An emotional farewell to two dedicated co-workers and dear friends!

russ and annie bird house
Russ and Annie Johnson

There are times in our lives when we are blessed by God to meet people that we immediately have a connection with and enjoy spending time with. We met such a couple when we arrived here and just had to go through the emotional experience of saying goodbye to them. Those who have been following our blog know that Russ and Annie Johnson were our next door neighbors, the folks that taught us a lot about campfires, cooked giant burritos for us and are parents to our precious little resort mascot Maddie. What you don’t know about them is that they are Southerners like us, originally from St. Augustine, Florida. We spoke the same language and I loved their slightly hippie, laid back personalities and hearts of gold, very giving and friendly as could be. They are both retired kindergarten/first grade teachers having taught together for many years before retiring. They did the Kid’s Quest on Mondays helping the children make walking sticks out of the natural wood in this area. The kids loved it and were happy to have something to take home with them. Russ and Annie were natural teachers with the children which was a pleasure to see. They were the two friendliest work campers here, always visiting with the guests and making friends. Unlike us, before they decided to retire and RV full time they had many years of camping experience from going away in the RV during their summers and school breaks. I’m very thankful to have had the experience of learning about RV life from them and getting to know them while they were here. Now I feel like I’m writing an obituary or eulogy. They haven’t died but are going on down the road right now with Maddie in tow, on to their next adventure.

annieandrussleaving
Russ and Annie pulling out

I am trying to be very careful as I write this blog today to not go into the details of what brought about their departure since I still work here.  My emotions are quite raw right now from what happened and my natural instinct is to tell what I saw and know to educate other work campers but I cannot.  I love being here and three of my four work days are absolutely great.  We now have an empty RV space next to us where their motor home use to be.  Roy’s pulled Boots into that spot to get him off the road.  We’ve moved their nicer platform from their place to our RV stairs.  I feel like looters but they wanted us to have the things.  Annie and Russ made a rock border around their place with smaller rocked flower beds and said they’d like us to have that so it may be working its way over to our little homestead.

I’m hoping that the management does hire anther couple to fit into our rotation and who knows, we may love them like we loved Russ and Annie.  Debbie shared with us this morning some of the options going forward and since some of the work is a lot harder and more demanding than we thought it would be, Roy and I let them know we cannot work more than our 30 hour a week commitment.  We can barely handle what we are doing now.  We’ll have to wait and see what the management decides to do.  Mostly we’ll pray that they seek God’s guidance in this decision.

rave in water 2
RAVE trampoline and swing
rave in water
Rave climbing tower and human launcher

We had a new group of guests check in yesterday with lots of kids so the atmosphere around here has changed too.  Families with kids liven up the joint!  Two precious little girls, who of course remind us of Madisyn, are here and we look forward to playing with them.  The RAVE is now out and ready for the kids to take it over.  These pictures don’t really show how big the thing is.

We’re leaving early tomorrow morning for Duluth for some fun and a doctor’s appointment (Roy’s knee is hurting him) and will stay overnight in Duluth in a hotel and do some more sightseeing on Tuesday before heading home.  I’ll write as we learn about Duluth and let ya’ll know what we did.  I believe the time away will do us both good on the heels of this recent development.

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Roy says he wished we had these when we had our pond on Hinson Road! Me too!
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That’s us heading back to shore for a delicious grilled pork rib dinner (a parting gift from Russ and Annie). Thanks guys they were delicious!!!

Roy and I just got back from riding around the lake on two hydro-bikes (see the pictures).  Very cool bikes on two floatation things that you pedal where you want to go IMG_20130616_162246and  use the rudder to guide yourself.  We wore life vests for safety! We went out pretty far and just let the waves and wind take us where it wanted to go out there before heading back.  Good exercise too and it was fun to feel like two kids!  We barbequed some pork ribs after our ride.  They were parting gifts from Russ and Annie and they were sure delicious!

maddie bye bye
Maddie Johnson

I want to thank Russ and Annie for being such good friends, being a shining point in our stay here, letting us love Maddie, teaching us so much and being genuinely kind and friendly people.  I know wherever you land next will be happy and blessed to have such good spirited people there.  It’s not goodbye to them but see you in Florida this winter!  Safe travels to you guys!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear.

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