Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Visit to the VA

I missed my ride to the VA yesterday.

As Bill and I sat waiting in the early morning murkiness that is the parking lot of the liqueur store located at Rt. 1 and Rt. 5, I had an ominous feeling that the American Legion van wasn't stopping by to pick me up. I was right.

Six o'clock rolled around. No van. It is now six fifteen am and still there is no van. Maybe they're late. "No", I tell Bill,”they're not coming." Six thirty and it is now daylight. We're still in the parking lot waiting in vain for a ride that will never arrive. I call the van coordinator, waking him. Still half asleep, he told me he put me on the calendar at the American Legion. Then I thought "I didn't tell him to pick me up at Rt. 1 and 5." Ah ha. My fault.

My appointment at the VAMC in Wilmington was for 9:00 am in the dermatology department. I told Bill he will have to take me to the VA. It's a 90 mile trip one way. One plus is now we could give his new GPS a real test. Off we went to Wilmington in the early morning traffic. This was not what Bill had planned for this day.

The traffic wasn't as bad as we had feared. We only made one wrong turn (taking Rt. 141 south instead of Rt. 141 north.) The woman's voice (She Who Must Be Obeyed) on the GPS quickly recalculated and we quickly corrected our course. We arrived at the VA at 8:20, plenty of time for me to check into the dermatology unit. They request that you be there at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

A young intern from Thomas Jefferson University examined me for any skin cancer problems. She found three areas of actinic keratosis on my face. One was right in the middle of my forehead and two on my left sideburn. She burned them off with a dry ice spray. It burned. Now I have a red dot in the middle of my forehead. With a turban I could pass for one of those Pakistani sects.

After my treatment I went looking for the van driver in the main waiting area of the VA. The American Legion Post 28 of Oak Orchard provides a van four days a week for any veteran from Slower Lower (Sussex County Delaware) who wishes to avoid driving to the Wilmington VA. It is very generous of them. We can contribute to the cost if we want to but it isn't necessary. Most of the vets contribute $10 or whatever they can afford. No one keeps records.

I locate the van driver and tell him who I am. He shows me his list and I see a note next to my name as a "No Show." That's what we have at the hotel where I work, "No Shows." That's people who make reservations who don't show up. I'm a "No Show." I was mortified. I apologized to him and told him that I neglected to tell Tim (who I made the reservation through earlier in the week) that I was to be picked up at Rts. 1 and 5. The driver grunted and then shifted a bit to continue waiting for the other five vets who did show up. He was finished with me. As I left I gave him a light pat on the shoulder and I saw a hint of a mile. Maybe I redeemed myself.

Bill and I headed back home, but not before we made a pit stop at Sam's Club in Dover. They have the best rotisserie chicken. The absolute best and it only costs $4.97. We also did some other shopping before heading home. We were home before noon.

I made myself some lunch then took a nap prior to going into work at the hotel. My co-worker on day shift had called me on my cell phone while I was in the waiting room at the dermatology clinic and asked me to come in early for her because she had to pick her daughter up at school. I could do that.

Last night at work was uneventful except for the fact that one of the guests complained on a comment card that she almost fell on the wet tile floor I was mopping Saturday night. The owner stopped in and wanted to know what happened. I explained to him what happened which was that I was mopping the tile floor at 10:30 at night and the guest returned to the hotel with her husband and on her way to the elevator she almost slipped on the wet tile floor (which I did not have a sign that said "Wet Floor".) I didn't know there was a sign. Now I do. I mopped the floor last night and put the sign down which I must say makes me feel more comfortable when I mop the floor. No guests came in this time though to walk across my wet floor.

I finished my shift with an aching back which I usually do because I spend the whole eight hours either standing for sitting on a stool. I have no back support. Try that for eight hours. No complaints from me though. I'm appreciative that I have a job.

Thus I just finished one of my "Daily Journal" blog entries. Look for changes to come to this blog in the near future. I have been inspired by another blog that I recently read called "Ramblings of the bearded one." His name is Kim Ayres (yes, like me he uses his real name) and he lives in Scotland. I find his blog very interesting and readable. Up until now the only blogs that I have found interesting are of two friends of mine. Their blogs are interesting because they are well written and because I know them I find their lives interesting. However, up until now I haven't found a blog of a stranger as interesting because the ones I have read are either too off the wall, badly written or on arcane subjects I have no interest. I thought I would be interested in gay blogs but they are among the worst I've ever read. Kim is straight but that is beside the point. He is an excellent writer and he writes blogs that are thought provoking, serious, and funny at all the same time. This man has a talent that is unfiltered and unfettered by some arbitrary editor or publishing company. His blog for me is a pure joy to read. I'm going to steal some of his ideas to make my blogs more interesting and readable.

The only constant is change. I will continue this conversation later.


  1. Woah, praise indeed! Many thanks :)

    Grab, steal and adapt all the posts you want. They'll become uniquely yours as soon as you start typing :)

  2. Kim,

    Thank you for your generosity but I won't steal your posts verbatim. However, I will follow your example of writing concise and interesting posts such as you write. You are an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your life with us out here in the universe.


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