Tag Archives: Vacation

On the way to Cape May……….

This is a little naughty—ish ditty Story Slam I did this week…..you can think about it on the way to your vacation at the beach. It just may help. I don’t know, it helped me!

 

 

You just have to Laugh…………..

Check, please!

My girlfriends and I decided to meet for a drink. We hardly ever do this. Now I know why.

We were finding it difficult to get together and one of the girls was heading down South to see her new adopted grandson, so we wanted to wish her well and just catch up with each other.

Two of us had an adult beverage and two of us tee-totaled(is that a verb?). Our waiter was a very solicitous gentleman. Younger than us, but not a young man. He patiently waited for us to chat and returned a few times before we were ready to order.

When we told him we were through, he kindly, without one look of exasperation or even surreptitiously rolling his eyes, went for the decaf coffee pot when we changed our minds and decided to have coffee.

We gals had a great time showing pictures from recent weddings, talking about vacations taken and vacations to come, sharing yet another story about our Moms…yes even at our age, we still kvetch about our Moms!!!! And passing along those not-so-fun anecdotes about other friends and relatives that seep into a middle-aged conversation about health, wellness, and mortality.

TestWhen the check came, the first intrepid woman just asked the waiter to put her charges on her credit card, which he did. That left the rest of us to do the math from the check which, by default, included her charges as well.

This is the problem when people trust you or worse think you’re smart.

Even when the waiter told us the club soda was free, we still just threw in a bunch of bills when we couldn’t make sense of what was owed. I told the waiter: “if the tip is inappropriate, please come back and tell us.

He came back alright.

“Did you kind ladies really mean to leave a $14.00 tip on a $11.00 bill?” he inquired.

NOW, what do you do?

Flirtatiously and adorably for a gaggle of women in their 50’s we said, “Sure!”

From a former waitress, every once in a while you just need to leave a ginormous tip for your server. It will make their day, trust me. It would be nice to know, though, that that is what you are doing, so you could feel good about it.

After more than 40 years of friendship, I am no longer allowed to look at the check, or in the alternative, I must have a drink first. I may be sharper with an adult beverage.

“You just have to Laugh……”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

Mothers are the mother of all frustration………..or daughters………….

My Mom is going with us on a trip to Europe. My sister took a Viking River cruise last year and my Mom was green around the gills about it. I asked my sister why she didn’t take our mother and she claimed she didn’t know Mom wanted to go. Ha! Who doesn’t want to take a Viking River cruise? I should’ve asked her why she didn’t take me.

prague-226869_1280I think I’m the winner because Mom is pretty fun and she still pays for things! Our 23 year-old daughter will be her ‘companion’ on the trip. Of course, we are paying for that, so  my  husband sees that our 30th anniversary trip turned into a money pit that may wane in the romantic department. And there may be shark infested waters here.

Mom hasn’t traveled abroad since we took her to Italy in 2001, and she needs a real suitcase. We took her to San Antonio two years ago. My husband and I took turns carrying her carpetbag (no really, it is literally a carpetbag with no wheels and no long strap) through the airports. It was like carrying a toddler, while trying to wheel my own luggage.

So I put my foot down. We were not going through Heathrow to Budapest, Vienna, Prague and over to Dublin with a carpetbag. We were going suitcase shopping.

She didn’t really like the colors of the ones at Kohl’s. And I flatly refused to let her get a plain black suitcase that would take us 400 tries as it went around the luggage carousel to decide if it was hers or not.

Then we went our local department store. Much better selection and nicer colors. Oh, yay.

We debated hard sides versus soft sides.  Soft sides win. I don’t really know why. I was just glad the debate was over. Plus they were really ugly. After doing the luggage loop around and around the choices, we narrowed it down to green, a knock of  the Louis Vuitton print and absolutely NOT any animal prints. Okay, we were getting somewhere.

We opened and closed the green and the brown. Pulled the luggage around the store to see if one was lighter than the other. We lifted them and debated the inside zipper areas and colors. Yes, colors. They were the same size suitcase, but the interior silk made one look bigger than the other, or it really was and the size dimensions were all lies. Oh, and what does the matching carry on look like? Is it the right shape? Is there enough room? Can I get into the zippers with ease? Are we buying a matching carry on?

You all know what I was thinking. Don’t pretend you aren’t thinking the same thing, too. You are no better than me. JUST PICK A DAMN SUITCASE!

I went over to her house the next day, where she was putting things into her new suitcases three weeks before we leave.  She was chatting on the phone with her girlfriend from nursing school. They were allegedly discussing whether or not to attend their reunion. But she was laughing and wiping tears from her eyes.

Words and  phrases like,”yes my daughter is 58 too!” ” Oh my God, we just went suitcase shopping yesterday, too!”  were wafting from her bedroom.

“SO impatient……..pain in the you-know-what……………. made me crazy…………….. so glad that’s over……….”

Hmmmmm…

“You just have to Laugh………….”

© 2015 Cathy Sikorski

 

Sailed right back into it…….

Lest   (yes, I used the word “lest”) you think a caregiver ever gets a true vacation. Think again. I do not deride my fabulous time in Key West as anything but spectacular and so needed. And I am grateful, truly I am.

A Caregiver's Dream!
A Caregiver’s Dream!

And just as I was winding down that lovely time in the sand and sun and wine and dine, the phone calls began. Trouble was brewing and you, oh mighty caregiver, you were needed pronto.

One of the several disasters going on was that Aetna, once again denied an ambulance transport. I know. I know. We are all so very tired of this same story. But it just gets better and better.

Before I left on vacation, I went to the doctor’s office, who ordered the MRI, gave them a copy of the denial and asked them to write a letter explaining that my brother-in-law is not at all ambulatory and needed the gurney so that he could be lifted on to the MRI table and then transported back home. The woman who handles that task was out to lunch. Oh please, that joke is just too ripe for the picking!

“Hello, is this Cathy?”

“Yes, this is the administrator from the doctor’s office. I did get a call from Aetna and told them we did not order an ambulance for your dad (yea, sometimes I’m his daughter, sister, wife, whatever works). And when they said a ‘Cathy’ called I told them it was his daughter. So that’s why they denied it. ”

First of all, thank you? Thank you for telling them you didn’t order the ambulance and for not explaining that you did though, order the test, and that he would need an ambulance to get there.

What I said was:

“Yes, I called Aetna because for the last three years, your office refused to do that, and so I made the call to get him to the test. You see, he’s not ambulatory so he can’t have any tests on a table unless he goes by gurney.”

“Oh that’s not true, he could go by wheelchair.”

Yep. She really said that. Or she was still out to lunch. I’m not sure which.

“Noooooooooooooo…..he can’t get out of the chair and up on the MRI table.”

Dead silence.

“Well,” said the administrator, “I’m going to have  to have to check with the doctor. We’ve never written a letter before for something like this.

See, not only have they done this before, but I actually sat at the desk with the last administrator and helped her write the letter.

“So, if the doctor approves this, in the future will you call the ambulance for any test he might order?”

“Oh no. We don’t do that.”

You have to go on vacation and then……………

“You just have to Laugh….”

Cathy Sikorski