One week ago to the minute

I’ve posted little again this week. Its not that I haven’t had some zingers to bestow its that this week marks the conclusion of a couple two-year long family crises. Its been hard to focus on anything else while I had to shepherd them to a conclusion.

One week ago at 1:30 in the morning I was in a Richfield, Minnesota hotel room with my family unable to sleep. Just like tonight. I snuck out of the hotel room with my laptop intent on doing some posting. When I got down the the hotel lobby I changed my mind. It was a beautiful night and I’d spent too many days cooped up with the computer to want to stay up till all hours hunched over the computer yet again. So I took a walk.

Why it took me a week to write about it I don’t know. I miss writing and its a sort of interesting anecdote. So, I’ll write about it now under the “Harry’s Diary” category.

We were down in Minneapolis to have a break from the routine. Grandma and Papaw with the grandkids. We arrived at the hotel late Thursday night and I got a call from a City of St. Paul inspector telling me that he hadn’t found a key to the house I desperately wanted to sell – the one that squatters had broken into. I had agreed to meet him the following afternoon to open the door. Without his OK the closing that was a week away would fall through. I’d met him Friday at 1:30 in the afternoon. I’d raced to St.Paul from the Mall of America where I’d been with my family to play at the amusement park. I loved the big tent with huge live tropical butterflies.

The inspection went swimmingly. It was the third one required before we could close (and that closing successfully took place this morning at 10AM

I guess that night I was still worked up. I anticipated the closing and the conclusion of two other major projects the following week and so I took a walk. I headed north of our Residence Inn for a zig zaggy mile and ended up in the Southdale parking lot. I was about to head back to the hotel having tuckered myself out but decided to cross the lot to see what movies were playing in malls theater. As I walked across the lot a small white care circled around me. Thinking that it might contain hoods ready to roll me I had my guard up when it seemed to sneak up from behind on me with the headlights beaming against my back.

I turned to give the car a hard stare. The drive was an elderly man who rolled down the windows to ask me if I knew where the hospital was. He told me he was in serious pain that made it hard to drive. I could see that he was wearing only a shirt and shorts. I told him I didn’t know where it was. In disappointment he began to drive away. Before he got far, and he was traveling very slowly by now, I had an idea and shouted to him asking him if he wanted me to call 911. He said he did. It was a good occasion for me to be carrying it.

A lady on the other end of 911 began giving me directions and I tried relaying them. The first direction required figuring out how to escape the parking lot to head north on France Ave. The hospital was just a couple blocks away. After a first crack at giving instructions I asked the driver if he wanted me to hop in and help him find his way. He gladly accepted my help.

It took a while to thread my way out of the unfamiliar lot and my conversation with the 911 operator confused the driver. He wanted to immediately do whatever I repeated as I was given instructions with the result that he tended to turn left or right a block before he should. After the first such wrong turn I had him pull a U Turn at an intersection where I don’t think it was permitted. (It was almost 2:30 by now so there weren’t a lot of people to take notice)

I got him back on France Ave and tried to make it clear that he shouldn’t do anything he overheard me talking to the 911 operator about. We eventually found our way to the emergency room (It was only a couple blocks north of the Parking lot) I told him where to drive to get as close to the mail emergency door as possible. He got out of his car with great effort and walked in a terrible stoop with me holding his arm. Halfway there a night security guard asked us if we would like a wheel chair. We both agreed that would be a good idea.

At the intake desk Mr. Putnam was asked about his medical coverage. He explained that his malady was related to prostrate troubles. He hadn’t been able to take a leak for over eight hours. I’d have been hunched over too.

He was born in 1921 making him nine years older than my Mother and 89 years old. After his admission I departed and decided to try a short cut. Half an hour later I realized that I was lost. I retraced my steps and eventually found my was back. I still couldn’t sleep. When I finally did crash I ended up costing us our morning activities as I kept getting woke up on the hour for one thing or another until I finally crawled out of bed at about 10AM an hour by which time I’m usually ready to take a nap after six hours of activity.

Whatever else at least my restlessness put me in the position to help out another human being. Now that I’m finished telling this story that is apropos of nothing I’ll try to go back to sleep tonight. I’d hate to find myself in the middle of a mission of mercy tonight. I need my beauty sleep more.

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