memories

The Man In Front Of Me

I took a few of my residents to the ballet last night. I couldn’t  tell you the last time I had been to a ballet. I enjoyed watching them all dance, and the Ballerinas in their  purple, yellow, and pink tutu’s were stunning. I can’t tell you the plot of the show, though. I can tell you about the man in front of me.

He was alone.

He sat slouched a bit, with his legs crossed. His right elbow was placed up on his armrest with his hand up over his mouth. He was wearing a blue stocking hat, a pair of lighter colored jeans, and an oversized gray thermal shirt.

During intermission he was leaned up against the wall with glasses on reading the “Wall Street Journal.” He had a book with him and I’ll be damned if the title was covered up by the program pamphlet!

The program continued and I sat there staring at him for a smile, a tear, a sigh, but nada. He sat the same way the whole time. One thought I had, maybe this was Liam Neeson, he’s been spotted in town alone a few times, but Liam Neeson is tall this guy was average  five-eight or nine, maybe.

I decided he was there reminiscing about the time he danced in the ballet, and he was critiquing all the performers dance moves. He thought the show in this one-horse town was mediocre!

Family

A Step In The Right Direction

My husband, Gabe, and I attended a seminar for families at the school tonight. They prepared dinner and a sitter for everyone who attended. The name of the seminar was Overcoming Obstacles.

They broke up everyone into groups of five. We EACH introduced ourselves by telling everyone who we were, how many children we have, and the biggest obstacle we our facing. I was the fourth one to speak. I told them my name, and that I was married, and that we have a son together and I have two Stepchildren. I told them being a parent was hard, but being a blended family was harder. In my opinion. I ended up getting tons of feedback from the girls in the group. A few girls married to husbands with Ex-wife’s and a few Ex-husband who were remarried.

If  you want something you never had you have to do something you’ve never done”

I felt all of us stepped outside the box tonight. We walked to the school together, we had face to face human interaction, and put down our electronics. This year, if the good Lord is willing. I want to quit trying to fix problems out of my control. I’d like to see some of the unnecessary energy I use trying to fix these problems spent on the people I love!

Home

Should I Let The Balls Fall Where They May?

I’m at a crossroads in my life, I think, I have been here for a while. I know I told all of YOU, who follow me, I had a new job as the Activity Director. I worked years in the same facility as a Nursing Assistant. I enjoyed being there as a Nursing Assistant in the beginning and the middle of the job. The job just got repetitive, I caught myself not giving my all as a Nursing Aid and did not enjoy the feeling of being half-ass!

The Activity Director

Has a lot of responsibilities, truthfully I don’t know if I’m pulling my own weight…

Last Saturday, My husband and I drove two residents, and a bus full of other Olympians who  belonged to another company. To the Special Olympics State Bowling in P-town. They asked if they could hitch a ride on our bus, with their Olympians, too. She made the plans to car-pool through my boss. We left around 7:00am and we should have left earlier. I had forgotten to check the gas tank the night before and we were on empty. My husband took a wrong exit to find a gas station. We ended up going around in a circle, and started back from square one. The time is now 7:25am and we are just leaving S-town, the town where we are from. We had to be on the lanes ready to go by 9:00am. We strolled in at 8:40am and the lady from the company who hitched a ride said she was going to run in and register her athletes. I gathered every one-off the bus as quick as I could. A man from the other company came and grabbed the ramps they needed for their Olympians. I got both of my residents into the bowling alley and on their lanes. My husband parked the bus, and grabbed the two ramps we would need. I went to registration, registration started from 8:00am – 9:00am. The time, now is 8:55am. I barely made the deadline. I was headed back to their lanes, when a volunteer came up to me, and said: “both of my athletes need name tags.” I stuck my hand into the registration envelope pulled them out and walked as fast as my chubby self would carry me sideways through the crowd. I slapped them on my athletes. Then the lady who hitched a ride with us informs me my residents needed their ramps set up. I had yet to set up ramps at all in this job position. I asked her as opening ceremony was going on if she thought I could use the ramps of the opposing athletes? “She said Shelley, you will have to ask them, “where are our other ramps?” I told her they’re up front. I don’t think I’m going to have time to set them up. She said “GO GET THEM” my husband took off running to do as she said and we ALL helped put them together, and put them on their lanes. I don’t know what time I had everything together, however I do know it was a close call. I also know these two people saved my ass.

I still have to take all these ramps back to the Bowling alley, here in S-town. I felt I owed this woman a favor for saving my ass! I told her we had Bowling on my calendar for Tuesday, Tuesday being yesterday. I called the Bowling alley to find out their hours have changed. They would not be open until 4:00Pm. I get off at 4:30PM and the residents eat around 5:00. The ramps didn’t make their way to the Bowling alley yesterday.

Today my son is coughing.

My husband stayed home yesterday to be with him, now its my turn. I WAS working yesterday, maybe I should have taken the ramps back after 4PM. I had a choir coming in to perform for my residents around 7:00pm. I’m going to go into work, tonight to take back the ramps when my husband gets home. The reason being is because tomorrow we take twelve residents to go shopping. We leave at 10am the ramps take up two seats on the bus. I’m thinking they need to be out of the bus before we go grocery shopping. My luck we won’t be able to cram everyone into the 15 seats we have on the bus. I have my assistant, and two volunteers going tomorrow.

Whomever this letter concerns,

I have a calendar full of activities this month. One being a Christmas party with residents and their families. I feel the pressure is on. They also have a New Years eve party which is in this same month. I’m not for sure I like this feeling, I don’t know though if I’m just not used to working this hard? I don’t know, if its to physical for me because I’m a chub. I do know I have seen other chubby people doing the job. I have always had trouble focussing, and this job is all focus and organization. I wonder though if I’m lacking help or if perhaps maybe the job has to many things going on for two people to handle?

This is where I guess YOU come in. I’m asking you guys, I guess since I’m asking you all can let me have it??

Home

Juice Machines

I’m irritated most of the time.

I do believe the hustle of parenting, work, maintaining my marriage and a house, are normal stressors that could cause irritation.

Then.

There are problems I bring on myself. Health, financially, and the way I let others affect me.

Then.

We all have cards we are dealt in life, we just have to deal with them and patiently wait to “stack up again.” Some people will tell us “it’s still all up to you, your  attitude, how you choose to act when you’re in the trenches.

I feel before long with all this positive attitude shit were all going to be running around looking like the audience of the Hunger Games!

Anyway.

I would Love nothing more to trash talk right now but I can’t. I’m mad because I have to take the “high road.”

The feds are lurking around my blog like fruit flies around a juice machine, waiting to ruin the down pour of fresh fruit juice.

Today.

Gabe, made me smile. He made Red a helmet of armor, with a belt, and weapon. I hope he makes me one, tomorrow! Continue reading “Juice Machines”

Home

Dad, Told Me Never Backwards, Only Forwards

I moved into a new position at work, You’re looking at the new Activity Director of the home where I work. I plan events for the residents. Bowling, fishing, picnicking, parties, and games. I enjoy my new job. To be honest, the work has not been all fun and games. My biggest challenge has been planning  the calendar for each month. I plan all the activities and make sure none of the events run into one another. I have trouble with focusing. This requires me to triple check my work. I also have others look over my work, and they have been happy to help me out.

The job is challenging, and I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, because of my lack of organization skills, and focussing.

Today: Was Special Olympics Fun Day with friends. The organization, paired up the residents, with a one on one friend (volunteer). They took them to games, karaoke, lunch, and a concert featuring: Elvis. I got to sit, and write.

The other night I was able to go out with Freebird. We went to dinner and caught up a bit, then we went to see the movie IT! The movie was alright, not bad, but not great. The eerie part of the movie to me, was the back story of the children who were not only victims of the clown, but abuse in their day-to-day life. They were not just abused by their parents, but bullies too.

King was no stranger to the hell that went on in the 1980s!

I  have, started reading again but not your blogs. I’ve been reading about Jeffrey Dahmer, Ottis Toole  and Henry Lee Lucas. Ottis Toole killed Adam Walsh. Henry Lee Lucas was his partner and “alleged” lover. These men set the sail “as a mid-1980s panic over stranger abductions, one out of petrified kids and Paranoid parents. Kids used to be able to go out and organize a kickball game, and now all playdates and the social lives of children are arranged and controlled by parents.” This statement hit home with me. I put my child on a short leash. He’s not stayed all night with anyone, but I have let him walk next door and play with a friend, he also walks to school with him, and his dad every once in a while.

The movie IT in my opinion is about fear. The chains fear can have on you.

Fear: will stunt the growth of a child, a new career for an adult, help for a drug user, marriage, and divorce. The list can go on and on, you get my point, don’t you?

The other day on my drive to work a squirrel darted out in front me he or she was giving it all he or she had.

Focused on what was in front of him or her and front legs and back legs hitting nothing but pavement. I couldn’t help to be envious of the drive this animal had to get across the street the way it did!

 

friendship

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!

 

memories

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.

Family

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family · Grandma

Long Time No Talk

I know how much you’ve missed me… I’ve been missing you too. And that’s on the real.

I think, all of you, will be happy to know, I’m reading my second book since the year 2009. I’m bound and determined to finish what I’ve  started. I ask that you stay with me, through my hiatus?

The book I’m reading, is “fiction”.

To tell the truth I’m not a fan of fiction. I thrive on real life stories of people who have survived addictions, abuse, and illnesses.

I love when people dig into themselves and all their obstacles life has given them.

The book, I’m reading, might be based on SOME truths. In my opinion!

I believe the Lord does give us visions and dreams. I have written about them in some of my blogs.

Yes, the book is about an encounter with God!

One time, I dreamed, I was walking on clouds in the sky.Walking cotton ball after cotton ball. For miles.

To my right there were tables with blinding white tablecloths. There were people of all kinds surrounding these tables.

They all had porcelain skin, skin so radiant their glow would guide you through any black night. They were watching me, and I them.

The walk didn’t seem to bother me.

I felt time on my side, and nothing hanging on my shoulders. I felt like a piece of fuzz from a dandelion someone blew into the air.

The people whom turned my head, appeared the same way.

In front of me, far into the distance.

I seen a woman with her hand up. She waved back and forth, like a flag in a gentle breeze. At first I squinted my eyes, and forehead, in wonder, who this could be?

I got closer, and  recognized my Grandma.

She looked to be in her late forties early fifties. Her skin smooth and radiant just like I described the other people to you..

Her hair was short, black, thick, freshly, curled, and set. I waved back at her as she stared into my eyes, with that smile that lit up her cheeks. I had to keep moving with the clouds and she kept moving too, staying in the distance, letting me know she’s always with me.

A GIFT from God, I BELIEVE to get me through the times we are not together…

Fiction or Non Fiction?

You’re FREE to decide.

friendship

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