The kids woke up early, excited for another day to play with their friends. We had a lazy morning…watched kid movies, got the camper cleaned up and ready for the day, picked up the yard, ate brunch, and played in the yard. At 11AM, just as people were pulling their campers out of the campground, vehicles started circling the block waiting to pull their campers in. Our new friends, Troy and Bobbi, wanted a new spot by our camper, so we pulled our truck into an empty spot and walked down to their camper to tell them that we had saved a spot for them. They got their camper ready to move, then pulled their vehicle into the spot….they dumped their tanks, then pulled their camper in. YAY! They are only 2 spots away from us now!
After Troy and Bobbi got their camper settled into their new spot, the adults sat at their picnic table chatting while the kids played at the park across the street. The family in the camper between our campers made it clear that they weren’t happy that we had saved the spot for our friends. (A ranger talked to Troy about us saving their spot with our truck – the family between us told them that we’d left our truck there for several hours, when we’d only left it there for about 20 minutes. The ranger said that it was no big deal and left.)
While we were visiting at the picnic table, I saw two rangers walking up to our camper. I walked to our camper and asked if I could help them, assuming they wanted our story about the truck-spot-saving incident. They asked me what our plans were for the week. I said that we intended to stay for one more week, and we’d be down to the office to pay in the morning. They said that there had been a problem reported to them about me dealing with other peoples’ kids. I said that I had talked with a grandma about an issue with her granddaughter and my girls, yesterday, but that we’d handled it. (I’d talked to the grandma of the girl who had been at our camper most of the week because she was being mean to my girls. The grandma brought the girl over to apologize, I hugged her, and I assumed everything was okay.) The rangers told me that they are there for those issues, and we shouldn’t be handling them ourselves. I was shocked! I thought rangers were here to keep us safe, not deal with kid issues. I said that, if it were my children, I’d want the parents to come to me. They said that I’d handled it inappropriately, and I should’ve gone to them. (Seriously?!) I apologized and said that I guess I just don’t understand the rules here. To me, it seems ridiculous to involve a ranger in such a matter. I thought that the conversation was over, but it wasn’t. The rangers then reprimanded me for putting our truck in a spot to hold it for our friends. They said that my truck had been there for several hours, and they received complaints. I told them that it was only there for about 20 minutes, just long enough for our friends to pull in from the spot that they had been in the previous two nights. They said that it wasn’t a big deal, but there had been a complaint and they had to share it with me. (Okay??) There was a brief pause in their “scolding,” then they told me that they didn’t think that they were going to let us stay for another week. They said, “A few more days, at most, maybe.” WHAT?!! Over that??!! Where were we going to go??! I couldn’t even talk! The rangers told me that I’d have to discuss it with the head ranger, then left me standing there, speechless. Adrian had walked up at the end of the conversation and was in disbelief… He’d missed the entire conversation, except for the part where the rangers told me that we may not be able to stay for another week. He asked what the rangers said, but I couldn’t talk. I walked into the camper and sobbed.
It was at that moment that I decided that this was just too much! I don’t understand these people. I don’t understand their rules, I don’t understand anything! There are no houses to buy, the houses that are available don’t qualify for financing, the people live by a different set of rules, the roads are awful, there are dirty oil rigs everywhere… I decided that I was DONE! I told Adrian that I was “going home.” He said that if I needed to, I could go. I called my mom, choking on my sobs, and told her that the kids and I would be there the next day. She didn’t know what to say, except that we could come. I had the big boys clean out the van, then we loaded our “traveling stuff” into it. I only told the bigger three kids that we were leaving, figuring it would be easier to tell the littler kids in the morning.
The kids and Adrian ate birthday cake with Troy and Bobbi’s family while I cleaned the camper. When my tears finally stopped, I walked outside to join my family. Bobbi walked over to me and wrapped her arms around me. I leaned into her and told her that I don’t understand the rules here and that I feel so lost. She hugged me and told me that it would be okay…no matter what. She and Tony offered to let our family stay in our camper in their yard. Troy said that they’d get their money back, and they’d pull out of the campground with us, if we couldn’t stay. They gave me a life line.
I didn’t promise that the kids and I would stay, but I thanked them for being our friends and for their selfless offer. We visited until bedtime, then brought our kids inside to get ready for bed.
It was an exhausting day…and sleep came quickly. As I fell asleep, I prayed that God would remind me that He brought us here…and that He’d help me to find some peace. I realized that He had done just that, by sending us our new friends.