Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another Best Year Ever Begins

January was a cold but lovely month.   Nothing much happened, which also means that nothing bad happened, and that's my favorite way to spend a month.   

Work went on as usual.   Our hospice patient load is pretty small these days, so I create a lot of busy-work . . . to keep myself busy, duh.   I come up with ideas for new events, for the public and for the bereavement program, and then 'pitch' them to our managers, usually with little result.  And of course I continue to visit with patients and their families,  do bereavement activities with families who have suffered loss through death, and perform memorial and funeral services.   I wonder often if it's time for me to move on to something different.   It feels increasingly as if it might be and if my restlessness continues, I will have to start looking for my next life-adventure.  I have worked with lots of sadness over the years, including AIDS support and homelessness, and three years in a hospice might be enough.  I want to do meaningful work, but sometimes my spirit just calls out "enough."   One tender experience this month, though, resulted when a patient in our residential hospice brought her cat with her.   Sweet kitty stayed close to his owner, but would stand and greet me whenever I came into the room.    "Meow," he would say, and then rub my hand with his head, before going back to curl up by his master's legs.     There was no family and when the patient died, the cat was left there at the residence, wandering the halls and crying plaintively for his missing owner.   It took a couple of days before we figured out where he would go next.   My vote would have been to invite him to stay, but I was not in the majority.   In the end, I am happy to say, we had more offers than one cat needed, and he has now joined a happy new mama to help him get over his loss.   Animals grieve intensely, but with a purity that is both painful and beautiful to see.    No self pity, just the sadness of loss.
It has been colder than heck here the last month or so, with many days below zero and dangerously cold wind chill temperatures.    School was cancelled so often that local districts used up all of their snow days.   We did have a bunch of snow, but the cancellations were because of the danger of having kids wait at bus stops when the wind chill was 30 below.  No snow days for grown-ups, though.   My Search and Rescue activities continued, with weekly committee meetings for me and long lists of tasks to complete.   Like many volunteers, I find that no matter how eagerly I chip away at the pile of work, there is always more to be done.    I also met with a couple of Brides in January as we finalized their upcoming February weddings.

February began with an almost great weekend involving a Search and rescue drill in the snow.   In our drills, which run from 9:00 am until 1:00 or 2:00 pm, we are given information about a make-believe subject and we plan and execute a search involving two or more teams.    If our command structure has planned well, and if we have searched well, and are lucky, we find our pretend subject, a stuffed dummy who has vital statistics and information attached that informs our response.   We've had a LOT of snow this winter, and trekking around in winter gear and full packs for several hours is a lot more work than it sounds like, at least for this old lady.    We trudged through a lot of very dense and puckery puckerbrush.   I was in charge of communications so had to keep taking off my gloves, and my hands ended up scratched til they bled.    I later found a big thorn in my back. 
During the drill, I also fell twice and lost one of the radios I was carrying in the deep snow.   But we found our pretend subject and carried "him" out of the woods on a litter to a waiting pretend ambulance.    By the end of the day, even the younguns were exhausted, and I was completely done in.     I know, it doesn't sound like very much fun, but it truly was.    Of course today my body is berating me for not acting my age, lol.

After the drill, I had dinner with my kids and grands and that is always nice.   Lately we've all been so busy that I am not seeing them as much as I want to.  The Littles are getting big and growing up way too fast!
Today was supposed to be a Dominos-Bowl since we are not football folk.    But it was cancelled late last night because of illness -- not mine, thank goodness, although I'd generally rather be the one who is sick than have the people I care about go through it.   I am ridiculously disappointed, but I know that's childish and have no choice but to get over it.   Instead of the silly fun I was looking forward to, maybe I'll get caught up on a few chores.   There is a pile of field-dirtied laundry to do, and because dirty clothes don't keep one as warm as clean ones, I need to get them washed and ready for the next drill or call-out.     I have a stack of calls to make for work.    I have dozens of tasks to complete for Search and Rescue, final details to complete for upcoming weddings,  morse code to practice (I am falling behind again!) and a house so messy that I am embarrassed to look at it myself lately.    It's time to shake out these aching muscles and get to work!


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

OMG - you have exhausted me with all of this - you have been so busy.

We worked all weekend due to more snow, and I cooked a turkey as is our Superbowl tradition. I'm stuffed and sleepy, so I am off for a nap before kick off.

I'd love to hear what other type of work you'd be interested in doing. Is there something fun-ish you could make a living at?

Barbara said...

Oh my. That kitty story brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad he found a new home.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Heavens you are one busy lady! I understand your disappointment - Super Bowl Sunday is a big day in America when lots of friends and family gather to spend some fun time together. I too ended up alone yesterday though I did have a short family visit from one daughter and a grandson. The days are long when you think you have plans and they fall through. blessings, marlene