Thursday had been a discouraging day for David at Ft. Riley. Whoever was in charge of obtaining his supplies hadn’t believed he could really want willow saplings and so had shipped him an equivalent amount of willow lumber. Now, David would have loved to have that lumber for some cabinetmaking, but there was no way it could be used to fashion a sweat lodge. The whole idea was that the saplings were bendable and could be lashed together to create the dome shaped frame of the lodge. He found his point of contact at Chaplain’s Services who referred him to procurement. Procurement told him that there was no way to code for willow saplings, and so he was just going to have to deal with willow lumber. That was that.
David excused himself and rummaged through the rental car until he found the paperwork with the name and phone number of the person authorizing this project. Within half an hour he was on the phone with a very apologetic aide who was perplexed. He himself had ordered the saplings, and he had a confirmation that they had been shipped to Ft. Riley. Whoever had ordered the willow lumber had done it on his own authorization. He took David’s number and promised he would call back within an hour. While he was waiting, David found his temporary office and a helpful soldier helped him access the program that had all the schematics he’d need. By the time he’d printed it all out his cell phone rang. It was the aide, who seemed to be torn between laughter and frustration. Yes, the willow saplings had been delivered to Ft. Riley, but someone had sent them over to the Boy Scouts, thinking that they would be the only ones who would want such an item. Luckily the Scouts hadn’t done anything with them yet, but the only person with a key to the storage building it was in wouldn’t be on post until Monday. Would David mind terribly if the materials wouldn’t be available until then?
David did mind, but figured he would need at least half a day to go through the plans and verify his other supplies. He explained this to the aide and they agreed that formal work on the project would begin on Monday. For the next hour David checked the rest of the supplies, all of which were available and in double supply, due to the extra order. He reviewed the plans and checked the site itself, verifying that the site preparation had been completed.
So, by 3:30 pm David was on his way back to his RV, knowing that he had three days and nothing scheduled. Three days in the Great Plains. The things he could do…if he didn’t have two cats with him. He couldn’t hop a plane and go home, for instance. Or find the local Indian Casino and gamble away the weekend. Not that he’d do that anyway, he was too thrifty a person to waste money that way. On the other hand, the local lakes had some great fishing according to the research he’d done. He could pack up the cats in the rental car tomorrow and check out one of the lakes. And Saturday there was some local festival right in town. He’d seen a poster in the grocery store about it. Barbeque and a classic car show. That could be fine. And Sunday, well who knows what he’d feel like doing by then?