Have you ever had a vacation where when you left you wanted to turn around and go right back?
There was a wishing well down in Disney World where if you dropped in a coin, you could make a wish to return. I loved that place so much I dropped at least 100 pennies in that well and, yes, I did return a few years later.
Back in August I stood under the portico of A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta and, feeling like MacArthur, stated, "I shall not return."
I lied, because in the middle of October I was right back in Fox with the same problem. Seems like we had a few penicillin-resistant germs left in my body and they finally grew strong enough to make me sick _ again.
I'm having a love affair with this place. This may very well be the next pandemic of the future _ penicillin-resistant bacteria that can't be stopped.
It is safe to say that my arrival was too late for the whole two-pound lobster and the beef Wellington feast. They put me in a bed that had nothing fancy about it _ no dials, no bells or whistles. The only thing this bed did was go up or down at my head or at my feet. The news of my last stay at the hospital had gotten around so I wasn't going to get a chance to slide out of this bed onto the floor.
While I was snoozing, I got a roommate. Now, roommates are touchy subjects _ they can be great or not. I have always been lucky to get roommates that are sheer pleasure.
I awoke from my snooze and, realizing I had gotten a new roommate, sat up and peeked around the sliding curtain _ and looked right into the face that somehow seemed familiar. (At the age of 74, I've been around long enough so that everyone looks familiar.) He introduced himself and told me his name was Frank and that he and his wife used to own Mama Nina's Pizza from 1982 to 1988. I knew that face _ it belonged to the man who stood in the window and flipped those pizzas into the air. The very memory of those pizzas almost made me faint _ being feverish had left me with no desire to eat.
Frank proceeded to tell me about the pizzas and calzones he had made years ago. My mouth started to water. Then he mentioned the strombolis that would melt in your mouth, filling your heart with joy. The next time you visit me in the hospital, just bring a calzone instead of candy or flowers.
I didn't fall out of bed this trip.
One day I was told that some nurses-in-training would be tending to my needs. Samantha and Anne Marie from the nursing program at the State University College of Technology at Delhi made up my bed, changed sheets and practiced getting the myriad of answers to all the questions they ask on those entrance forms. I thought the white, green and gold uniforms looked very professional.
I met with the nutritionist and we had fun discussing all the logistics that are necessary for feeding close to 150 people, and in some cases with specialized diets, and deliver them piping hot. I told her I was sorry for missing the whole lobster and beef Wellington feast.
I complimented her and the staff for getting the food to my room nice and hot. She showed me the special plates that make it all possible. I mused out loud about getting a set for my home, and she said she thought they only came in case lots.
It's nice when people remember your needs, because before I could say, "I gotta go," my old friend the commode on stilts was beside my bed.
Being marketing-oriented, I started thinking about promoting the stay in the hospital. My thoughts led to the following:
Like frequent flyer miles at banks and other businesses, we could get frequent flyer miles for the length of your hospital stay. You could get bonus miles for various procedures. An appendectomy would get day-for-day rewards while quintuple by-pass heart surgery would get double or triple bonus miles.
A sales slogan could be "crawl in with pain, fly out again."
Instead of flowers, plants or a get-well card, you could endow a bed in a person's name.
If you have the need for hospital care you could call ahead to reserve the bed. (Ask a nurse for a warmed blanket _ there is nothing in the world to describe the sensation when she lays it on top of you.)
The ultimate recognition would be to have a revolving door erected just for you. A red runner carpet would lead your way. (A fan-fare of trumpets would be optional.)
Frequent visitor honoree bed-pans (gold plated and monogrammed) would await your arrival, perhaps set on a shelf like the beer steins at your favorite watering hole.
The ultimate recognition would be a personalized visit to your room from John R. Remillard, president of A.O. Fox Hospital.
Now, that would be something to write about.
P.S. Like a good soap opera this story does not end here.
Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/seniorscene.
Have you ever had a vacation where when you left you wanted to turn around and go right back?
Back to nature
"The peace of the hills is about me and upon me; the leisure of the summer clouds, whose shadows I see slowly drifting across the face of the landscape, is mine. The dissonance and the turbulence and the stench of cities -- how far off they seem! The noise and dust, and the acrimony of politics -- how completely the hum of the honey-bee, and the twitter of the swallows blot them out!"Continued ...
- If you go
Raise a glass
The popularity of small-batch adult beverages is intensifying in upstate New York.Continued ...
Thick hot air and clammy clothes entice brisk visions of jumping into a pool of refreshing water. Plunging into the soft cool environment of good old-fashioned H2O can rejuvenate the soggy mind.Continued ...
Racing Under Saddle
Those looking for the thrill of watching live horse racing will not have to travel outside the region this summer.Continued ...
- Back to nature
- Around The Arts
Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
So, in a few short weeks you're graduating with an arts degree. Now what?! In the safety of college, one can ignore the realities of the outside world, where housing and meal allowances aren't rolled into a tuition payment and jobs aren't available simply because you're a student.Continued ...
Volunteers are the SWAT of the arts world
When you work at an arts organization, particularly a nonprofit, employees often wear many hats -- accomplishing the duties that appear in the traditional job description, and then some. It happens everywhere. It's a running joke among people who work at nonprofits. There is too much to do, and not enough people to do it. That's when you call in the back up -- SWAT if you will.Continued ...
Let creativity flow with unstructured art projects
As I sit here writing this, the holiday glow is still going strong (my column deadline is two weeks before the publication date), and I've been spending a great deal of time not only with my daughter, but her stuff. We're incredibly lucky to have a loving network of family and friends that spoil her, so I've been merging her new goodies with her old.Continued ...
Opportunities abound for career in the arts
I was recently asked to speak at a local high school about my career path and how I came to work in the arts. It was interesting speaking with these seniors, and discussing their hopes for life after high school.Continued ...
The art of the appraisal explained by one who knows
So often in this column my co-writer, Brittany, and I talk about how art is everywhere and can be appreciated by all. Perhaps because of my passion for everyday art, there is one part of the art world I just cannot grasp -- art appraisal. How can you put a value on something so seemingly subjective? So, I set out to learn more about this industry.Continued ...
- Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
- Music Beat
Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
At a recent concert reception in New York City, I was surprised to meet people who had imminent plans to move to the Otsego-Delaware county area. They explained that our area is so rich in musical and graphic arts that they knew they would enjoy living here.Continued ...
- Music Industry Tips
Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
There is new, long overdue attention being paid in our institutions of higher education to the use of directed practical experience as an essential partner to the classroom lecture.Continued ...
- Music Industry tips
Copyright royalties can make you smile
A few years ago, I wrote an article on the skill and dedication necessary to become a songwriter.Continued ...
- Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
- Parenting Imperfect
Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
All I wanted to do was eat my English muffin. The family had other plans.Continued ...
A reminder of the small-child years
It's amazing how quickly you forget what earlier stages of parenting are like. This is probably a blessing -- and one that only evolved after countless generations of parents only had one child because they could remember each stage too clearly.Continued ...
Well, at least she's listening to what I say
The older the kids get, the happier I am that we have a dog. She, at least, seems to be excited to see me when I get home.Continued ...
I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
It is a double-edged sword, this whole having kids old enough to leave home alone for short periods of time thing.Continued ...
It is in February when the breaking point is reached
If I could edit the calendar, the two months I'd do away with are August and February.Continued ...
- Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
- Senior scene
As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
Time flies at my house. If I sit down to write an article, I can't help but see that I have an inbox of unread letters in my email. My brain records this as saying in block letters "YOU GOT MAIL."Continued ...
From the Office: Seniors need to work to keep their brains healthy, too
As we age, both our bodies and our brains face changes. How these changes affect us are determined by genes, environment and lifestyle.Continued ...
Looking Back: We should all cherish our time with our families
Time marches on, and it seems like a different lifetime since we brought up our own children.Continued ...
As Time Goes By: I'm hearing voices -- and not only mine own
There are two problems that seem to be inherit to growing older, which when viewed in the context of a sentence appear to be opposites but are in truth part of the same problem â€"you either are getting deaf or you start talking to things that surround you.Continued ...
- From the Office: What you need to know about Affordable Care Act, Medicaid redesign
- As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
- Tech, GP
Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
Well, I'm almost ready to let out a cheer.Continued ...
Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I have taken a new position, professionally. I recently joined Eastman Associates, a local general contractor, to do its IT work, as well as taking care of some other functions of the business.Continued ...
Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
By Bruce Endries The software company everybody loves to hate, Microsoft, recently released what it calls a "consumer preview" of their next operating system, Windows 8.Continued ...
The Granite State got it right on software purchases
Believe it or not, I have found a bright spot in the political landscape, amid all the vitriolic partisan fighting.Continued ...
Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
- Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
- Teen Talk
Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice
Why hello there, upstate New York! I must say, it's a little weird going to a restaurant, to the store, or to the local meetings for individuals loving the color lime green without being asked if I'm the girl from the newspaper.Continued ...
A Word of Advice: What's new isn't always what's better
We're often told in life that we should try to experience everything we can, broaden our horizons, and even I have written columns about stepping away from the familiar in hopes of growing.Continued ...
On the Go: Mile markers of life can be painful, but enjoy them
Our insignificance is crippling.Continued ...
Weekend Reviews: 'Cherry' perfectly captures my feelings
School has finally dwindled to a close, and I can feel myself settling into a state of unperturbed relaxation, everything once again becoming slow and lethargic, the days going by with an air of hazy wistfulness.Continued ...
Teenhood Today: Don't expect expectations to always be fulfilled
In case some of you haven't noticed, I'm not a huge animal person. Sorry to all of you animal-lovers, but you most likely won't ever see me at any secret meetings you may hold.Continued ...
- Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice