Sunday, May 25, 2014

Missing Dad for a change

Today I was taking a lady to visit her boyfriend – from one transitional care facility to another. They were both recovering from surgeries. I would guess her to be around 70. She was a bit chatty, though not loud enough to always hear over the bus noises. Before long I knew more about her and her health than I really care to know about any of my clients.

She told me as we approached the destination that her boyfriend would be waiting outside for her. There were several people outside so she pointed out which one he was. As I was unhooking her wheelchair I told her that he looked like a nice man. (I was sincere.) She affirmed that he was nice, very good to her. When I went down to open the lift I realized he looked a lot like my dad did in his later years with a salt and pepper mustache and his straight gray hair. He said to me, “I have something for you.” His girlfriend said, “He gives these to all the girls.” I protested, “No, no, I can't take gifts.” The man insisted.

He presented me with a small plastic ring that he had glued a dime to. “It's a dime 'n ring,” he exclaimed! “I make them and give them to all the girls.” I took the ring and smiled. It reminded me of my dad's friend, Herb who would stick a dime in a paper clip and tell me he had found a “dime 'n clip” today.

I folded the lift, filled out my paperwork and proceeded around the small complex to leave, but I found myself in tears thinking of my dad. I realized I gloss over the family members who are gone to protect myself from missing them too much.

Here's to Mom, Dad, and Lee this Memorial Day.

(Photo from 1991, Washington State)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Cold

I know everyone is sick of the crazy temps. It amazes me that any life carries on. I went over to a friends house last night. I stopped for gas on the way. All the way out to the suburbs (17-20 mile trek) I kept thinking this is ridiculous! How do we carry on?

This morning I looked at the temp. It read -17. An hour later I checked it and it said -15. In my mind the sarcasm says, "Oh, it's warming up!" -15 is "warming"? The best part though, is what lists after it: Fair, bitterly cold.

That makes it all the more humorous. Or insane!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Prompts Gratitude?

In my new (about 2 months now) job I meet and transport handicapped people all day long. Some have physical disorders, some have mental issues; many are invisible problems. I'm sure some have been handicapped all their lives and for others it's a recent struggle. For the most part my clients are nice. Some are friendly and talkative, others may not be able to talk. I'd say 97% of them are amiable and like getting a ride and an escort to the door; some are even becoming friends.

What struck me yesterday as I arrived to board a client with a walker who had booked to use the lift to get onboard, was that some people just have poor attitudes in general. I had just come from getting a fully immobile client at his apartment building – he was on his way to Rosedale Mall. The woman with the walker was at a grocery store between his house and the mall. The man onboard was talkative; he'd commented on the sunshine and beautiful day. I don't know why he was disabled, but he seemed to have no use of his legs and strained use of his arms – enough to operate his electric chair.

After complaining that she didn't know how she would get past the man in the wheelchair, the walker client was short with me telling me that I didn't need to tell her how to do this – she'd been riding these buses for years. In an effort to agree with her and perhaps lighten the situation I remarked, “Oh, I often tell people that you are the professional, and I am the rookie.” I glanced at the other guy with a rye smile for confirmation. Before he could say anything my walker woman retorted, “I don't think that's funny.”

I realize that she may have many other things in her life adding to the way she was treating me. Our culture values civility even from strangers in pretty much any circumstance. I finished my bit of paperwork, get behind the wheel and started out to the mall in silence. Then it hit me – I have a few physically handicapped people in my family and they never have had a bad attitude about their disabilities. I am quite sure they have been in pain and remained civil to those around them. The revelation of this brought tears to my eyes and I was thankful for this grace to me. I silently prayed a little prayer for the woman on my bus as I dabbed the tears from my eyes.

When I unloaded the guy at the mall and walked him through the doors he told me he liked my comment about them being professionals, and me the rookie. I think he felt a little sorry for me.

This story has a happy ending, the walker woman lightened and started asking questions about going to the mall. I was boarding another passenger there who was just as kind as the man I had unloaded. Those two talked a bit as we carried on. It came out that tomorrow was her birthday. I wished her a happy one as I said goodbye.

I'm grateful for work. And grateful for all God has given me, including disabled family members with good attitudes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More for Sale

I have a few more things to post tonight. Just remember it will be better weather for baking before you know it. Fall entertaining is just around the corner

Entertaining Simple Additions Set
Autumn Colors
7 piece set
Sunflower Gold, Eggplant Purple, Cranberry Red with long platter in Olive Green
3 square bowls, 3 squares small plates, one long platter


Pampered Chef Stoneware Deep Dish Baker in Hunter Green
NEW! Never used $28

Pampered Chef Stoneware Pie Plate in Cranberry
Gently Used - which just means you have a little less seasoning to do on this one.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Sale

Local Readers:

I have a few household items for sale  -  Please take a look over the list. Send your friends!

Beaded Pate Knife and Olive Fork
New! Set of 2, Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Turquoise, with Silver swirls

African Wrought Iron Dancer Candle Holder Pair
Gently Used. Came from South Africa with me.

Some would call them tan, beige or ecru, but I say it's off-white or warm white. This couch is 80” W, 40”D and 32”H. The cozy, comfy, oversized chair measures about 50”W, 40”D and 32”H. The matching ottoman is about 40”W and 30”D. It's in very sturdy condition, no wear, just needs cleaning. My home is smoke-free and child-free home, and pet free.
$300 for both or $165 for couch and $165 for chair and ottoman.

Keurig K-Cups Caribou Daybreak 24 pack
$10 each or best offer (I have two of these)
Keurig K-Cups Green Mountain Breakfast Blend 24 pack
$10 or best offer

Keurig Carousel 27 K-Cup Holder
Gently Used

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An African Kind of Day

Yesterday I stopped by the church office to drop off a note for my friend Alemnesh who is trying to start an orphan home in Ethiopia – one of the pastors is heading over to see her at the end of the week. I wasn't expecting to get into a conversation with the pastor, but I did. It included a big hint that I should join Alemnesh as the admin person for this project. My heartstrings felt the tug.

From there I went to a bank to deposit a check for friends that live in East Africa. I had never been in this branch, on Franklin and 26th. As soon as I was in line for a teller I was immediately transported to the Barclays Bank I went to each month to pay my rent in Nairobi! I searched the room, I was the only white person in there: customers, tellers, security – absolutely everyone was black. I suppose that would scare some people, for me it feels like home.

I could hear conversations in other languages and ones in accented English. Some were African America, others Somali and some were from other African countries. I overheard the two large dark men at the next window asking their teller where he was from. “Liberia? Do you speak French?” one man asked. “Because we speak French.”

My teller had another guy walk up while he was helping me. That teller asked where he was from. He replied, “Ethiopia” before the other guy corrected, “which branch are you from?”

When I commented that it felt like Africa in here to the two tellers at my window, the customer on the other side of my laughed knowingly. He must have been East African too. As I left, I said the my teller, “Amesegenallo, ” one of the only Amharic words I know (thank you). I heard him comment that was perfect pronunciation.

As I drove off to my next errand I wondered if I should be considering Ethiopia more seriously. I just feel I need to finish school and get a good job. I feel torn.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Looking for just the right renter...

Room for rent in no ordinary house. I'm looking for one more person to share my home. It's cozy and warm on the inside, situated in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the entire US. (We don't live in the 'burbs.) Your own room. Shared space with two other mature women. Garage parking, shared. Laundry on-site. Shared utilities. Big yard. Wonderful neighbors. A sense of community.

$550 + utilities + deposit. We're looking for the right fit to continue having a comfortable home. Sorry, no pets or smokers. Available June 1. Comment or send an email if you are looking or know someone.