We want to keep you posted and publish occasional newsletters that can include news, information, opinions and data. Read everything we know.
How Dare They Go To Work
By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments: 0
Really, who the hell do they think they are?
Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?
They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?
Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?
And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.
At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.
There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?
They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.
As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?
These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.
Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?
They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?
Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.
These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.
Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.
It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?
Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20
Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish
By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Property Management Comments: 0
How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes
Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.
Get a Real Getaway
If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.
When Guests Depart
After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!
Sanitation Cleaning Products
We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.
Bathroom Super Scrub
Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.
Proper Wipe Downs
You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.
- Door knobs inside and outside.
- Window switches.
- Light switches and sockets.
- Lamp switches.
- Cupboard doors and surfaces.
- Table tops including night stands.
- Appliances - top and sides.
- Counter tops.
- Reachable walls.
- Outdoor furniture.
- Stairs and deck handrails.
- Toasters and coffee makers.
- TV and other remote controls.
- Stereos and computers.
- Door bells and key safes.
- Toys and board games.
- Pet toys and blankets.
- And more.
Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping
Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.
Kitchens and Dining Rooms
Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.
Hot Tubs and Spas
Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.
Towels and Linens
Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.
In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.
When Guests Depart
You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.
Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744
If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.
Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!
Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.
Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20
Rainier Resthouse is ready for the winter season!
Published: 01/02/20 Topics: Vacation Rentals Comments: 0
We are very excited to have Rainier Resthouse join our family of cabins in the Mount Rainier region! This brand new vacation home mixes modern style and a mountain vibe. Just 2-1/2 hours from Seattle and Portland, 30 minutes away from White Pass Ski Resort and Mount Rainier National Park.
About Rainier Resthouse
This brand new two-bedroom home was built for vacationers, just like you. Tucked in among the trees, in a quiet neighborhood next to the river, this stylish home sleeps four and has a open-concept living room & kitchen.
The kitchen is wonderfully suited for preparing family meals with lots of counter space, all the cooking amenities you need, and a big table to gather round. The comfy living area sports a wall-mounted large tv and a great couch for lounging, after a long day enjoying the outdoors.
The master bedroom offers a second wall-mounted TV and a treasure trove of board games and puzzles. Both bedrooms will lull you to sleep with comfortable bedding, soothing views and vintage outdoor books.
Of course, the home also has cell phone service, WiFi, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video and LG internet TV. The full bathroom conveniently has a double sink and a washer/dryer is available for all your laundry needs
The home also boasts an outside deck, perfect for enjoying your morning coffee and a barbecued meal in the evening. Or build a fire by the handmade cedar seats and toast some marshmallows!About the Packwood Properties Promise Here at Packwood Properties Vacation Rentals, we vow to make booking with us simple and exciting. We know that booking a rental property home for your vacation can be unfamiliar territory for some, while others know their way around it. Because we know this, we ensure that each of our properties are up to high quality standards. We do our absolute best to provide support to our guests when booking. We are available to assist you every day of the year if you have any questions or concerns before, during or after your visit to our home. We have onsite property management that are available 24/7 for anything concerning that may arise.
Blog #: 0716 – 01/02/20
By Simon Berman
Published: 01/02/20 Topics: Comments: 0
NA – NA
By Taylor May
Published: 12/01/15 Topics: Comments: 1
A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more Leave comments
Sponsor: Northwest Skier – A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. – NorthwestSkiers.com
By Emmalee David
Published: 10/17/14 Topics: Comments: 0
If you have never seen an Elk you will be in luck when visiting our Vacation Rental homes located in the Greenwater area of Washington State, just outside the gates to Mount Rainier National Park. Here are tips to find them. Read more Leave comments
By Emmalee David
Published: 09/01/14 Topics: Comments: 0
By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: 0
Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensable tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: 0
Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: 0
After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 02/23/14 Topics: Comments: 0
Even with the thousands of advertising websites catering to vacation rental owners, guests often search in vain to find the perfect accommodations. Now the website www.Varoom.biz, the world's first Vacation Rental Cooperative matches guests with property owners and managers to increase bookings. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 12/11/13 Topics: Comments: 0
Looking back it is astonishing to realize that a world class scholar was teaching in a small community college off the beaten path in the Northwest corner of the country. She would have wowed any student in the finest college anywhere. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 09/09/13 Topics: Comments: 0
Well it was another great Flea Market this Labor Day weekend in Packwood. Hundreds of vendors from all over the Northwest and some from across the US and Canada. Unofficial estimates are that there may have been 10,000 people on Saturday - but hey who's counting. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0
How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more Leave comments
By William May
Published: 08/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0
Going to a grand hotel for grand service will never go away. Stopping for a quick night at a convenient motel makes long trips easier. And now Vacation Rentals allow property owners to share their homes with responsible guests. It lights up the neighborhood, keeps home in good condition and shows the communities hospitality. Read more Leave comments
By Ron Lee
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Government Comments: 0
Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials want to drive away vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more Leave comments
Sponsor: VRAI – As a fast growing industry we need your help and support. Join today to learn, share and promote your properties. – VRIA.org
By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: 0
It is time to plan your summer at the beach? Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Read more Leave comments
Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared
By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Mount Rainier WA, Vacation Comments: 0
It is always there on the horizon when I drive to work - jutting majestically into the air. It's white year round, sometimes with a puff of clouds around the top, like a celestial halo.
But, this morning I looked and Mt. Rainier had simply disappeared. Gone.
Slamming on the brakes I pulled over and stared. How could our state's defining symbol of white mountains, green forests and sparkling beauty just vanish?
Thirty years ago the same thing kind of happened. It was a glorious sunny Sunday. We had heard rumors that Mount Saint Helens was rumbling. Some scientists said an eruption was imminent, but many others thought it was just another false alarm because the current inhabitants of the Northwest hadn't seen anything more than a puff of steam from any of our volcanos in living memory.
As I flicked on the radio in the car, the announcer said, "This is it, This is the big one. Mount Saint Helens is blowing its' top." Even from 100 miles away, in downtown Seattle, a massive smoke plume was visible jutting a hundred thousand feet into the air.
A quick drive to the water tower on Seattle's Capital Hill, allowed me to climb up a hundred steps to the highest point in the city, and peak out the slender windows. The view was even more impressive. It looked like a fast flow smoke stack and yet it was a monstrous mountain and, due to scale, it was far bigger than anything a factory could create.
We have since forgotten the ash that covered many states and even blanketed Seattle and Portland, Oregon. We have forgotten the television coverage of massive destruction and loss of life. The heroic stories of volcanologists and local residents have faded.
And now, this very morning, the same thing seemed to be happening with Mount Rainier. Except this time there was no smoke, no steam and no rumbling. As with that day Mount Saint Helens erupted, the weather was clear, the skies were blue and yet - Mount Rainier was simply gone.
I flipped on the car radio, but this time there was no excited announcer with no mention at all. On the television, there was no announcements. And, in the newspaper, there was no story. On the internet, there was nothing. It seems the city, the state and the entire world had forgotten that Mount Rainier was ever there.
Native Americans revered the "Mount Tahoma" as the mountain that was God. To the first white settler's, the mountain was the beacon they first saw when traveling overland to the Northwest or when having arrived by ship. Its' presence was difficult to ignore as it dominated the landscape. They knew there were arriving when they first glimpsed at the monstrous mountain and its' glistening mantle of snow and ice.
So how, after all of these years, could Northwest occupants simply forget about Mount Rainier? Established as a national park in 1899, still 97% of the park remains in its natural state. For a century, traveling to the Mount Rainier area was the highlight of a summer vacation. Families came for extended stays and skiing its' slopes was a highly desirable getaway.
Crowds traveled first by horse and buggy, and later by automobile to see the wonders of nature. They swamped the campgrounds, crowded the roads to Paradise on the mountain's Southwest shoulder and to Sunrise on the Northeast. In early summer, massive fields of wildflowers took away the breath of visitors of all ages and all races. Some feel the hand of God here.
So, how had apathy caused Mount Rainier to disappear? Today, visitors flock to other Northwest destinations where they can run their ski boats, listen to loudly amplified music and stroll the streets of franchised stores. Professional advertising successfully entices families to visit freeway resorts complete with high priced meals, pricey gift shops and many man made waterfalls also known as water parks.
Visitors have somehow been convinced to find other places to have today's version of fun where activity outweighs nature. Or have they?
Although, the number of visitors to Mount Rainier has shrunk over the years, t the count is not altogether insignificant. And, the grandeur of the mountain, forest and rivers remains. Visitors who remember to find Mount Rainier are rewarded with the view of wildlife, flora, glaciers and magnificent old growth forests. In the grove of the patriarchs, massive trees stand mute and unassuming. The silence is deafening and stunning.
Villages and towns like Ashford, Enumclaw, Greenwater, Morton and Packwood have charming accommodations. You may not think that the city air is bad, until you arise early one morning, throw open your door and are overcome with the fresh smell of flowers and evergreen trees.
Unlike man made resorts, Mount Rainier is a bargain. Staying at a hotel, cottage, cabin or bed and breakfast can be a special experience. Dining can be rustic and astoundingly affordable. Park fees are low and you can set your own schedule to visit for a day, a weekend, week or even longer.
The children in your family will giggle in laughter visiting the snowy fields, romping in the meadows and wading in the streams. Everyone will enjoy re-discovering that Mount Rainier is still there, still pristine and still beckoning with beauty, enjoyment and relaxation. You can bring Mount Rainier back to life.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To rediscover Mount Rainier visit www.VisitRainier.com and finding handy lodging at www.MountRainierVacationRentals.com sponsored by the Vacation Rental Association.
Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0209 – 04/15/12
Sponsor: MountRainier.com – Every shop, restaurant, lodge and vacation rental around the entire mountain. Ashford, Packwood, Greenwater, Morton, Eatonville, Carbonado & Enumclaw. Book a stay instantly online.
Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music
By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: 0
Professor John Edwards
Did you know that insects live in very cold places? John Edwards knew.
In fact, Professor John S. Edwards was known around the world as one of the pioneers of insect developmental neurobiology. And I was fortunate to be able to call him a friend. He died this week and I find his passing more unfortunate than any public leader or celebrity.
Some years ago, a friend invited me to help out with an organization called Gallery Concerts; a group dedicated to having period music instruments perform chamber music in the small spaces there were designed for. The concerts are sheer delight.
At one of the first meetings I sat next to a gentle white haired man with a goatee who glowed with his enthusiasm for the music. Later I was to learn he glowed about just about everything. If the term "twinkle in his eye" was created for anyone it was John.
He was a leading scholar in the ecology of high-altitude insects, cold tolerance of Antarctic insects, the role of insects in ecosystem regeneration following volcanic eruptions, and the evolution of insect flight. A New Zealander, John earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge. At the University of Washington John taught entomology, human ecology, served as the Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program, Director of the UW Honors Program, and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Zoology in 2000.
Although a humble man, others noticed his exploits. He earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Senior Humboldt Research Award, and a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. He was a University Liberal Arts Professor, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Entomological Society of London. He served as Program Director for Developmental Neuroscience at the National Science Foundation.
Art Davidson says, in his account of the first winter ascent of Denali (Minus 148°), "My first meeting with John reaffirmed the legend. I had traced the sounds of a concert through several corridors at the Institute to a short figure hopping about from leg to leg while vocalizing the entire woodwind section of an orchestra. "
Other than the fact he was a professor in biology, I knew none of this even after years of attending meetings and concerts with him.
I made a particular mistake once - by mentioning to John that my son had applied to attend the University of Washington. He prodded relentlessly and learned that Taylor was interested in Biology, specifically astrobiology. I could see John's temperature rising. He wasn't "Hoping from leg to leg" but almost.
He asked in that pleasant way that borders on professorial curiosity, that Taylor simply must telephone him for a tour of the department.
After reading about the Professor on line, it took Taylor several weeks to summon enough courage to call. But when he did - John needed no prompting to remember his name or why he was calling. A whirlwind tour took place a few days later where Taylor was introduced to everyone with such lavish praise that my 6'6" son stood even taller than usual when retelling the tale.
Some years before John had patiently suffered through my telling of how our family had driven to all the way to Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) that summer and Taylor, then age 12, had found and photographed a rare Pika; which sent the visitor center biologists into a tizzy.
Who could know an important professor would remember such a small thing from years earlier; but during the UW tour John quizzed Taylor relentlessly about the Pika, where it was found, what time of day, what type of terrain.
Taylor was impressed at John's curiosity. He was proud to be considered important but then somewhat astonished when John casually mentioned, "You may find it hard to believe but I was on the expedition that did the first winter ascent of Denali."
When Tay recited this story at home hours later I saw in his eyes the look of admiration that a young boy can have someone suddenly explodes his idea of what is possible in life. You can be a scientist, you can climb mountains, you can write eloquently, you can win awards, you can be a gracious considerate person, you can be an impressive senior citizen who still cares about what a 12 year old boy cares about. Astonishing.
Today when we learned that John has passed away, things stopped for a few hours for Taylor and I. We went about our work but cared about this man we spent little time with. We admired his work. We admired his attitude. We admired him.
Although I did not have the chance to see John much in the last few years, Taylor and I did think of him occasionally. When watching a science TV show, when the subject is insects, biology or science in general, when daring people climb tall mountains, when university life is depicted - the Pika story is retold and then someone inevitably says, "you might find it hard to believe. . . ". And we smile.
Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0204 – 04/01/12
By Veronica Garten
Published: 12/27/10 Topics: Comments: 0
Of course I am prejudiced. Having lived in the city for a long time I knew what I was getting into. In July of 2010 I moved lock stock and barrel to the small town of Packwood in south central Washington State, just outside the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. My new job was to be manager of the Chateau Timberline Hotel, then being taken over by my company Sunspot Resorts. Read more Leave comments