Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who Is My Neighbor?

I’ve had some time to just sit and think this morning. Rick is working. It has been cloudy and raining. I don’t want to walk across the muddy campground to do laundry, and I mopped and vacuumed the floors yesterday. So here is what I’ve been thinking about and I’d like my readers, (all two or three of you) to leave comments and get a discussion of your own going.

When I’m not in Amarillo, I’m living in a campground. We’ve been in good ones and bad ones and some that make no impression on me at all. But, I’d like to tell you a little about two of them just so you will have something to think about.

Compare and Contrast

Campground number one: All our basic needs were met. We had 50 amp electrical hook-up, water, sewer, and the campground had restrooms and showers. We parked on good gravel, spots were nice and level, we weren’t crowded, and the scenery was nice. No picnic table was available, nor was there a laundry facility—exactly. The camp ground was new and still under construction. The price for a night’s stay was fair and affordable and it included Wi-Fi which had an excellent signal.

The owner was down right friendly. When we arrived the lady whose job it was to collect the fee was not there. We were told to set up camp and come in the next day to pay. A couple of days went by without collection of our fee because of illness in the woman’s family. Finally, when we were ready to leave, the guy that owned the place asked us to help him figure out the credit card machine so that we could pay our bill. He told me that if I ever came back, I had a job and I could just walk in and go to work.

Like I said, the guy was just NICE! He took time to visit with us. He told us all the places we needed to visit and about the best restaurants in town. He also told us how he has worked, building the campground, for eleven years. He shared his hopes and dreams for his property and the experience he wants every traveler to have while staying in his facility. We learned that when some people in the campground ran out of butane, he took a tank off his own personal camper and let them use it free of charge so they could have heat in their rig. (He offered the same to us if we had the need.) Another couple asked for directions to a laundry in town so they could wash a comforter. Instead of giving them directions, his mother took the comforter and washed it for them while they spent the day sightseeing. (He again offered the same to us when I mentioned dirty laundry.)

The place seemed to be a family operated business and it was obvious that everyone pitched in and worked hard. The office smelled of cigarette smoke. And from the cancerous looking sores on the owner’s lips, I presumed he has enjoyed his share of snuff over the years.

As we drove away, every staff person waved to us as if we were family, like they were sorry to see us go.

Campground number two: We called a day before we were to arrive to reserve a spot because we knew that several adjusters were going to be converging upon the area. On the day we were to arrive I called again to let the management know that we were running a little late and to confirm our reservation. Again, this is a family owned campground, and the lady I talked to told me she didn’t have us down. She knew she had talked to a couple of people who wanted reservations but she had forgotten to write their names down.

“I hope you are one of them,” she said.
“Me too!”

When we arrived the owner/manager was sitting on the porch talking to someone and it was easy to tell from their conversation, as they followed us into the office, they were talking about prayer, and the Lord. The Ten Commandments were posted at least three places in the office/gift shop.

The whole time she was checking us in, she was complaining about how tired she was and how busy she had been because of the storm that had passed through days before. (The Campground had suffered from hail and flash flooding.) She did not give us any campground guidelines but she did hand us some “things to see and do” brochures and asked if we wanted cable. It was $18.00 extra. (Most places include it in their price.)

We were able to avoid most of the mud and set up camp on a level gravel spot. We again had 50 amp, water, (very little pressure) sewer, and there was a picnic table. Laundry facilities are within walking distance but the washers and dryers are old and the room is not very clean. The price for doing a load is $1.00 to wash and $1.00 to dry. There is a restroom and shower, but again, they could use a little repair and cleaning.

Wi-Fi was advertised in their directory listing. We later learned to use it we had to pay another $30.00. The lady told us she really didn’t want more than one computer per camper using it, but she realized she could not enforce that rule. The problem, she said, was that their service was set to handle only ten computers. There were already twelve adjusters checking into the campground and they all need internet service in order to do their job. Her policy quickly became, “buy at your own risk.” She was happy to sell the service, but she would not guarantee that you could always log on if and when you needed to because she had “over sold” her Wi-Fi. I heard her tell one camper that, “It’s just a miracle. Eighteen people are using it right now and it is still working.” Our signal is usually low at best.

I forgot to mention that this lady that runs the place is not friendly. She is polite and proper, but not friendly. She speaks to me with authority yet calls me Mrs. Pflug.

The other day I got “corrected” for putting my trash in the wrong trash can. Plastic containers are scattered throughout the campground, and one large dumpster is set by the entrance. Apparently the smaller plastic containers are for over-night guests, and we “monthly” people have to carry our trash a good bit further and put it in the dumpster. When I told her that I was not aware of the rule, she told me it was in the guidelines. I didn’t bother to tell her that she was too tired and busy to give us a copy when we checked in. I just got my trash out of the plastic can and hauled it up the road to the dumpster. Yesterday I found out from another “monthly” that there are two rules that if broken will get you kicked out of the campground: 1. breaking the speed limit and 2. putting your trash in the wrong can! (I’ll be sure to drive slowly.)

Now, do me the favor of reading Luke 10:25-37. In light of that scripture, leave your comments to this post. I want to know what you’re thinking. This could be fun!


Anonymous said...

Looks to me like they are both your neighbors. We as Christians should always try to be aware of how the rest of the world perceives us. Do they see us as bitter, complaining, legalistic "holier-than-thou" types, or do they see the love of Christ through us?

Anonymous said...

I think that God did not call us to be nice to the people that are friendly only but to everyone. As I was reading the verse in Luke I had to wonder what would I have done if I had seen that man. I would like to think that I would have been the one who took the man to the inn and left hime to be taken cae of but I have my days when I would have been the one who walked to the other side. I also have to say sadly enough that in my home based child care business I have found that I would rather do business with non Christians than with people who clame to be Christians or who go to Church. Just my thoughts.

God's Gal Sarah said...

Of COURSE you're one of my "L" favorites! It's amazing how hard I worked on that list--only to finish and think of some more. Isn't that how it goes? If you want a letter, then I leave you with the letter "W"...HA! I'm a stinker huh? No way would I think of making it easy on you with an "R"...Ricky, I wanted to challenge you!

Deanna said...

In comparing the two campgrounds and in light of Luke 10:25-37, what were YOU thinking?

If you answer this, please send it to me in an email also. There's usually not a place on your blog for me to check that I want to receive notice of a reply.

Thank you! Happy travels should be getting close to Wyoming!

Talkin' Texan said...

My thinking was this...It is pretty sad when a business like that posts "Christian" signs, sayings, and all that kind of stuff all over the place while treating their "road weary guests" more like intruders. To me, if you represent Christ, you must offer the spirit of hospitality and kindness. I'm not opposed to Christians offering a service and getting paid for it, but they don't have to be mean and ugly and rude. This lady fussed at me for putting my trash in the can for "overnight guests" only. She threaten to make some people leave because they went over the posted speed limit and I witnessed her zooming through the camp at 20 or 30 mph.

The other guy was so kind, willing to go the extra mile for his customers. He didn't talk about his spiritual standing or beliefs, didn't post the ten commandments on the wall, I don't know if he was a Christian or not...yet to me he seemed to be a better testimony and example of Christ's love than the other lady.

That was my point...I don't think most of my readers understood what I was asking. I was asking from the view point of the injured traveler. I think they thought I was asking from the other point of view or something.

I just saw it as the parable of the good Samaritan in a modern day setting. One person who is so busy talking like a Christian that she doesn't have time to be kind, and another person who is so busy being kind, he doesn't have time to preach and post scriptures on the wall. (There's nothing wrong with posting scriptures...but if you do, just live them out! Please!) ;)