Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Although I don't think anyone aside from military personnel is familiar with hospital corners any longer, it continues to be an issue for me.    For you see I am simply unable to rest comfortably in a messy bed.  As with all issues that begin in one's childhood I can easily blame my mother, while she knowingly chuckles from the Great Beyond.   

My mother had a thing about 'tucking us in.'    My sister and I always imagined the Lindbergh baby had a bit more to do with it than our mother was ever at ease with admitting.  She would make our beds with only the precision two flats sheets allow, with not only tight hospital corners, but the remaining sheet and blanket tucked in well under the mattress so that one could easily imagine a quarter bouncing from the top of the made bed, tossed of course by the neighborhood drill sergeant.  She always left a bit of a triangular opening at the head of the bed that we could shimmy into.  Once in, she would tuck the opening shut securing us in whatever position we managed to achieve before she flew in to say good night, don't let the bed bugs bite. Nothing to worry about there, once she made the bed nothing could move under there. My sister used to curl up in a fetal position claiming it was warmer.  I always slept on my back with my arms folded over the top of the covers.  I watched far too many WWII movies and felt it was an easy escape tactic. We never moved and would wake up in the same position.  Still tucked in.  I have ended up appearing to be Morticia Adams while sleeping.  All one needs to do is place a lily in my still hands.

The point behind this is I have a cold. I get in and out of bed a lot to blow my constantly running nose and to drink gallons of soda to sooth my sore throat.  I don't have the energy to check the darn covers every time I exit.  I have been waking up when the too short top flat sheet becomes unhinged from the opposite side of the bed and my subconscious screams a warning that something is really wrong, too much 'play' in the sheets can't be good.

The point behind all this is the fact that I am tired, and not as quick on the uptake as I should be, as well as the poignant observation that we can all simply resort  to blaming our mother's for the foibles we carry.  Or at least some of them.  Thank Freud, he came up with the theory. Hence when I asked my daughter to join a volunteer emergency response group with me I should have expected a few glitches, especially with the onset of the world's worst head cold. Clearly I had totally forgotten as well, that the apples didn't fall far from the tree, so when I became my mother, my daughter became me.  With our gene pool this alone is enough to create a disaster. Only saving grace is our disasters tend to be funny, if not in the moment, always after the fact.

Thus when news of the incoming hurricane was projected to have a negative impact on our region, our class instructor requested volunteers, though we have not yet completed the course.  Large shelters were being opened and the call for all hands on deck was out.  During the run down of the instructors basic plan concerning our efforts at the various shelters he casually mentioned communicable diseases at which point my daughter leered at me, while I glared at her over the top of my tissue.  Later during a break, we both huddled around the group of vet-techs in the class.  They are all older women whose outlook on life resembles our own.   While moseying back to class after the break my daughter casually said, "It's a good thing they teach Universal Precautions.  Tell me you didn't know those things when we came home from school that day, you bundled us up and when we asked where we were going you said, ' Across the street Linda's kids have chicken pox and you two havn't had it yet....'       "Well, you guys got to all have vacation together, even if you did spend it itching."       "Yuh and now if we get the shingles....."     "Yup I know, it's my fault, it's OK to blame your mother you know...."

We both offered time during the emergency at the new local senior center which runs a close second to the Taj Mahal.  My daughter took the afternoon shift which consisted of wandering around keeping the lonely old folks company.  I took the overnight animal detail.  I went in early to scope out the situation and was informed by my daughter to 'watch out for the homeless guy, he gets clingy and smells.'   

The only animal was brought in by an overwrought middle aged couple who had an eleven year old short floofy thing.  The poor dog was more of a wreck than the parents, who chose to sleep on cots in the hallway outside the "Animal Room" in order to be nearby should a medical emergency arise with the dog.

Well shortly after eleven o'clock the ACO arrived, said she was going to sleep, so the other volunteer and I could get lost.  Well, alrighty then. Far be it from me to argue with a uniform.      I ended up sitting with the 74 year old Red Cross intake worker who, incredibly enough, filled me in on his on-line dating adventures.   At one point I saw the dog couple wandering around so went over to see how they were doing.  The woman said, "Oh the guy walking around in his underwear woke us up."   Taking in my horror struck look, possibly even seeing my hair beginning to stand on end I managed to stammer, "Do you know where he is now?"       "Oh he wandered back to bed. Had gotten up to use the mens room."       They laughed about it and went on to say they couldn't sleep knowing thier dog was probably disoriented, so I assured then the ACO would wake up if anything chamged with the dog.  She was a trained professional after all.......  I went by the door to check, peeked through the glass and both ACO and the dog were snoring peacefully. I made sure to roll through the hallways more the rest of the night.......

I went back to sit with the not so old at heart Red Cross guy.  Having run out of dating stories he mentioned what a funny kid my daughter was.    Oh jeese, I suddenly knew that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach my mother used to complain about, the fear that strikes when your kid opens her mouth.  

"So, he said, did ya really drag her down three flights of stairs when she went into labor?"  What could I say.  I definately did.    I had indoor cats that had a tendency to fly out open doors even when they had no idea what to do when they were outside.  Add to that the chaos an ambulance can create, coupled with the fact that my daughter had waited until the last minute to tell anyone she needed to go to the hospital.  She was on the third floor of the apartment so I casually said to the Red Cross Worker, "Three flights plus the porch steps by the time the ambulance got there, but only in between contractions...."     He sort of paled at that.  "Oh it wasn't bad, I continued, once a contraction would let up her brother and I got her down another flight.  Course the neighborhood was in the street by then, she didn't handle the contraction well at all.....she was doing incredibe horror movie screams he brother wanted to get on tape. Good thing he wasn't into his video thing back then."     No way was I having those EMT's tromping through my house leaving doors wide open.  Best part was once we were in the ambulance the sergeant  - who was required to respond to calls at employees homes - poked his head into the ambulance and said at least three times over the kids screams, "Anything  ya need me to tell 'em at work - wink wink ??????"      I finally got the hint and asked he relay I would be off sick from work.   By this time the guy was looking at me like  I had a screw loose so I said, "Oh don't worry, my mother - the nurse - would have done the same thing for me."     I wandered off to blow my nose.

Things will probably get a lot more interesting once we are certified and my daughter has a lot more chances to recall her fondest childhood memories...  chip off the old block that kid is.   Let the adventures begin.....


1 comment:

  1. Well, THAT was very interesting! I do hope your cold is gone soon. Is everybody going back home by now? I read that plenty of people are still without power.