I don't think of myself as High Maintenance. In fact, I think I'm pretty self-sufficient. I own my house and SUV. I put myself through Nursing School at a private college 950 miles away from my family. (Okay, that may not be a great feat since I was older when I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I still count it since I did it by myself.) I travel all over the country by myself. Well, maybe not all by myself since I have my Chinese Crested in tow, and we've added a Domestic Short Hair rescue kitty. (And since traveling with a dog and a cat is not challenging enough, I have been known to also travel with a plant, or six). While traveling sans human companion, I have dealt with a trip and fall in Vegas, my steering going out in the middle of nowhere, and a tire blowing out in Utah. All occurred during the same trip last year. And I handled it. I am the one my friends come to for advice. I am the one people come to for answers. I am the one that gets things done. I am the strong one. I'm not usually the High Maintenance one. I don't like being High Maintenance. But every once in awhile that's where I find myself.
So when I finally made a reservation for a cabin in Northern Georgia after several days of phone tag and instant messages, I laughingly told the rental agent that I really wasn’t High Maintenance—just computer challenged.
That I couldn’t find the cabin by the directions they sent, didn’t mean I was High Maintenance—I found the cabin on my own—without resorting to calling them, or asking for assistance from anyone. And no, I did not use GPS—the data was insufficient.
I did feel kind of High Maintenance when, still dressed in my PJs, I locked myself out of the cabin the first morning and had to find a neighbor whose phone I could use. The maintenance increased when I had to call back about some non-functioning items (microwave and kitchen lights), and again, when I couldn’t get logged onto the internet…and yet again, when I couldn’t figure out the gas fireplace. However, in my defense, the previous guests had left the cabin binder with all the cabin information and instructions on the porch, under a drip. When I finally found the binder, the day after I arrived, it was a soggy mess. I don’t think a High Maintenance person would have taken it apart and dried it in front of the fireplace, and then reassemble it—which is what I did.
After I locked myself out of the cabin and made all the calls to the office, I decided I would not call the office again. No matter what. I was going to be the model guest, even if it killed me. Even when the neighbors told me they had seen the Mama Bear and her two cubs romping near the cabin.
I didn’t call when I started hearing noises outside, and found the back porch screened door open—twice. I didn’t call when the phone rang and no one answered, like I was being stalked—four times in two days. I didn’t call when Moggy found the mouse caught in the trap, brought it into the living room, and started to play with it to the large dog bed provided by the cabin owners. I didn’t even call when the water went out late at night—by this time the cabin binder was sufficiently dry for me to separate the pages, and I read the section on whom to call when the water goes out. Since it was late at night and likely not going to be fixed during the night, I waited until the morning to call the guy listed in the binder.
When I called the next morning, the guy said it had been reported already, they thought it was a water pump that had gone out, and there was the possibility that I would be changing cabins, but in the meantime, they would try to fix the water pump by the end of the day.
I had already planned to visit with my Second Cousin and his Wife—I had recently learned that they were in the neighboring town when they come stateside (she works for the National Forest Department—in the Virgin Islands, lucky girl), and they happened to be stateside for medical treatments this week (not so lucky girl). So I spent some time visiting with them. Then I visited a few antique stores in their town, as well as in mine. All in all, it was a very nice day. And since I had passed a water truck coming up my mountain that morning, and I had not received a phone call to the contrary, I assumed the repairs had been accomplished during my absence and I was not going to be required to change cabins.
You know what they say about assuming…
The first thing I did when I entered the cabin was check the water, fully expecting it to be back on. Nope. So I called the cabin rental office. Jerry and I are on a first name basis by now. I told her the water was still off and she was puzzled. She asked who I had called and I told her I had called Keven as the binder instructed.
It seems, Binder Kevin is also Water Kevin—but he is not Cabin Kevin. Therefore, the water department was aware of the water situation; however, the cabin rental office was not.
Jerry made a few calls, came up to the cabin to check the water herself, then came back a second time when she could not reach her husband, Terry, to request him to bring up some bottled water for my use.
Jerry hugged me and said I was being very nice and understanding. She told me not to worry about washing the dishes or starting the linens to wash when I leave in the morning (I am going to wash my dishes though, that’s why I needed the water—to flush the toilet and clean up my kitchen mess). She also asked if I would like two free nights on a future rental. I told her I would love to return to Laurel Knoll! We hugged again.
Not only are we on a first name basis, we are also on a hugging basis.
And the icing on the cake—I won’t have to fret about where I’m going to spend my next vacation. I just have to decide when—and this is the time of year we place our leave requests for next year….I think a little earlier in the season for the Apple Festival and more of the Leave Turning might be nice, and I think I want to drive up the Natchez Trace—it’s only 3.5 hours away. Or maybe I’ll come back during the Spring—the Scenic Train Ride is supposed to be spectacular during both the Fall and Spring.
Whatever time of year I decide to return, I think I’ll bring a couple of gallons of water… in case the water goes out again, I'll be prepared and won’t end up being High Maintenance.