That is Katie’s panoramic picture showing our dorm and the surrounding area. I have an ex-coworker living in Florida and sometimes when I post pics of Death Valley on facebook, she describes it as “desolate & barren”. But according to a dictionary the word “desolate” can mean: empty, lonely, & without human companions. That does not really describe all of Death Valley.
Sure it’s empty of big trees and shopping malls, but you can find so much more if you know where to look. Even in the area of Katie’s picture I see palm trees, but hidden are the yellow flowers growing between my dorm and the inn. Of course you wouldn’t see the male roadrunner guarding the pregnant female even if he was walking around because Katie was to far away up on a hill. Hills here are made for climbing to get unexpected fabulous views.
Course someone may see Katie’s picture and think… but it’s just bare brown dirt/rocks. But believe me, it is amazing and up close you do see other colors mixed in with the brown, and at sunrise & sunset the light brings out more colors. There are rows of mountains everywhere with spears of rock that will sometimes stick out of a mountain. As scary as a name like “Death valley” may sound, it’s a place that can make you feel more alive in ways that no other place can. Maybe that’s 1 reason why Katie wants to stay here for a whole year. Hmmm, wonder if she will still think that way when the Summer heat is here.
Without shopping malls around, people living here gather together to hang out with mother nature alot. Most of us feel blessed to just stand outside to watch the clouds change colors, or be able to stand up on mountain and look over the horizon at some open spot miles away…a spot that we just drove from…a distance that we could never see if we were in a big crowded city. It’s like taking a wide angle photo of a mountain/city and then keep zooming in until you get to take a pic of a single tree/person.
My paycheck stub does not fit nicely in 1 photo, so I cropped parts of it above. I received this December 23rd. The pay week had ended on the 16th, which means the last 2 weeks of this year will be paid in 2016. I am sure someone will be expecting the pay raise to be on that next check. But even though we get the check in 2016 it will be for work done in 2015. You see, on January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will go up to $10/hour. So we won’t see the increase until January 20th. Dental insurance will also be taken out of my checks starting in January. My memory is foggy this morning but I think it’s only $7.50 every payday.
I only worked 60 hours for those 2 weeks above. Work had been slow, so I was sent home early a few times. $407 to do whatever I want is really enough for me. Course a paycheck for a full 80 hours is better but $407 still pays everything I need. Now that Christmas is over, I will save money for a future car. Looked at a few online sales for cars in Pahrump & Vegas already. Maybe I can get a car for my birthday in March. Hopefully in time to drive around the park when all the spring flowers are in bloom. After the floods in October, everyone is predicting a super bloom season.
Spending any big holiday away from home…well the home you grew up in, the home where most of your biological family still lives, can be an emotional struggle sometimes even if your family called you Scrooge.
This year I got a new family (mostly thanks to my roomie, Kim). I had a yummy christmas dinner with 11 other people all gathered together in 1 RV. The retail dept (that I work for) got 2nd place for our decorated golf cart in the parade. Unfortunately I did not win anything for my decorated door.
It’s almost a new year. For a seasonal worker like me that means it’s time to buckle down and get resumes or applications ready to send out for the next seasonal job. Some of my new “family” here are planning on going to Yellowstone National Park. I have also found a few jobs there that I like. Now if Christmas wishes really came true then I would wish for Kim, Katie, Robert, Allison, Kathleen & Dave, to all get jobs in Yellowstone so we could have another season together.
P.S. sorry this is my 1st blog this month…I meant to write earlier about work/paychecks, my trip to Stovepipe Wells when my roomie lent me her truck for the day, the pregnant roadrunner behind my dorm and other stuff…but life got in the way. 🙂