Thursday 10.20.2016, 2:01 AM (wee hours of day 4)
Cash Remaining: $202 (makin’ money!)
Total Distance: 704 Miles
Current Position: Secret Hideout (somewhere within 250 miles of Nashville)
Alright, more catch-up time. First, I don’t even have the actual blog itself up at the moment I started writing this post, as of right now this is all a journal, but I will keep within the spirit of the blog therefor no take-backsies on rewriting or starting over. The first few entires in the blog itself are going to be a bit confusing. This particular post is going to be a bit biggie-sized so I can catch up on everything, then hopefully things will even out within the next post or two.
Anyway, so I was at Lake Jericho, which is a nice family-friendly campsite. I ended up there because I searched on the web for cheap/free campsites and found Jericho for $2.00/night. It has showers, hookups, it has it all! Well, that’s what I thought, it’s $2.00 to get in the gate and an additional $16.00 to camp overnight in a tent. I read the webpage wrong (which was my fault, the information is correct). It was already getting late so I ponied up the cash.
Lake Jericho turned out to be worth the money though because the people were nice and as far as campsites go I felt like I was at the Hilton. I’ll take niceties when I can get them, but to really stretch my dollar I’m going to have to budget a bit better. I met a kitty-buddy and a local lady who uses an RV as a home away from home at the site gave me a bag of marshmallows! Can’t turn down free food when you’re stretching the dollar, even if it’s just pure fluffy sugar.
Kitty-Buddy is not impressed
I slept really well for tent camping (usually I sleep poorly in tents), though I did get up really early. I ate a Cliff bar, packed up, and started heading toward Nashville. I stopped in Bowling Green Kentucky to fill both tanks, the second one I filled with two $0.99 junior cheeseburgers and a value fry from Wendy’s (water to drink).
Not even 10 minutes after posting an ad for labor I received a text. I received this hit so soon after submitting the ad that I almost ignored it. The man (who I will now call Sarj) seemed to be addicted to exclamation points and wanted me over there in a hurry, I was just settling into my Starbucks and trying to get this site going (this thing is taking a bit more work than I anticipated, despite being a developer for the last 14 years).
I’m not exactly sure what drew me into working with Sarj but after a (very) brief conversation I headed over there to help him do some work in the yard. Sarj is not the type for goodbyes when it comes to talking on the phone.
Sarj and I come from completely different backgrounds. Sarj is very well traveled and has been a very hard worker his entire life (which is roughly double my own in length minus a few years). I very much respect Sarj’s privacy so I’ll have to keep things a little vague, but think military brat (yes Sarj, you’re a bit of a brat!) mixed with a roughneck oil worker. Sarj is very direct and wants things done a very specific way, but he is also very honest. Real honesty is such a rare trait in a person, and I’d rather deal with an honest pain in the ass than some fake ‘nice guy’ who beats around the bush.
According to Sarj I only did about two hours of work in five hours, but he paid me $10/hour for the full time. Sarj is a bit past his prime and since his background consists of honest hard work some of his bones and joints have paid the price, but the man could still probably run circles around me when it comes to hard manual labor so I think he might have been generous with his “two hours” comment!
At first Sarj annoyed me a bit. He has a very particular way of doing things and if you stray from that way of doing things then he will let you know in a hurry! I’m not at all the type to leave work like this unfinished so I committed to doing things his way and planned on jetting out as soon as I could.
After doing the job Sarj and I sat down for a bit and started talking. As I mentioned earlier, we have vastly different backgrounds – I’ve been sitting at computer desks my whole life, very much unlike Sarj who has been to seemingly every country in the world. After talking for a bit about our different life experiences it became apparent that we do have a lot in common. Our way of seeing the world is quite similar in the most important ways, even if the exact perspective we see these things comes from differing angles.
Originally I was unsure if Sarj was just the type to tell tall tales because he has so many wild stories, but he showed me some home videos and I can attest that the man can back up his word!
I don’t know exactly how to explain it and this post is becoming way too lengthy as it is, but I’ll say that after spending an evening with Sarj and getting to know him as well as sharing my own life experiences I found a real friend. I was even able to teach him a thing or two, though I think the lessons I learned from him are far more valuable.
I’m not the type of person to just call anyone a friend. In fact, I have very few friends in life as I wouldn’t even need a full hand to count them all, but Sarj is one of those fingers. Thank you for all the valuable lessons Sarj!
Sarj knows a lot of people and word has it that a special 7-day job is coming up in the Florida Keys area and I’m really looking forward to it!
After having dinner (a beef stew Sarj made which was awesome) we had some fantastic coffee that he brewed up and we talked a bit more before heading off to bed. Sarj upgraded my living quarters from a makeshift campsite to a room undergoing heavy renovation and a bucket to piss in.