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Friday, July 23, 2004
Reflections on a week.
Last weekend, Mom and I made a trip to Memphis to visit my grandfather. My grandfather is 90-years old and lives in a retirement community there. He decided he'd like to re-arrange his furniture and so we went to move his living room around for him. Going to visit him in the retirement community always reminds me of dorm living--you walk through the halls and you can hear the TVs blaring in the middle of the hallway. Also, everyone has decorated their doorway/entry area--in college, it's with beer cans or something around the door knob to indicate to your roommate you don't want to be disturbed; in the retirement community, it's a nice plant or something. One really nice display was obviously left over from the Fourth of July with patriotic star and an angel who was dressed in red, white and blue. Also, in the retirement community, everyone eats together in the dining hall and they always complain about how bad the food is. (It's not really that bad...I've had a couple of meals there in the past few weeks and they were remarkably edible.)

My grandfather has a usual group of guys he eats with each night. One of them, Andy Anderson, loves ice cream. They serve ice cream every night and Andy always has a double helping after he which he goes back to his apartment to have some more. (Hey, when I'm over 80 I'm eating whatever the heck I want and damn the consequences!). Somehow, we got on a discussion of the best ice creams and Andy said he liked all the flavors except Cookies and Cream because that was made with rejected cookie parts and he wanted top quality and not rejects.

My grandfather is also a bit irritated that they've added more cable channels to his line-up and he can't find Turner South. We're trying to get a new card listing all his channels, but I flipped around for some time on Saturday afternoon trying to find Turner South. TBS has gone to their "all comedy, all the time" schedule and the Braves games have moved to Turner South. Well, I am not sure if Turner South is included in their new cable package--something which the guys complain about no end. After all, it's just not an after dinner nap without snoozing through the Braves! But in flipping around, I see that they get Comedy Central. Now, I enjoy Comedy Central, but it seems to me that since the retirement community picks and chooses the channels for their cable system, that it would be far more better for their demographic to have Turner South than Comedy Central. I can only imagine the coniption fit my grandfather would have if he ever stumbled across and watched South Park.

After moving furniture, visiting with my grandfather, running errands for him and helping him clean up a bathroom they'd renovated but not cleaned (how the heck they expected a 90-year old man who uses a walker to clean up an inch of dust from joint compound that was sanded down repairing his ceiling is beyond me!), we headed back to Smyrna for Vacation Bible School. I had volunteered to help out in the missions area but I pretty much went where I was needed all week. I helped with the two-year olds (the teacher bailed at the last minute because she was mad at the church...yeah, that's right, punish the kids cause you get your nose out of joint!), worked in the mission areas, tying together blankets and helped with games. First of all, let me say this--getting 30 plus two-year olds from one place to another is a lot like herding cats.

The games were pretty much designed to utilize some of the pent up energy of the young ones there. They ran about, playing spray tag--you take a water bottle and spray people with it to get them out--and kick ball. We also did some relay races, but they were not quite the draw as spray tag or kick ball. (The classics never go out of style). In helping with missions--I played games the first two nights, did the blankets the next two and then did games last night--I figured if the guys saw a grown-up guy who ran about and played games tying blankets, they'd protest less that it was too "girly." Well, this sort of worked. Some were just too wound up after playing games to really tie blankets for 20 minutes. (The blankets are for kids in the area who asked Santa for blankets instead of toys last year...it just breaks my heart to hear it). Also, some of the guys were not happy that I got to tie the manly colors together--you know, orange and white, Titans color, etc. While tying blankets, some of the guys started to tell jokes, which it amazed me that the same dumb jokes I chuckled over at their age are still popular. And you can tell the same joke or a variation of it three times in a row and still give huge laughs. (Hence why men can watch the same Seinfeld re-run 15 times and still fall on the floor laughing). The joke told here was the basic one of someone who doesn't speak English (in this case an alien) comes over, hears three phrases, latches on to them and then repeats them back at inopportune moments. If you're a guy, you may remember these jokes and be chuckling a bit to yourself at them.

To add to my week, I also looked for a job, had an interview, made a bunch of phone calls and took care of Gracelyn one morning. She was out of day care having gotten sick the day before, but you'd never know it. She has more energy than she knows what to do with and she loves having Uncle Michael all to herself to play. We made a "barn" out of her padded folding chair and a "house" out of it. The barn is the barn because you put her Elmo blanket on it and the house is blanket-less. I had a good time with her, crawling around and playing, reading books to her.

As for the job interview, it went well. It's temp to perm, so we'll see what happens. I am hopeful it will lead to something. Keeping the fingers crossed.

So, is it any wonder that I'm a bit tired after this week?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/23/2004 11:18:00 AM | |
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