18) Home Alone

June 10, 2006

Well, Liz and Shayna returned to K-ville yesterday for the third weekendof the folk festival, taking 10 watermelons for Cari, and meeting Margo and Laura to share a motel room. Liz called me mid-evening and said thetheatre was “empty” and as she was talking she saw Bobby Tod just arriving in his truck. So, I have the weekend to mys
elf…. I went by themall after work to spy on my daughter, Katie, working at a Swenson’sIce Cream shop. She didn’t see me for several minutes and I got towatch her charm several customers, smiling at them and making smalltalk as they ordered their frozen treats. The shop was busy; onecustomer after another. I noticed that the other places in the ‘foodcourt’ didn’t seem as busy, even though it was about 5:30 pm. Katielooked like she knew what she was doing, and I could tell she wasmaking folks happy since they all seemed to put a contribution into thetip jar. It was nice to see her working hard and seemingly enjoying it.Finally she noticed me leaning against a pillar and motioned me over tovisit briefly until the next customer showed up.

I finally mowedthe lawn this morning, after weeks of letting it grow while we were toobusy to do lawn work. When I called El Milagro, they reported that theywon’t have an op
en chair until about 2:00 pm, much later than I usuallygo in on Saturdays.

El Milagro: The place is socrowded today that I couldn't get in until 2:30 pm. When I got herenobody seemed to know why it is so crowded… and that makes me wonderabout how they kee
p up with their scheduling. Sometimes it seems thatthis place is very organized and sometimes it seems that it is chaoticunder the surface of looking organized. But, maybe it is organizedunder the surface of seeming chaotic. More observations may shed lighton this possible paradox.

Tori cannulated me today, and I foundout it is his last day here. He has taken a job as a microbiologistwith the state, in some sort of lab. I wished him well, and shared withhim that now I’ll have to find another cannulator, since Rosie doesn’tusually work on my days. He did a good job in his last cannulation ofJack… and I thanked him. Although every chair was occupied when I gothere, about five or six people left within the first 40 minutes after Istarted. Today I am beside a man who is coughing incessantly and Irealize t
hat the woman who says “Help” is here too. (I can’t imagine there’s more than one person who says “Help”.)Rosie, Connie, James, and Debbie are here working today so it is afestive group of staff. Actually, they aren’t as festive as usual, butI can’t think of a better word to describe this crew, so we’ll callthem ‘festive’.

As I’m sitting here I have soccer on the TV:Argentina v.s. Costa de Marfil (Ivory Coast) on Univision,
watchingCrespo score beautifully in the 24th minute. I wish more of the worldcup games were on the main TV stations rather than the sportsnetworks…. although I can probably see quite a bit of the matches here(they have tons of channels on their TV’s). When the game announcersare rambling on in Spanish about the game and not yelling for someincredible play, I’m reading Now Discover Your Strengthsby Backinham and Clifton*. This book takes the strengths-based approachinto the business world, suggesting that when companies focus on theirworkers’ strengths (talents, skills, and experience) rather thantraining to plug the gaps in workers’ competencies, everything worksbetter.

Towards the end of my session today, Carol brought Katieby to see the center. Even though the place had been really crowded, bythe time they got here, there were only two of us left. So, to them, Iimagine it looked like a very quiet and relaxing place to be. Eloy andTori both spent some time explaining kidney dialysis to them. AfterCarol left, and I got de-cannulated and patched up, Katie and I wentout to dinner together at El Rey. She caught me up on her adventures inthe world of work, her boyfriend’s travels to Chicago and Corpus,what’s going on with Marie, and her thoughts about college. Marie’sapplying to Sul Ross and Katie is interested in U.T. San Antonio and A& M Corpus.

Late into the evening, Lizzie called from Kerrville and reported that Trout Fishing**was great and they had an long and fun day at the festival. Although Imissed KFF, I really enjoyed working in the yard today and look forwardto planting some Salvia Coccinea Coral Nymph tomorrow morning.

* Backingham, M. & Clifton, D.O. (2001) Now, discover your strengths. New York: The Free Press.
** See Trout Fishing in America’s website at http://www.troutmusic.com/

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