Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12th - Puyallup, WA

Good evening!

I have gotten a few emails asking where I have been since I did not send out any blogs this past week. We have been a workin' at the Lacey, WA carnival. This past week was much better than the week before. We were open every day! The weather the last few days has been just gorgeous and we had lots of visitors to the carnival. We continue to enjoy seeing the little children encouraging their parents to buy tickets and being so excited when they realize they get to go on the swings or the bears. Saturday we worked our first full 8 hour day and then yesterday I worked 11 hours and Ron worked from Noon on Sunday to 3:30 this morning. The carnival was open from Noon to 7:00 p.m. and then they had to do the tear down. I worked in the office with Theresa from 6:30 p.m. till 10:50 p.m. I was tired at the end of my shift but Ron was plain exhausted when he came in the door this morning at 3:45 a.m.

We have seen a few different things this past week:

~ a girl with very purple hair
~ a guy with dregs (that crazy hair do where it looks like it is all in knots) that was longer than mine, he also had the weirdest beard I have ever seen. He was clean shave on his cheeks and had growth from the chin to below that was about 4" long. To top it off he was wearing a skirt with jeans!
~ and of course girls in short shorts on a cold, wet, windy day
~ two middle school girls who kept flirting with Ron through the ticket window. They told him he was nice and then came and told me he was nice. I said I knew that because I had been married to him for 34 years. They just giggled and walked away. Later they came back by the booth to tell us good night and they thought we made a cute couple. The next day they were back ~ came to window and asked if they could have some free tickets. I smiled and said, no, we can't do that. They replied, that's okay you are still both cute and nice.

I had a great conversation with Shawn yesterday morning about how the Lord has been working in our lives and the doors he opened for us to be able to come to work for the carnival. It was neat to be able to share all the details from the first email to our prayer before going in for the interview, to being offered jobs within the first 15 minutes, to all the positive comments and encouragement we have received from so many. Shawn said it is nice to see how the Lord works isn't it. It is neat to find another believer among the carnival workers. From the things Shawn shared, we think Albert, his roommate and best friend, is also a believer. We will investigate that further once we are in Wenatchee.

Ron had his first negative interaction with a customer when she accused Ron of stealing $20 from her. We were taught from the very beginning that when a customer gives us money we are to either put it under the corner of our cash box or lay it on top, then print up the ticket and count out their change. She had not handed Ron any money but swore up and down that she had. She finally gave Ron more money to get her tickets. She then went and complained, quite loudly, to her friend and then went up to Customer Service (Theresa) and complained. I spoke with Theresa later in the evening and Ron's cash box came out to the exact penny ~ Ron and I both knew he had not taken the money but it was nice to have that confirmed by Theresa. She did say to me, she was surprised that had not happened before because that is one of the most common things that carnival workers are accused of ~ stealing their money either from a ticket seller or a gamer. Ron and I were glad to see the Lord working and affirming Ron's honesty and integrity.

On a positive note, I was asked to apply to be a show van driver as right now there are only 3 people who can drive company vehicles and they need a van driver to transport people from one location to another. This will mean extra hours for me. On one hand I felt good that they asked me to do this because the extra money will be nice on the other hand it means that Ron will drive the motor home and I will drive a company van so we won't be traveling in the same vehicle though we would caravan from one location to another. I should hear this week if I am approved to drive or not. I am thinking if Ron was and he has a couple of speeding tickets on his record I should have no problem being approved. We will just have to wait and see.

Late in the day yesterday while I was on my break, Rick went and spent time with Ron in the ticket box. They couldn't talk a lot but Ron said it was nice to have Rick out there seeing that he does his job well. One thing that Rick talked to Ron about was our time in Puyallup this week. This is the week that all three carnivals come together to work the Puyallup Spring Fair. Theresa had said that the week starts Tuesday morning with set up and goes non-stop till the tear down is complete on Sunday night.

Anyway, due to the fact that all three carnival units come together there are 13 condo units plus numerous travel trailers and fifth wheels in the bone yard and it is very crowded. Rick asked Ron if we would like to park in the campground where the show managers, Ron Rhew (who hired us and is one of the upper management people) along with the Burbacks (the owners) camp together. We would have full hook ups which is something we have come to appreciate since we were two weeks with just the two holding tanks (have to really watch how much water and stuff goes into the gray and black water tanks) and it would be much quieter. Ron said that was fine with us. Rick did not know if we would have to pay or not to camp there or if we could get a pass. Ron said if we did, then we did. Well, I went on line and the fee to camp here is $25 a night. I prayed that we would be able to get a pass for the campground especially since we had very few hours last week. Well, God provided (doesn't he always?) for us. We pulled in to the campground and was greeted by the camp host. She asked if we were with Funtastic Shows. We said yes. She told us where to park and to have a great time this week. And didn't charge us! Yeah ~ we didn't have to pay $175 to camp this week while we are working.

Since Sunday is the final day of the pay period there is always lots to be done in the office and being it was the last day of the carnival in Lacey there was lots to be done on the carnival lot. Theresa is teaching me more and more things to do in the office. One day she taught me how to read the computer screen for each Fun Card (tickets are scanned on a card and then each ride or game scans the number of tickets needed) so that I can work in Customer Service. Yesterday she taught me how to count the ticket sellers cash box, to sort out accounts payable and to figure out the receipts for the days sales. I also helped with the timesheets again. I spent 4 1/2 hours in the office working last night. I heard her tell Rick "she is sure quick at what she does." Made me smile.

I have been praying that Ron and I can be examples of Christs love in us and through us. I didn't know if we were making a difference or not. Yet, God showed me we were. Working in the office last night, Theresa would swear then say she was sorry. She did this multiple times. I guess my not swearing is very visible and she sees that and is realizing how much she swears (a lot!) Thank you Lord for letting me see that I am making a difference, even if only a little one.

As I mentioned Ron worked a very long day yesterday and so we had a very short or long night depending on how you look at it. I came in about 11:00 p.m. after my shift was done and then read emails and a few of the blogs that I follow. I balanced my check book and did a few things to get ready to leave today for Puyallup. I went to sleep close to 1 a.m. Ron came in about 3:45 a.m. I woke up when he opened the door (I don't sleep well when he is not here). We talked for a little bit, he got something to eat and I tried to go back to sleep. About 4:30 my insides started shaking real bad and sweating profusely...signs that my blood sugar was dropping. I checked it and it was down to 45 ~ should be between 90 - 110. I quickly grabbed an orange juice, Ron made me a tuna sandwich and I ate two small tangerines. I began to feel a little better about 5:00...it took me till almost 6:00 to fall back asleep though. Ron went to sleep once I started to feel a little better. We were rudely awakened at about 9:15 this morning with lots of shouting, swearing and angry voices outside our bedroom window. We quickly got up and got dressed to see what was going on.

Well there was a major upheaval out in the bone yard. Seems the gamers were up really early this morning (they were done with their tear down by 8:30 p.m. last night) and left the bone yard before any of the rides people were up. They left water and electrical hoses out. Needless to say this was very upsetting to the ride people because at the safety meeting last Friday everyone was told that everyone in the bone yard had to help with pulling the electrical lines, cleaning up the water hoses, the water tree and doing a final walk through to make sure the area was clean before anyone left. This left only the ride people to do the clean up and tear down of the bone yard ~ about a two hour job. There was much grumbling going on. Finally Kenny, the rides supervisor, let it be known that Rick and Theresa had been notified of what had happened and that the situation would be addressed with the game people when they showed up in Puyallup. (Another reason we are glad to be away from the bone yard this week).

After the bone yard was tore down and the area cleaned up, Ron, Michael (the young man who rode with us from Kelso to Lacey and one of the ride people) and I left about 11:o0 a.m. and went and did laundry. Boy is that expensive here in Lacey. $2.75 a load to wash and 25 cents for six minutes to dry ~ we are used to paying $1 a load to wash and then a $1 a load to dry. We finished up there about 12:15 and then drove to Camping World to pick up an electrical extension cord and plug for us, a light cover for Albert (one of the ride people with a travel trailer with a broken lens cover) and a "gate" for one of the condos. (The gate is something to do with the plumbing and Ron has been called on to use his plumbing expertise to fix it ~ this time on company time ~ he will do that tomorrow during the day). We then stopped for lunch before heading to Winco to pick up some necessary groceries. We arrived at the fairgrounds about 4:30 p.m. Dropped Michael off at the bone yard, commented we were glad we didn't have to park there as it was very crowded, and drove over to where we are to camp. After getting checked in, we set up our motor home. It is so nice to have full hook ups. We will be using our regular dishes and silverware this week ~ no plastic or paper for us ~ yeah, saving money, and it is so nice to eat on glass plates and use real silverware. The weather was nice so we even had the door open for a little while enjoying the fresh air.

This week we will be doing different jobs as the fair hires their own ticket sellers. Ron is going to be doing ride set up and tear down as usual. Set up this week is Tuesday and Wednesday. Tear down will be Sunday evening/night after the Spring Fair closes. He will be working for Kenny this week in the rides department though we are not sure doing what. I will be doing one of two things: I will either be working in the ride office doing time sheets or working in the pizza food booth. I will find out tomorrow morning. I am supposed to call Theresa at 9:30 a.m. I suggested that I take the week off thinking I could talk someone into coming down here and picking me up so I could go back to Blaine for a visit...I was sure I could find one person that would let me crash on their couch. Theresa just laughed and said "if she was working, I was working." Oh well, nice try, right.

Praises this week ~

~ that we got more hours this week
~ that it was proven that Ron had not taken any money from a customer
~ that I am learning new and different things to do in the office
~ that we received our first mail package from home
~ that we were able to move to our new location without any problems
~ that we had good weather for the last few days of the carnival in Lacey
~ for the notes of encouragement from friends back home

Prayer requests ~

~ for the money still owed to us from three customers comes in
~ for us to do good at the new jobs we are assigned to this week
~ for us to continue to show God's love to others
~ for our automatic deposit to go through correctly (we were told our paychecks from last week were automatically deposited but they weren't - Mark the guy from the corporate office is supposed to get that fixed early this week)
~ for us to continue to enjoy what we are doing
~ and for safety next Monday as we drive to Wenatchee for the Apple Blossom Festival

I think that catches everyone up on what we have been doing this past week. I hope to be better about writing on my blog a couple of times a week instead of just once a week.

Until next time...we love and miss all of you.