As I tried to prepare for my departure I worked some of my shifts, took time off to attend to details, got involved in a union wrestling match about schedules and budget reductions, had the car serviced, got a haircut, a massage, ordered my support hose, enjoyed supper at Lothars Cafe as he is retiring, attended a wedding, hosted a going away party, Frenchy shopped for a couple of uniform tops, met with someone who has moved out from Cam Bay in June and phoned another who left three years ago and got the low down on narwhales, musk ox and bears, switched my cell phone to a national plan, cancelled my landline as I refuse to pay over $90 per month for telemarketers to harass me and reserved a modem from Polarnet in Cambridge Bay so that I can continue to stay in touch. Oh yeah and packed for work and play for four weeks in a northern climate into two duffel bags and a knapsack - kind of like solving a puzzle. I'm dizzy just reading this paragraph.
On my last night shift my coworkers very generously brought food and gifts to ensure I had a proper send off. Only problem was that the pace of the shift didn't allow for such socializing so we just 'made' the time and took about 15 minutes to graze and enjoy my presents. The female physician on call dropped by and said "I'm surprised you still have the energy to do something like this at your age" which I took as a compliment as her social skills tend to be a bit rough. Speaking of rough....a very annoyed and confused elderly patient was wailing on me with a kleenex box as I tried to adjust her IV and the nursing assistant firmly took her hand and said "you don't do that, you don't hurt the nurse she's helping you" to which the patient replied "oh I thought she was that young one". The nursing assistant says "no, she's been working here for 52 years so she knows what she's doing'. This completely settled things and I had no further trouble. Felt like that many years by the morning for sure.
The going away party which we held at our house was a great success, much like 'the old days' where we had about 40 attending, lots of food and laughs and good times had by all. One of the 'former' nurses came and was likely one of the few who didn't recognize a staff member who has worked with us about six years. This LPN was helping with some chores in the kitchen and finally the vintage nurse says "I thought you'd made all kinds of money and hired a house girl" which cracked us all up. My concert going partner arrived and took over kitchen duties - she has to keep moving - so I suggested that she make margaritas for the guests (not me after the last session I had indulged in) and she became a bar tender production line. After a while the vintage nurse returned to pronounce that "the blonde is doing a great job but you should fire that French house girl as she's not worth what you're paying her". Good times, good times. I received a wonderful collection of gifts from a scarf, hand warmers, journal, cash, lotion to.....a pair of fleece onsies complete with trap door, modelled here on the right. I think they are actually too warm so I'll reserve them for my next trip north in Cambridge Bay winter, but they sure are what's required.
I attended a Red Cross Disaster Team meeting last night at the community room in Sobeys and as my travel mates waited afterwards in the car, I rushed around picking up some provisions. As I trotted by the produce section with a loaf of bread in my hands I suddenly felt myself flying through the air and landing on my knees and right hip. A very startled shopper who was selecting bananas came over and said "my goodness are you okay?" so I gingerly picked myself up off the floor and took note of a squashed green grape which had caused my take off and limped off towards to the checkouts, not noticing my flattened bread. As I made my way out to the parking lot I was a bit flustered and started approaching blue sedans and peering into the interior to see if they were my neighbour's vehicle. As I finally located the car I asked the occupants "were you punishing me for holding you up? I'm pretty sure that blonde over there in that blue car is calling 911 right now" They assured me that they hadn't noticed me being a voyeur and that I should get in now.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon today with my former babysitter and neighbour with her seven month old son as they came over for a visit. All of the babysitter's we had have now had children of their own so we haven't discouraged any of them in that regard. He is such a happy, smiley baby and travels so well. Gary the cat (who incidentally weighs more than Connor) was absolutely terrified of the baby and fled if he moved a finger or made the slightest noise, not even food would tempt him out.
I called the health centre this afternoon to announce my arrival on Sunday and ask if anyone needed anything brought in but with the time zone difference I had left to walk the dog before it was completely dark by the time the NIC (Nurse in Charge) called me back and of course the human answering machine couldn't remember her name but assured me that she would call again tomorrow. Not a big deal except that the health centre isn't open on Sunday and I have no idea where the housing is. Getting excited to see the first born daughter in less than two days on the way through, nice twist to the travel nursing. Last full night in my bed so I should take advantage of it.