A to Z Blog Challenge – K is for Karl


“Karl Weston”, he said as he answered the phone, “Yes, this is Doctor Weston. How may I help you?”

He reached for the scratch pad on his desk and jotted down a few quick notes while the caller spoke. He asked a few questions during the course of the conversation and added to his notes.

“Very good”, he said, “I will get back to you shortly.”

He was considering the notes he’d taken when there was a tap on his door.

“Dr. Weston? Mr. Webb is here for his 3:15 appointment,” his assistant, Nancy said, “Shall I show him and his family in?”

“Yes, Nancy, thank you.”

Karl reached across his desk to pull out Barney Webb’s file. He had just taken out his notes from the last appointment when Nancy showed Barney and his daughter, Chloe into his office.

“Hello, and welcome,” Karl said, getting up to shut the door. “Have a seat, please, and how are you today, Barney?”

Barney looked at him in mild confusion.

“I’m Doctor Weston, remember me, Barney? We talk on a regular basis. I am your Doctor.”

Barney continued to look at him. “Tooth?” he asked and proceeded to open his mouth wide.

“No, Barney, I’m not your Dentist,” Karl said patiently, “I’m your medical Doctor.”

Barney looked at him blankly and then looked away to stare out the window. He continued to look out the window, disengaging from the conversation altogether.

“How is everything, Chloe?” Karl asked Chloe.

“About the same,” she said, “He has his good days and bad days.”

“Are there any changes in his behavior?” Karl asked.

“He’s quiet like this for the most part. Oh, he did start crying out of the blue on Tuesday – that was different.”

“You know emotional outbursts can be part of this disease,” Karl reminded her. “Has he had any problems with anger?”

“No,” she said.

“Does he get up at night?” Karl asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Has he ever left the apartment?” Karl asked.

“No, thank goodness,” she sighed, “I hear him when he gets up. I’m a light sleeper. I usually put him back to bed with no problems.”

“Have you and David talked any further about what you will do when you can no longer watch him alone?” Karl asked.

“A little bit,” she said, “He thinks the insurance he has at the bus company might help cover the cost of an aide. He’s checking into it.”

“Okay, don’t hesitate to ask for help, Chloe,” Karl said, “You don’t have to do this alone. I’ll ask Nancy to put together a list of numbers and contacts at the various agencies for you. It will at least give you a place to start.” He turned back to Barney. “Okay, Barney, will you get up on the examination table for me? I need to check your vitals.”

When the exam was over, he talked to them for a little longer and then saw them out. He stopped to ask Nancy to work on the list of agencies in the community where Chloe could turn for assistance when her Dad’s condition worsened.

Image courtesy of Pinterest


A to Z Blog Challenge – J is for Joe


“Joe, I’ll need those revised drawings on my desk before 5:00,” his boss said, “Do you think you’ll be able to get them to me on time?”

Joe looked up at the clock and nodded. “Sure.”

‘So much for getting home for dinner on time’, he thought to himself as his boss left and he turned back to the drawings he was working on for the new client.

His company had taken on a lot of new business lately. With the staff they had, everyone was working at full capacity. Joe spent most of his time lately rushing to get things done by some unrealistic deadline. There was no time to spend time doing a good and thorough job anymore, and he hated working that way. He was starting to worry about making mistakes. So far, he’d been lucky, but the stress was starting to get to him.

It was after 6:00 by the time he finished the drawings. Luckily his boss wasn’t too upset at the extra time he’d taken.

“You’re here late,” Fran, the cleaning lady said, as she came around the corner, pulling the vacuum cleaner. She looked surprised to see him still at his table, “I can start at the other end, if you want.”

“Nope, I was just leaving,” he smiled, grabbing up his jacket, “Clean away, Wonder Woman.”

“Go on with you!” she laughed, “Have a nice night, Mr. Joe.”

“You, too, Fran.”

He took the stairs down to the street and started home. He was lucky he was able to walk to and from work. Their apartment wasn’t the greatest, but he couldn’t beat the location. They saved a lot of money on transportation.

He came through the door just as Holly dashed by, chasing a shrieking Annelise. They were both laughing. He tossed his jacket onto the couch and was prepared to join in the fun when his daughter turned and saw him.

“Daddy!” she yelled, running towards him instead. He scooped her up into his arms.

“I’ve got her!” he yelled to Holly, and Annelise shrieked and giggled in glee.

“No! Not the tickle monster!” she laughed as Holly approached with her hands out like claws.

“How was your day?” Holly laughed, dropping her hands and leaning past Annelise to give him a kiss. He shrugged.

“Me next!” Annelise yelled, puckering up, and he laughed and kissed her, too.

“How are my favorite girls?” he asked.

“I got an A on my paper about Barney,” Annelise told him, as he put her down and moved over to peer into the bassinette. He bent down to smooth Robbie’s hair and rub his back.

“You did?” he asked, “That’s great, Leesie”. He looked at Holly. “Maybe we have a budding journalist or novelist on our hands.”

“Could be,” she said, “I kept your dinner warm. Why don’t you wash up?”

While he ate, Holly cleaned up the kitchen.

“I want to help out,” she said, suddenly, “with Barney’s daughter. I want to do something.”

Joe swallowed and chose his words carefully. “Be careful how much you take on, Hol.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just don’t stretch yourself too thin.”

“I talked to his daughter for quite a while the other day,” she said, “She’s very nice, Joe.”

“Then be a friend, Holly,” he suggested, “She sure sounds like she could use one.”

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Father’s Day

IMG_0011I miss my Dad. He’s been gone a long time now – 26 years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. As I sat writing this post, I cried. It’s been a long time since I cried about my Dad.

My Dad was one of the good guys.

IMG_0012He worked hard all his life and he came home every night to his family. The only time he was ever “out” for the evening was when he attended Union meetings. Being a Union member came with his job as a printer. He went to meetings, but he wasn’t militant about it. He used to get so mad when another Union within the shop went on strike, and he had to be out of work, too.

IMG_0015He was a Printer, and he always smelled like ink when he came home from work. I can still smell that smell. I have always thought that is why I like to sniff new books or magazines. In smelling the ink on the pages, I remember my Dad.

My Dad taught me how to ride a bike without training wheels. I can remember him holding the seat and running alongside me, encouraging me to keep pedaling. I didn’t realize he’d let go until I was halfway down the street.

IMG_0021My Dad was also a nice-looking man. When he was young, My Aunt always thought he resembled the actor Glen Ford. He wasn’t real tall. He was 5’8”. My Mom was 5’8-3/4”. She used to tell the story about when they got married and were having wedding photos taken. The photographer pulled out a box and asked my Dad to step up on it so he’d appear taller than Mom. Mom was mortified, but she said he hopped right up on the box. It didn’t bother him at all.

IMG_0018My Dad liked fishing. Every summer we went camping to the Thousand Islands, and Dad and Grandpa would go out for the day in Grandpa’s boat. We knew Grandpa had emphysema, and he would never have been able to stand the cold of the water if he had fallen in. We didn’t find out until years later that not only didn’t they wear life jackets when they were out, but Dad couldn’t swim very well (he could barely doggy paddle). I went out with them once, and they teased me about putting me out onto a buoy in the middle of the shipping lanes in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Those huge freighters going by terrified me, and I cried until they brought me back in “to fish for rock bass” much closer to shore.

Dad was an impatient man, and he was quick to grumble and complain about things, but he got over it fast. He got impatient with things or situations – never with people. I think he got grumbly when he got stressed or nervous about something. He had trouble knowing what to say sometimes. You’d fall down, and he’d say, “What did you do that for?” He wasn’t a mean man at all. He was truly worried about you when you fell – it just came out wrong.

IMG_0010IMG_0008My Dad was also a bit of a clown. You couldn’t take his picture without him waving or smiling or doing something silly. It was hard to get him to pose seriously.


IMG_0013My Dad was also a softie. He cried when we had to say goodbye to Missy, the dog I had when I was a kid. He was quite attached to her. He “pretended” not to like the second dog I had. Bennie was a poodle-Pekinese-cocker mix who was real grouchy. When Bennie got crabby or snappy, Dad would say, “You brought him home. I didn’t.” Bennie would get up on my Dad’s lap when he sat in his recliner. Thinking no one was around, Dad would say, “There’s my boy.”

IMGDad adored my Mother. He could barely stand it when she left the room. He wanted to be with her all the time. She’d go downstairs to do the laundry, and he’d say, “Where’s your Mother?” It got so after a while I’d say, “she ran off with the Mailman.” He was so lost without her.

IMG_0043I have a vivid memory from when I was real little. I went for my shots before I started Kindergarten, and my mother had dressed me all up and let me wear her red lipstick (!). I am assuming it was to get me to buy into the whole going-to-the-Doctor thing. I remember my Dad holding me while I cried as I got my shots. After he let go of me, I remember seeing the perfect imprint of my red lipstick dead-center in the middle of the chest of his bright white t-shirt. I apologized, but he said it was okay.

I wasn’t as close to him as I got older as I could have been. I think we were too much alike. We argued a lot. I thought I knew everything in those days like most young adults do. I think I missed out on not getting to know him better as an adult. It was my loss.

Dad and trainHe always wanted grandchildren. One of my biggest regrets is that he died before I found my hubby and got married and settled down to raise a family. I know Dad would’ve loved my boys. They grew up to be railfans and train-watchers just like their Grandpa was. He never knew them, but they share his hobby. It wasn’t anything intentional on my part – it just turned out that way. I suspect sometimes that my husband took them trackside to watch trains run by because he knew it was something my Dad loved. My Mom, Aunt and Grandmother used to attend antique auctions Saturday nights in Bergen, NY. As kids my cousins and I were easily bored at these “events”. Dad would take us outside. We’d walk up the sidewalk and stand at the crossing to watch the trains race by. My boys have been to that same crossing more times than I can count, and yes, I have sat there in the car waiting with them for the trains to come by. Dad would be thrilled to know that we’ve carried on that tradition.

My Dad was a good guy.

I miss you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. I love you.