I’m volunteering at the Y and I have a really sweet job working in the museum; low stress, interesting coworkers, and I get to smile and greet people.

My wonderful place to work

On Friday, I teach two thirty minute classes to three and four year old day campers.  Thirty minutes with preschoolers can seem like an hour.  Each week, we have a theme for the whole day camp and the lessons are built around their theme.  We’ve done Disney, animals, space, careers, holidays, and coming up next week is history.  It usually consists of a small lesson, an activity, and filling in the time with a game.  One of my favorite, they change ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ to ‘Elk, Elk, Moose!’

This week, I came out of the lunch room and around registration when I heard, “Ms. Becky, Ms. Becky!” Followed by hugs around my legs and then holding hands.  My heart simply swelled.  Loved on by four year olds is the best!  I was surprised they recognized me outside of the museum.  That small gesture made my day!

We wore vintage YMCA staff shirts

On the 3rd, we had a 4th of July parade here.  It’s billed as the shortest, but most enthusiastic parade.  Anyone can join in.  We had four large family groups and different work groups like housekeeping, crafts, museum, building and grounds, general store, registration, etc.  The museum had a decorated trike with a bear being pulled in a little red wagon and the staff wearing staff jackets from different years.  It was fun and people were definitely exuberant.

On weekends, the museum staff goes to the Administration Building to play ‘Games of the Past’ with any children that are waiting in line with their parents to register or while waiting for their rooms or cabins to become available.  (That means housekeeping isn’t finished with their accommodations yet).  I usually go spend my four hour Saturday shift there.  Sometimes it’s slow, but other times it is busy.  July 4th was one of those days.

YMCA Admin Building where we love to sit in rockers

The line for registration was long; Stretched out the door and onto the porch.  They had all the registration windows staffed, but of course there were some disgruntled people.  Thankfully, there were also people who took the waiting in stride.  How life is viewed goes a long way towards how people handle the large and small complications that come their way.

One of my favorites

I put out games like Checkers, Go Fish, Tiddlywinks, Pick Up Sticks, and construction paper for drawing and coloring.  I watch for kids standing in line with their parents and ask them if they’d like to come play games or color.  

Most children come and the parents are grateful for them to have something to do.  Usually there are enough kids for them to play with one another, but I do play also if someone needs a partner.  I’ve taught about a dozen kids to play checkers and most have never played Tiddlywinks or Pick Up Sticks.    One morning I was walking to breakfast and a family group passed me and a little boy said, “I beat you in checkers!”  I usually make a few stupid moves, so the kids can jump my checkers.  Some however, beat me fair and square.

I’ve been attending Rocky Mountain church.  The music is great and the message is good, but they aren’t overly friendly except when shaking hands.  Which means if I don’t go with people that attend on Saturday night, I sit with strangers.  I prefer Sunday morning church.  When I don’t attend church on Sunday, I feel like I’m missing out.  I’m sure the faces will start looking more familiar.

Other things I’ve done this week…. I drove to Wyoming. 

It has beautiful scenery.  I’m planning on going with more ladies on Wednesday, so I’ll write about that later.  I’ve fallen in love with making earrings in the craft building.  I’ve driven a few times into RMNP looking for wildlife and taking pictures of wild flowers.  The shuttle buses from Estes Park have started running, so it’s easy to catch one and spend a few hours in town without having to fight the traffic.

I’ve been craving pancakes, so on the 4th I rode the bus and walked to the Elk Horn restaurant and ordered the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.  The pancake was plate size and anyone who knows my appetite knows that I like to eat.  I couldn’t finish the hash brown or the pancake, but I did make a good size dent in it.

Breakfast at the Elk Horn

So, how’s the homesickness doing?  It’s better.  I’ve determined to keep a positive frame of mind and to look for the enjoyment of being away and growing.  With all the different schedules of the women around here, I still find myself doing things alone.  That I think is what I miss most.  My sweet sister friends that I can call at a moments notice to do something with or go visit.  As I sit typing here in the Administration Building, I’m with a friend and I hike with agile ladies, so I am spending time with people and forming what I hope will be lasting friendships.

Today, a new week started and I’m looking forward to what it brings both with work and piddling around.  Have a great week yourself!