Sunday, June 19, 2016

Card from mom's hospice folks...

Card from mom's hospice folks...  From the moment mom arrived out here in Utah, we were impressed with the quality of the care her hospice team delivered.  Even more we were impressed by the genuine caring that they repeatedly demonstrated.  While all of their folks were great, the nurse assigned to mom – Logan A. – was particularly good.  When mom died, Logan was the one who called me (in the middle of the night) to let me know, and she did so in a sweet and caring way.  In a conversation a little later that same day I found out this was the worst part of the job for her.  After mom died, Logan went out of her way to reach out to me, to make sure that Scott and I were doing all right.

Yesterday we got an envelope from Rocky Mountain Care, the hospice organization, and it was obviously a card.  From the outside (above), it looked like a standard generic corporate card.  Inside was something else altogether (click to embiggen):

That was the last thing in the world that I expected.  Some of those people I never even met.  Some, like Logan, were an important part of mom's care.  I cannot even imagine doing the job these fine folks do every day.  Even if I somehow managed to make myself do it, I can't imagine maintaining that degree of caring for people – strangers to them – that they know are going to die soon.  That's the very definition of their work.  But these folks do it, and they do it very well.

Kudos to them all.  Now pardon me while I wipe a tear or three away...

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Yesterday Debbie's new office furniture was delivered: a long table (with the top in two pieces for shipment), a large hutch for storage, and a desk.  All of this furniture was custom-made by the same craftsman who made our dresser and a few other pieces.  We ordered it back in February, and only now did it arrive.  It's made of massive black locust slabs with trunks for table legs.  It's stunning stuff, the kind of thing we'd only seen in glossy magazine photos before.

“Delivered” is a bit of an ambiguous term, however :)  The delivery company knew they had some heavy pieces (the hutch is over 400 pounds), so they promised to send some muscle along.  The driver, a very nice fellow named Preston, stopped in Wellsville and picked up a few relatives: his brothers and their wives and children, and his parents.  We had the whole family clan along for the effort!  My brother Scott and I were the muscle on our end.

While the delivery folks wanted to be very helpful, in fact they were completely unprepared to make this delivery.  They didn't even have knives to remove the packing material, much less any hand trucks, skids, etc.  Worse yet, they had no experience at all moving furniture.  I am vastly more experienced than they are, simply from having moved my own household a few times.

Except for the hutch, the clan and us managed to get everything upstairs.  There was a bit of damage to the desk in the process (we're working on resolving that), and the house suffered a ding or two (nothing serious).  The hutch, though, was simply too large to get upstairs.  That's my bad; I measured the hutch to fit the space and didn't even think about what it would take to get it into the upstairs office.  It was too big to fit in the front door!

So the delivery folks left, and it was just Scott and I left.  After some thinking, we realized we were going to have to partially disassemble the hutch.  A couple hours later, our front yard was littered with beautiful furniture components, and the remaining hutch framework was just small enough to fit through the door.  However ... it was too long to make the turn required to go through the front door and up the main stairway.  What to do?

After considerable thought, measurement, and plotting, I came up with a way.  We put the hutch on a pallet, and used my tractor to get it to the back door, which opens into our kitchen.  We then skidded it on a piece of cardboard through the kitchen, rotated it (with about 1" of clearance!), and skidded it into our dining room.  From there we could easily get it to our second staircase that leads up into the TV room.  I'm not quite sure how Scott and I did it, but we managed to get that monster up the staircase without dinging either it or the walls – despite having less than 1" of clearance on the width.  Once in the TV room, skidding it into the office was a piece of cake.  The hutch was upstairs – we did it!

That ended our efforts for the day.  We were both exhausted.

Today is assembly day.  The furniture is all upstairs now, but partially disassembled and not in the right place.  So far this morning I've assembled the table (though all the screws are not yet in place).  The two pieces of the table top weigh over 100 pounds each; they were quite tricky to get into place by myself.  Ingenuity was required, along with a tolerance for smashed toes :)  Next up: the desk, which will have to be disassembled to get it through the office door, then reassembled once it's inside.

It promises to be a long, long day...