Comedy of Errors – Or Not!

During the past almost eight years, I’ve learned much from hospital experiences. Some things good. Some not so good.

This past week the device that has resided in Hubby’s chest for the past six years was replaced. This is a so-called “simple procedure with an easy recovery.” He is recovering well, but the hospital experience itself was interesting, at best.

Hubby was prepped and ready to roll out to surgery in what he considered to be a very uncomfortable bed (FYI son-in-law, Michael, it was not a Stryker®). The heart surgeon arrived, looked at the chart she was holding, and remarked to him, “I’m looking at your chart here and I don’t understand why we are changing out your device.” Then she quoted to him the device reading from the chart.

Perplexed Hubby, tubes protruding from his body, gave her a puzzled look. Fortunately, the problem was quickly solved when the technician from the device manufacturer gave the surgeon the reading he was getting. Surprised, the doctor looked again at the chart in her hand and exclaimed, “I have the March 2012 report.”


Minutes later, two people arrived to take Hubby to surgery. He (and I) wanted his hearing aids to stay with me for safe keeping. They wanted them left in so they could talk to him. They won.

Now, fast-forward to the waiting room where the heart surgeon is letting me know that all went well and Hubby is being made comfortable. She said someone would let me know when he was settled and I could go to the room. Past experience informed me that this would never happen. So, after ten minutes, I made my way to his room. He was alone, had his covers thrown back, and was desperately searching the bed. Never mind that he wasn’t supposed to be moving around. He could only focus on one thing. His left hearing aid was missing. I rested his head back on the pillow and took over the quest. I was unsuccessful.

The word “distress” can’t begin to describe Hubby’s state of mind. Not only can he now not hear with his left ear, but those tiny devices cost roughly $1,000 an ounce. He dislikes throwing away money.

Eventually, someone arrived from surgery with the hearing aid cradled in a piece of gauze. It seems that at some point during surgery it had fallen out of Hubby’s ear, and was placed on a side counter only to have its existence forgotten.

After a six-hour stay, we were done with the place and prepared for our trip home. The nurse provided discharge papers, we read and signed them, and we departed.

Once home, I realized the discharge papers did not include pain management instructions. However, Hubby was sure I need not worry because, to his surprise and delight, he had no pain. I argued that he was still “under the influence” and proposed getting Extra Strength Tylenol®. He swore he wouldn’t take this medication because he read that it was recalled for some reason. And, of course, he was fine anyway.

Fast-forward once again to 2:00 a.m. Hubby has located the Ibuprofen that hangs around only because it gets an occasional nod from my bad knee. I won’t let him take it and again offer to go to the pharmacy for Tylenol. Once again, he proclaims that he won’t take that medication.

I could have called the heart clinic, but I already have the message memorized. (Paraphrased): Not an emergency – leave name and phone number and the call will be returned during office hours. Emergency – go the hospital emergency room.

Morning arrives and Hubby emails daughter, Joanne, who is a nurse. She assures him that Tylenol is fine and tells him the dosage to take. He obviously trusts her medical advice more than he trusts mine.

Hubby saw his cardiologist today. I knew he would report that everything went fine. I didn’t even ask.

Troublemaker stayed in the waiting room - lips zipped.


Revivals, Evangelists, and Other Memories

The mind makes strange connections. One of these connections happened for me when a picture emailed by our daughter-in-law, Nancy, triggered memories of my childhood and of revivals that were held twice a year in the churches where my father served as pastor.

By way of explanation, for those unfortunate souls who do not understand the “good old days,” revivals were orchestrated attempts to re-save church attendees and, hopefully, redeem a heathen or two (or so it seemed to me as a child). Back in the day, a revival was a two-week series of services, inclusive of three Sundays. An evangelist (aka itinerant minister) delivered the sermons for each of the eighteen services.

It’s possible (maybe even probable) that minister’s kids have totally different memories of revivals than do church members. In those days, the evangelist, who generally came from some distance away, stayed in the home of the local pastor. This meant that some preacher’s kid (PK) gave up his/her room for the duration. At our house, that was me. I have to assume this happened because, being the least messy, my room was easier to ready for company. (I concede, before being challenged, that my siblings may have a different view regarding this topic.)

Mom was a great cook and slaved over a hot stove to ensure three well-balanced meals each day during revivals. Of course, church members pitched in by demonstrating 101 ways to use gelatin. I could have handled 101 ways to fix cherries, but the gelatin concoctions were sometimes a little much. Non-PKs may be unaware of this fact, but gelatin is not only a base for salads and desserts, but also for main dishes. Think tomato aspic.

So what was the picture that brought my past to mind? It was a picture of great-granddaughter, Emma, on a carousel. Some of my revival memories include being tardy for school and suffering the consequences because the evangelist needed to pray around the world during morning devotions, having to be quiet because someone was in a testy mood or needed an afternoon nap, getting to bed very late on ten school nights in a row because every “altar call” song had to be exhausted before the final amen of the evening, and wearing long stockings, even to play on Saturday, because you-know-who might disapprove of little girls’ bare legs.

The rare exception to these and other like experiences occurred when Dad pastored a church in Canon City, CO.  I don’t know the first name of the evangelist but his last name was Bennett. Rev. Bennett liked kids. He even had some of his own back home and he apparently missed them. In the afternoons after school I would listen to his stories and watch as he illustrated them on paper. I was fascinated by the story of “The Little Engine That Could” and the pencil drawings of the struggles of the tiny engine as it attempted to reach the top of the steep mountain, all the while chanting, “I think I can; I think I can.” Finally, I felt the engine’s elation as it raced down the other side of the hill.

On the second Saturday Rev. Bennett stayed in our home he initiated a trip to a park in Pueblo that had a carousel. There, he lifted me onto a painted horse, inserted a nickel, and for the first time in my life I glided up and down while circling to the rhythm of unfamiliar music. Loved that revival!

Emma Ruth riding the carousel while grandma, Nancy Powers, watches.



Colorado has been my home at two different times in my life for a total of twenty-two years. In a little over five weeks a moving truck will once again be at our door and I will move away from this place that I love.
I will miss the beautiful mountains, the wildlife in our condo complex, and the many fun activities including: the parades (Christmas, rodeo, and Veteran’s Day); the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo; the street breakfast; the Seven Falls at Christmastime; walks in the Garden of the Gods; the views of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods from our decks; trips to Estes Park, Breckinridge, and Grand Junction; shopping in Denver; wonderful friends; and the cool, dry summers.
I have taken hundreds of pictures during the past eight years. I share just a few here (including Christmastime in our condo).

We will soon be in a new home in Olathe, Kansas, and I will remember:

A house is bricks and wooden beams,
A home is made of love and dreams.  © V4C


Oh The Things We Save

Once again, I’m packing. I thought when we moved to Colorado that would be my final time to pack. But, alas, Hubby is not enamored with the place I called home during my childhood and teen years.

Prior to the start of packing, I made some hard decisions. No more moving of things we don’t use and no more taking up of space with “stuff.”

Regarding stuff, last week I found some things that I had rescued from my parent’s attic while we were getting their house ready to sell. These very precious items were from my childhood. At the time it seemed important to keep them. Now, not so much.

My big sixth grade accomplishment was to win an art contest and have my pencil drawing displayed at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Yep, you’ve got it – that was one of the priceless things kept in the attic. The title of this 12” X 18” mounted (well, semi-mounted now) treasure is, “The Llama.”

Verla Lacy  Age 11 
Grade 6Y
Palmer School 
Detail: Head of “The Llama”

The second treasure I rescued was a booklet of poems I made for Mother’s Day during third grade.

Cover: MOTHER’S DAY at the top, TO MOTHER amidst the flowers.

The first poem (aka cursive writing exercise) was about Mother’s Day. I am relatively certain Mrs. Hodgekinson cared more about cursive than she did our mothers. But I digress. My poem went as follows:

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is here
And Mothers’ so dear
So now on my tree
May blossoms I see.

When May flowers come
The huming birds hum
Mother’s Day is here
Mother’s Day so dear
                                            Verla Ruth Lacy

This rhyming little nothing clearly indicates that I had no idea it was my mother who should be honored rather than the day.

The second page has a poem about Spring. My concrete thinking processes served me well here.


Spring, Spring, Spring is here
Joy is gay and clear
The birds are singing
And their chirps ringing.

Spring, Spring, Spring is here
A happy Spring day
The sun’s very bright
And clouds very light.

                                             Verla Ruth Lacy

Off to do more packing today.
And throw some of these “treasures” away!

(William Wordsworth, move over. I still have that rhyming thing going.)

FYI younger generation: Gay used to mean bright and lively. (See Spring poem.)