Well, I had planned to go to Mahoney Park with my baby sis and her writing group for a really fun-sounding weekend, but by Thursday, I realized this was going to have to be a working weekend if I was going to get things cleared by next Friday– my retirement open house AND empty office deadline.
As I sit here this Saturday morning, planning my day, I am trying to recall all of the happenings of the past week (where the heck did it go??). I continue to clear out the drawers of the desk and continue to find the most delightful items. One item was an Irish Creme coffee creamer from a convention or two ago, which I did toss immediately —remembering an experiment from a few months ago: Amanda was looking for something in one of my bags (nearly as famous for stuffing things in bags to deal with another day as I am for my piles) and came across one of these creamers. “Good grief, Mother, how old is this?” she admonished as she prepared to toss it! I explained to her (very patiently of course, because as a parent, part of our job is to teach–right), how these are left out in the Quik Shops and other gas stations all over, so I am quite sure it is still good even though it hadn’t been refrigerated for a couple of years. Just to prove it to her, we got a cup of coffee and I poured the little creamer into the steaming cup or rather I attempted to pour it but it turned out to be more of a plop than a pour and it sunk immediately to the bottom of the cup. Never even changed it’s form or consistency! Well so much for that lesson to my daughter who laughed all the way to the bathroom to dump out the coffee.
Then on Wednesday, I received an interesting e-mail on my way to work that stated: The Eagle has landed!! State is in the building. Well of course they are!! I would have expected nothing less. (For those non-nursing home folks who may be reading this, that means the surveyors are there to insure the government that their dollars are being well-spent). Now, my office is covered in boxes– some full, some half-full and some just waiting for their share of the treasures and my floor (what little bit you can see) is littered with dropped paperclips and slips of paper and several of those little circles that escaped from my hole puncher one time or another! My poor cleaning supervisor just shakes her head as there is not really any way she can begin to clean. I just grabbed my chair (it goes everywhere with me) and rolled over to the DON’s office for our opening meeting which normally takes place in the Administrator’s office. — If I have learned nothing else in these past 27 years, I have learned to punt!
Thursday dawned bright and beautiful and fun as we had a building full of minions, and cowgirls, and a variety of other strange and delightful folks including superheros– Clark Kent even exposed the superman shirt a time or two under his dress shirt! In addition there were three little piggies accompanied by the wicked wolf who looked a lot like one of my residents. The halls were full of giggles all day long!
Then my INCREDIBLE activity crew started to set up for the Harvest Festival that is taking place in the afternoon/evening. They seem to top their last party with each new one, and this one was no exception. There were games and an awesome S’mores bar with a variety of S’mores and little sterno cans to melt the marshmallows. As a fund raiser for Cancer, you could purchase a pie and throw it in the face of your favorite ??? department head. Then the evening ended with live music and a bonfire, and as always it seems, the weather was beautiful and the sunset gorgeous. The public was invited, staff members brought their families with kids decked out in costumes and the residents joined in the fun!
I know all of this because I watched it come together and then reviewed lots of pictures the next day— because as it got closer to time to start the festivities, I realized I couldn’t go!! Now I said this blog would have some highs and lows and some ups and downs and this is one of the downs. I love the parties and since the first one (when I played Dave and several of the staff were Alvin and Chipmunks plus the California Raisins) thru this one, the planning and the preparation is fun and I am always so impressed with the talent and imagination this group displays. I think it hit me that NEVER again will I get to be part of this– oh I can and will come but going forward, I will always be on the outside looking in and it made me very sad. I wrote Mark (my activity supervisor) an e-mail telling him I wouldn’t and couldn’t be there and headed out the door.
Friday started with me reviewing all of the pictures and videos people posted and laughing out loud– with tears streaming down my cheeks and then continued that way throughout the day. Kind of how this whole retirement thing is affecting me– laughing and crying at the same time. CRAZY, huh?