Day Seven, Sunday
October seventh. First time to write in my new journal. Bought this yesterday at the Farmer’s Market. No, not to eat. To talk to myself. Attempt to make some sense out of my life. Crazy, yup. That would be me. Not as crazy as Elfrida in the book I started yesterday, Winter Solstice.
What is really crazy? Today I am going to an old folks home. No, not moving in. Yet! Visiting. Don’t even know who I am visiting. Met a gal at the book store, looking for a cookbook. She works there, invited me to come. Why did I say, “Yes?” Who knows. Something different to think about, I guess. Wanting to make some sort of impact on the world. Wanting to do something with my life now that I am alone.
Alone. Still don’t like that word. Still don’t like to wake up in the morning in an empty house. Empty except for me. Strange.
At quarter to two, Morgan sat in her car, her keys in her hand. Why am I doing this? she asked herself. It would be so much easier to stay home and take a nap or read that book or go for a walk. What good could possibly come out of going to see a bunch of withered old people? Why did she even agree to do this? She didn’t even know this person, this gal from the bookstore. But she had said she would go, and she made a point of doing what she said she would do. Note to self, be more aware, more careful in the future about what you agree to do on a moment’s notice. But, for now, just go and get it over with. Deep breath. She started the car and pulled out on to the street.
At the Sunnyside Home, she parked near the side door. The entrance was cheerful and well manicured, colorful flowers filling the beds around the steps. Purple and yellow and magenta chrysanthemums, white alyssum, and orange marigolds competed for attention. Inside, on the reception counter, a bouquet of bright sunflowers greeted guests. So far, so good, she thought. Any place that has so many flowers must not be too bad.
Clarisse came around a corner, a packet of manila folders tucked in her arm. “Morgan, glad to see you. Thank you for coming,” she said.
“Hello, Clarisse. The flowers are beautiful. Very cheerful.”
“Yes, thank you. We have several people who make sure we have flowers here and in the dining room. They do a good job of keeping them fresh and pretty.”
“Out front, too,” said Morgan. “The entrance, with all the flowers, makes it feel like a well cared for place.”
“I am glad to hear you say that. That is the impression we want to give. And, more than an impression, actually, that is what we work to achieve.”
“What is your position?” asked Morgan.
“I am the operations manager,” said Clarisse. “I manage the work schedules, oversee the activities schedules, and in general, all that goes on. I answer to the owners, but I see my job more as answering to the people who are here. I want them to be happy and comfortable.”
“That must be a challenge,” said Morgan.
“Yes, but not impossible.” Clarisse directed Morgan down the hall. “First, I will give you a quick tour.”
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