2009-10-21 05:59:15.000 – Deb Mastro, Summit Museum Attendant
My second home
Times flies and once again it’s my last shift of the season working and living on the summit of Mt Washington. Winter conditions have arrived on the summit and my job as museum attendant is over for the year.
I will surely miss my ‘mountain family’. I know I will keep in touch with them, but that’s quite different from being with them on a regular basis. The Mount Washington Observatory ‘crews’ spend seven nights and seven and a half days together every other week in the mountain top observatory. We get to know each other pretty well and amazingly we get along perfectly ALL the time. I have never experienced a disagreement among the summit crew in the two years I’ve been part of it. And that is an amazing feat because we share small quarters with only one bathroom in our apartment! Most of us work on different schedules so the only time we can be together without interruption is for dinner. It’s such an important time for us to be together that we will postpone dinner to 8PM if one of us is not done with our work. Dinners are such fun with us each knowing everyone else’s culinary likes and dislikes: Steve is big on beans, marmite and fried bread (British guy in case you didn’t guess with what has been called a dreamy accent). Mike puts hot sauce on everything and doesn’t care for peas, Stacey loves salad and most everything else, Mary Ellen pretty much goes along with anything except spicy food every night, Jeff and Scott are a bit fussy but they sure can clean their plates so that they don’t even need to be washed, Amy would sneak new bits of food onto Scott’s plate for fun, and I prefer vegetarian meals although we all eat and appreciate everything that our volunteers make for us. The dinner is usually finished with a wonderful homemade dessert which I try to pass up UNLESS it’s pie. Both Steve and I have been known to try and hide the last piece of home made pie to have for breakfast!) Our conversations at dinner are fun and interesting, often with lots of laughter, especially from Stacey. After dinner we will watch a DVD, play a game (Apples to Apples and Loaded Questions are our favorites), go star gazing if we’re in the clear and tonight we might try to make Sugar and (rime) Ice with our volunteers.
Working on the summit for the Mt Washington Observatory has been a wonderful experience. We all work long and hard hours but it is so worth it for me because I love seeing the changing weather and scenery and I enjoy dealing with the public up here, as well as hanging out with our State Park neighbors, getting to chat with the Auto Road and Cog Railroad staff. But the best part is living with my mountain family. I truly love them.
Deb Mastro, Summit Museum Attendant