Monday, March 29, 2010

morning routine

Sarah used the key and knocked loudy on the door.

“Good morning, ladies. It’s me. Sarah. I’m your helper. Got any cleaning for me to do?

Gretchen’s voice probably from Ellen’s room. “Hello?”

Sarah was inside, hanging up her scarf and coat, changing into her housekeeping slippers from her clunky ‘shit kickers’. She put her snack in the refridgerator and made a mental note of the missing groceries and resolved to defrost the refrigerator in the near future.

She went upstairs to greet the ladies.

“It’s me. Sarah. It looks like I may be defrosting your refrigerator soon.”

“Oh Sarah. Good morning dear.” Gretchen greeted. She wondered if Sarah was a relative she was supposed to remember. “Yes, the refrigerator would be a good idea.”

“How’s Ellen?”

They both looked at the woman in her bed.

“She’d probably like a cup of coffee. But something’s wrong with the stove.”

Since Gretchen’s memory was worsening, Sarah was taking the knobs off the stoves in hopes that it would prevent Gretchen from turning something on and leaving it.

“That’s OK, Mrs. Wanderfelt. That’s why I’m here, to prepare things on the stove. I’ll be making you ladies breakfast. Would eggs and toast be alright? But first let me get Ellen ready to start the day.”

She went to Ellen’s bed and lowered the side bar. As she helped her swing her feet to the floor, she greeted her “Let’s help you go to the ladies room.” She patted the bed to check for wetness and was pleased to find it dry. Taking a hand and holding Ellen’s forearm with hers, they made their way to the adjoining bathroom. From the bathroom Sarah called out to Gretchen. “Would you like help washing up this morning, Mrs. Wandervelt? I left you clean clothes on your chair last night.”

By now Gretchen was sure that Sarah was a hired helper and that she and Ellen were being cared for. “God bless you, dear. I think I’ll be OK. I’ll wash up while you’re making our breakfast. And eggs and toast sound delicious. Ellen would probably like scrambled and I will too.”

She thought about when Ellen would be getting ready to go to work and never seemed to have time to eat a good breakfast.

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