I was in Adams County, the “Fruit Belt” of Pennsylvania; a place I’d never been before in my home state. Thousands of acres of apple trees grow all over the county along with every well-known apple product company like Musselmans and Lucky Leaf setting up shop to harvest and package the bounty.
My home base was Deer Run Campground, set among low-riding mountains in the midst of the apple orchards. My RV was parked under newly leafed out oaks and maples with the first blooms of spring at my feet: daffodils, crocus and tiny purple violets. The managers were a young couple, part of the family business and generous of heart and humor.
I set about my task of gathering the necessary advertising paperwork, conducting my initial meeting and making phone contacts with prospective advertisers. Now all I had to do was go out, find them, and do my sales rep job of selling ads for the campground site map and area guide.
For the next two weeks, Monday through Friday, I drove hill and dale over an amazing countryside laced with millions of white apple blossoms. Sometimes getting lost then finding a post office where the good people gave me directions to backroad situated propane dealers and RV repair shops.
I traveled to Gettysburg, Hanover, and York; often having to make two and three trips back to various businesses because the “decision-maker” wasn’t in or available or was in another location twenty miles in the opposite direction. I braved streaming lanes of traffic and truck fumes while putting several hundred miles on my car.
The people were down-home country friendly and made my job very pleasant but when the day of driving and selling was over, I still had paperwork and ad layout to go over before calling it a day.
An endearing, bright side of my experience was meeting a retired couple, John and Mary Jane who were seasonals at the park, staying from April until September. They invited me for campfire dinners on more than one occasion. To my absolute delight they were intelligent and eccentric and earthy all rolled into one.
Bob’s mother, Helen ( a deaf and almost blind 80 year old) was living with them. They traveled the country in their big blue motorhome taking in the sights and taking care of mom rather than having her in a “home.” Wonders never cease!
After my two weeks were up, I’d sold enough ads to have the campground map printed. Everyone was happy. I had succeeded at completing my assignment; my ad company managers were happy and offered me two more jobs, this time in New York. I decided to sleep on it.
In the morning, I woke up and retired from the sales rep business. Seemed to me, the majority of my time was spent doing quantity work over quality work. I much prefer quality. Quality of time, quality of experience, quality of life. No regrets!
My experience was once again enriched by kindred spirits. I have fond memories of my friends at Deer Run in Adams County. They certainly are part and parcel of the quality of life.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)