Like many people across the United States, we spent Thanksgiving with family. Unlike many others (I hope), we finished up a nice meal then got the call to head down to the VA hospital in West Roxbury, Massachusetts with Jamie’s Dad. He had been suffering from a blood infection and complicating issues and was moved from the VA in White River Junction down to West Roxbury on Thanksgiving afternoon. Though Jamie and I had only packed for one overnight at my parents’ house, we hopped in the car and headed down to Boston to keep him company. As an aside, I feel thankful we were able to go with him – while the Docs and surgical staff at the hospital were top notch, we were less than thrilled with the nurses we encountered during our stay. I was overwhelmingly thankful Jamie was there to advocate for her father – and I worry about those Vets in the hospital without a personal advocate.
We crashed at my sister’s apartment for one night then were able to stay the next 4 nights at the family housing in Fisher House right on the hospital campus. It has the look of a nice hotel paired with a seriously gorgeous kitchen, washers and dryers and a variety of other generous perks for families with loved ones at the VA for extended periods. We met a host of women with husbands receiving care at the VA and were touched by the warmth and hospitality of complete strangers.
One of the many advantages to tiny house living is the ability to drop everything and spend a week 4 hours from home without worrying. No kids, no pets, not even any houseplants to miss us when we’re away. Not to mention our plumbing-free lifestyle means no fear of frozen pipes. The weather in Vermont dropped below freezing while we were gone so Jamie’s mom popped over to turn on our propane heater but that was the only maintenance required during our absence. To my delight, there wasn’t even anything growing in our fridge when we got home!
This Tuesday afternoon, they transferred him back up to the White River VA which meant we were able to head for home (thank goodness – the two outfits I had with me really needed to be retired for some other wardrobe options). As we were leaving the hospital to head back north, I was incredibly amused by this sign on the front of the hospital’s emergency entrance. I’m willing to acknowledge my amusement may be primarily due to sleep deprivation and general punchiness, but I still find it chuckle-worthy. In point of photo appropriateness, I didn’t bring a camera – I took this with my phone 🙂