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Friday, October 29, 2010
10/27/10 The Child Who Chose Us - Part 2
As we made our way into the shop, Deidra stood up from her desk and, walked toward Poppy (our nickname for Clint), looking somehow elegant and casual at the same time in her grey python miniskirt and silk blouse, four-inch Jimmy Choo sandals clicking across the tile floor bringing her up to a full six feet tall. Her blonde hair swinging, she smiled a smile that made her blue eyes sparkle and held out her hand to shake his.
“You must be Poppy! cj has told me all about you. Do you know how much that little woman over there loves you?”
Then, reaching around his neck as he stooped to accept her embrace, she hugged him and said, “I know I’m going to love you, too!”
Well. Nothing like this ever happened to us, not before, not since. We all fell in love standing in the middle of that shop, surrounded by the stuff that people buy to spiff up their houses - not a typical haunt for a girl like me. I just picked a shop and walked in, and all this happened.
“Come, let’s sit down and chat.”
She patted the slip covered, oversized white sofa I had been eyeing with the idea of buying a pair for the great room.
(Aside: Poppy was generous with everything, his time, money, love - everything. I knew he would buy the sofas if I wanted them, but I also wanted him to meet Dej - her family nickname).
“I came to your house when you were on the golf course with whom cj referred to as ‘that bunch of old geezers,’ and I think it has the best view in the island.”
Clint settled into a the sofa, just the right size for his 6’4” frame, and, business being slow, we were there for a hour. He was, of course, enchanted with Deidra, and he held my hand softly in his as we learned about her family and her fiancé.
Her daddy, Wayne, owns and operates at large farm in south central Georgia, 50 miles south of Macon. He also farms corn, and peanuts and has a small heard of Black Angus cattle. Her mother, Kay, runs the business, brokers the cotton and in general, keeps things running. It would be a few months before we met and discovered how Deidra came to be so beautiful. She has one sister, who at the time, was attending Auburn University. She a beauty, also, but dark and short like her mother. Dej is Wayne’s child, through and through.
Her fiancé, John, managed the Beach Club at Sea Island, and Dej was much enamored with him. But something in the way she talked about him made me worry that she might not be making the right decision.
We left the shop with a promise from her to bring John for a sunset cocktail on our deck later that afternoon. When Dej arrived alone, making his excuses, I knew I was right that something was wrong. She wanted so badly for us to all meet. It would not be the last time he disappointed her. In fact, he never had one drink with us - even after they married.
But this story is not about John..........thank God.
© cj Schlottman
The next installment can be found here.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I’ve never written about Deidra, our child who chose us, and I don’t know why. I suppose I have been too busy writing down sad things, poems and journal entries and blog posts about loss and suffering.
It’s time to write about Darling Deidra, and I will do it in installments to keep it from being unweildy. I have learned that lengthy blog posts can be off-putting just because we are all so busy and trying to read as many as we can. I sometimes skip the long ones and save them for last, and yes, sometimes I don’t get back to them.
When Clint and I bought our dream house on Dunbar Creek on Saint Simons Island, Georgia, a rambling one-room-deep tabby house designed by the builder for every room to have a view of the creek. It was empty, and the contents of our small condo unit on the island as well our little cottage in Macon would be dwarfed by it.
The double front doors opened into a mirror lined foyer that faced the back of the tabby fireplace in the great room. Walking around the fireplace, we found ourselves in a 35 square foot great room, octagonal and lined with windows offering panoramic views out over the deck, the dock, the marsh and the creek. Our eyes followed the vaulted ceiling for 40 feet, where a fan turned the air into a small breeze around us. When our eyes met the mirrored walls of the foyer, the marsh view stared back at us. The house stretched out to the right with dining and kitchen and bedrooms, an office and a loft. Down the hall to the left, a den, another bedroom and the master suite, perched out over the marsh. A deck wrapped around the entire structure. We had a shower deck off our bedroom.
We were happy. We were very happy.
But we needed furniture, and I wanted to buy some new dishes - a nautical theme to match our enchanting new home. So, off I went on a mission to find china before buying the first stick of furniture.
That’s when Deidra entered the picture. She was 22, recently graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon and working in one of the many design shops on the island. It was the first one I visited, and she helped me find the perfect dishes, but not before coming to the house the see the view and analyze the colors of the marsh. We planned the design work around my new dishes!
She was living alone and engaged to be married the next spring. and we, well, fell in love. She was born the year Clint and I married, so could have easily been our child.
Since Clint was on the golf course when she came over, I was crazy to have him meet her. I knew he would love her, too. So, a few days later, I took him, knees locked and skidding into the store, to shop for a pair of sofas.....
© cj Schlottman
The next installment can be found here.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
This is me, typing with a cast on my right wrist and hand. i think i’ll go all lower case since this is hard enough without using the shift key. i can use my dominant right hand for some of the keys but it’s awkward and a little painful. when the bones heal, it will be easier, even with the cast, which is hot pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
so, here’s the story. no matter what my friend-boy (F-B) says, i was not crawling home from the neighborhood pub and got my hand run over by a 1957 ford truck. it’s a good story but not that good.
we, a bunch of us who work at the macon volunteer clinic, went out last tuesday night. we chose to go to shamrock, where they have great live music on tuesdays, because we were all in the mood to dance.
and dance we did. those of you who like to go dancing will understand when i say that a sort of dance fever took over the whole place at about 10 pm. EVERYBODY started dancing, even the F-B! he almost never dances, but he danced with all of the girls, separately and together.
the dance floor was full and everybody was dancing with everybody. the energy in that room would have fueled a jet plane to new york and back. it was SO much fun.
then a few of us girls, well mostly my best friend and i, got to doing the twist, the up-and-down twist, gyrating down to the floor like we did when we were teens.
oops! i lost my balance while in the downward position and tried to steady myself on my right wrist, wound up falling anyway, and took my full weight on my wrist - on the concrete floor. ouch.
i didn’t think much about it. after all, i was practically on the floor already so it was a short fall. i must have caught it just right, though, because it HURT.
it was pretty late, so the F-B brought me home and between our doctor/nurse brains, we decided i should get a x-ray in the am, just to be on the safe side.
when i woke on wednesday am, i was sure my wrist was broken. thing was, i had to drive to atlanta to meet my stepdaughter's plane, which was scheduled to land at 9:40, and deliver her to the hospital where her mother is recovering from emergency surgery to repair a ruptured aortic aneurysm. i am not making this up.
i also had about 3 hours worth of computer nursing notes to complete from my patients i saw the day before. so i took some mild pain medicine and did my day, knowing that, when i had my wrist checked, i would end up in a cast, and that it would preclude me from driving until it came off. also, it would turn my 3 hours of work into 6. i got my cast a little after 5 pm. 3 cracked bones - 1 on the thumb side, 1 on the pinky side and 1 in between!
so, there you have it. not as boring as having slipped in the tub but not so exciting as having been run over by a 1957 ford truck. but, oh so typical of my life, my crazy upside down life.
ps: it was worth it. i am out of work for at least 2-3 weeks. i am uncomfortable, cannot open a bottle of green tea or brush my dog or drive my car (which my stepdaughter is using), cut a steak or button my jeans, or sign my name, but.........................
I HAD REAL FUN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE CLINT GOT SICK IN 2005!
i’m holding up the “applause” sign. everybody cheer!
© cj Schlottman
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I took my blood pressure on Monday afternoon, and it was 159/99. Boink! My Virginia Slims went directly into the trash, and I did a yoga practice, coaxing my body into slowing down and rejecting the stress that has bombarded me for weeks.
Work stress. Everyone is sick of hearing about it, but I am certain it is a factor in my blood pressure, which, by the way, has come down. Stress at work was my excuse for not giving up cigarettes; in fact, I used it as an excuse to smoke more and more.
(Aside. I am willing to admit that smoking is a stupid thing to do. I have smoked off and on since I was 15, even stopped for 13 years one time and taught a class on how to quit. Smoking is an especially stupid thing for a nurse to do. Really, now. Think about it. I work in a field in which I help people die, many of them from cancers caused by tobacco use. What do you supposed I have been thinking)?
Now, I have a plan.
First: Stop hurting myself with cigarettes.
Second: Stop hurting myself by bringing work home with me, a rule I intended to implement when I started my job.
You might imagine that I have a Type A personality. I was the kid who always expected straight A’s, always wanted to do it right the first time. Now I’m, 62, and I still want to do it right the first time. Only now, I can’t do it.
My perceived “failures” in my job are not my fault. It’s okay for me to say that out loud and not sound like a baby. I never participated in a formal orientation to hospice home care, was set free to make it on my own. I am not a genius, but I worked hard, and I’m a good nurse. I learned from the other nurses and am confident in my skills, knowing there are some areas where I need work. I am satisfied in my ability to take call on the weekends.
On August 26, I was handed a laptop and told to be ready to go paperless on September 1. Instead of whining that I had not been offered even one computer class while the others had spent days working on them, I got busy and made it work - with much help from my neighboring nurse in the next cubbyhole We’ll call her Angel.
The Hell Bitch saved my butt. She put together a little handbook to walk us - (Some of the others were having more trouble than I). - through the program and enter our data properly and get our time and mileage recorded so we get paid for it.
I am a winner. I’ve got it now, and when my previous errors get kicked back at me and I have to fix them, I will do it.
Now for the third part of the plan. I didn’t think it up. My bosses did, and I think it will work for as long as my job is part-time. It will doubtless bring down my stress levels. Instead of working two (five-hour) days a week, which only breeds frustration, I will work every other weekend and four hours in the office on the following Monday to clear out my documentation.
Here’s an example of why the shorter days are so exasperating. Last Monday, I had three patients to see. This is a reasonable case load for a five hour day - IF your day doesn’t start out with a meeting that runs nearly two hours. I felt rushed and pressured the keep my hours down, but I got the job done in six hours. (No bitching from the boss). If there had been any small glitch in my day, I would have been working for seven or eight hours - a big “no-no” now that they have stopped using me for full time help with no benefits and not paying me on time.
Bitter? Yes, I’m getting that way. I don’t like bitter. It’s ugly and it tastes bad.
Cigarette? I could eat one right now.
© cj Schlottman