Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Graduation Turns On A New Switch -- We Go On A Date

Ken’s graduation from Home Health Care was a stepping stone. I told him today that even though he was disappointed to miss the Therapy he was getting, graduation seemed to flip a switch in his brain back toward some state of normalcy.

He is now interested in going places and doing things. He loves the freedom of driving his car again and tonight for the first time since March, we went to the Gilcrease Jazz night.

So here goes my dialogue on what ole’ timers do on date nights.  I know I talked about this in my March blog, but bear with me one more time--I have not been out on a date for a while.

We both enjoy jazz and the musicians are local often ‘unknowns’ spreading their wings. At times there have been big Tulsa names who graduated from high school the same time that I did.  Even though you will see a few young people at these Jazz events, they attract the oldest generation. Retirement Centers bring in their residents in van loads.  The rest of us shufle in with our walkers and canes.  (OK, I'm being a bit too dramatic, I know.)    

One of the most fascinating things which I enjoy is watching old peole dance.  It appears they have been dancing all their lives and love every minute of it.
I love their smiles and always look forward to the regular 'real' dancers. Our favorites were not there tonight but it was still good.  I think Ken and I dance vicariously through the others.

The $5 buffet dinner is always pretty much the same: fruit tray, cheese tray, roll, tossed green salad with feta, cranraisens and pecans, two choices of some pasta dish of maybe chicken, beef or sometimes seafood, grilled veggies and bread pudding. Coffee and tea are included and there is a cash bar.  One suspects this occassion is designed for us ‘oldies’ because the event is from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm and the museum is open till 8:00 pm in case one wants to look around a bit as you hobble in and out. Tonight our table was next to the Red Hat Ladies and they were celebrating Cutiepie’s Birthday so I took a picture of her during the song.  Of course, you will recognize her by the 'purple hat and red dress.'

The interesting part is often meeting new people and getting to know a little about their lives during the music. Tonight we sat with the Vishers who have lived in Tulsa since the 1960’s. She did not talk much but he told us he had traveled the world, he is a geologists and taught all over the world for 25 years. But the hardest job he ever had was “raising three daughters.”

After the Vishers left at half time, the singer of the evening, Shelly (I think) sat at our table with what she intruduced as her three children.  We learned she had been a music teacher for eleven years at Northside Elementary in Broken Arrow and her children were former students she had found on Facebook.  So we learned about a few of their childhood experiences and there goals and dreams for the future.

Since we are out of our concert and it is still daylight, we usually take the scenic tour of downtown Tulsietown. There is so much construction in the downtown area that we came towards town on the back roads.  It was quite a beautiful view of  Tulsa's skyline.  Of course I had to add a few buildings such as the BOK and the remodeled Convention Center as well as the change on Main street and Bartlett Square.

 Tonight we included our first living quarters when we were married 53 years ago – a garage apartment off of Swan Lake. The home back then was owned by the Brown Family and now has been is disrepair. We were glad to see that someone is working on the home and upgrading the property.  So now the secret is out of what a date is like when you reach 72.

This upstairs, studio apartment rented for $50 a month in 1957.   It was really cute inside way back then....our honeymoon home.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Take The Mercy, Accept The Help

Ken has always loved to do the chores around the house and he totally loves yard work -- mowing, trimming, edging -- all of it. But when he began to get sick back in the spring, he was not able.   Even the beloved Yorkie Babe was more than he could tolerate.  So Lily and Rosie took over for him.In Hebrews we learn "we don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." I know that God ministers to his children using other humans.  With us, it is our precious children:  Dave, April, Elijah, Lily and Rosemary.    They have been by our side all the way through this time of trouble and they have extended mercy while we gladly accepted it.   Thank you to our precious children.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

That Work I Do

I love my work.  I always have and expect that I always will.  Of course there will always be both good and bad days, easy and hard moments.  The work I do demands concentration, confidentiality, trust and privacy.  Part of the intrigue is that as I move from job to job, I never really know what to expect -- will the Deaf person show up, what frame of mind will they be in?  Will the communication content be heavy, light, fun or troublesome?  Will the news be that of a job layoff or an unwanted diagnosis?  Perhaps I don't know the person: what do they look like, what is their signing mode, will communication be clear, will I understand the hearing person, and on and on the unknowns go.  
The unknowns are the same whether community or call center.  Call center interpreting at times is more stressful:  call after call after call,  not knowing who or what is coming next.   A call center setting also offers the pressure of call times, points earned, clock-in, log on, numbers here and numbers there.  The pressure of the clock when you are tied up on a call and need to potty or take a moment to regroup... still, it must never be more than 10 minutes out of 60.  However, there are many plus points and I love the opportunity to work in a call center for a few hours each week.
Community work on the other hand,  offers the driving time to the job, the chatting during the waiting process, the hugs and personal good-bys or see you again another time.  Community work can be very  intense but offers a moment to regroup for the next session.   And on those rare occasions, if the job is more than two hours with continous dialogue, the interpreter has a team. 
This is your peek into the  positive and negative of my work.  I can not tell stories of my jobs.   So I will talk about myself in the in-between times.    One example might be legal interpreting.  There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" at any court house.   Such was the case  not long ago in a court room....the wait.  Attorney's running in and out, judge opening door to see who has not arrived, court reporter sitting up her station and then tearing it down to go do her work in chambers.  There were the prisoners in chains and officers  to guard, there were nervous and angry visitors waiting .... and you may not guess, the deaf person is no where to be found!  
I was informed I would wait one and a half hours for the deaf person so as I sat, I analyzed the dingy ceiling tiles.  Then I took notice of the dust on the ceiling fans.  Know now, I have never considered myself to be an observant person, but honestly, the American and the Oklahoma flag both needed to be refreshed.....they appeared in sad condition.   After observing hair, clothing, attitudes, mannerisms and the such, I resorted to noticing everyones shoes.   Remind you, I am not observant, I am desperate for thought and I needed my camera to help me think.
Oh how I wished I could have gotten my camera out -- but in a court room -- and on a job --- I think not, yet, I wanted to so badly!  The officer's boots were massive - black, thick boots with what looked like two inch soles.  The snippy attorney's assistant with red, four-inch heels caused her to walk like a penguin.  The orange slides  decorated with ankle cuffs over orange jammies and clanking chains .  Then there were grey strips adorned with  chains of a different nature over bright orange loafers.  And the scene went on and on.  If I only could have used my camera, I would have created a masterful story of the shoe reveals the human.    Maybe another time when I am not being paid to do a confidential job.  sigh. 
Then, when the interesting court session began and I wanted to stay and listen, my hour and a half were up and I was allowed to leave.   double sigh.  ................  If you are wondering what the pictures have to do with anything....another job, another day, time and place while waiting.  I love my work and I love my camera.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day From A Call Center

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. Ronald Reagan

This is a day we remember the fallen soldiers who faught for our freedom as well as those still fighting today. This is a day to be grateful for the freedoms and blessings that God has so blessed upon us.  And sadly, it is that freedom that our nation and government are slowly giving up. 
I am celebrating today in a different fashion - by working at an Interpreter Call Center earning time and half pay -- not shabby.  Does that mean I am still fighting for my freedom?  Well yes, because my real freedom comes within my spirit and my soul.  At the moment, I have no need for picnics,  lake trips, no bbq today and no fireworks to increase my state of happiness.   (However, the neighborhood will do their share of fireworks and I will be home by dark so I'll not totally miss out.  And I've eaten bbq in the last week.  I enjoyed a buffalo burger before I came to work,  as well as a dip in the hot tub with hubby.......)
And now, I am sitting here on the job interpreting confidential calls by happy July 4th weekend well-wishers and/or discussions of vacation plans and calls for Chinese delivery or thin crust Pizza with ham, mushrooms, garlic and sausage .   This is another form of the freedoms we have which we should not take lightly.  Video Phones for the Deaf so that they have equality.  Video phones which were given by individuals with the awareness of a need and the imagination to invent such technology so that the Deaf have power to grow and change their world.  Technology has opened a world of freedom to this group.
Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.   Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, July 2, 2010

Everything In Moderation --- What's That Mean?

At least two or three times a week, Sommer comes out with these beautiful photos and recipes of the wonderful food which she has created on her food blog:  http://www.aspicyperspective.blogspot.com/  
    Since I work practically every day, I had gotten where I cooked less and less.  But now I have these tantelizing recipes which are inspired by beautiful personal stories so, I want to try them.  But calories are a problem and now that the Papa is on a diabetic diet, I am doubly challenged.  Her Fresh Strawberry Yoguart Cake is so beautiful and I oh so much wanted to try it.  But 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of sugar, white flour, powdered sugar??????? it don't fit the limit of 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal too easily.    But today I finally decided I was going to do it -- only I had used up my strawberries, so used what I had available and did it with fresh cherries. I may not have had enough cherries and   I don't think my cherries cried pink tears like Sommers strawberries did, but it is so moist and yummy.  Papa had his one piece and the rest will be given away or hidden in the freezer.  It has some healthy things in it -- lemon zest, lemon juice, greek yogurt, cherries.......can't be all bad. 
But the next time it may have to be that roasted beet salad with radishes and radicchio whatchamacallem, that I've never heard of.  It sure looks pretty Sommer.  http://aspicyperspective.blogspot.com/2010/06/sumptuous-salad.html#more