Saturday, June 11, 2016

Notes from the Home - June 11, 2016

Covenant Woods is buzzing with activity; the place is being renovated inside and out. In the hallways, workers have been busy ripping the old wallpaper off the walls, priming the walls, painting some of them, preparing others to be wallpapered, installing new lights, and replacing some windows here and there. 

I'm embarrassed to make a quick trip to the mailbox these days. It seems there are always three or four workmen in the hallway. They are kind, patient folk, who stop what they are doing so they can move their tools and equipment to the side. Then, just as they've put the stuff back where they want it and have resumed working, I'm on my way back down the hall. The workers move everything again; I apologize for being a pest; they say "no problem"; I'm on the verge of saying, "Liar, liar, pants on fire," but I contain myself and go on my way, knowing I will disturb them several more times before the day is done.

In April, it was out with the old and in with the new dining room furniture. For some reason - maybe Covenant Woods is hoping to encourage intimacy among its residents - the number of tables-for-two in the dining room has gone from zero to a dozen or more. More tables take up more space, and the additional space was taken from the space between the tables. For the residents who use walkers or wheelchairs, getting around in the dining room is not so easy anymore. With the limited space between tables, I feel like a lab rat making its way through a maze.

To make matters worse, work on the dining room walls began yesterday. Part of the work involves pulling the tables along the walls away from the walls, which makes moving among the tables and chairs even more difficult. I'm going to have to get an early start to supper for a while, so I can grab a seat before the rush begins.

Outside, all the action is on the roof. It looks like an anthill as dozens of workers rip off the old shingles and install new ones. Listening to the roofers as they work, it soon becomes obvious that Covenant Woods was wise to replace the roof this year. Should Trump win the election, most of the roofers will be back in Mexico by this time next year.

The view from my porch door on the days they were working on the roof of this section of the B Building. They still haven't taken down the yellow caution tape. I hope no one confuses it for something the police might have put there and concludes that there is a body inside.

*     *     * 

Alisha, who formerly toiled as the receptionist in the evenings, is Covenant Woods' new activities director. She takes over for Penelope, who is somewhere between semi- and completely retired. Tuesday afternoon, Alisha asked me, as she sometimes does, to help her with the wording of a few items in "Table Table", the twice weekly compendium of goings on around Covenant Woods. While I was in the activities' office, Roger, the general manager, came in with some guy from the corporate office. 

Roger introduced the man to Alisha, explained to him that Penelope had retired, and rattled off the various jobs Alisha has held in the thirteen years she's been at Covenant Woods. Then Roger introduced the gentleman to me. "Tom is our resident writer," Roger said. "He helps us with a lot of things. He's a real asset." Not knowing how to react to Roger's kind words, which fell somewhere between gross exaggeration and total fabrication, I said, "That's because I'm always firmly set on my ass." Roger laughed heartily. The man from corporate either didn't get it or didn't appreciate my comment.

Wednesday morning, as I was going through the lobby someone said, "Hey, Tom." I turned toward the voice and saw Kerri, the business manager, looking out the door to the hallway to the offices. "Oh, hi, Kerri," I said. She giggled for a moment and  shut the door. Why would she do that? Of course, Roger told her why I though I was an asset. Then again, maybe there was something weird or embarrassing about my appearance that morning. I looked to make sure my fly was up. It was.



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