Let me set this up a bit for you, before we go on.
It's been more than a week since I've been outside. They were right when they said that the world of a care-giver isn't an easy one. Once in a while you'll find yourself sneaking over to a window, just to open it a crack to get a breath of fresh air. It isn't so much that the patient doesn't want you to do things like that...it's just that you don't want the patient to see you doing something that's not so easy for them to do.
You think this care-giving job is easy?
Today is when it happened. It's well known in the family that Richie and I act more like brothers than cousins.
I'll have to call him my savior! My cousin Richie called this morning just before I helped Pam with her physical therapy. When you're injured, or recovering from an operation like Pam's...it's called physical therapy. When you're healthy, it's called exercise. That's not me, that's just the way it is.
Anyway, Richie called and asked if I could come out to play. He was going to an electrical supply house in West Bridgewater, then to Attleboro to window shop at Harbor Freight. You guys know what that is. For you ladies...Harbor Freight is....well....it's a...well...just think Macy's, or Bloomingdale's, or the biggest ladies shoe store you can imagine; all rolled into one. Hold that thought through the next paragraph.
Hanging up the phone I went into the den where Pam was icing her knee, after that strenuous session with PT (something else I learned. Us medical folks have abbreviations for just about everything). I told her that we probably needed a few things for the house. "One never knows when a light bulb will burn out, or a switch will stop...well....stop switching." I told her, and went on. "I'd better run to a few stores with my Cousin Richie to get some supplies. And besides, Pam...Suzie and the kids will be coming to visit for lunch. you'll be just fine." I said.
To make a long conversation, short...she asked me why I was going out to get electrical supplies and not food. I told her that this is much more important and that I'd get the food tomorrow.
When Richie came, and just before I turned to go out to his car...I detected a hidden smile on Pam's face as I kissed her. I was thinking that somehow she knew.
We had a wonderful time. I kept the window open in the car all the way to Baynes Electric. While Richie was talking to the guy, I walked around the store touching everything in sight. I was in my glory. It was like I had forgotten how it felt. It was like tagging along with my father, years ago, doing things that men do. Will he take me to Home Depot on our way home? I shutter!
Then we shot over to Attleboro, to Harbor Freight. That's when it really hit me. All those tools! Compressors, wrenches, dollies, hatchets, hammers, cutters. I didn't know which isle to go down first. Richie seemed much more relaxed than I. He was used to this.
Sneaking into a corner, I called Pam on my cell to see if she was alright.
"How's it going," She said.
"It's a good thing I came out here. I didn't realize how many things we needed."
After the better part of an hour, we left Harbor Freight without buying anything.
The whole trip took three and a half hours, getting back just in time to visit with two of my grandchildren.
It was good to see Pam...smiling as she does when any of our grand kids come to visit.
Still feeling guilty for having such a good time, I did a wash. A white wash.
I found out today that not many of us men know how to separate the whites from the darks. There's more to it than meets the eye. Things like...what if there's a white shirt with a colored emblem? Or light pink panties? Socks with a thin dark blue stripe at the toe.
It's not easy.
Then there's cold water, cold-hot, hot, warm. Not to mention how much detergent...how much bleach.
The clothes are washing now. I'll just about have enough time to switch them to the dryer before setting the table for supper.
I'll end with one thought.
Why didn't I think of making a liquid detergent bottle like that. You can use the cap to measure, then, because of the configuration of the bottle and cap, it goes back, without dripping.
I'll have to remember to call my cousin later this evening to thank him for my "day out"