So - I'm home again.
Rafting season has ended for another year and there is much rejoicing. Don't get me wrong - the people who came out rafting had a fantastic time as usual. It was just that some of us had the worst summer - ever. I think that has been quite evident in many of my stressful posts about mental health.
I've been helping my brother with his rafting business now for 20 years. Ever since I moved from Ontario to Alberta to help him out.
It's a fun thing to do for a summer - being a rafting guide - taming the wild river - making people scream with terror and excitement and then see their happy tired faces at the end of the day and know you gave them the best time of their lives. You bet it's fun!
But then there's behind the scenes. There is always those people who do all the grunt work that make these days possible for everyone. And that's me and my brother. We work all hours of the day. Sometimes I've been known to put in 16 hours a day as I try to organize everything. And I do it for the love of my brother.
However - even though I'm considered 'The Manager' - I don't have any clout. Sure I can fix that stare of mine on a wayward guide and know they are quaking in their river boots - but I am not allowed to really lay it on in case they quit. Guides are a very rare commodity and my brother is always afraid of losing them no matter how horrendous they are.
And that is what happened this summer. We got stuck with one of those guides. And I got stuck with not being able to say anything and so my frustration and anxiety built up all summer to the point where I thought I was going to lose it.
But then! A guide who we have known for over 10 years showed up and saved the day! His incredible sense of humour and the memories that came wafting back in when he walked in the door - wow! He really lightened the hearts of both my brother's and my own. We didn't know how we were going to endure the last month until Sam walked in and made us laugh once more. Thank you Sammy! We will never forget!
So ends the worst summer of my life. With a laugh and a smile and the hope that we will see Sam next summer.
And now - a few days of recuperation for me.