Friday, August 28, 2015

GOODBYE MY FRIEND

I hate goodbyes. This week, I said goodbye to my fellow library volunteer, Marilyn. who was placed at the library through AARP. They have a program for seniors wishing to get back into the workforce. Participants are placed at various locations in order to gain knowledge and to learn to work with people in a variety of settings. The library is Marilyn's second placement. Monday she will .move on to her third.  Marilyn and I have become good friends. However, it wasn't always that way.

Being a  Greeter at the library is the only job there that I am able to do. The first volunteer, .from AARP, that I worked with took over, answering questions, giving directions and assisting patrons. I just sat there.  I did not feel that I was needed anymore.


When Marilyn began volunteering I was resentful.I thought that she would take over as the other volunteer had done. I am embarrassed to admit that I wasn't welcoming. To be honest,  i was very rude to her. I almost quit because I didn't want to just sit beside her while she helped patrons.

Marilyn told me she wondered what she had done to make me act that way. She felt very uncomfortable. She didn't enjoy being at the library on the days that I was there. 

Marilyn hung in there.. After a while, it was clear to me that she wasn't going to take my job away. She let me perform my duties as I always had. We learned to work together each taking turns assisting patrons.

I have learned a lot from Marilyn. The biggest lesson is not assume or judge. Give a person a chance. Everyone  possesses different strengths and knowledge. If you are willing, you can find a way to work together and learn from each other.

I want to thank Marilyn for her support during the past year. I appreciate all the talks we've had. Her thoughts and encouragement have meant a lot to me.  Marilyn loves to cook. I want thank her for all the treats she brought me. Especially the Sweet Potato Pie. It was delicious.

I want to wish  Marilyn well as she continues on her journey to find employment. I know that wherever that journey leads her  she will do the her job professionally, with a positive attitude and with the,help of God.















Saturday, August 15, 2015

IT KEEPS ME CONNECTED

Believe it or not,  there are still some people in the world  not on Social Media. These people don't know the joy of seeing the number of notifications or friend requests they have on Facebook, the number of new followers they have on Twitter or who has re-pinned one of their pins on Pinterest. How do they survive?

A facility is a community unto itself. You don't have to go out for anything. All of your basic needs are met. Many residents are unable to go out. I know how fortunate I am because I am able to go volunteer several times a week. On the days when I don't go out, I am grateful to Social Media, it allows me to stay connected to my friends and the world outside of this facility.

For someone who never wanted to own a computer, I cannot imagine my life without my laptop or Kindle now. I purchased my first laptop because I was having surgery and I was going to be at home for six weeks. Until that time, I never wanted one at home because I worked with computers all day teaching classes. That was enough for me.

I have met many wonderful people and made some great friends through Facebook and Twitter. I became friends with one of the producers of Listen To Your Mother through Facebook.  Had it not been for Twitter ,I would not have met Cher's BFF, Paulette You all know how much both of these experiences meant to me. Facebook also enabled me to reconnect with old friends.

You can share ideas, photos, or get suggestions on the next great book to read. There are all kinds of groups to join on Facebook. You can connect with others who share your interests. 

Social Media helps keep me connected to my old life. When I am on it I forget I am in a facility for a while. On Social Media my disability is not important. I am just a person  posting, tweeting or pinning like everyone else   That's reason enough for me to stay connected.. 


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Sunday, August 9, 2015

MANNERS, A LOST ART?

A patron at the library on Friday, wanted assistance reserving time on a computer. They had attempted to do it on their own, but were having difficulty. They were very frustrated. I told them that I would help them. I was moving out from behind the volunteer desk when I heard them say in a disgusted tone of voice, "Oh, never mind, I got it." I guess I hadn't moved fast enough for them. Was what they needed a computer for that urgent that they could not wait a few seconds for me to come over and help them?  What happened to politeness? Is it wrong to expect someone to be respectful when asking for help?

When aides come in to get me out of bed in the morning, I always say good morning to them and ask how they are. Friday morning, it was as though I hadn't spoken  to my aide at all. I repeated my greeting several times, but did not get a reply. Sometimes, when I speak to my aide in the morning, their response is barely audible. I have gotten responses like,"i don't have to talk to you" or " I don't feel like talking." Yet, they have no problem talking if another aide comes the room. They carry on lengthy conversations . it;s not that difficult to speak when you enter a resident's room. It shows respect for the person.


I get extremely frustrated and angry living here.Waiting is very  difficult for me. I understand the staff's frustration at having many residents to care for and not enough help, but sometimes, I lose my temper. I am not proud of that. However, no matter how frustrated I get, I  always say please, thank you and speak when someone enters my room. If I am short tempered,with someone, I admit it and apologize. It may not always seem like it, but I do appreciate the care I am given here

I will never forget the first time one of my friends called my mother by her first name. I knew they were not deliberately trying to disrespect my mother, but it still sounded  so strange to me. I never called my parents friends by their first names. it took a while for me to feel comfortable hearing my friend do it.

I hope that we are teaching our children to be kind and respectful. I hope that they learn to be polite and to not always be in a hurry. I would hate to see manners become a lost art.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

THE DAY I MET LUKE SPENCER

On July 27, 2015, Luke Spencer said goodbye to Port Charles. Anthony Geary, the actor who portrayed him for over thirty years, retired from General Hospital. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet him in the eighties while in California. For my readers who don't watch soaps, this post will probably bore you. But I wanted to write it because soaps have given the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Anthony Geary was one of them.  

I had finished graduate school and was trying to find a job. I was sending out resumes and making phone calls everyday. I would work in the morning. In the afternoon I would take a break to watch General Hospital. I'd started  watching one summer when a friend told me how cool Luke was. I watched as Luke saved Port Charles from being frozen by evil Mikkos Cassidine. I watched as Luke married Laura in one of the  the most romantic ceremonies I had ever seen. Yes, Luke was definitely cool. But then, Laura disappeared and was presumed dead. What would Luke do without her?

Emma Samms was cast to play Holly Sutton,. Holly was a beautiful con artist with a heart of gold. When Luke met Holly I knew there would be a romance between them. 

I decided to write Emma a letter. I was sure I wouldn't receive an answer, but it was fun writing it anyway. Several months later, I got a note from Emma's sister, Louise. She  was Emma's  secretary and answered her fan mail. Louse and I began corresponding. When Louise learned that we were coming to California,. she and Emma invited me to the studio for lunch. 

The big day finally arrived. Louise and Emma were so kind to me. I felt as though I had always known them. We got to watch the blocking.  This is when the actors learn where to stand during a scene. Then it was time for lunch. I kept asking where Tony Geary was. They told me he stayed in his dressing room during lunch, but that Tristan Rogers, (Robert Scorpio) would be happy to join us. "No, I want to meet Tony Geary, " I told them. I am embarrassed by how rude I was.


After lunch we watched the dress rehearsal. I saw Tony from a distance. Louse said she didn't know him that well, but she asked him to come over and meet me. When he said hello, nothing came out of my mouth. I think he asked if I watched the show. I hope I nodded yes, but I can't be sure because I was just staring at him with my mouth open. Not one of my finest moments, but at least I can laugh about it now. He signed  a card, "Love From Luke of Port Charles."  I was in Heaven.

Thank you Emma and Louise for giving me memories that I still think about over thirty years later. General Hospital in the eighties was the best. I wish Anthony Geary well. The show will not be the same without him.

Luke will never really be gone. Thanks to Youtube he'll be around forever/.