Thursday, August 27, 2009

More stories about Stan. For whatever reason I was elected to buy a fleece vest for my dad's friend's birthday. A gift from Dad and Helena. Dad did not want one of our Moose vests, that I offered to him from the store, he wanted one from L.L. Bean exactly like the one my brother Ben bought him a couple of years ago. In Navy, with nothing on it. No L.L. Bean written on it, absolutely not. He had wanted me to go online and buy it for him when he was out here, but I never did, and his friend's birthday isn't until the end of September anyway. So every time I talk to him he tells me I need to go on line and buy this vest for him. So a couple of days ago I asked him for his friend's name and address, but he can't read his own address book, his eyes have gotten that much worse, so he asked me to call Helena and get the information from her. Finally this evening at a decent hour in New York I remembered and called Helena. "Is everything O.K.? Yes, everything is fine, I just called to say Hello." And so we spoke for awhile and then when Helena said, "It's been really nice talking to you," I replied, "well there is one thing I wanted to ask you - I need Bob's address..." And then she asked me if I knew which vest I was going to buy, and I told her, no, but I can go on line right now and you can help me pick it out so that's what we did. Figured out which was the nicest vest, she had already called and had a bunch of item numbers, so I looked at each one and we described them and we made a decision. We talked a bit more and then I called my Dad to get his credit card information. He can hardly see his card to give me the number. And then he tells me that the cable guy came today, made him wait all day, showed up at 4:30, he fixed his t.v. in the bedroom, but he messed up his remote in the living room. He wanted him to fix the volume controls, but now something else doesn't work. So I coached him through using his remote, but I have no idea what he was trying to do or why it wasn't working or even if it wasn't working. Why does it have to be so complicated, was my Dad's lament. It was a beautiful day in New York so after the cable guy left he took a walk. So I told him we picked out the vest and I would buy it now and see if I could get it shipped in mid- September. Yes, don't send it to him yet, it's too early, he'll get it too soon. And miraculously I was able to order it and have it shipped later, all done on line with a customer service rep.

That was this evening. Today at the store I dealt with a down computer system, planning for the winter, a meeting with Jackie and our manager, ordered xmas trees, got my new computer set up with the store printer, took Howie to the bank to purchase his first certificate of deposit (he's saving for a car). It was a bit of a crazy day, very frustrated by the internet, but in the end with the help of the phone guy and the network guy over the phone got it all back on line.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's been almost 5 weeks since they've been back and I haven't written in a month. A lot happens everyday, and I guess somehow I lost my alone routine, and haven't been writing, but I have bought my own laptop, so now I have less of an excuse not to write though I bought it almost a month ago, I just haven't made the time or had the energy to review my day every night before going to bed. We've been a very busy family since Andrew and Jackie have returned. Besides the busy summer continuing. After just a few days of acclamating we immediately had more visitors, 2 families from Jackie's Boston College days for a full week, then right after that her good friend CeCe with her 4 year old daughter in town for a week. Then it was off to Connecticut for a Roberts family reunion for a week, on the way dropping off Grandpa Stan at his apartment in Queens. Then finally back to Big Sky with no visitors, just work and our family of 5.

I've been somewhat emotionally exhausted, maybe that's why I haven't been writing. Work has been stressful, though the store did just fine without me the week I was away, though I definitely have some work stories to tell, mostly employee related. I think all of my responsiblities finally caught up to me, and having Jackie back with her now telling me what to do as well, 5 weeks of taking care of my Dad catching up with me, Micah and Howie and Andrew, all the employees, Murray and Buddy.

Just the other morning I decided to stay home an extra half an hour before heading in to the store so I could have a cup of coffee with Jackie. We were talking about Andrew, the phone rings and its the store with an easy question, but a heads up that one of the deli workers gave 2 weeks notice, and then Buddy runs down the street and is following someone down the road, so I hop in the car and go get him and every time I yell at him to sit he runs away. He finally listens, I put him in the car and take him back home. And I'm angry and frustrated. It never ends. No one listens to me not even, actually I should say, especially Buddy.

Last night I was over at our neighbor Chris' for dinner with Jackie and the kids and Beth asked me if I had been blogging - she hadn't looked in a while and I told her no. She likes the blog for the Stan stories. So this is for Beth:

Stan and I flew back to LaGuardia on August 11th. Jackie, Micah and Howie flew to Connecticut. I met them in Old Lyme the next night. I figured I needed to take Dad home and get him settled, and go through his mail, pay his bills, take him grocery shopping and just get him settled in. Arriving in La Guardia we got our luggage, got a cab and headed to his apartment. Cab drivers never want to go to Bayside - it's too close to the airport. This cab driver was from West Africa, had only been driving for 3 months, and needed to be told how to go. If I wasn't with my Dad I'm not sure if he could take a yellow cab home - he can't see the road signs, he can't tell where the drivers are taking him, and he doesn't trust anyone. With my help the driver got us home no problem, but he told us he had to be back at the airport by 11:30 pm - it was about 11 pm when he dropped us off - otherwise his return slip would be no good. Dad suddenly became concerned for the driver, thought he might get lost going back or not make his deadline. We gave him a good tip and sent him back on his way. I'm sure he did all right. Back at his apartment we watched the Mets game and then went to sleep. Home sweet home.

The next day, still on Montana time, we got a late start, but I made phone calls for him checking on prescriptions and doctor's appointments. He always assumes things are going to go wrong and because of that he sometimes makes them go wrong. He called for his prescription and he told me they said they didn't have it, but that's not what they said, they just said that his insurance wouldn't cover it, so I had to make some phone calls and figure it all out and then call Medicare and get them to put a vacation extension on the prescription so Medicare would cover it. Then we paid his bills and I discovered that he was overpaying for his cell phone so I had to call AT&T and get that fixed. He actually had had some fraudulent activity on his cell phone back in April and when they fixed it they didn't realize he wasn't on a family plan and he was paying for a family plan so they credited it all back.

What else?

I'm sitting there going through all his bills, paying them one by one, writing out the checks, then having him sign them one by one, and suddenly he looks at me and says he's not feeling well, his stomach hurts. I tell him to try to go to the bathroom. He says to me, "Your doing all the work, and I'm feeling exhausted with stomach pains." I tell him, It's O.K., I'm almost finished, lay down on the couch. You're having anxiety, it's not a big deal, I've got it covered. I finish up the bill paying, he tries to go to the bathroom again, he comes back to the table and signs the last couple of checks. I file all the paid bills. He's feeling better, he passed some gas. "Let's go out and get some lunch, " I suggest. He takes a shower, and we go out - it's already almost 2 pm. We mail his bills, drop off his co-op payments at the building across the street, and we go to the diner. He's hungry, we both get breakfast. He gets a short stack of pancakes and I get eggs. He cleans his plate. He needs to eat, he doesn't eat, he doesn't realize he's hungry, his stomach is always bothering him so he's afraid to eat. We pick up his prescription at the drug store, he gets a ton of pills for a lot less money than he's paid before so he's thrilled. We take a walk to the grocery store and buy him some dinner and a yogurt and some fruit. He doesn't need a lot of food, he's going to Chicago in 2 days. We get back to his apartment - it's going on 4 pm and I need to leave - the train I want to catch out of Penn Station is at 5:30. He's ready for me to leave, but he realizes he needs another prescription filled so I call the Big Sky Pharmacy and have the prescription transfered. I'm not sure what else he needed me to do, but I get it done and say Goodbye. We hug and kiss and say I love you. He says to me, "I hope I see you again."

At the family reunion that night, Jackie's family asks me about Stan and I tell them, he's a funny guy. We talked about Micah's Bar Mitvah in Big Sky in June and he's excited about that. He told me he was going to miss Howie a lot - he had fun watching the Mets games with him. We talked about Howie's Bar Mitzvah being 3 years after Micah's and he says to me at some point, I think I can live that long. And when we said Goodbye, he says, "I hope I see you again." I had them laughing around the table.

And then the other day I'm on the phone with Dad. He's back from his visit to Chicago with brother Harold and all he wants to tell me is I should look into a double air mattress for our sofa bed, Harold has a double mattress. And Harold's little puppy is so cute, he has baby teeth. So basically Harold's guest bed and new dog are better than my guest bed and new dog. He doesn't mean it that way, but whatever. I just tell him I'll ask Harold about his bed, and laugh it off.

Then he calls me and want me to order a vest for his friend in Chicago from LL Bean. I tried to give him a Hungry Moose fleece vest, but that wasn't good enough. So I need to go on line and order one from LL Bean and have it sent to his friend, but he can't read the address so I have to call his friend Helena and get the address.

And so it goes. That was for you Beth.

Today's news: Micah did a face plant while wake boarding at Hebgen Lake and the wake board smacked him in the back of his head. He was with our friend Curly when it happened. They were about to head home anyway. A nice gash took 4 stitches. First stitches ever for a Robin Boy. Micah's doing fine, was a good boy at the medical clinic, has a little headache, but is fine.

I'm sure there's lots of other news, and lots more stories from the past month - and we will get to those on another day. Last Friday was quite a work day...