Tag Archives: transport

Wait in the Waiting Room


“Wait” is my year word for 2018.  Who knew I would need such a word on which to rely?  Well, I guess we all know who knew.  But it wasn’t me, at the time it came to me.

I, along with my sister, have spent the entire month of August in waiting rooms at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, right here in Winston-Salem.  Baptist is a teaching hospital, and according to the standing adverts in several now familiar waiting rooms, rated the “best in the state” and “one of the top in the nation” in neurology, according to U.S. News & World Report.  That rating has been a source of consolation, but I am going to tell you, the waiting rooms would not receive such accolades.

There are waiting rooms, and then there are waiting rooms.  I never knew there were so many kinds of waiting rooms.  There is one for everything…for the CT scans, for the blood draws, for the EKGs, for the families while their loved ones are in surgery, for the doctors’ appointments, and for admissions and for discharges.  There are waiting areas, not to be confused with actual rooms,  for the transport vans to arrive and drop.  I think there are waiting rooms for the waiting rooms.

My step-dad is enduring a medical crisis, and Baby Sister and I are his “go-to” people.  We’ve developed a criteria for a good waiting room, and here is it, in no particular order:

Good magazines.  Up-to date, but Field & Stream doesn’t cut it.

Snacks.  Close by, not three floors down, and seven corridors to the left and right.

Comfortable seating.  Preferably a recliner or two.  Definitely a sofa or two.

Available blankets and pillows.  We would greatly appreciate the warmed up kind, please.  Those places are like a butcher’s freezer.

Attractive wall art.  I guess cows are acceptable.

T.V. with working remotes.   NOT tuned and locked in to Fox News, for Lord’s sake.  A loop of all seasons of Big Bang Theory might be nice.

And frankly, a complimentary cocktail bar would be a real perk, but I’m guessing that is just crazy dreaming.

Our Five Star ratings go to the Neurology Waiting Room, 4th floor, Janeway Tower and the Family Waiting Room of Surgical Services.  They both have huge windows overlooking the city to the west and the helicopter pad.  We can see the comings and goings of the emergency chopper, the weather, and  feel like life still moves forward.

I have to say that Family waiting at the Neuro ICU, Ardmore 5th floor, is pretty good, too. Maybe four stars.   There’s a little kitchen with microwave and fridge.  One family we talked to had set up a nice little camp at one end of the lounge.  They’d been there a week, and were from out-of-town.  There is always someone who is worse off than you, if you look around.

Meanwhile…we “wait.”






Tic, Tic, One More Thing Checked off my Bucket List…


Five-and-a-half years ago, when I was newly single, I decided to make a list of dreams to achieve, desires, as they were.  I called it My Life’s Desires because Bucket List sounded just too, too final.  Then I set out to accomplish said feats, some of which were just plain madness, and some of which were/are worthy of a Bucket List.

Up until that time, I had never lived alone.  I was nearly sixty-three years old.  I was terrified.  I vowed to live by myself for five full years.  So far, I have liked living alone just fine.  I cheat a little bit, though.  For two months of the year, I visit with my family in Wisconsin, and stay at one of my sister’s houses.  This is my sixth summer, and I have my own bedroom, closet of hanging clothes, dresser drawers with more neatly folded clothes, and bathroom with two drawers of cosmetics and all the beauty aids it takes for a woman of a certain age to feel confident enough to go out in public without a huge hat and sunglasses, thank you very much.

Another promise I made to myself was to go on a sister road trip.  My baby sister and my lake friend who is a sister-by-different-parents drove to Indiana a few months after I moved back to North Carolina.  It was a never-to-be-forgotten adventure, where the two of them, grabbed the car keys from my hands at the very first pit stop, relegated me to the back seat, and took over the driving.  We made several unplanned stops at “thrift” stores, talked until our jaws ached, and laughed until we…well, had to stop for facilities.  It was very healing.

Tomorrow, my lake sister and I are taking a road trip once again.  She is accompanying me to Wisconsin.  We have big plans, and I can be sure that most of them will be shuffled around because if anything is sure, it is that we will be casting our fate to the wind (and God, of course).  She will stay for a week, and then she will fly back home.  Meanwhile, I have promised her I will bring back anything she buys there that can’t fit into her suitcase.  We already have big excitement in store before we even leave.  We are carrying her 89 year-old mother-in-law back to her home in Indiana.  I love her mother-in-law nearly as much as I love my friend, and I am grateful to be able to do the transport.

We will have a full car, with belongings of four people.  It’s complicated, but when my sister was down here last fall, she bought a few things like a wooden high chair, Fiesta bowl, and a small wooden wall decoration, plus an entire new wardrobe at Talbot’s.  The Talbot’s things she took home.  The old clothes she left here.  Then there’s my stuff for two months, and my dog and her stuff, and my two guests and their stuff.

In between the first one and this one, there have been other sister road trips with other sisters, including last summer’s that involved the transport of a rescue cat.  There is no way on earth or in heaven that I could have foreseen how exciting, funny, and memorable any of these trips have turned out to be.  That’s why a road trip is an appropriate “life’s desire.”  So, tic, tic.  Another adventure is about to unfold.  That is probably the best desire of all…to be ready for the adventure.

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Some of the stuff of two people, one dog, and a few gifts.  Hoo-boy.