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Carol Perkins: The Caretakers

Before settling in to think you'll only enjoy just another standard, hilarious Carol Perkins Metcalfe Countians lost in the city, dog and bone-friend story, be forewarned there is more - much more - in this one.-CM
The next earlier Carol Perkins story is A Second Christmas

By Carol Perkins

The dog shot out the door, down the brick steps, and across three yards before Judy (Wallace Irvin) could yell, "Catch That Dog!"

The story begins when she and I went to stay with our friend Connie Wilson who had just gone through a very serious surgery. Our job was to make sure she was comfortable and pain free, greet the visitors, and take care of the dogs. "You don't have to worry about a thing. We'll take care of you until you don't need us anymore." Those were our words of comfort to her when she told us about her pending surgery.


We brought her home from the hospital and helped her to her upstairs room, where she fell into a deep sleep. While she slept, we cooked a lunch, which included fresh canned green beans that Judy had brought from home. Then we realized we had to go to her pharmacy to fill her prescriptions and to the grocery for a few necessities.

Knowing she would be sleeping for awhile, we woke her long enough to tell her we would be right back, and then headed for the drugstore and the nearest grocery. On the way Judy said, "I don't remember if I turned the beans off or not."

"I'm pretty sure they were off when I got some for myself."

We found her neighborhood Walgreen, but ended up at Outer Loop before we found a grocery.

The streets led them in circles

We rushed through the aisles and filled the cart with things we liked too. The clock was ticking. On the way back, we panicked when the traffic was backed up because of an accident, so we had to travel streets that led us in circles. "I think I recognize where we are!" Judy said.

"That's because we were just here!"

We didn't know how to get back to Southern Parkway. Finally, we stumbled upon the pharmacy. By then, we had been gone over an hour.

We unlocked the door and immediately heard a week voice cry, "Where have you two been?"

It seems that while we were out, her doorbell rang and rang and rang. In her subconscious state, she dragged herself to a window upstairs and looked out to see a delivery man with an armload of flowers. She opened the window and yelled, "Just put them on the stoop and I'll get them later." She was afraid a dog would attack them first, so she hobbled down the stairs and brought them inside.

"I thought you were here to take care of me."

"I thought you two were here to take care of me!" she proclaimed.

"Well, how were we to know you had flower-giving friends!"

"While I was downstairs, I smelled something burning. You two left the green beans scorching on the stove. Are you trying to burn down my house!"

After she settled in again, visitors began to arrive. Just as one group was leaving and two more arriving and Judy opened the door to greet the new ones, Pat (her Westie), shot out the door like a bad boy gone wild.

"Stop that dog!" Judy yelled from the doorway, blocking the other dog from following. If that dog were run over, Connie would never forgive her. Her dogs (she has two) were like family.

Five middle-aged women charged down the street

Five middle-aged women charged down the street after one short, fat dog. One lady jumped into her van and followed Pat, like the police chasing a criminal. His little feet were leaping over bushes. Finally, they surrounded him as he stopped to get acquainted with a tree. It took two to carry Pat back to the house. The patient slept through it all.

Within the hour, one of the women brought a doggie gate back to the house.

For the next two days we waited on the patient. "Do you need anything? Let me fix you some potato soup." She did not enjoy coddling.

The straw that sent her into a quick recovery was when we began to do laundry and dust. "Leave my dirty clothes alone. I don't want you all doing my laundry. You don't have to clean my house!" She didn't realize we had to keep busy.

Bone-friends can talk that way to each other

I think we were getting on her nerves. The second night she roused enough to come downstairs to the couch. "I can't tell you how much I thank you for staying with me, but you can go home tomorrow." We laughed. Bone friends (those who have been friends since first grade) can talk that way to each other.

"But are you ready to be alone?"

"More than ready!"

Connie recovered fast. Her fellow teachers and friends filled her cabinets and refrigerator with good food. Her students made shirts that read, "Walk for Wilson" as they participated in the annual Susan B. Coleman walk in Louisville the weekend of her surgery. Connie had always raised money for this event at her school. It was now her turn to receive.

When I asked Connie about writing this story, she wanted me to thank all her Edmonton friends and especially her home church, The Edmonton Baptist Church, for all the cards and calls. No one should go through breast cancer alone, and she didn't.
Email Carol at cperkins@scrtc.com

Give the gift that will keep your family and friends laughing all year long . Give them Let's Talk About... a collection of over 70 of Carol's favorite stories, many you have never read. Send check, cash, or money order to Carol Perkins, P.O. Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129 for the special price of just $12 (regularly $15). It's a great gift for any occasion.


This story was posted on 2010-01-10 06:21:16
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