Monday, February 27, 2017

Time Flys Quickly

Once again, the month has flown by so fast.  Maybe our 3-day rotation has something to do with it.  The “On-Call” day starts 7 AM when we get the “book” from yesterday’s On-Call team.  It lasts until we close and lock the building at 9 PM, unless an emergency comes up and we take the after-hours call (but that hasn’t occurred overnight this month).  Our next day makes us available to drive residents to their appointments or shopping.  If no trips are scheduled, this can be a light duty day of helping in the kitchen, but there could just as easily be 4 trips scheduled.  Our 3rd day we are officially “Off Duty” so we have scheduled some fieldtrips for shopping and sightseeing.  On our own we have been to Galveston, Trader Joe’s in The Woodlands, a plant tour of Foretravel’s RV manufacturing plant in Nacogdoches, and the Johnson Space Center museum in Houston.  We have also gone with the residents on field trips out to dinner and to an ice cream parlor. 

Inside a $1M motorhome

Saturn rocket

Shuttle ready for delivery

Ice Cream shop
We have also had company:  Denny (Bob’s brother) and his wife Dianne took a vacation from Minnesota’s winter weather to see lots of Texas and passed through here for a couple of days.  We took them to Florida’s, which is a local “down home”-style restaurant.  It’s always so good to see family!!
Dinner is Ready
Even this posting took 2 days to create – it is hard to stay focused sometimes.  Tomorrow will be the last day of the month, and also our last working day.  We will be “on call” once again so it will be a long day.  To make up for that, we have permission to stay for an extra day and night on the first to do some last minute laundry and packing.  Then we will depart on the second to return south a bit.  We have heard from some Nomads who are now working near Corpus Christi that they have more work than people so we plan to help them out next week, which is their third week on site.
Our past month as volunteer workers at CARE has been less physical, and more social.  Most of these active retired RVers are fun to be around.  We’ll miss a lot of the folks here and they want us to come back again next year, but we still like to see different places and probably will go west next year.  Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be back.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

First Week as CareGivers

After a couple of days “shadowing” other volunteers, we have now completed 2+ cycles of 2 days ON and 1 day OFF.  The other 2 teams of volunteers are experienced, having worked here in the past as well as during last month. 

The first day of our cycle starts with opening the building (lights ON and doors unlocked) and ends with closing the building 14 hours later.  In between we answer phones and get the count of meals the kitchen staff needs to provide.  All residents can get around on their own and are expected to contact us by 10AM with their needs for meals.  If they don’t call us, we call them.  Here is a typical meal-time scene:

The second day of the cycle has us driving residents to shopping, hairdressers, or doctors as needed.  The CARE Center provides a small fleet of vehicles for these trips.

The third day we have off for laundry, sightseeing, or other personal activities.  Bob has taken the hydraulic cylinders off of our HydraLift and UPS’ed them back to California to be rebuilt.  We found a UPS Store in nearby Conroe and later went sightseeing in The Woodlands, a planned community this side of Houston.  We thought about going into Houston to play like tourists, but there still might be too much Super Bowl traffic for awhile; we will go there later in the month.

The weather has been great lately: lows in the 60s and highs in the 80’s, plus we’ve had some great sunsets: