Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some other spring
I'll try to love
Now I still cling
To faded blossoms
Fresh from worn
Left chrushed and torn
Like the love affair I mourn

Billie Holiday -- "Some Other Spring"

What an amazing vacation from reality I had! I sat in the sun, read 3.5 books, floated in the Springs, ate, drank, walked, and slept. For three days I did not wipe anyone's bottom, order anyone to "get OFF your sister!", empty a dishwasher, remind anyone other than Tracy to stop talking with their mouth full, and no one asked 27 times what's for dinner. Heaven!

A mini-vacation is heaven no matter where you go, but at The Homestead you can't help but relax. The grounds are gorgeous, the food amazing, the amenities are abundant. There is an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a bowling alley, a theater, pool tables, chess, checkers, tennis courts, golf, fly fishing, falconry, a shooting range, fabulous food, afternoon tea, a spa...there's more but you get the idea. We would have needed to stay another week or two to squeeze everything in.
For me the most relaxing portion of the trip was floating in the Jefferson Pools. For those of you who are unfamiliar, there are several pockets of the US with hot springs, and many are located along the West Virginia/Virginia borders. The Jefferson Pools, named for Thomas Jefferson, their most famous proponent, are located in the town of Hot Springs and the county of Bath (creative, weren't they?). They were believed to have healing properties and Jefferson reportedly recommended soaking 3 times a day and then taking a litle drink, as well. Since the water is hot and stinky I just stuck with floating in it, thank you very much. I'm not sure that the building covering the springs had been renovated since ol' TJ himself was there, but that's just part of the charm. The water is bathwater warm, soft, green, and smells slightly of sulfur. Floating and listening to the water burble along was ultra relaxing.

My favorite portion of the trip, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with the surroundings. I was able to make this trip because my husband was attending the annual meeting of the Virginia Healthcare Association. I grew up in the long-term care industry, with my grandmother owning a nursing home and at various times every member of my family (myself included) was employed there. She worked as an administrator until she was 78, when she broke her hip at work and was forced to retire.
My grandmother was a member of the VHCA for most of her adult life, and there are still many members who remember her. As one of the first (if not THE first) women administrators of a nursing home, the first administrator to take a Medicaid patient, a strong lobbiest for patient rights and holder of numerous awards, she was a legend in the long-term care industry. At this meeting being introduced as Jessie Key's granddaughter brought a warm response from many, and there were at least two administrators present who owe their careers to my wonderful "Makey".
The award for Administrator of the Year is presented at this meeting, and I was lucky enough to be present to watch Patsy Hobson become the 2007 recipient. Patsy came to live with my grandmother, my father and my aunt when her mother was killed in an accident. Starting her senior year in high school she became a surrogate daughter to Makey, as well as an Administrator In Training. Today, my grandmother is 90 years old and is a patient in Patsy's facility. I cried as I watched Patsy accept this prestigious award and speak about my grandmother. I wish Makey were able to understand what has happened, and just how much everyone in this industry still loves and appreciates her.
I am home today with a sick Short Person, I've wiped bottoms, and I've emptied to dishwasher. Back to reality!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That had to be so very moving! To be there and not only know the recipient but to have such strong loving ties to your Granmother, too...Your Grandma sounds like she was (and still is) a very amazing woman. You come from such a caring background and such a devoted work ethic...I found it noving to just read about it.

That place...."The Homestead"....maybe one could retire there and get the greatest care available, that one can afford, ofcourse--lol---ALL those fabulous ammenities....those Natural Springs....the food...! It truly sounds sublime.

Thank you for your comment today. I think what you say is certain respects the saving grace was having each other. Robin was eight years older than me and I think I always looked to her as a 'safe haven'...which she continued to be for her whole life, and for many many people.
There is so much more...and maybe I will write it....It comes out in little bits and peices on my blog...! As a therapist I know you understand the deep complexity's of family dynamics and sibling ynamics too....

TheArthurs said...

Heard the story on the phone earlier, but reading it here got me all teary too. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother's strength.
No such get-away for me in the near future, but I do get to go to a fantastic local Asian restaurant for lunch with girlfriends on Saturday. That night we're participating in the "Light the Night" walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Fitting as that is Pat's brother's birthday.
Hope India is feeling better and the dishwasher cooperates with you.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

"MOVING"...not noving...LOL....AND...."DYNAMICS" the end there. Typing with one finger very quickly---has it's hazards!

mar said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother! I can understand your tears, what a moving moment!!
Glad you had some wonderful days off and hope the Short Person will get well soon!
Michele sent me to say hello :)

Deana said...

Oh Amy that was such a nice post honoring your grandmother. And good for know in her time women were still mostly stuck at home raising babies and cooking! I know you must've been proud. The Homestead sounds fantastic and I think I may just have to take Martin up on it the next time he mentions sneaking away. And just how, pray tell, did you finish 3.5 books that quickly?

Melody said...

What a lovely post. The Homestead looks amazing...

Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman and if I was there I would have been sitting right next to you blubbering away. I get emotional at things like that...

Prego said...

Awww... my glass eye is fogging up.

I'm as sentimental as the next guy.

Hope your little one's feeling better.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks for your visit, my dear....I cannot tell you what it means to me that you share my pictures with 'the short people'....I think that is just fantastic! And that they like them...This is even better! Somehow it makes me feel that these pictures of nature erase all difference in age, you know? What interests us has nothing to do with how old one is ir how has to do with the openess of the heart and mind, tapping into a place that is ageless! I really love that!
Good to hear from you and I hope you will start popsting again soon, when you have the time....!
Hugs To You All!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am concerned about you...No posts for a month! Hmmmmm. Well, I hope you abnd yours are okay and that it is just a busy life that is keeping you from blogging.
Just came by to say hi and to tell you, you are missed!

Deana said...

okay you had a month...come back to us. Are you okay? I hope it is just that you are so busy and nothing is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you! Hope you are having a fabulous day!

Bubblehead said...

Very beautiful vacation spot, and always warming to hear of those people who helped make our world a better place be honored.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

So very glad you stopped by...I was getting worried about you. And I surely understand 'burn out'.....I hope you will return soon, my dear...!