xmas eve

Happy Holidays everyone! Sam sends his love and best wishes to you all. And hey – some folk who read this don’t know who Sam is – maybe we could do a little something about that, and generate something nice for Sam too? If you could post a comment explaining “who Sam is to you”…? Too much like homework? Oh well. It was a thought. 🙂
His room is full a gazillion cards (all from women, he noted, and he said “that door can’t stand anymore cards on it” to which I replied, “you’re too damn popular.” He grinned.) He also has plants galore, candy out the wazoo, stuffed animals, xmas lights and a neon palm tree (gift from Jennifer, an aide). Not to mention all the presents!

He asked about my mother, my father, and my brother. Such a proper old man he is. 😉 I showed him a joke I got from a friend at school. Sam said it is “apt”. Then he showed it to one of the aides, Becky, who said, “What people get off the computer!” Which she thought was good, because “you’ve got to have a sense of humor these days or you’ll crack up.” No doubt. Sam said his favorite wise men joke is when they arrive at the manger and someone shouts, “It’s a girl!”
I like that one too. 😉
Sam remembered my friend David, who came to visit awhile ago and gave him a CD. He said it was “awfully nice of him,” and now he’s listened to it three times. I told him a bit about holiday maneuverings vis-a-vis the Egyptian and Hungarian inlaws, Sam rolled his eyes and said, “Relatives!” 🙂
He was in bed when I got there but said he’d been awake and contemplating getting up. He was a bit cantankerous: “I want my coffee now.” Hmph! They used a lift to get him up; first time I’d seen that. They’ve been using it for about for months in the afternoon. He’s tall, and “all muscle” (so they say). I just call him a “lugger”. He says he doesn’t have as much energy in the afternoon to help transfer. Maybe it’s his situation that reminded him of Kelly, Nona’s daughter who did well in her first semester of nursing school this past fall. Go Kelly! 🙂
Sam might be on his way back from the Gustafson’s now, or maybe he’s still there. They were picking him at 11:30 today for christmas dinner. He was really looking forward to it. I passed on Ruth’s greetings, to which he raised his coffee cup: “Hi Ruth! I’ll drink to you!” 🙂 We were sparse on jokes today, he’d had a bunch from Jennifer recently that were already passed on to the nurses, but Jean, you were right. He DID laugh when I told him you’d said you didn’t miss getting firewood!
He had a bit of stress with his holiday decorations. He has a wreath on the back of his wheelchair, one hanging in the window, and another one on the door. The one on the door was removed without even asking (shame!) because it had gotten a bit dry. Bill McKim and Cheryl Wilfong helped him replace it. Speaking of Bill – you swiped my present! But that’s ok, ’cause I got yours. Ha! 😉 Lorraine, you rock! “Super Star Sam” is awesome. Maybe you’ll let me scan it in here so others can see it? Sam showed me the present from Barbara Dunn – she’s a volunter there. It’s a photograph she took of the lighthouse in Biddeford Pool, ME this fall, which she had enlarged and framed. It is very sharply focused and has a very neat rill of water in the foreground, looking across the bay to the lighthouse in the distance. Sam likes it a lot I think. Me too! He said, “Barbara likes me”. Shameless, don’t you think?! He went on, “Several girls around here like me.” What a ladykiller!
We talked about the grief counselor I’ve been seeing. I think she’s gonna work out alright. I told Sam I was training her. 🙂 He told me about the woman he saw twice when he first moved in to Eden Park, and how he decided he was healthier than she was! (Maybe it was even a mutual decision, I’m not quite sure.)
Tom Zopf arrived and visited for awhile. He was full of stories about Barbara Dirks, who got a kink in her hip traveling recently and hasn’t been getting around too easily, a hike he and Lou, Maude, Dan and Dan’s mother, had taken up Prospect Mountain in Dummerston where they laid on the grass in the sun. The ground was frozen I guess, but go figure! It was that warm. Another story was about thier store on Rt 30 which was robbed in the wee hours of the morning. Such excitement! Sam said they host more guests than Sam gets at Eden Park. That’s saying something! And they’re still adjusting to the completion of a major renovation (they practically rebuilt the 1792 former schoolhouse). “Build a house, lose a spouse!” but that didn’t happen. Tom says it’s done now, nothing to do but move forward. 😉
Tom also loved the gift/art by Lorraine: “Oh Sam, who did this?! Oh, that’s good! Any-Warhol-type.” In case you didn’t know, Lorraine is Andy Warhol’s sister.
Sam showed off a picture of Anne, his sister in Tennessee and her husband. Speaking of company, Elizabeth Brownstein wants to visit this summer, she just finished writing her book about Lincoln. Sam says, “I’ll ask her, how’d it end?”
Tom told us about a time when his son, Adam, was watching a civil war documentary on tv, and chastised his father for mentioning something about the “upcoming” assassination: “Don’t tell me how it ends!” Sam continued, “I could have saved her a lot of time. ‘He lived and he died.'”
Tom and I started to brainstorm other people who should be on the list I email the Sam posts to, he mentioned the Corey’s, then realized, “a lot of them didn’t really like Sam” – so I guess we’ll see how many more people *really* get added to the list. 🙂
As Tom was getting ready to leave, Sam mentioned he hadn’t seen the Fantini’s new baby, and somehow that got Tom onto this story of his recent trip to North Carolina, where there were 80 chruches in a town of 30,000 people. Brattleboro, by comparison, with 15,000 people has less than a dozen (we think). The fascinating juxtaposition is in RSVP volunteers (for senior citizens): at the regional office in NC, they had 300 people in 60 different organizations. In Brattleboro, 600 volunteers in 125 organizations. WOW! Tom said he thought this is more sociological than political (people in NC might do all their volunteering through the churches for instance), but it still seems quite striking.
After Tom left, Sam and I listened to Also Sprach Zarathustra, a gift from Bill Horn, and ate dinner (kentucky fried chicken, yum). Michael came in with Sam’s evening round of meds, “It’s the Cossacks!” I don’t think Sam would put the staff at Eden Park in the same category, but then…maybe it depends on the day?!
Like I said, it was a long visit. 🙂 I have notes from a previous visit (a few weeks ago) that I haven’t posted yet (I misplaced them, oops), but will wait a few days to do that. Meanwhile, happy happy to everyone!

4 thoughts on “xmas eve”

  1. Stephanie,
    Thanks again for taking care of Sam.
    To me, his was(and is) the ultimate of friends. Never one to critisize, but always there to lend a kind word of encouragement. I can’t tell you all of the wonderful conversations we had on the deck, looking out over the pasture and watching the days go by.
    I will always cherish those days on Putney Hill, and of all of the neighbors who were really like my family. Sam, I love you and miss you, and, some day soon I hope, I will come for a visit.
    Happy New Year!! Love, Jean

  2. Stephanie,
    Thanks for the message. The Fantini’s new baby???? We are not having any baby, nor are our kids! Tell Sam (whom I saw last Thursday) that he must have been misinformed. Love, Bea Fantini

  3. Thanks for the message…you might want to make clear that Lorraine’s being Warhol’s sister must be a “joke”

  4. Ah Phil, I was trying my hand at a ‘straight-faced punch line’ but it just doesn’t work so well online, eh? But maybe if I fooled you into thinking I was serous….it worked! 🙂 Is Lorraine gonna let me scan “Super Star Sam”?
    Bea, I think Sam actually meant your grown son. 😉

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