RARELY are we in bed before midnight. Why, then, is it so challenging to gather our bones into a standing position after listening to the main headlines on the nightly news, to wend our way across the facility to the Health Center? Why there? It's the only time we can photograph and interview the night nurses for the Staff Directory we're compiling.
Mr. Bob counted the steps last night and it was surprisingly few for the effort it takes to go down the light-dimmed hall to the elevator and out onto the first floor, down another hall, through the shadowy lounge, across the darkened dining room where tables are set for the next morning's breakfast and into the double doors to the medical portion of our premises.
Fortunately, we haven't yet made the acquaintance of these angels of mercy because our combined health has been relatively good and other than dropping in occasionally to have our blood pressure measured, we've had little need to be in the Health Center.
Once we arrive at the nurses' station, we're glad we made the effort, for when they realize the purpose of our mission, the nurses are welcoming and glad to see us. Invariably we can put them at ease long enough to get a good picture for the directory, ask our few questions and soon we part as friends, retracing the steps to our room. And then we're stimulated enough that we have to unwind a bit before jumping into the feathers.
Our new friends are:
Those are the late night nurses (I don't suppose that in the Health Center their shift is referred to as "Graveyard".......it wouldn't be the right term under the circumstances). Earlier in the evening we met a nurse who has worked here for over 30 years. She was adamant about not wanting her picture taken. Of course we honored that request, but it didn't feel right somehow to leave a blank rectangular space above her information, so the next time we went over, I asked if there was a possibility of photographing her from a distance on her rounds. She was agreeable to that idea and this is what we did:
Tonight, after the news, we'll wander over and meet Mimi. Before we finish, there are 19 more nurses to meet. I hope they'll all remember us when our need for health care arises.