Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where to Start? Where to Start?

What an unbelievable summer...

In mid-June our Hospital had a visit from the Magnet appraisers. Only 2% of hospitals in the US have achieved Magnet Status which is a big honkin' award earned by the Nurses for the hospital. I was privileged to be an escort for the lead appraiser, and it was a terrific opportunity and experience. (We found out on Thursday that we were officially redesignated. It's really huge.)

Two days later I left for Girl Scout Camp where I spent the next 5 weeks in a cabin in the mountainous woods of western Virginia. I lived in the health center. It was a lot of work, but a fantastic experience. I learned so much, and really enjoyed it.

My days began a bit before 7 am, administered meds before and after breakfast, and after lunch and dinner, and before bedtime. It's hard to describe what filled the days, because every day was different.

There was the day that 7 girls arrived simultaneously with multiple bee stings. There were numerous scrapes and bumps. There were quite a few "roving" stomachaches that were usually associated with homesickness. There were headaches and cramps, multiple mosquito bites, pulled muscles, rashes, splinters, throwing up (for some reason people always felt it necessary to state whether it was inside or outside the "biffies" (latrines)), and so forth.

I was rather proud of the fact that only 2 campers went to see the doctor during the 5 weeks I was there. (The staff record wasn't as good--I think we averaged 1-2 per week.)

The day usually lasted until 11 pm. There was a lot of paperwork-- not only documenting the daily occurrances, but preparing for the next week's campers.

I met a lot of fantastic people. My boss at camp was amazing, and it was really good to work with the staff who came from around the world.
Would I do it again? In a minute!!!!

I left camp 2 weeks before the season ended to join The Husband and The Offspring as well as The Parents, The Siblings and their Collective Offspring for a week on a lake in Minnesota. It was very strange going from my cabin in the mountains in the woods with Girl Scout rules to flying first class.The Annual Family Get-Together (aka FolkFest)
That's my parents, my brothers and sisters and our collective kids. There are a few missing from the picture, but they were present in our hearts. We have been able to get together for a week every summer for many years. What a blessed time. We are so very fortunate. The kids are all growing up, and I laughed so hard at their wit and antics. I don't get to see my nieces and nephews very often, and I am overwhelmed by their personalities, talents, and caring for each other. We always have a wonderful time together. I just love spending time with my brothers and sisters (and that includes the spouses.) I have learned so much from each of them, and as the years go by, I just love them all more and more.

While in the Northwoods of Minnesota, one needs some field trips. A large group of us went to Fargo, North Dakota. Seemed like a good idea. We and had lunch at a brewery that served samples of 6 different beers for $4:

saw the Roger Maris Museum (that's Roger and Mickey Mantle with President Truman):

and a reconstructed Viking ship and Viking Church:

My Parents, The Husband and I went to the headwaters of the Mississippi River--Lake Itasca-- and we walked across the Mississippi. (That's the south end of The Husband.) We took a side trip to Bemidji-- home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. The Parents were there nearly 60 years ago-- on their honeymoon.
And that evening we returned to a sight that we shared every evening-- and never tired of:

Has been a bit strange for a number of reasons:
*45 minute commute in the car vice 3 steps from my room to the treatment room.
*Non-stop political commercials vice no tv, radio or newspapers for 5 weeks.
*Having to decide what to wear vice putting on either khaki or olive scrub pants and a t-shirt.
*Air conditioning vice being warm or being chilly, compliments of Mother Nature.
*Blow-drying my hair vice being perfectly happy with frizz.
*Extra work tasks vice just gettin' through the day.

The good things about being back are that I get to be with The Husband (who, by the way, redid our living room-- painted walls, ceiling, and installed new crown molding), and I have a bit more free time-- as in time to knit. I only knit for about 45 minutes-TOTAL- during my summer.

Since I've been home and watching the Olympics, I've been working on linen hand towels. The Summer Camp Sweater is almost done (Lord-- when will I ever get anything done in time for its intended purpose?) I had a GREAT time on Friday because Knit Happens had their huge summer sale. I picked up a bunch of beautiful orange WaterColor merino wool that will become a sweater (February Lady Sweater, maybe?) , a boatload of grey linen that will become a short-sleeved top-- probably a bit of lace involved. I got yarn for some endpaper mitts. It was terrific to see Holly, Kelly and Steph. I saw them last just before leaving for camp, but missed them a bunch.

So as my life returns to whatever seems to be normal for me, and we approach the Fall, I have one overriding thought:



Jane said...

Wonderful to hear what you've been up to this summer, sounds like it was very busy but good. Its always good to get together with family. Jane x

Skeinky said...

Glad you had a good summer but we miss you! Come visit!