Bingo

Trip 2 – Day 41

Monday, February 18, 2013

Today, I have some words of advice along with the daily tales.  Before I launch into either of these, I will just say that it is becoming evident to me that we are nearing the end of our stay here at FOY.  We have been told that the desert “changes” as the weather warms to its hellish hotness of the summer months.  For one, the bugs, particularly large flies, come out.  I haven’t yet seen any of the alleged giant flies, but I have noticed more bugs.  Today, when taking Wiley out for a walk in the desert, I saw my first lizard.  Yes, I have known they were out there, but surprised that I hadn’t seen them.  Additionally, right in the campground, I saw a snake “skin” that had been shed while slithering through the gravel.  So, I will say, it is time for us,  “non-natives” to return the desert to its rightful owners, and head for home.

Snake skin in the gravel.  We're thinking that it must be a pretty big snake

Snake skin in the gravel. We’re thinking that it must be a pretty big snake

Now for the daily advice:  Last Friday, we made the trip to Brawley for Dad to have blood work, the results of which were to be sent to the Palm Springs doctor who cared for him.  I called the doctor’s office last Thursday, to alert them as to what we were doing.  I left phone numbers, names, etc.  I quizzed the lab regarding when the results would be back and faxed to the doctor.  I am going to preface the following by mentioning that EVERYONE I spoke with was VERY nice and very helpful.  Today, I called the doctor’s office, and this is what transpired.  I asked the receptionist if they had received the results from Dad’s lab work.   She said they had, but wondered if he was a “patient” of the doctor, or had just seen him in the hospital.  Then, she said, “To be honest, when these things come in, if we don’t recognize the name, they go to the shredder.  We do put them on the doctor’s desk, but if he doesn’t know who they are, we shred them.  You have really helped us by calling, because now we know who this patient is.”   And, yes, it did take me a minute to regain my composure after coming to grips with this startling confession.  Perhaps this is yet another example of how we need to help each other in order to help ourselves.  Had I not called (again) our trip to Brawley, 3 days post surgery, would have been a waste of time, Dad’s energy, and insurance money.  To bring this to a final closure, I received a call back from the medical assistant, around 8:00 at night, and everything is fine.  A double relief.

My parents loved bingo.  They went to a local restaurant/tavern and played, EVERY Monday night for as long as I can remember – probably about 20+ years, until Mom’s health made it too difficult for both of them.  They met friends there, had dinner, and played the good game.  It was the highlight of their week.  Of course, bingo is one of the activities here at FOY.  It was something we had been meaning to check out, but just hadn’t gotten around to doing.  The park calendar stated that bingo started at 5:30, or so we thought.  Life with my father has pointed out how truly “sheltered” my last 30+ years have been.  I have never played bingo, other than with my kids, or in a classroom setting with other kids.  It’s hard to say whether or not I have missed something.  As I often do, I digress.

Dad, whose idea of “being on time” for any event, means that you arrive 20+ minutes early, wanted to arrive at Hay’s Hall around 5:00.  He said we needed to purchase cards, etc.  Wiley chose to take this moment to give us the impression that he was preparing to scoot his way from one end of the Hag to the other.  Due to this unforeseen IMMEDIATE need to make a trip to the dog area, and my being the only one who could take him to said area, due to a “clothing” issue, dinner was delayed.  If you have followed us, you will know that these little issues cause a slightly different emotional response in each of us.  Wiley becomes frantic and begins eating, Dad wants the ship to stay on course no matter the shrapnel that might be falling around us, Craig is amazed, and I become frustrated and equally amazed at the response of those around me.  That is just the way it is.  Without going into too much more detail, the dog made it to the bathroom in time, although let’s just say, “I’ll be watching him.”  We did have dinner – a nice salad with lettuce, vegetables and leftover chicken, and made it up to Hay’s Hall by 5:13.

Another sunset from the porch of Hays Hall

Another sunset from the porch of Hays Hall

Interestingly enough, almost NO ONE was there at this early hour.  The sale of bingo cards began at 5:30 (on the dot) and continued until 6:25, at which time one could no longer buy a card.  The game began at 6:30.  There is a process and an order as to which card is played and what constitutes a bingo.  Knowing I was a “newbie,” the regulars checked in with me to make sure I understood what was happening.  Bingo used to seem like such a simple game.  For reasons that I am still trying to understand, Dad wasn’t particularly happy.  For one thing, most of the bingo players were women.  There were, perhaps, 6 men in the building, and 40-50 women.  Maybe being in the minority, so to speak, was unsettling.  Some folks complained that the caller was “going too fast,” and the regulars proclaimed, “Some of us have more than one sheet of (bingo) cards.”  And then there was the issue that all those “old women” sitting around us were winning and we were not.  Dad wasn’t happy.  He wasn’t comfortable.  The chair was hard, the markers didn’t produce a large enough dot, and we did not win.  We didn’t even come close to winning.  So, we will not be going back to play bingo with, “those old ladies who took advantage of an old man.”  Personally, I didn’t mind it, and as I am not so lucky with the games of chance, I didn’t expect to win so I wasn’t too disappointed.  But, I am also happy to spend a night in the Hag with the boys.

Dad getting ready for the big night of bingo

Dad getting ready for the big night of bingo

All events at FOY are preceded by entertainment.  This man did a great job on the keyboard.  I will assure you, that any similarities to a certain episode of "Family Guy" are just life imitating art.

All events at FOY are preceded by entertainment. This man did a great job on the keyboard prior to the start of bingo. I will assure you, that any similarities to a certain episode of “Family Guy” are just life imitating art.

Today’s weather:  Sunny and warm

Daytime temperature:  In the high 70’s

Nighttime temperature:  In the 40’s

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