Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hospitals

Monday, October 4, 2004

This has been the worst day of my life. I knew that the time was short. It had been something that we had known ever since Mama had called me Thursday night. I had known it deep down ever since I went for a visit last week.
Nannie died this morning. My next door neighbor my entire life, the woman who was like a grandmother to me and my sisters. I had done some bad things in my life, but no matter how badly I screwed up, she always welcomed me into her home and no matter what the time of day or night, would always give you something to eat.
I had visited her about a month before. I had traveled a long way that day and decided to lie down to rest for a while and had promptly fallen asleep. Ms. Lillian, the woman who came in and cleaned the house and ironed the laundry asked what was wrong with me, was I sick? No, Nannie replied, He is okay, he knows he is at home. It is my home, my home away from home.
My life had not been doing so great lately. I had recently found a job though, and was finally starting to get my life back together. Then this happened.
After my sister calls us and tells us the news, I just sit in the chair, stunned. My other sister had already left for school, my mother decides that she will wait for a while before going to tell her. I call my wife, who had just left my parents house for a 45 minute drive back to her work. I tell her to go ahead to work, I will call her later with the details.
I rush through getting ready, then throw on an old pair of jeans and shirt. My mother and I are headed to the hospital. My older sister and the rest of the family have been there the whole night.
When we arrive, my mother hugs my sister and asks her if she is okay. She has been crying, they all have. I am allowed to go in and see her. Mary Lou, her granddaughter, is there washing her face. She says it is okay for me to cry. I want to cry, but it just wont come. I wish that it would come, but it never does. I just hold Nannie's hand for a minute. Her wedding band is loose against her finger, her whole body is smaller than normal.
I head outside to the waiting room. My mother is there with my great aunt, who volunteers at the hospital. My mother asks me if I would like to go downstairs with them. They have something to do. I need to get out of here so I go.
We step off of the elevators. I spot a drink machine and I start to dig in my pocket for change. My mouth is dry and has a bad taste in it, I need something to get that taste out of my mouth.
As I step out of the elevator, a girl stops me. She is around my age. She asks me if I worked there, I say no. She asks me some more questions, following me to the drink machine. She says, I like those clothes, they must be new. I say excuse me, I have to leave. My mouth now is unbearable. I need something to drink but just now I need to be away from this crazy woman. She is trying to flirt with me and will not leave me alone. I want to scream at her but I am not a screamer. I am starting to get a headache over my right eye and my mouth has no moisture in it at all now. Finally I say to her, We have to leave, please excuse us. She looks at me like I have offended her. I don't care.
We return upstairs a moment later. The funeral home is here and the man has stepped inside the room to prepare the body for transport. He is professional and courteous, he answers all of the families' questions very efficiently. He has done this many times.
Everyone meets in the waiting room to discuss what the next few days will be like. The last business of someones life has many decisions that have to be made. The man from the funeral home indicates that he is ready. We start out into the hallway. Suddenly, a man screams. There is a crashing sound. A mentally ill patient is out on the floor, whether he was on that floor or has wandered there from some other floor I don't know. The man from the funeral home wisely closes the door to Nannie's room. I think he also locks it from the inside to make sure the patient can't get in.
We are told to stay in the waiting room. It doesn't have locks on either door that leads to it, but it is narrow and there are close to 10 people jammed in there. I don't feel any fear, just confusion. My day is less than four hours old and I feel like I have been awake forever. I hold the soda that I was finally able to get in my hand. My mouth is better but my head is now pounding hard enough to make up for the mouth no longer being dry. They finally rush the guy and get him sedated. We leave. I just want to go home and sleep for three days. This reminds me of the month earlier and the nap I took. I am sad again, but the tears still wont come.

Friday, October 26, 2007

October 26 Fridays Feast

Appetizer: Name a great website you would recommend to others. I really like this one.

Soup:On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night? About an 8. I dream most every night. I can't always remember specifics, but I remember dreaming. I dreamed last night that I was telling a joke but couldn't remember a part of it. Even after I woke up and was drifting in and out of sleep I couldn't remember how that joke went. Within three minutes of getting up it came to me.

Salad: Did you have a pet as a child? Yes, I did. If so, what kind and what was its name? Although we had dogs before her, my first pet that I remember clearly was a pure bred collie that we of course named Lassie. And that dog was just like the Lassie from TV only I never got stuck in a well.

Main Course: If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise? Chevy Trucks, mainly because that is what my dad has always drove and watching baseball this fall that John Mellancamp song is stuck in my head. This is our country.

Dessert: What is your favorite kind of hard candy? Werthers candies.

Friday, October 19, 2007

October 19th Fridays Feast

Appetizer If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why? A pug. I have always liked those little wrinkly dogs.

Soup What does the color purple make you think of? I don't really know. My school colors in junior high were purple and gold. I was in chorus in 8th grade and they had these purple shirts made up. Unfortunately I was sick the week they had the shirts ordered and didn't get one. I had to wear a purple shirt from home without the nice school logo on it. I always felt like I was standing out in a bad way when we went on performances.

Salad Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning? from shower to street, 30 minutes.

Main Course How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them? I will limit this to first cousins only. I have 14. I would say that I am close to half of them. It's mainly an age thing.

Dessert Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter) Just Causes Halitosis.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: My first act as King of the World

My first act as King of the World would be to ban all alarm clocks. People should be able to wake up gradually. The worst feeling in the world is not war, sickness, disease, or death. These things are arbitrary; they do not strike everyone equally. The worst feeling in the world is waking up from a deep sleep two minutes before the alarm is set to go off. What do you do? Get up? Why would you do that? That is what the alarm is for. Go back to sleep? With the knowledge that the alarm is going to go off in less than two minutes? I don't think so. Your day has begun and you don't know what to do. You know how everyone says today is the first day of the rest of your life? That's true, and you have spent the first two minutes of that day deciding on whether or not to get out of bed. Now you have to get up and go to work. How is that fair? You would much rather stay home and work at your dream job of being a scribbl...I mean a writer.
My second act as King of the World would be to give the tv news people the night off. The news is going to be all bad anyway and most of it will be the same crap that they will talk about tomorrow night. Instead I will be putting on reruns of The Andy Griffith Show or whatever show you like that makes you feel good.
There will be a spot between 7-8 pm EST where I will allow anyone who wants to to declare themselves whatever weight they want to be. I will then put each countries ruler into one large room and tell them to hash it out. The rest of us are going to a ball game and hotdogs are on me.
Then I will make sure reruns of Unsolved Mysteries are put back on the air because I always liked that show.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sunday Scribblings 80: First Job, Worst Job, Dream Job

I have had a number of jobs over the year. My first job was as a bag boy at the local grocery store near my home. I was 16, and looking forward to having my own money for the first time. I started the week after my sophomore year of high school. It was the busiest time that I would ever remember in the grocery business. I was scheduled to work until 11 at night, but we weren't getting out until 12:30 most nights. I learned how to "swab the decks" mopping the aisles at night. My boss was Mr. Hedgepeth, who is still one of the best people that I have worked for. He worked hard at his job and it showed. He was fair to us and in turn we worked hard for him.
I worked hard at that job and after a few months, I was promoted to stock helper. I would stock the front end of the store in addition to bagging when I was needed. A few months after that Mr. Hedgepeth came to me and told me that he was allowed to give three workers a raise and that I was going to be one of the three. I was blown away. I never figured that I would be one of the people chosen. It was only a 30 cent raise, but I was still pretty proud. Of course, the minimum wage was increased two months later and wiped out my raise. Such is life. At least, that is the way that it has been with my life.
I have had a couple of "worst jobs". I was the manager of a campsite for R.V.'s one summer. Terrible job. It was 98% on the job training and learn as you go. Nobody knew anything. I would get chastised for doing the wrong thing when no one had told me what the right thing to do was. Dealing with the Board of Directors of the camp was hard too. They were jerks, to put it simply. At the end of the summer, after I had worked my butt off for three months, they promised me that I could have the job again the next summer. Then the next February, they advertised for the job again and didn't even tell me. I found out that they were doing that and I begged for a job interview again. I should have taken the hint. The day came and I dressed up in my best shirt and tie and headed out to be interviewed by the same group of people that I had butted heads with the year before. Was I a glutton for punishment or what?
I was not the only applicant for the job. There was an applicant already inside interviewing when I arrived. From the sound of the interview, I knew that she was probably going to get the job (which she eventually did). I had given my word that I was going to be there for the interview and I was determined to see it through. At the conclusion of the first applicant's interview, she was walked out to her car by the liaison to the camp (it was a Methodist church based camp), both of them laughing all the way. My stomach started churning. As they were walking out, a couple who were the third applicants arrived. I should stop here and say that the place where they were having the interviews was a double wide trailer that was converted into an office/waiting area/meeting room with a small apartment space in the back. The apartment space was where I had lived the previous summer, so I knew the ins and outs of the whole building.
One of the things I learned about the apartment is that in certain spots, you can hear everything that happens in the waiting area. The waiting area is where the applicants were held until the interview. So I heard everything that was said about me. They spent about 10 minutes putting me and everything that I had done the previous summer down. Some of the criticisms were just, there were things that I had done wrong and that I had intended not to do again. Some of the things were not warranted, there were things that had happened that were out of my hands. I hate criticism, but it is one of the things that you have to deal with in this world. The thing that I didn't like is that the board didn't address these concerns directly to me and also that the other applicants heard everything that was said. The whole thing could not have lasted more than 10 minutes but I felt like it was going on forever. My face was getting redder and redder, my cheeks were two spots of fire. Even the couple sitting on the couch across from me looked uncomfortable. I tried to make light of the whole situation but it didn't help much.
The interview was a disaster. They didn't really ask me any questions. I had to explain all of my actions from the previous summer. I was on the defensive the whole time. I felt like I was swimming in quicksand. I wanted to shout at them, "Why didn't you have the guts to say all of those things to my face?" but of course I didn't. And I didn't get the job, of course. There was one more thing that happened that I thought was very strange. A week or so later, my pastor who was on the board and was one of my two defenders in the meeting, gave me a call and apologized. He said that the liaison had said some things about me to some people in the conference that our church was a part of. That was the thing that stuck with me even to this day. Some of the people on the board I could see having a problem with me. Since I didn't get the job I figured I would never see them again so I didn't worry myself with them. I have never looked at the liaison the same way again though.
My dream job would be to be a writer. Getting paid to write and express my ideas with others sounds like heaven to me though. I did have a security job a couple of years ago at another college campus where I would be at a post on one side of campus. My first 3 hours would be pretty busy with rounds and securing building for the night. It would quiet down about 2 o'clock and the campus would get real quiet. Deer would wander onto campus in groups of 10 or more and walk across campus. There would be a chill in the air this time of year. Sitting in my car with a cup of coffee, listening to the radio or writing in my journal. Those were some good times.
Thanks for letting me ramble.

Fridays Feast for October 12

Appetizer When was the last time you were surprised? I can't remember the last time I was surprised. Probably Easter weekend. It has been a long time since I woke up to snow in April.

Soup Fill in the blanks: My eyes are __brown______, but I wish they were __green_.

Salad If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be? The fist thing that popped into my head is a penguin, so I guess my name would be Blocky.

Main Course Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits. I have been drinking more water and I walk everywhere on the college campus where I work. Everyone else I work with drives.

Dessert What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not? Crest Natural Mint toothpaste. My wife bought it for me two weeks ago. It is a pretty good toothpaste. Better than some that I have tried lately.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sunday Scribblings-Sorry and my 100th Post

The admins didn't have a prompt for this weeks Sunday Scribbling and left us a Sorry-No Scribblings post. Some people decided to run with this and use Sorry as a prompt. So I am going to do the same. This also happens to be the 100th post of my blog. Time to celebrate.

  • I'm sorry that I treat my wife badly sometimes. I don't mean to, but that doesn't make it right.
  • I'm sorry that I was mean to my sisters growing up. Some of it was typical brother/sister stuff, but there were times when I went over the line.
  • I'm sorry that there were times when I was ashamed of who I was.
  • I'm sorry that there were times when I was ashamed of where I came from.
  • I'm sorry I never took more chances in life.
  • I'm sorry I made some of the choices that I made.
  • I'm sorry that I didn't study more and do better in school.
  • I'm sorry I did some of the things that I did, and I'm sorry that I didn't do some things that I should have done.
  • I'm sorry that I picked on people that I shouldn't have picked on, instead of sticking up for them.

There are many more things that I am sorry about. I could fill up page after page with things if I took the time. Most of the big ones I have listed above. Have you ever felt so helpless in life? I feel like that sometimes. I am coming up on 30 and still don't know what I want to do with my life. It's like there is something missing and I don't know what it is or where I should go to find it.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

Friday, October 05, 2007

October 5th Fridays Feast

Appetizer On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday? A 9. I love it when my birthday comes around. I feel it is a special day reserved just for me. This year will be a special birthday when it comes around because I will be turning 30.

Soup What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of? I hate any word that has an extra letter that makes no sound, such at the T in Tsunami or the P in receipt. It is such a small thing, but it drives me crazy. I also hate the word Clique, the meaning used to drive me crazy in high school, it is a long story.

Salad Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like? I usually don't wear sunglasses at all. I went through this phase in the late 1980's where I always wore mirrored sunglasses. I thought I looked so cool. I am thankful no pictures survived from that time period. At least no pictures that I am aware of.

Main Course If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it? My wife of course. Also the rest of my family who encouraged me all those years.

Dessert Name a beverage that you enjoy. Coke Zero, as near to the real thing as I can get without all of that sugar.