Monday, October 01, 2012

Alone Again, Naturally

Rose called around 8:30 with some good news and some sad news. The good news was she'd made an appointment with Urgent Care, a medical clinic in Cherry Hill that specializes in dealing with basic illnesses and minor cuts, abrasions, and injuries, to get my sore foot looked at. It was still swollen and purple around the sides this morning. I had to admit that it probably did need professional help.

The sad news is Uncle Ken died early this morning. Uncle Ken is my biological father Bruce's older brother, and the only close family member he had left. Rose said Dad was devastated. I'm going to miss him, too. He was a sweet man and a great uncle. I reminded myself that no only is he beyond all the pain that the cancer that took his life caused him, but he's with Miss Ellie now. Miss Ellie was a dear friend of his. Uncle Ken was the one who recommended me to her for this apartment in the first place.

I was making the bed when Rose called and said she was ready to pick me up for the appointment. We stopped at what's now Dad's house on the way to Urgent Care. Dad and Jodie were in the living room. Dad was going back and forth; Jodie said he was so upset, he didn't know what to do. (Rose mentioned he'd been understandably crying on the phone when he called her.) We could hear Dolores, Uncle Ken's girlfriend, talking on the phone in the den. Dolores, Dad, and Jodie don't get along very well, so I guess Dolores figured she'd pack her things and leave now. Even though she can be bossy and pushy, I feel sorry for her, too. For all of her control freak tendencies, she really did love Uncle Ken and was there with him in the end.

It was nearly noon when Rose and I finally headed to Cherry Hill. Turns out Urgent Care is the pink and aqua-colored building directly across from the Barnes and Noble side of the Towne Center. It's right on the bus route to the Cherry Hill Mall, which I'll keep in mind, in case I ever get sick or hurt and need to get there on my own.

It took longer than either of us thought to actually get a doctor. We sat in a very modern, wood-and-plastic, gray-and-tan waiting room, with coffee in an urn and a TV playing some talk show on NBC, while I filled out all the applications. Then we had to wait another ten minutes while two people who came in after me went in before us. They forgot we were there!

I ended up being checked by a nurse (the same blood pressure and pulse check-up as in August) before a doctor came in. The rather lumpy older man quick discerned that my foot was probably sprained, but they'd need x-rays to make sure it wasn't worse. I went to the x-ray room and let the technician take a few shots of my foot, then returned to the doctor's room and Rose.

The verdict? It was sprained. I was to limit walking and not ride the bike. This is a problem. I didn't have a lot of plans anyway, because of my lack of cash, but I had errands to run, DVDs that were due at two libraries, and laundry that needed to be washed. Not to mention, how am I going to get to work on Friday and Saturday?

Rose and I discussed this when we drove home and I rested my foot in my new, more elaborate ankle brace. For this week, at least, she'd take me to the Haddon Township Library to return the DVDs that go there and to my appointment at the Foot & Ankle Center tomorrow. I can probably get to the Oaklyn Library on my own. I'd just do the laundry at Dad's house. We'll see what my foot is like when I go back to work on Friday.

When I arrived home, I spent an hour or so looking up some of the things we'd discussed online. First and foremost, I'm going to return to counseling. On one hand, I was proud when I left Genesis two years ago with my head high. It's now obvious that I still have quite a few issues that Genesis wasn't able to help me with and that I can't deal with on my own. I went on Blue Cross' website...and to my delight, discovered something that might work literally down the street. The Center is a female-based counseling office that specializes in art-based therapy and traditional counseling. They sound like they think a little bit more outside the box...and that might be the perfect match for me. Turns out they're on the first floor of the office building that's across the street from the church on the end of Newton Avenue, a few blocks from Dad's house.

I also looked up Comcast to see what their basic land line phone costs are like. I'll call them tomorrow to get a better idea, but it sounds like their basic home phone service is $24.95, actually cheaper than the $29 the separate Verizon phone costs me.

I also found the phone number to call and cancel my Lucile Roberts membership. It's nothing against them. They've been working out very well, and I enjoy going there, but they're the one "extra" expense I just can't justify right now.

After I got off the internet, I called Mom. I wanted to tell her about Uncle Ken's death, my appointment this morning, and that I'm now feeling at least a little better. I'm very disappointed that I won't be able to enjoy bike rides on the rest of my vacation, like I'd planned, but at least I'll get some thinking time. Mom suggested I write down a list of everything I wanted to discuss with the counselors at the Center when I do get to calling them. I did that for a while, then read in bed...and felt very, very bored. My eyes kept flying to the window looking out to the path leading to the front yard and the beautiful, sunny, breezy fall day I was missing.

I had a snack while finishing The Secret of Isis. Originally paired with the similar superhero show Shazzam!, Isis had a brief second season on it's own in the fall of 1976. Cindy had been replaced by the slightly tougher African-American girl Remy, but otherwise, the premise is the same. Chemistry teacher Andrea Thomas transforms into the mystical Isis to either stop crooks or push her wayward teenage students back on the straight and narrow. Of the short-lived second season, my favorite episodes were "Year of the Dragon," in which Isis and Remy teach a Chinese student to be proud of her Asian heritage, and the two parter "Now You See It..." and "...Now You Don't." The series finale is a bit more action-packed than the rest of the season. Mr. Mason is accused of stealing a machine that can control the weather. Isis finds herself searching for the machine and keeping three kids in her class, including an Indian magician, from causing even more damage.

Rose called as I was finishing Isis. Did I want to go over to Dad and Jodie's for pizza? She, Craig, and Khai would be doing their best to cheer up the two. Sure, why not? They needed as many people around as possible. I didn't really feel like eating alone after my dull afternoon. The chicken I had in the crock pot could wait.

They were all there when I arrived. Dad looked a little more composed than he had earlier. The Dorias, who were long time friends of Uncle Ken's, had been by earlier and gave Dad and Jodie a free deli platter. Between the pizza, the lunchmeat and rolls, and the Whole Wheat Zucchini Cookies I brought, we had plenty to eat.

Craig even treated Khai and me to ice cream from the Mr. Softee trucks that drift down various residential streets in the area. Khai was so thrilled. He danced up and down the moment he heard the truck. Craig had a plain vanilla soft serve cone. I had a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Khai chose a Spider Man sherbet pop for himself. (His mother had to remove Spider Man's bubble gum eyes.) I can't believe how fast Khai wolfed down that ice pop. He was done shortly after I was, and despite the messy red liquid flowing down his arms and spotting his camouflage print pants, he wanted more!

I got to watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with Khai while the other adults discussed Uncle Ken's death and the funeral arrangements. Sounds like the memorial service will be from 1 to 3 on Saturday at the church down the street I mentioned earlier. I have to work from 4 to 9:30 and I literally can't afford to take time off, so I won't be able to attend the reception, which will be I believe in Oaklyn's Fire Hall. It sounds like Anthony's, the restaurant Rose and Craig work for in Haddon Heights, will cater. Maybe it's just as well that I can't go. Uncle Ken knew half the people in the eastern Camden County Area, so this whole thing is probably going to be huge.

Oh, and incidentally, Dawn of the Dinosaurs was a lot of fun. I watched it for a second time while my laundry was in the drier. Ice Age is a fairly long-running animated franchise involving a group of dissimilar prehistoric mammals who band together to create an unusual herd of their own. This is the first time I've ever seen one of the Ice Age films, and I rather enjoyed it.

Here, the two wooly mammoths (Ray Romano and Queen Latifa) and their sloth and sabertooth tiger friends (John Leguziamo and Denis Leary, respectively) find themselves under the ice in a land ruled by the title lizards. Sid the sloth found three eggs that hatched, revealing a trio of dinosaurs. Sid regards them as his children, but they don't belong above the ice any more than Sid wants to be under it. The babies' mother finally comes for them, and takes off with Sid as well. The others go after him, lead by a weasel hunter (Simon Pegg) who ended up in the dinosaurs' realm years before. Also in the dinosaurs' realm is Scrat, a rather silly squirrel like creature who is always after an acorn. This time, he finds himself competing with a female squirrel for the acorn in question.

A rather sweet film. It'll probably help to see the other Ice Age films to make more sense of this one, but this was fun, too. Khai absolutely adored it, though the dinosaurs did scare him a bit.

I finally went home with Rose and her boys around 8PM. My laundry was still drying at Dad's. That's why I prefer to do it at the laundromat and pay the 3 dollars. Nothing against Dad, but it gets done much faster there, with a minimum of fuss! His washer and drier take forever.

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