Well that was interesting... The Dirty Drunks became so obnoxious, so quickly, the big boss and the sheriff had to be called, and the guys were cleared out before 10:00. So I guess technically we got what we wanted - quiet after 10PM - but it wasn't quite the way we thought it would happen.

At one point there was a crowd of campers in our site, huddled in for assurance and protection. Kids were crying, adults were talking about packing up and leaving, crazy guys were yelling back in their own camp, pit bulls were barking, and we were all waiting for the sheriff to arrive. Then, for a while I was there all by myself, sitting on the step of my trailer with my phone in my pocket, a two-way radio in one hand, and my very heavy steel ring mandrel in the other. It was tense and scary, and not what you expect when you go camping just outside of Ashland, which is so nice and clean and proper it borders on being pinched up.

Eventually a ride came to get the guys, and things settled down quickly after that. Rick and I sat outside with a little shot of whiskey to calm our nerves, and talked about how we did, and what we can do better. I guess we have to get tougher and bust up potentially bad situations before they have a chance to turn that corner. This is not what a camp host is supposed to do, but it is what it is, and we're still determined to do the best we can.

And a funny thing, to me anyway, is that if Rick gets the permanent job here, I think I'd be willing to give this another shot next summer. I must be crazy, and there are still too many unknowns, but what I'm finding through all this is a lot of strength I didn't know I had. Rick keeps using the word "test", but I prefer "challenge". A test is something you can fail, while a challenge pushes you to be better. We're both being challenged in big ways this summer, and some days is feels like it's coming at us from all sides, with the crazy park, the uncertainty of the next few months, and the situation with our house in Taos. It could crumble me if I let it, but I'm better than that.

I have a tattoo that looks like this. It's the I Ching symbol for Chaos, and the meaning is, "Before a great vision can become reality there may be difficulty. Before a person begins a great endeavor, they may enounter chaos. As a new plant breaks the ground with great difficulty, foreshadowing the huge tree, so must we sometimes push against difficulty in bringing forth our dreams. "Out of Chaos, Brilliant Stars are Born." Visit Haiku Designs for a print to hang on your wall. I had the print for a long time before I had it printed on my skin. That's how loudly it speaks to me. Chaos is where great dreams begin.

I've been thinking about adding to this tattoo for a while now. I think the time is right. I want to add butterflies, and maybe stars and flowers, all emerging from the Chaos. It's time to coax the great dreams into action. I recently explained to my Dad, who doesn't get my tattoos, but tries to understand, that to me they're like Notes From God. They're things I need to be reminded of, to keep me going and keep me strong. And as a "visual person" it works well for me to have my reminders where I can see them easily. They're like notes in a book, which I also have plenty of, but these are notes to myself, on my self.

Chaos... there's more than enough to go around. We must be in for some really great things in this world. Hold on! We're all here to help each other get through this.


  1. Kim, I love your writing. I understand what you're going through as camp hosts. We experience exactly the same process as camp hosts. I like your symbol. It is powerful. I like the way you talk about a tattoo as a note to yourself. Lovely. Drop by Levonne's Pretty Pics and A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings when you have a few minutes. I'd love to hear what you think of my newer work.

  2. I hear what you say about chaos and change and challenge. What a ride, often difficult to distinguish between what to keep and what to throw away, yet all of it is important.

  3. Girl, I read this whole thing! You are one helluva writer, know that? And I really dig that you used the "pinched up" description for Ashland. Too bad it's so dominant anymore. But there are still plenty of "loosely wrapped" characters!

  4. Thanks Cuz! That means a lot coming form you! xoxoxo!

  5. Whether it be internal pain or external chaos, we seem to need something to get our attention away from our misperceptions and onto new and better views. I wish it weren't as uncomfortable as it seems to be at times. I love your humor about it all. Norine

  6. Excellent writing.......

  7. FROM... I meant FROM, Mitzi. Gah!


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