go to Graham, WA for the Pierce County Fair. The fair runs from the 12th to the 15th. Thursday is special day in the carnival where you get 7 rides or games (in any combination) for $15.00. This works out to be about half price for the rides.
Early in the morning on Monday, August 16th we drive to Eugene, OR for the Lane County Fair. The fair runs from the 18th to the 22nd. Wednesday is $1.50 per ride or game day. What a bargain as the rides are normally $3.75 or $4.50 per ride. Friday is ride bracelet day and is good from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bracelet costs $25 per person.
Monday, August 23rd we jump to Salem for the Oregon State Fair. The fair runs from August 27 to September 6.
Tuesday, September 7 we will be up early and on our way to Puyallup, WA for the Western WA State Fair. The fair runs from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 26. On Monday, September 27 the final tear down of the season begins. We have been told it can take a week to a week and a half. After that we will make our way to Lewiston, ID to see Max, Christopher, Danalyn and Brandon. We are planning on being there for two weeks before heading back to Blaine, WA.
** Note ~ for more information on any of the fairs where we will be just click on the highlighted name and it will take you to the correct fair page.** (At least that is how it is supposed to work.)
Before closing I would like to share a prayer request with you. We would appreciate prayer regarding our work plans for the winter months and also next year. As I have said in earlier posts, each week we ask ourselves when we make our weekly jump if Rob asked us right now would we do it again next year and so far the answer has been a resounding yes. Working for the carnival has been good for us in so many ways and we are truly thankful for how the Lord opened doors for us. Now we are contemplating what to do next. Selling Christmas trees has been one thing we have been thinking about. What we would like prayer for is winter work for us. If you have a lead on a job, please don’t hesitate to send it our way. We know and believe the Lord is in control and knows the plans He has for us…we just need to know where He is leading us. We trust that He will open doors for us ~ we just have to have our eyes open and willing hearts to go wherever that is. Thanks for lifting us up in prayer.
Thanks for reading my blog and as always, comments are appreciated and welcome. Take care everyone and I hope to talk to you later in the middle of the week once we are in Graham.