The Jam, the Bench and the Playa

by Bella Rum

IMG_9786I found several jars of homemade jam in the pantry a few weeks ago. A year or two ago, my cousin and a generous friend gave me a few jars from their batches: peach, raspberry, strawberry with rhubarb.  I remember eating one jar. Then, disappearing behind stacks of soup, peanut butter or beans in the pantry, or maybe exiled to the metal bookcase in the garage where we kept the overflow, I forgot about them. When I unpacked the boxes for the new pantry, they reappeared. The last time the Grand Trio was here, I unearthed them. My oldest granddaughter, refusing to try a smidgen on a piece of toast, changed her mind when I told her it was raspberry. She loves all things raspberry. I found another in the pantry, and I’ve smeared a bit of that sweet, gooey goodness on a piece of toast every morning since, sometimes with peanut butter. Oh, my!

For several days I’ve tried to weatherproof a bench on the patio. It won’t stop raining long enough. Well, that’s not quite right. It stops but then it starts again. It feels like we’re living in Florida. It rains for a while everyday. Everyday! Just enough to keep me from weatherproofing the bench. I managed to do one coat a couple of days ago, but it needs another coat. Yesterday morning was beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky. No predictions of rain. H went golfing, and I decided to put another coat on the bench. I went into the garage and got the weatherproofing, the brush, a stirring stick and a thing-a-ma-bob to open the can. I went out side, opened the can, gave it a stir, and started painting. No sooner than I’d made a couple of passes with the brush, I felt a breeze and it got dark. I stopped and looked up. The sky was covered with dark, ominous, low-hanging clouds. I grabbed everything and took it inside, and watched in frustration as big, fat raindrops fell on my bench for about ten minutes. Then it was beautiful for the rest of the day. We keep getting these rain showers. It’s so odd. We’re not supposed to get rain in July.  The showers don’t last long, but they come everyday. No thunder. No lightning. Just rain. I’d love it if I wasn’t intent on weatherproofing that bench. I’m going to try again in a few minutes.

I got my INR checked last week, and what a conversation I heard between a female patient and a male phlebotomist. The thin curtain was not a sound proof barrier in the least, not even for my poor ears. He started out by telling her about an incident with another female patient.

Phlebotomist ~ I saw a lizard peek over the top of her purse.

Patient ~ No! No!

Phlebotomist ~ Yes, ma’am. She went screaming out of the building and into the parking lot. Left her purse and everything.

Patient ~ What did you do?

Phlebotomist ~ I took the purse outside and released the poor thing. Then I gave her her purse. She was still standing beside her car. Don’t get me wrong now, I didn’t mind at all. Girlfriend was fine. Fine.

Patient ~ Then what happened?

Phlebotomist ~ She said that she had to take me to dinner for getting that thing out of her purse. And she did.

Patient ~ Where?

Phlebotomist ~ To this great restaurant. We had steaks, wine, dessert. That meal must have set her back a lot.

Patient ~ No!

Phlebotomist ~ Yes!

Phlebotomist ~ Oops!

Patient ~ What?

Phlebotomist ~ I’m going to have to stick you again.

Patient ~ No!?

Phlebotomist ~ Yes! I grabbed the wrong color tube. I have to put it in this one. It’s okay. You won’t even feel it.

Patient ~ No! I hate going to the doctor. I hate getting stuck.

Phlebotomist ~ Don’t fret now. I didn’t hurt you the first time, did I?

He goes on with his shtick while he makes another draw. Then…

Phlebotomist ~ Okay, all done.

Patient ~ Okay. Not too bad.

Phlebotomist ~ Now I have to give you my number.

Patient ~ Why?

Phlebotomist ~ Because I stuck you twice. Now I have to buy dinner for you.

Patient ~ (nervous laughter)

Phlebotomist ~ Go on now. Take it and call me. I’ll buy you a nice dinner.

Patient ~ (Not sure what to say) Okay.

When he finally came around the curtain, I told him to get the right tube. He laughed.

Affable guy, but what a playa!