Life Is What Happens While You Were Making Other Plans

Back at the end of March, I said that I probably wouldn’t be posting very much starting this month.  At the time, I had just accepted a new assignment, and from past experience, knew that “time to blog” would be tough to find.  Still, I thought I was pretty well prepared for my new position, and most of my learning curve would involve the usual “where is everything?” and “getting to know the staff” aspects.   As it has turned out, it wasn’t that simple.

I spent the next month after that first post “in limbo.”  What that means is that my official start date wasn’t until the end of April.  So practically, I was marking time in my old position until it became official.  Which wasn’t so bad, because I couldn’t get out to the field anyways.  The road into that area is a “seasonal road,” and access depends on when the town gets around to opening it.  Which in this case, wasn’t until April 17’th.   I know that, because as the town crews were leaving, I was pulling in for my initial survey.

It wasn’t until I actually started that the litany of bad news began.  Up until that point, I’d been told “not to worry, everything is taken care of,” and “we got you an experienced staff.”   What I found out was that the person who was supposed to be transferring in to be my assistant – who had worked there before – had decided to stay in his current position.  Which led to a mad scramble to find someone else.    Once I got out there, I found out even more things.  First, the generator was “in the shop” for repair.  Since we’re not on the grid (the place is miles into the back woods) it’s rather necessary for a number of things.  There were numerous breakdowns in other things,  a long-term former supervisor had been “the pack rat from hell,” and the last supervisor was … a slob.

So for the past two weeks I’ve been trying to get things straightened out.  It’s going to be a long process, but the “critical” things are slowly coming under control.  There’s a generator, most of the critical infrastructure issues have been fixed, or at least work for now, and I’ve finally gotten most of my staff (and a new assistant) on board.  I’m still learning where everything is, and getting to know the staff.   That’s why I haven’t been around that much the past few weeks.

Now for the other shoe.  I’m going to be extremely tied up the next few months.  Just because I’ve gotten most of the critical things under control, there’s an enormous amount of work ahead for me to straighten this place into the shape it should have been in.  Although I’d planned on spending a number of nights out there, it looks as though I’ll be staying out there even more than that.  Mostly because of the work that needs to be done, but also because the commute is a bear.  50 miles round-trip in a day, and a good percentage of that on dirt roads, is not something that I want to do on a regular basis, at least in my car.  While I will have internet access out there – at least once they get around to installing it – it rather depends on the generator, the use of which I’ve been instructed to “keep to a minimum.”

So while I said I wasn’t going to be around much this summer, it looks like my plans for even that limitation were optimistic.  I may not be around for a month or two.  Hopefully, I’ll be back in full force once “field season” winds down, and I’m back where I have electricity and reliable internet access.  Which, with any luck, will be in time to blog in the time before the election.  Have a nice summer everyone!

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6 responses to “Life Is What Happens While You Were Making Other Plans

  1. Rose Weiss

    I hope things go smoothly for you, and that you are able to enjoy the upside of wilderness living. No doubt the countryside is gorgeous this time of year. Your reasoned voice will be missed.

    • Well, things never go smoothly, but the difference here is that between “a bit bumpy” and “Is there any road left between the potholes?” 😆 I took three pickup truck loads of garbage out of the headquarters alone. Obsolete forms, old reports, cases of tourist information flyers (no idea of why they were there in the first place), and miscellaneous broken equipment.

      Still, I’ve managed to get a good assistant – he was looking to get out of his previous place and this is a promotion – and between the two of us, we’re hoping to make a serious dent in most of the outstanding issues. Next year, we’re hoping to make this much more of a “turn key operation.”

    • nathkatun7

      “Your reasoned voice will be missed.” I totally agree with you Rose!

      On the other hand I hope Norbrook takes time to do what he must do because I am sure that whenever he comes back to delve into politics he will always share his/her usual common sense which is deeply rooted in real experience with folks and not with some abstract ideology.

      By the way, as much as I respect Norbrook’s political wisdom, what I love most about his blog is his/her sense of humor and that love for animals and nature.

      • (blushes) Thanks. It’s not that I won’t try to blog every now and then, it’s just that I recognize that after last year’s attempts, and the nature of this new assignment, it is probably going to be even … spottier … than usual.

  2. aquagranny911

    Vaya con Dios, mi Hijo! I will so miss you but I can feel from your posts how much you love the land where you live. This time away from here & from politics will renew & enrich your spirit. I will await your return ♥

    • Thanks. 😀 I’m hoping to occasionally drop a post here and there – after all, I do get to get out of the woods on occasion – but the first few weeks are not boding well for my being able to do a lot of blogging or commenting on blogs.

      As I said in an earlier comment, things never “go smoothly” at the start. I rather expected various problems because of the 500 year flood, the hurricane, and the tropical storm that hit us last year. As it turns out, those aren’t really any issue. It’s all the things that aren’t supposed to be problems that are turning into my major headaches. Getting those things under control, and back to “not a problem” is going to take most of my spare time for the next few months.