Four moments from two days. Me appreciating and being appreciated for it.
One thing from my 24ish-hour trip I didn't mention: I came home with a present for a coworker, born of some strange coincidences of memory. A couple of weeks ago, Melissa came into work in what looked to be a very retro 60s dress. It didn't take long to evoke a memory I posted ages ago, from an even earlier time:
The year was 1965, and the photographer was Garry Winogrand. No, I hadn't heard of him before talking to Donna yesterday, but he was a fairly famous street photographer in that era:
"At the time of his death [in 1984] there was discovered about 2,500 rolls of undeveloped film, 6,500 rolls of developed but not proofed exposures, and contact sheets made from about 3,000 rolls.The Garry Winogrand Archive at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) comprises over 20,000 fine and work prints, 20,000 contact sheets, 100,000 negatives and 30,500 35 mm colour slides as well as a small group of Polaroid prints and several amateur motion picture films."
Earlier this year , 175 of his photos, including some of the never-seen ones, were exhibited at the Met earlier this year, and Donna somehow got a hold of this picture of her walking in Manhattan that year. She remembers the dress, the purse, and the Arnold Constable bag in her left hand. (I barely remember Arnold Constable, which was a department store and not a nerdy cop, and I never would have picked her out of the exhibit from this shot.)
I had to show that photo around the office, and when Melissa saw it, she asked, and I knew she was joking, "Does she still have that purse?" Well, she didn't; but when I told Donna that story over the weekend, she excused herself and brought out another from that same era which she was happy to share with a fellow fan of the era. When I came back into work yesterday, I knew it was the right choice, since Melissa was wearing that outfit for the first time since I'd first seen it. She was near tears when she saw what my sister had passed on (and I insisted, on her behalf- Donna may not be a Hoarder, but she knows the importance of not becoming one). A thank-you will be going out shortly if it hasn't already.
Not long after, I got a thank-you of my own that was totally unexpected and in its own way amazing.
One of the regular trainers at my workout studio has been out for a few weeks. Last week, I found out why; she is home and bedridden after being treated for a detached retina. Not only did they blind her to aid in the recovery, they restricted her movement so she was left to lie on one side- a tremendous sacrifice for a lifelong athlete. Last week, I dropped off a card for her (after also picking up a belated birthday card for my sister, which I forgot to bring to her:P, and a thank-you card for someone in my office who'd bought us lunch). I struggled with what gift one might include for someone who is blind and immobile. It finally dawned: audiobooks. Sadly, Audible, despite being an Amazon minion, does not let you just give a fixed amount or X number of books as a gift; they're big on the subscription racket. But Apple is fine with per-book purchases, so that's what I went with. Yesterday brought a thank-you from Kristen, which must have been dictated, thanking me for the thought. I've since learned that I wasn't the only one to have this idea, so I hope she has plenty to listen to as time goes by, slowly though it will.
The final exchange of thanks was a mix of trial and learning (not error), with a little inspiration thrown in. Last week, I realized I was overwhelmed by the volume of new cases I was cranking out (the final total was nine for the month of May, enough that I am predicting I will singlehandedly create an uptick in district-total filings for the month). So I turned to a friend and former co-worker and, for the first time ever, essentially hired her to do some of my production work. It was a fairly well-contained sample: client had filed a previous case, so we had that whole set of data to start from, plus some updates from her. My friend worked on it on and off during the ensuing week, but was having trouble with some of the creditor information. That, finally, prompted me to sign up for an optional service to import creditor information directly into the drafts from the major credit bureaus. I told her to finish the other schedules, and they were finished rather quickly. She also proposed not to charge me for it, since this was more of a learning experience.
Simultaneously, I saw (since we were Facebooking these communications) that she was looking for something of an entertainment venture herself: wanting to binge Big Bang Theory from the beginning. Nobody had good ideas for reliable sources, but I instantly thought of whether the library had DVDs of it. Not only did they, but they were all available at the one closest to my office and on my way to her house to pick up the data work.
Win- win. Love- love. (Also, since she has a cute puppy, slobber-slobber.)
That gets us to today, and the longest and furthest venture. After I got home from all that last night, Emily called, concerned about something. I'd forgotten that New York insurers require you to photograph any used car carrying collision insurance, to prevent scammers from insuring totaled cars and then claiming on the policy. I'd had to do this when I bought Kermit in late 2013, and apparently there's no exception for when the car is staying with the same insurance company and being transferred parent-to-child. She'd been notified of the requirement, but didn't realize until yesterday that today was the last day- and she had an all-day orientation session at work, so she couldn't go.
But I could. I'd planned to be there all day anyway, and I took it off her plate. She scheduled it for late afternoon on the west side of Rochester, so she met me at the parking lot of her new job (about which more to follow), I picked the car up, ran some other errands, and finally showed up at the repair shop an hour early and got the deed done. I then returned the car to her and tried to contact her so I could return the keys.
Until today, we vaguely knew where the Alzheimer's Association office in Rochester was- East Henrietta Road just north of the expressway- but we had the side of the street wrong. It wasn't across from Monroe Community Hospital in a onetime campus of county buildings now largely replaced by a Costco; it was in MCH. Which is where Eleanor's mother worked, way back in the day, and more recently where she spent her final months before she passed away, virtually if not actually in her daughter's forgiving arms.
Emily did remember this- kinda. She mostly remembered the one time that I brought her to Rochester to visit Grandma there while she was still in school here, with our then-puppier Ebony in tow; her main memory of that was that the dog got loose in the hospital parking lot.
There's a certain weird-yet-wonderfulness about this connection to her family's past. As I left, I got this shot out the closest exit to the elevator leading to her third-floor Alzheimer's offices:
Amazingly, the Republicans in charge of Monroe County haven't gotten around to sandblasting that yet. Must not be anything in the budget for power tools, which might raise tax rates in Pittsford:P
The work part of the workday wasn't remarkable except to the extent it was annoying, which I'll spare. Tomorrow is a brief and not-too-far court appearance, and the rest of it and Friday are for catching up.