fabrics aug 2010 – letters to the editor


            Sunday, April 4, 2010

Uncle Jerry had a toothache. Brought him to the dentist. Root canal with an abscess. Later on that day, he was shaking like a leaf — his temperature reached 102. Called 911 and took him to the hospital. Stayed there four days and because of his infected tooth, contracted a urinary tract infection. Hooked up to an antibiotic IV and the temperature came down. So did the infection. He has to drink a lot of fluids, when I am not home with him, he doesn’t want to drink.

He is doing much better now. He is still sleeping.

Days are getting warmer and the temperatures are rising.

            Haven’t received my contract for summer school. Also, the school has to lay off sixty-five people, and I am the last one to join the team.



Monday, April 12, 2010

On the day of Uncle Jerry’s discharge, the nurse didn’t have the papers ready and she sent the ambulance back. Uncle Jerry still had his IV in his hand. Asked if she could remove it.  She said, “In a minute.”(Took 3 hrs!) Questioned her, why did she send the ambulance back? “ Not ready.”   

Quite upset — so was Uncle Jerry. Nurse and his aid were waiting at home.

Normally I would have fired a letter off to the president, instead waited one week and very calmly wrote a focused letter.


 Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter break was a joke. Three days off and the remaining days had to go to school to make up time for lost days when we had the Nor’easter.

            I have been hired for the summer school but no increase in salary.

            Uncle Jerry has to go for a cat scan (for his left knee). I pray to God that he will be able to walk; I have so much faith and that has pulled us both through the rough times we had. It is so hard to find a lawyer who is willing to represent him. 

Last year when he was in the rehab, they pushed so many pills down his throat that his esophagus is totally out of whack. Have spoken to a few lawyers but they don’t see sufficient funds for his case.

Somewhere in the foxhole place where we moved, is an envelope which contains all the documents from that rehab. Maybe I can argue his case with the lawyer!

             Working on another article for NINEPATCH.



Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yesterday morning, Uncle Jerry had a temperature of 100.2. Took him by ambulance to ER and again in the hospital. White blood cells elevated.

Now Uncle Jerry’s temperature came down to 97. Hopefully, we can go home on Monday.

            Last week, I was called into the principal’s office and was told, sorry, have to let you go due to the budget cuts.  Sixty-five people let go, including tenured teachers. Perhaps, I can collect unemployment.

As soon as I am done with summer school, we are going to North Carolina and see if we like it. Nothing here for us, except expenses.

Lotte DeRoy (May ’10) adds, “We celebrated Uncle Jerry’s eighty-fifth birthday a month late. We couldn’t do anything in April.”




(Part One of Two)


After Daddy died, I found that memories of him long forgotten would return to me, unbidden.  I remembered and missed so many things about him.  The memories were at times a lifeline, at times a suffocating blanket.  In the end, they helped me grieve, and they helped me understand as an adult — the person he was.

When my parents were young and we children were in elementary school, we lived in a tiny rural town in north central Florida.   Daddy, a genial, handsome man with sparkling blue eyes and very little hair, was principal of the only public school there, kindergarten through twelfth grade.  We didn’t have much in the way of formal                         


entertainment. Life was simple: it revolved around family, home, church, and school. 

Sunday afternoons often found us piled in our tan 1958 Ford sedan, windows rolled down to capture the breeze and get some relief from the stifling Florida heat and humidity.

It seemed there was an endless supply of dirt roads to explore in the countryside sur-rounding our town.  We were never headed anyplace in particular and we were never in a hurry.  Gas was cheap and plentiful, and time seemed limitless.  We passed few cars and fewer homes on our afternoon rambles.  We might stop to pick up a discarded Coca Cola bottle so we could collect a few cents refund at the local store, or we might pull over to pick rain lilies or violets in the spring, perhaps blackberries or wild grapes in the summer. Daddy was always interested in crops growing on the neighboring farmland:  corn, peas, okra, and melons in the summer, greens, potatoes, onions, and beans in the fall.

It was rare to see other people out and about on Sunday afternoons in those days, there were “blue laws.”  As a result, all businesses were closed and people generally observed a day of rest on the Sabbath.  After church and a hearty dinner, most folks took naps, read the Sunday paper, or, like our family, went for a drive in the country.


Mary Wood Bridgman is married and the mother of a grown daughter.  She is retired  and enjoys reading, writing, and music.  She reads her book chapters and other stories regularly on “In Context,” a program of the NPR affiliate in Jacksonville, FL. 




My daughter and her husband planned a two-week trip and asked if I’d fly up and stay with my granddaughters several states away.  I have such fun with the girls, I was delighted to pack my bags and kiss my husband goodbye.

Staying with them was more like visiting than duty. I just had one disaster. One day I decided to run the dishwasher. Only my younger granddaughter –Nicole, age nine– was home. She said to me, “My mom uses this soap.”  I added it to the dishwasher and hit the “start” button.

            Later, when I walked back into the kitchen I was surprised to see soap bubbles everywhereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The scene reminded me of a movie I saw years ago. Is this real? This can’t be happening to me.  Bubbles were pouring out of the dishwasher. 

I pushed the “cancel” button on the machine, called to my granddaughter and we started cleaning up the mess.  We scooped up as many of the bubbles as we could and threw them in the sink. We mopped the slippery floor with dish towels and old tee-shirts. We even cleaned the foam out of the machine. 

 I started the dishwasher again to wash it out, but the same thing happened.  Suds bubbled everywhere. We caught some in bowls.  When we filled them all, we dumped the froth in the sink. We threw towels on the floor to collect more water and bubbles.  We still couldn’t keep up with the new bubbles so I pushed the cancel button — again.

Once we mopped it all up, I decided on another strategy with the dishwasher.  I pushed the “quick rinse” button.  No help. The bubbles quick rinsed out and onto the kitchen floor! 


Nicole screamed, “If my mom saw this, she’d holler her head off.”

 I persevered with rinsing.  and mopping. After going through the quick rinse cycle  two more times, the bubbles finally gave up.

I sure had a lot of wet towels and soggy tee-shirts to launder!

Lynan (Nov.-Dec.‘09) adds, “I was about ready to collapse with exhaustion.  I was never so happy to fly back home.”


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