The Year Before Forty, And The Comments People Are Making, And Have Made To Me.

a friend of mine asked me “Shelley are YOU going to the class reunion?”I had went the last few years mind you, and none of my friends, whom I  went to school with, and still hang out with now, attended the reunion. There wasn’t a lot of people who showed up at the reunions in the past.

I said: no I think I will pass this year.

Shelley you should go”

Why, no one went last year?

“Shelley this is the year people start dying, and Shit”

Gabe

The other morning, when dropping him off at school. He makes his way to the middle, where he is sitting next to me. I’m thinking he’s going to give me a goodbye KISS…

“Mom, when you were a kid did they have televisions in the olden days”

Um Gabe, yes, it was not that long ago. Get out of my car!

A Friend

Her daughter, told us she would take our picture together. We give her the camera, scoot in close, and smile. She just stands there giving us a-deer-in-the-headlights, look.

Her Mom says: “what are you waiting for?”

“You guys need to do duck lips or do something in the photo?”

We purse our lips, she shakes her head, we give each other bunny ears, she shakes her head, we stick our tongues out, She shakes her head, we grab one another laughing uncontrollably, and she hands the camera back to her Mom, and says:never mind!”

Coffee with a neighbor

SHE got on the subject of talking about Sex. I joined in on the conversation, and was agreeing with her about certain techniques, and she says: “Oh, so you and your husband still do it?”

Yea, we do

“that so Awesome”

Umm we have only been together nine years were freaking newly weds for crying-out-loud

Last Night At Work

I made a wise-crack to the cook. I’m sorry I cannot remember what I said (It’s a part of my old age.) He told me what you said you reminded me of “Steve Marten on Saturday Night Live he always used to say that same phrase.”

“Do you remember?”

No, what year are you talking about?

“In the seventies”

No, I wasn’t born until 1977!

“Oh really, how old are you”

I’m forty, 

“Really, when did you turn forty?

Monday, I turned forty, three days ago!

 

Another Resident, Says Goodbye

I want to tell YOU, we said goodbye to Karl, last week. He was 86, give or take a few.

I will spare you the descriptive details.

Karl, had Liver cancer. He told me, and my co-workers when he found out he was dying. He did not want anyone feeling sorry for him. This blog is my way, of honoring him the best way I know how.

Karl, lived at our home for over thirty years. He was partially sighted, legally blind in our state, and the state he was originally from. In his younger years when the home was located on South 5th street. He would lead about four or five residents down to a restaurant called the “Chile Parlor.”

One resident told me: We would sit there and eat lunch together. When we were done he would walk us down to Travers, for ice-cream”.

She also told me when he was in the singing group. They had a song they sang, about the states. When they sang about Iowa, he would loudly, sing: Iowa Iowa where the tall corn grows!) and everyone would laugh, during singing practice.

He would always tell you what was going on in our home, gossip style.

Did you hear: Elle (our activity director) switched positions?

What do you think, of men dressing up in women’s clothing? 

Did you know, so and so cheats on his wife? 

Are you still married, do you have children?

He enjoyed all kinds of music, and ordered talking books, all the time. He had a stack of 6 to 7 blue cartridges waiting to be played on his counter. He was always pulled right up to his player, with his chin touching his talking book player which sat on his counter, blaring to smut. He even would adjust the speed of the player to slow motion. We could hear his player down the hallway.

I have worked for the home, sixteen years now. I work with a lot of the same residents, and staff. When a resident dies. I feel as though the home is picked up off the ground, and just THROWN down. The view out our windows of the green trees, flowers, and sun are cropped. The sun from the east side don’t shine in as bright as it once did. The hallway is colder, and un-level, making my rounds harder on my feet.

A few nights before Karl passed away. He shared with me: I have enjoyed my life here, Shelley. I’ve had a lot of laughs, and met some really good people.

Grace

Have you guy’s ever had Mrs.Freshly’s Pecan Twirls? I love to put butter on them, heat them up, and have them with my coffee.

On weekends, when my grandma was living. I would stay the night with her, and in the morning we would wake up, and she would fix us a plate of these rolls, with a cup of coffee. We would sit at her kitchen table and chat like friends.

Those deep belly talks we would have damn near made me feel like I was on vacation. I know YOU know what I’m talking about because anyone who has a friend knows what a good talk can do for you.

My grandma, as I got older, opened up a  bit about her life, not her whole life. She would say: “some things are none of your business.” She did share more insight about her family though. I asked her during one of our talks. Why, her side of the family was not as welcoming as she was?  Her eyes peered right into my eyes, her lips pressed against each other, forming a slight smile, barely opening her mouth.

“Shelley, are you trying to tell me my family is stuck-up?

We both let out a chuckle, and she sits quietly for a moment pondering if she’s going to move on with the answer, and she did. She told me not to focus so much on what I seen on the surface of people’s lives. No one has a perfect life, and NONE of us our perfect or better than anyone else.” Then she let me in on a few facts to support her argument. I won’t share those facts, just in case my blog goes viral, and gets into the wrong hands….

The other day, a lady from a few towns away from me, posted a video on fb. The video, went viral. She tells us in the video about her, and her husband going to Dairy Queen to take advantage of Free ice-cream cone day. They decide to sit outside because of the warm weather we were having. They were talking and enjoying their cones, when a car full of guys STOP in the middle of traffic to yell “enjoy your ice-cream you fat blip.” She spends fifteen minutes crying, and decides to go live on fb. Her message, touches on how WE don’t know anything about her, or the fact she’s been on a diet for almost two years. She also brings up where she’s at mentally in her life. She ask them.”What if your words were the straw that broke the camels back?” She clarify’s: she’s not in suicidal place, but what if she was at that point? Then she goes on to tell them she prays for them, and don’t hold any grudges!

The message I GOT from her. Is she was sticking up more for  others. This tells ME more about who and where she is in her life. The guys in the car were WRONG, by all means. I’m not going to go and on, about these guys. Unfortunately, this will do no good, for ME. I will only become, furious. I’ll say things I have no right saying.

I have no POWER to take back, what THEY said, neither does anyone else. They may, or may not resent how they made her feel.

I pinched this girl once when I was in school. The kind of pinch you only take a tiny piece of skin, and dig your two nails, into what you got a hold of. I knew it hurt. Her eye’s instantly let out these huge tears, along with a cough, because she couldn’t catch her breath. The teachers rushed over, asked her what happened, grabbed me by the arm, and marched me down to the principles office. I can’t tell you to this day, why I pinched her. The teachers, and principle spent the day trying to figure out, why I would do such a thing. They made me apologize, which was understandable. I wasn’t sorry though.

I woke up one day in my twenties, and have thought about that day ever since. I can’t tell you the time, and places. I think about her, or that day. I will tell YOU this.

Amy,

I’m so sorry I hurt you physically, and emotionally that day. I realize YOU might have moved on from that day. I though, will remember YOU till my dying day. We were friends, and I betrayed you. I hope you can forgive me. I understand if we can’t hang out, that is not what this is about. This is about, grace.

I know EVERYONE, could use, some GRACE.

Journal, Entry

Yesterday, was my first day off I had since last Monday. I told you last time we had gone in to overtime at work, because we WERE short-staffed. We have two residents who are on hospice care. The boss wants two people on duty at all times, because both of the residents are total care.

When Steve (my husband) came home from work, he fired up the grill. I wrapped up potatoes in foil, to have him put on the grill. I finished doing what was left of the dishes, and HE sucked up the leaves, with the blower!

The sun was shining, kids were laughing, playing, and I could smell freshly cut grass.

I decided to walk over to the school, and pick Gabe up from after school care. He was on the swing by himself, and I quietly stood there watching him swing. One of his friends came up to him holding a soccer ball. He asked Gabe if he would play soccer with him? Gabe, said no. I then spoke up from behind him, and said: why not? He said “Mom where did you come from?”

We gathered up his backpack, jacket, and signed him out. He told me he was on green (which is good.) Then told me there was a note in his bag. I un-zipped the bag as we walked home, and he helped me pull the note out of his blue folder. The note read “Is Yelling A Daily Event At Your House” I stopped, and looked at Gabe after I finished reading the invite to the school from a speaker who is going to share “effective techniques of getting through to our kids without yelling.”

I asked him if he thought we needed the class? “he said: “well Dad does.”

I shoved the paper back into the bag. I could see my husband working in the yard, as Gabe, and I got closer to the driveway.

Gabe, crossed the street, and I paused as I watched him walk up into the yard.I couldn’t help but ask God, how did I ever get here? what in the world, did I do deserve this moment?

The sun shining, Gabe laughing, and Steve in the front yard, working, and waiting for us to come home. If I happen not to make it through the day Lord, thank you, thank you, for another beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 134 And Voices On The Radio

I’m working overtime today. Which is nothing new. I was in a funk when I first clocked in.

First, because today is my day off.

2.) This is my eighth straight day in a row.

3.) Once again, I was offered day shift. After sixteen years of working evenings, I had to decline. The way my husband, and I have our schedules work with raising Gabe. My husband works mornings, and I work evenings.

Working evenings, here at the home never ceases to amaze me. I’m always reminded, why I chose this shift.

My schedule was not my only reason.

1.) I wrote of LAUGHTER in my post: She didn’t leave me hanging

2.) I wrote of FAITH in my post: Nosy

3.) I wrote of  LOVE inside both of those post.

Back-paddle to earlier: I’m in a funk making my rounds around the building. One big circle. Karl is in his doorway

Ms. Lady Ms. lady

Could you come over here and help me write a letter? 

Sure I can.

Karl, has developed Dementia these last few years. I’m sure most of his memories are real. I’m just not sure of the timeline. As in, I’m not sure if these people are still living. I will do my best to find out, and I will mail the letter.

In the meantime I want to share with you good people.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin

When I first came to Fairfield many years ago. I heard the voices of you and your wife. Her name is Jen. I heard her voice first. I hope you two are enjoying your retirement? My name is Karl Graff. I would like to tell you about the circus we went to a long time ago. I’m trying to find somebody who knows how I can get the Guidepost on cassette. I forgot the gentlemen who took your place? I always enjoyed your voices on the radio they sounded so good!

Your friend, Karl Graff

 

 

Tiny, Mighty, And Picture Incher

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Tiny room, tiny radio, tiny television, and MIGHTY spirit!

I read an article on the Daily Post, encouraging us to post from our phones or tablets. (Which is well worth the read). I’m at work this evening. My showers are done, my medicines are passed, and one resident is walking the halls, and another resident is in the snack room. I have a bit of time on my hands.

Here is a tiny story.

If you follow me, you know I work in a Supportive Living Facility as a Nursing assistant. I work with the Blind, and talk about my residents on occasion. If you’re new to my blog, and have a minute, read here to close in on the buzz.

Friday, our nursing supervisor talked to Emmett about how she needed to cut back on the amount of soda she’s been drinking. She told her to only drink soda on the holidays.

Emmet, agreed and went back to her room.

A few hours later she came out of her room, passed the nurses office, and into the snack room where the soda machine sits.

She puts her first quarter into the machine, and says:

This is for Veterans Day, second quarter, this is for Thanksgiving, and her third quarter this ones for Christmas!

Tanka Challenge: Vacant workshop

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Open the shutters

Halloween decor all over

Dust as thick as thieves

Cobwebs swaying to and fro

Time to gut all these pumpkins

 

This is my first attempt with Tanka, I participated in a challenge offered by: Ramblings Of A Writer

week 16 – Decorations & pumpkins

Thank you, for this challenge, I enjoyed myself!

I’m hoping I did all of this right?

Day One, Of Three, Quote Challenge

I have been nominated by Dru, three quotes for three days challenge, thank you for thinking of my blog. I look forward to reading more about your life!

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When I read this quote, I think of my grandma, and her love for me. She had a box of things she saved, from my childhood. When she passed my dad gave the box to me. When I got to the bottom of the box there was a pink strip of paper. I grabbed the piece of paper out of the box and flipped it over. She had typed: “Shelley you have been a joy to my life and grandma loves you very much” I feel her love with me, even in her death.

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When my son was born, I learned about boundaries and the meaning of them. I had to put him first as far as his safety was concerned, not just physically, mentally too. There are people, who are toxic and can ruin my son and his mind. I wish I could go into the story, but unfortunately it would not be right of me. I can still love them but form a distance. I have been able to do this with ease now. If I set a boundary on behalf of my family I do so, to live out our plan, to raise my child the way I wish.

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This used to be my “tag line” for my blog. If you read my post, you know my search is internal. I’ve realized freedom in the spirit not earthly but heavenly.

These challenges should be for anyone who wants to do them. I’m not sure, why certain people have to be picked. Who knows. I have waited a long time to participate in this challenge. I’m going to spare you on how long. I should have just hopped on the train and not cared. I should have done the challenge anyway. If it’s in you, to hop on board, the three-day challenge of quotes, don’t let this dinky linky blog hold you back!!

Eighteen Years Ago

You called me, and asked me to give you another chance. You said, you would call me when you got off work. Nine, ten, eleven twelve, and one came and went. I turned out all the lights in my apartment. I walked down the quiet, dark, hallway. I laid across my four-post bed. The black night, was a spotlight, on the white, cordless phone. I dialed up the story line, and played it over and over, hoping for the beep, letting me know, I had another call. And I would click over to my happiness. I don’t know, how long, I held on to the phone that night. I do know, how long, I have hung on to you.

I ran into you, a week ago today, since you left me hanging that night. Clearly, seeing you took me back like it was last night and here is MY story.

I was fresh out of high-school, a late bloomer to the core. It was the second time I kissed a boy, and the first time my body moved in ways I wasn’t quite familiar with. You wanted to take it a bit further, but I wasn’t ready. We were up all night long.We repeated the same scene the next night. In the morning I went home. You came by my house to tell me you were going back to the town. Witch was thirty-miles away. No, it was not far. But for a girl who only had her license for a few weeks, and her first car. I had never left town on my own. And, you had no car.

I lived with my parents, and worked at Subway. You called, around ten every night. I can’t for the life of me remember what we talked about. However, it was brief. My best friend  took me up to see you one Friday. When we got there you came running out. You had  black, shiny, straight hair. Your bangs brushed your eyelashes, your white pasty skin was a beautiful backdrop for your sky blue eyes and you kept  them open when you wrapped your arms around me, pressing your forehead against mine and whispering how you missed me.

We crammed into my friends Taurus and drove around the big city for a while. I cannot remember where we went, but I was on your lap the whole way. We played R. Kelley the whole time, you sang certain lyrics in my ear. The contact-high I was getting inside that car, made me feel like our lives together were the only ones on earth. I felt nothing, saw nothing, wanted to do nothing, except you.We got back to where you were staying, and my friend told me we had to leave. We went into the laundry-room and said our goodbyes. I can still see your smile, the way you stared right at me with your eyes, the way you ran your hand up in down my cheek and told me how nice it was to see me, you couldn’t wait to see me again.

I got home that night, and we talked briefly on the phone. I worked the rest of the week and you called every-night. We disgust me coming up on my own for the week-end. I was scared shitless, it was gutsy move, and my parents knew nothing about my planned get-a-way. You gave me directions. They must have been easy, because I made the drive. Until I got to your town and missed my turn. You seen me miss my turn and hopped in the car with your grandma. I looked up in my rearview, and you were running after me, waving, and chasing me down, like I was about to go off a cliff. I stopped my car, in the middle of the road and you told me to “scoot over I will drive”. We barely came up for air the whole time I was there. However, the conversation, you did bring up, was your time limit at your cousin’s house. You both had been staying with your cousins dad. He had given you BOTH a time-limit to get a job. If you could not find a job. You had to find somewhere else to live. We did go over a few places you could put your application in. I named a few fast-food places I seen on the way up to your house, you told me you had filled them out for those places I mentioned. When I got ready to leave my car wouldn’t start. We had to call my dad. When I told him where I was. He said  “find a way to get your ass home”. We looked at each-other and both decided I would stay one more night. The next day you got the car running and I went home.

The next night at work I never got your call. I did not think nothing of it, until the next night you didn’t call. After that, my chest felt like it was cut open, placed on the outside of my body, with someone tightly squeezing. The next few weeks went by, was like watching a movie in slow-motion. The reason, I did not call you at the time, is because it was long-distance. I was able, on my next day off to go over to a family members house of yours. They lived in the same town. We tried to call and only got a machine. She ended up getting a hold of me after a few days. She let me know you were staying with your sister. When I was able to get to a pay-phone you wasn’t there either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpkS2DU_qMs

“Like sands through an hour-glass, these are the days of our lives”

To Be Continued