Tag Archives: neighbors

Home for Lunch

Not sure when the last time I went home for lunch was, but it’s got to be-

I’m not sure I’ve ever gone home to have lunch since I moved back to the States from Mexico!

Sure, I’ve often gone to my parents‘ home for lunch, and once I even made my husband lunch at their place, but it’s not the same.

I’ve only been in this new house for two and a half weeks, and we don’t even have a bed so we’ve been sleeping in the trailer…

It’s actually really romantic; the window from the bed has an awesome clear view of the northern sky.

Our neighbor right behind us got really mad that we put our trailer out there and told my husband he’d sue us.

I feel bad for the neighbor, I really do.

Sometimes I want to invite him over to our yard so he can appreciate the view again.

The guy’s pretty old so my cousin says to just give him a couple years.

Maybe I’ll paint a mountain scene on the side of the trailer so he doesn’t miss the view.

Today, I went for my trial run at the new Receptionist job that’s only a few minutes from *home.*

They’re really disorganized but other than that, I really liked it.

For example, at my present job- I’ve only not been able to find one chart in the two years that I’ve been there.

But today, at this trial job, out of about ten patients, we only found three.

And I didn’t even find them myself- the doctor’s daughter did.

I scored zero on that task.

But I did fairly well, I think, on others.

So the doctor asked me if she should schedule training me in a software, which I interpret to mean she means to make me a formal job offer.

I didn’t expect her to make that type of proposition til the end of tomorrow.

I made chitchat with her while I ran the pros and cons in the back of my mind.

Pro: home for lunch.

Con: can’t find patient charts.

Pro: five minutes to work.

Con: i don’t really know her.

Pro:  five minutes from work.

Con: there is a depressed beta fish in a tiny fish bowl on the front counter.

Pro: not a 1 hr 45 minute daily commute…

You get the idea.

I had to tell my present-job manager what’s going on because she asked me if we should hire my temporary assistant permanently.

I couldn’t think of a way to withhold the information about me leaving while still giving her enough information to make the best decision for the company.

Of course, she and the doctor offered me a raise.

And a signing bonus.

After roughly doing the math, I would still make significantly more in this simplistic local receptionist job once I average out hours invested + gas + car repairs.

My manager said I am crucial to the company and there is no one who can just come and replace me.

“Well yeah, that’s exactly what I said a month ago when you told me there’s a ton of people just waiting to do my job!”

I didn’t really answer them like that.

What’s the point of rubbing it in?

I’m not six years old.

They’re losing me.

What could be worse than that?

The point is, I got her to admit it.

Maybe I’m getting too cocky.

Maybe it’ll all fall apart tomorrow.

I had such a huge headache this morning and body-aches because my body actually has this way of going into self-destruct mode any time I rely on it to perform well.

In other words, I always get my period on very important days.

But after I came home for lunch… I felt so much lighter.

I felt…

Content.

So when I was going over the pros and the cons in the back of my head while making chitchat with this new doctor today… I also prayed about it.

I’m not a prophet, but God knows exactly how to talk to me.

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how to meaningful conversation neighbor life on life support

How to Hold Meaningful Conversations with Neighbors on Life Support

Ms. Verla had a stroke on Monday.

Things didn’t look good for her.

She kept pulling at that tube that fed fiber up her nose and down into her stomach somewhere.

I asked her if she was comfortable.

She didn’t say nothing.

“Are you hungry?”

“Uh-huh.”

‘Got it,’ I thought to myself, ‘uh-huh means yes, awkward silence means no.’

“Have your sons come to see you?”

…Awkward silence.

“How long have you been here?”

…More awkward silence. Oh wait, that wasn’t a yes or no question.

Duh.

Well what was I supposed to ask a woman born 56 years before me, whom I had seen walking past my parents’ home my whole life pushing her grocery cart full of cans and glass, to make time pass more meaningfully for her?

I knew her name cause I gave her a ride to the recycling yard once.

Only took me about 27 years to get that close to her.

But Monday I was glad I hadn’t forgotten it.

How else could I have found her room at the hospital?

Strange… I thought at least one of her sons would have been there with her.

Later I asked my dad about it and he said the cops were chasing her sons down in the East-side.

Aside from age and socioeconomic differences, Ms. Verla is Black.

Gosh I hope the cops didn’t shoot her sons down, now that I think about it.

But that night at the hospital, when things didn’t look too good for her, the nurse came in and reprimanded her for pulling her tube five inches out.

Then some guys in the hallway radioed the technician responsible for putting tubes up noses for help.

As it turned out, her sons had requested she be taken off life support.

“Just leave her and see what happens,” said the radio call.

I stared out the door with my eyes wide open.

Ms. Verla couldn’t see me.

She ain’t seen nothing for about four months on account of her diabetes.

But her eyes looked pretty wide open also.

Hm.

The elderly are always more conscience than we think they are.

The food lady came rolling in a food tray for her.

“This is for him.”

“For her,” I said, consternated that her oddly-shaped, languid bulk of a body should be confused with that of the opposite sex.

“Hang in there,” I told her before leaving so the nurse could change out her linens.

…Next night, I expected the worst, but she looked much better.

The tubes had been doing her wrong.

“Hi Baby,” she said cheerfully when I told her it was me in the room.

That was what she always called me, long as I can remember.

“The doctors in the hall are really handsome, you’d like to see them,” I told her.

“Uh-huh!”

We both laughed.

“You’re not doing so bad anymore.”

I stood there for a while watching the clock.

Her sons weren’t there again.

Must be terribly boring lying in bed all day all by yourself unable to move or anything.

Or maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be in order to recover.

I dunno.

“You want me to read you the Bible?” I asked.

“Nn-mm.”

OK! no more awkward silences.

“You want to hear Amazing Grace?”

“Uh-huh.”

Took forever to load on the phone but once it started I could see the look of relief on her face.

Half way through it she held her hand out to me.

Did she want me to stop it?

“Do you want me to stop it?”

“Nn-mm.”

She held her hand out again.

Oh. Right. Hold hands.

I told her I’d be back in a couple days to see how she kept up.

When I came to the hospital, the young man at the reception desk told me she had been discharged.

“Do you know where to? I mean, I know you can’t tell me, it’s confidential, but I’ve known her my whole life, and I have no idea where they took her.”

“I’m sorry,” he said sincerely, “I don’t even have access to that information, and if I did, I would not be able to tell you.”

So just like that, Ms. Verla’s gone.

I always imagined myself writing her biography, interviewing her about the way life was in the deep south before civil rights and all that.

I guess it’s common to have regrets left over when long relationships draw to a close.

I’m glad, though, that she was our neighbor all those years, I’m glad she was a part of my life, and I’m so glad I went with her as far down the road as I could.