Aug 10 2012 in Elly's Granddaughter by EllysGdaughter
I am excited to say that this week has gone quite well.
After being home from my work since May, I am ready for the hustle and bustle of work! It’s different than my summer “work” living and keeping up Elly’s house and yard. Instead of kneeling in the the flower beds picking weeds out by the roots or spending the morning watering flowerbeds, mornings will find me in a cool office learning names of the freshman and interacting with lots of folks.
I work in a high school office so I am off work during the summer. Last summer I was moved twice (by letter) due to my position being eliminated and HR Director trying to place me in an open Attendance & Records position. I ended up in a very specialized early college high school which starts school earlier than any other school in our district and also ends early – in May.
Last August, I had a rough start working with my office manager (her first year learning) who also was new to the school (like me) as well as being an office manager. I’ve been with the district since 1995 in lots of clerical positions at different schools. I spent much of last year without much communication with her as she was learning her job and trying to impress the principal but not being a team player. I decided to go into the office believing that the slate was wiped clean over the summer and we could start again.
This week has been marvelous, much more of what I expected as we talked and shared as a team in our little office. There are just two of us to serve the principal and 14 teachers. I work 3.5 hours a day and will fill in again this year for the office manager whenever she needs to take time off. My work at this school will slow down greatly so if I want time off, I can get it most anytime after the first couple of months. I like the beginning of school with all the paperwork and lists etc… so I am happy.
Elly has not remembered that I am at the same school this year. She has asked many times, “Will you be at the same school site this year?” I smile and feel bad for her since I understand that my work schedule hasn’t been easy for her to adjust to. When we moved in in April 2010, I worked for a high school close by until that June, then I was transferred in the fall to a junior high school a little farther away, and I had to work afternoons for that year. It was handy to be home with Elly in the mornings and I made all her appointments (hair and doctor) for the mornings. Last July, while at Dinkey Creek, I got a notice that moved me to my current school and went back to working mornings.
This year, I knew that I would be staying at this same school for another year and don’t anticipate another move unless I apply for a different position. Elly’s doing well tracking with me working every day but gets confused about where. No wonder!! I decided not to do any subbing for other schools since Elly’s mind is declining and she is physically weaker.
This Saturday is my Awesome Hubby’s 52nd Birthday. We will celebrate Saturday afternoon by going out to a movie he picks and probably dinner. I am so thankful that it is still easy to get away for a while like this and am not taking it for granted. This is also my last weekend before I start working every weekend through September up at Camp Keola – at 7,000+ altitude. It’s hard for my husband to let me go and he tells me that all the time. We both know that I need to do it and he graciously lets me go, for now.
I’ll explain why. I love to host people in my home. I don’t like to go to a “Women’s Retreat”. I like to meet with people in small groups. While living with Elly, I’ve found that I can’t host people in her home even though she has encouraged us to have people over. Elly has strong ideas of how I should “host” my friends and I am criticized about how I have done this. I didn’t seat people at the proper place at the table or have the right utensils or eating outside was wrong.
As we observed how my/we hosted people at “our” house with Elly was affecting her, we had to stop. Elly would sometimes enjoy being with everyone then criticize me later or she would insist on taking her meal to her bedroom and stay there for the evening. Neither situation seemed to be comfortable for both of us. I have been a manager at Camp Keola for the past five to six years every fall. I am reasonable for making sure the group who comes and rents the camp has a clean camp, good relationship with our fall staff and whatever else they may need that we can provide. I host them.
Camp Keola is a very small and somewhat primitive camp – we do have flushing toilets and nice showers, we do have WiFi for the staff but no video game room or climbing wall. We do have canoes, kayaks, sailboats for the lake, fire pit with lots of wood, ping pong tables under the tall sequoia trees, huge telescope to see craters on the moon, and hiking paths to enjoy the gooseberries, hot chocolate, mosquitoes, bears and bats at night, and beautiful views in the clean air and blue sky. Until this year, I have been the manager and sous chef with my oldest son as chef, working me 12-14 hours a day to provide the most amazing camp food. Most groups come up the same weekend every year so it’s like a mini-reunion for us every weekend. This is what fulfills my need to host people at “my house”.
The frustration of my work day and the regular frustrations of living with Elly created a difficult school year last year. To cope, I was able spend time reading everyone’s posts from Caregiving.com during my work day. Now I am energized by the short trips I was able to take this summer and especially by the camping that we’ve just had at Dinkey Creek with our Church family and friends. (See the pictures.)
So, this week at school was wonderful. LivingRoom Son bought his first car. Arizona Son confirmed the wedding date for November. Elly has been in an okay mood, her humor is intact. When LivingRoom Son showed her the panorama pictures from the Mars Rover she said, “You still won’t sell me a lot (place to live) up there!” I guess she’s doesn’t like a “desert” landscape. I will enjoy this weekend with AH.
I love spoiling Elly – brought her a 3 Musketeer Truffle Crisp candy bar with her requested bottle of extra-strength Tylenol. We have lots of fruit to enjoy in the cool house–staying out of the 100+ daytime temperatures. I am so thankful for what and who I have, that’s my story and I am sticking to it.