I was very pleased with last week’s storytelling workshop with Terrance Mc Arthur. It was well attended – not to many, not too few, just the right amount.
Terrance was talking about family and personal stories, and one of his “story starters” was “Your first job.”
Ah, I remember it well. 1969. I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school. I was a nurse’s aide at The Clovis Nursing Home. It was on Clovis Avenue in a beautiful old house called Wolfe Manor. Wolfe Manor, sadly, was torn down recently.
Built off the back of the house was a long hospital -like building with rooms on either side of the hallway. The less-than-mobile people had rooms there.
“They” say the house was haunted. It was used as a “Haunted House” at Halloween for many years, until the neighbors complained about the noise and had it closed down. One of the paranormal TV shows actually filmed an episode there a few years ago.
There was one incident that happened to me, late one night…
I worked from 2:00pm to 10pm. After 9:00 the patients were settled in their rooms and the hall lights were turned down. My job was to wander the hallway going in and out of the rooms, checking on the residents and doing whatever needed to be done for them.
A nice old lady had a room at the far end of the hall and I saw her standing outside her door. I went to her and asked if she was OK. She said, “I’m just having a little trouble sleeping. Would you make me some warm milk?”
Well, of course I would. I tucked her into bed and said I’d be right back.
I walked back down the hall to the little kitchenette, got a pan out of the cupboard and poured in the milk. I was standing there stirring the milk so it wouldn’t burn, when I felt a tap on the shoulder and heard “Is it done yet?” I turned around, intending to scold her (nicely, of course) for getting out of bed, but…
…There was no one there.
I carried the milk back to her room and she was still tucked into bed, waiting patiently.
I wouldn’t lie to you.