I didn't intend to stop blogging at the end of our Amazon stint and over the holidays, but it sure turned out that way. Let's catch up!
On Friday, December 2nd at the end of our 10-hour shift, we were gathering our things from our locker and noticed folks looking at their phones checking their Email and gathering to chat. Before we even got out the front door, we found out that HR had sent an Email to CamperForce folks asking if any of us would be interested in Early Release. Leaving early typically results in the loss of our bonus ($1 per hour worked) at the end of the season. But this time, HR was making it known that those who chose Early Release would receive the bonus. It seems they over-hired this year. It took us all of about a nano-second to say OH, HELL YES!
By 10:45 am on Sunday, we were done, along with about 70 others. While we were excited to get on the road, we had a couple of things pending (like packages we were expecting and a doctor's appointment for me) before we could leave. We also wanted to say a proper goodbye to the people we met and spent time with. On Wednesday, December 7th, we left Campbellsville and drove all the way to Tom Sawyer Campground in West Memphis, AR, on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.
We caught up with Jodee & Bill Gravel and while the boys headed into Memphis to catch a movie, Jodee and I went on the hunt for a 6" springform pan. We have both recently purchased an Instant Pot, and for Steven's upcoming birthday, we were going to make him a cheesecake. We also cooked a few other dishes, and had both pots cooking away. We named them Thelma and Louise. :)
We had mostly gorgeous weather and it was a great place to relax and unwind from our long days at Amazon.
While Jodee and Bill (with Tessa & Louise) took off for New Orleans, Steven and I headed to Maumelle, just outside Little Rock. We spent another few days along the river, relaxing, before finally heading to Live Oak Ranch.
It was great to be back to the ranch with my family. Steven and I had managed to shop for and wrap the majority of our gifts before we got there, so we jumped right in and got the tree and decorations up in the great room in anticipation of Zac and Tara's arrival. Zoe, as always, was unable to join us as she works in retail and was unable to take time off.
We had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner, but after that, things went downhill fast as nearly everyone got sick. And by sick, I mean really, really sick. On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, I took both of my parents to the Emergency Room, where my Dad was diagnosed with pneumonia and my Mom with bronchitis. Dad was hospitalized for two days before being send home to recuperate. I stayed in town to be with them, but also to recover myself, as Steven seemed to have escaped infection and he wanted to keep it that way.
Recovery is ongoing, but the bulk of it all took up the first two or three weeks of the New Year with doctor's appointments and lots of rest. Fortunately, we are all on the mend. Dad is regaining his energy and Mom and I are still getting rid of our annoying coughs.
After a few days on antibiotics, Steven allowed me to return to Scoopy. We got busy and did the big purge that we do every year to get rid of things we don't need. This year, the Vita-Mix got put in storage, as did a few pots and dishes. Somehow, I keep buying these things and end up storing them.
Now, Scoopy has been winterized, I think for the first time ever. The slides are in, her fridge is empty and all power has been turned off. For the next month, Steven and I will be traveling in Europe. As I type these words, I'm sitting in the Starbucks near Steven's childhood home outside of Dublin, soaking up the free Wifi in order to bring you this blog. It is my intention to keep up with posts and share our travels with you, so thanks for following along!
NEXT UP: Our adventures in the Emerald Isle.