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As soon as the 4th of July festivities were over, our family 'lived' at the ball field. Practices, stocking the stand, and doing an inpromptu inventory kept me busy every night. The VP of our league came to me and asked me to 'do a better job with supplies' this year. I told him what I had been told by the Secretary and previous manager:
"I was told not to restock a great deal after Friday night for the final tournament. But if you're willing to back me up, I'll do it. I'd rather have happy customers."
"Do it then."
One of the coaches brought his large gas grill, and my spouse was pressed into being the 'Grill Master'. Our tiny hut rang with activity as hot dogs rested in the warmer; pork BBQ simmered in a slow cooker; ears of corn soaked in one of the coolers; hamburgers sizzled on the grill and were brought in to keep warm in another warming pan, donated by the wife of another coach, who worked in a restaurant.
We had accounts open at two local gas stations for Gatoraid, ice, and water. I also kept track of how many hamburgers we sold each day and bought double the amount on Friday for the weekend. Unfortunately, the final week I couldn't read my own handwriting and bought buns instead of hamburgers, resulting in eight packages too many.
I even bought doughnuts for the early games, so the kids, coaches, and parents could have something beside lunch items at 8:30 am. And yes, I was the first one to the field every morning, to have hot coffee ready and the stand open by the time people were arriving. This drove my family crazy, but they quickly saw how much money we were taking in.
My helper L was a godsend. She worked her butt off when parents didn't show. She ran errands. Went to the bank for change. Rotated the drinks.
After the final game, I invited her family to join us at the Chinese Buffet in town. We were sick of hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ, and wanted to be someplace cool. We also tossed around ideas for next year, and what had worked and what hadn't.
L assured me she'd take care of the extra buns and would meet me the next day to help clean everything up. My family was leaving for Colorado in two days, and I would be busy packing.
She didn't show up on Monday, and on Tuesday I left for Colorado after depositing the final money tally in the bank and recording the inventory stats.
Vacation with the family was fun! The spouse griped all the way to the Illinois border, then began looking forward to visiting a new state. We spent the night in Little Amana, Iowa, then enjoyed ourselves the second night in Kearny, Nebraska. I was working on Searching For Love at the time, and had many discussions with my dad on homosexuality. Neither my parents understood why I felt the need to tell the story of a young woman's alternative lifestyle, but I felt it fit in with my series, since a close friend had dealt with the issue.
We had a great time at Nicky's Resort that week. We spent time in the park; we toured Estes Park; ate some awesome food; and celebrated my parents' birthdays reminiscing with old friends who drove over for the evening.
And on the way home, stopped at Calbello's in Sydney, NE as well as spent the night in Kearney again, this time at the motel with the indoor water park. My kids had a blast! And of course, the spouse began fretting about money again once we crossed back into Indiana.
And we laughed six weeks later, when my sister turned up pregnant. Vacations can definitely take on an almost honeymoon-like quality, LOL:)
Next month: Rude Awakening