5:46 am - Wednesday - December 20th - Grand Canyon - 27º F, 46% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the southwest......forecast is for winds today in the 20 mph range, with a high of 50º F.....partly cloudy.
It has been an interesting first 40 days here at Desert View. Unlike the summer when there was more of a team experience shared with fellow employees involving shared sacrifice, some suffering, and extremely busy, long days, the winter season, while it has had its moments, is more about individual accomplishment, solitude, and time spent away from TLE. Typically when either TLE, or I are on duty we are one of two employees in the entire store.....we might have an assistant manager in the backroom of the store doing paperwork, taking deliveries, phone calls, etc., but out in the store proper there are just two of us usually....sometimes three. It's either TLE, or I as the lone cashier, and then one other person (Mary, Kathy, Kevin, Mick) in the Deli......if the Deli gets super busy, then they bring in a second person. During the summer they might have 5-6 people working in the Deli at one time with a line of customers stretching out the door, so to speak.....kind of like the 'fountain' at Mammoth Hot Springs was this past summer.
Naturally, when you don't spend a lot of time on the job with other employees, friendships develop much more slowly. When you are spending 8-9 hours a day elbow to elbow with our fellow employees like this past summer, relationships develop quickly.....nothing like shared sacrifice and suffering to bond people together! While I miss the bonding experience of this past summer, I do not miss the massive amounts of customers which seemed to have no end some days. I am enjoying the solitude, and when things get really slow, and I have done all the cleaning, dusting, 'fronting' I can do then I can read a book on my phone while manning the cash register.
I headed off to work around 10:45 am expecting it to be possibly slower than Monday, but what do I know? This would be my first extended workday under the holiday schedule.....6.5 hours instead of the usual 5.5 hours. TLE had the longer shift (7:30 am to 5 pm) providing it was busy, but it was not. When I arrived I found TLE dusting shelving, and it appeared that I was right in my estimation. However, within 90 minutes things picked up and I stayed busy the rest of the afternoon, which is a good thing......a steady stream of customers helps the time pass quickly. TLE left a little after 12:30 since it wasn't very busy, and frankly, if she had stayed we would have been splitting the steady stream of customers, and it would have seemed longer I think.
We knew from the weather forecasts that we would be in for some wind Wednesday, and as I descended the stairs off the loading dock Tuesday night heading home the wind had already begin to rise. It's interesting how a little wind can change the feel of the forest I walk home through each day after work. Suddenly you see a lot of movement out of the corners of your eyes as you walk briskly home. Of course the movement is the branches on the trees swaying to and fro in the wind, but sometimes you think it might be an elk, or mule deer, or maybe a mountain lion (supposedly they do live in the area) so your head is on this virtual swivel reacting to the all the movement......kind of spooky at sunset.
I arrived home just before 5:40 pm happy to get out of the wind, and into the arms of The Lovely Elaine, and that is really the main difference in our experience thus far here at Desert View.....TLE and I are spending a little less time together each day due to working opposing shifts each day, but also enjoying the time we do spend together much more. For much of the first 5+ years we have been nomads TLE and I have spent pretty much 24/7 together.....always working the same days, and shifts when we worked. We are now just over one month away from celebrating the beginning of our 7th year on the road, and 8th year living full time in our Newell.....isn't that crazy?! It does not seem that it has been that long!
Thanks for stopping by!