We attended our first “Workamper Meeting” two days after we arrived at Mission Bell and got the low down on all the in’s and out’s of the park, what was expected of us, and were warmly welcomed. We learned that most of the residents wouldn’t start arriving until the first part of November and then there would be another rush of “incoming” after Christmas.
We were also given notebooks with our job descriptions and duties, as well as our schedule for the season. As “groundskeepers”, our schedule would be 4 days on, 4 days off throughout the season, which meant that we would alternate with Snookie and Bob, who were the other half of the groundskeeping crew. On those 4 days, we would work 3 hours a day, starting at 8:00 a.m., but the last day of the 4 day stretch would be for 3 and a half hours, so that between the two of us, we would work a total of 25 hours.
DeWayne and I took the first 4 day rotation and were given our “transportation” for the season:
This picture doesn’t show all the rakes, brooms, hoes, etc., that became our seasonal “tools of the trade”. But here’s another picture, complete with tools, taken later on:
It definitely has character, don’t you think? I had never driven a golf cart before, so first day, I got behind the wheel to “get the feel for it” and never gave it up. I designated myself as “driver” from that point on and only allowed DeWayne to get behind the wheel on occasion. Besides…..it was easier on my back to do the driving so he could do most of the bending and stooping, as we patrolled the park for trash, limbs, or fruit that had fallen from the many grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime trees scattered throughout the park. We had “grabbers” that we could use, if we chose, but they were mostly more trouble than they were worth.
But all in all, our job was perfect for us. We were outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air and the work was not too hard. One of our most important duties, first thing in the morning, was to get the office area, activity hall areas, shuffleboard and/or bocci ball courts cleaned of any debri or trash that had fallen or blown in. We also maintained the fountain area and kept the plants watered. So every morning, DeWayne would strap on this big leaf blower and take care of the areas that needed attention. That thing did a much better and easier job than any broom could do.
While he did that, I would rake up debris around the fountain or any other area that needed it and water the plants, then start checking the front fence area and around the hall for any trash that needed picked up. Then we would take care of any work orders that needed to be tackled and then patrol both parks for trash and fruit, etc.
There were many projects other than what was mentioned, off and on, but it was mainly just consisted of doing what we saw that needed to be done. I have to say that we both enjoyed our job and the residents and managers were all friendly and easy to deal with.
Another plus to our job was being able to see all the pets that were out walking their humans around the parks and in the dog walking areas or the dog run. We still miss our dogs, but don’t really want to take on another one, so we just did the next best thing. And that was to spoil everybody else’s dogs! We carried an ample supply of dog treats on the cart and it didn’t take long to have lots of four legged “friends”. We were like the doggy equivalent to an ice cream truck to a child. Just call us the pied pipers of Mission Bell, ha.
Now let me see….here is Tia:
Lucy and Willow:
C.J. (Later named Buddy):
G.G., with his humans (and our good friends) David and Krista:
Fat little Chi Chi (also with Krista), but belongs to some more of our good friends, Roy and Ruby:
Goldie, who belongs to Lillie and Joe and was a true delight. She was so full of personality and liked to grab the leash in her mouth and “walk” Lillie, instead of the the other way around. If she could catch DeWayne out of the cart, which was often, she would just jump up and sit beside me…ready to ride.
Some, we never knew their names, or they came for only a brief time, but they got treats (and their photo op) too:
These were just a sampling of all our furry friends, but I didn’t always have my camera with me, so I missed quite a few.
So that about covers the job part of our stay in Mission and I’ll end this episode with that and begin working on Part 4. It has become evident to me that doing even a “condensed” version of our becoming “Winter Texans” is way more involved that I thought it would be, because there are just too many good things that I can’t bring myself to leave out. So I will call it a night since I have an appointment in the morning, and will begin again tomorrow on Part 4, which will cover the “activities” part of our stay, plus much more. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. So……
To be continued…….