Tag Archives: The Cabin

Contextless Thoughts

  • I am working the night shift tonight after a couple of staff called in.  I worked all Wednesday during the day and of course couldn’t get any sleep between five o’clock and midnight.  Now I work from midnight to eight a.m. and then I can walk home, get showered and walk back to work where I have meetings until four p.m.  After walking home again, I get to change and then walk to another meeting.  My day ends Thursday at around 9:00 p.m.  My body is upset with me already.  Sadly none of the meetings are ones that I can ditch.  All are really important and ones that I need to be at.  Tomorrow I am so sleeping in.  Oh wait, I can’t.  Another couple of meetings.
  • The good news is that while I get paid overtime, I can also take the OT as flex which means that I will get some more time off later this summer.  Plus, it keeps my department’s costs down.
  • The best part of working nights as a supervisor?  When a couple of different guys come down and let you know how great the rest of the staff is to them.  I often only hear negative stuff but it’s nice to hear some good stuff as well and even nicer when I can pass that on.
  • I was asked how the staff keeps their senses of humor at work and I didn’t really have an answer except we all like to joke around.  The follow up question was were you like that before you started working here?  I would answer, partially… A lot of people who use our services are pretty funny and quick witted.  I think that’s contagious.   We do our best to keep it going.
  • We are planning to leave Friday for the lake.  The weather is supposed to be cool which I will take.  A good fire in the firepit is the great equalizer.  We plan to do some more painting with our low V.O.C. paint that really isn’t that low in V.O.C. department (so much for honest marketing and labeling).  I also bought an old cupboard thing for the cabin this week.  It is real wood but has a 70s finish on it and it is the perfect size for a microwave stand and kitchen storage underneath.  The wood isn’t that nice to strip down and refinish so we are going to paint it a cool color.  When I say we, I actually mean I will be doing that.  Wendy does better painting walls.  As you can see, we have two walls done in the main room but we need to finish up and I need to sand down and fix up the holes in the door.  After that we tackle the bedroom, hang some blinds, and then call it a summer.
  • Speaking of Wendy, apparently she returned to work this week.  I have been sleeping or working when she is at home so for right now it is just a rumor but she seems to be out of the house a lot if she isn’t.  It does mean that Mark and I have to take care of Oliver.  The secret is to feed and change him and then put him by my feet until the dog walks by and Oliver thinks that the dog wandering through the living room is a game of peek-a-boo.  Parenting is easy.

Selling Out

I finally took some time to read some of the e-mails to the site about Wendy and I buying a cabin.  Of course like the comments, the e-mail was mixed.

One thing that came out was a lot of ignorance of what we paid.  I didn’t take out a mortgage or a loan, this isn’t a villa, it is a beach shack.  My measurements may be off a bit but it is a total of 336 square feet which if you think about it is too small to house anything more than a small car.  While Saskatoon may have a booming resale market, the market for cabins at a Free Methodist camp and convention centre have remained pretty consistent from what I have heard.

I am kind of sensitive to the charge of selling out.  I didn’t blog about this but three times over the last winter, I went out, paid cash for a iPod Touch.  Each time I took it back to the store before we got home.  The purchase didn’t feel right considering the context I work in.  A lot of what I buy goes through that process and while the iPod Touch didn’t pass the test, the cabin did.

At the same time work has been taking a bit of a toll on me mentally and physically.  I have been sporting some dark circles under my eyes, co-workers tell me I look tired lots, and I find the need to get away at times.  This is easier said than done. 

I haven’t written anything about this before but the Centre is in the middle of trying to open a women’s emergency shelter.  There are a lot of women and children who are on the streets or are in horrible housing situations.  First hand I have heard stories of negotiating of sex for shelter which breaks my heart.  A couple of weeks ago I talked to a women who had been sleeping outside for a couple of weeks.  She was mentally challenged, on welfare, and didn’t know where to turn.  I was able to help her immediate needs for shelter but it made it painfully obvious that homelessness is complicated and once you find yourself homeless, the solution isn’t going to come easy.  The idea is a home that would keep the girls and kids safe over night and provide help in getting them back of the streets in the morning. I am glad that we are doing something about it but it is one tight deadline after the other and more funding applications than I ever thought possible.  You know it is going to be a long form when it comes with an instruction manual on how to fill out the form.

This task isn’t going to go away until fall.  The cabin allows me to get away alone or with Wendy and Mark and either shut it down and sleep or get some work done on my notebook.  Winston Churchill talked about the need for changing locations to avoiding burnout.  If he is right, I am set.  If not, I’ll try a hat and cigar.  I would like to think that after this fall things will slow down but there still is an alternative seminary, an urban rest stop, and a bunch of ideas I have burning for the men’s shelter that need some time and attention.

A place to explore those ideas some more as well as relax seems good to me.

The other reasons have nothing to do with me.  Wendy wants a place to retreat to and the idea of a place where Mark is free to roam is kind of exciting as well.  The other day when Mark and I were going to the park, I picked up three dirty needles.  While I don’t mind talking the dog and kid to the park, knowing he was running down an alley where the bigger danger is garter snakes, is a nice thought as well.

Of course until that happens, I need to get some more funding applications filled out.