Hurricane Joaquin is approaching, Putin is stomping through the Middle East, millions are homeless, and a crazy person went on a rampage yesterday in Oregon. The planet is in an uproar and the reverberations continue to pulsate and throb, much like Thing 1’s intractable migraine.
Our family is still swirling in the outer bands of the last storm. I would love to be able to report that all is hunky dory but that is simply not the truth. Having said that, I also don’t want to be a total Debbie Downer. Thing 1’s situation is not nearly as grave as the global crises mentioned above, even though has been pretty catastrophic for her, a point I do not wish to diminish. So, I will spare you the hand wringing, teeth gnashing, and wailing – there truly is no need to relive it.
Ephesians 4:29 reminds us not to let “evil talk” come out of our mouths, “but only that what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace …” With that in mind, the first tip may seem like I am violating this injunction. However, I am just reporting the facts of our experience to help others. The rest of the hot tips are testimonies to the kind, good, helpful, loving people of the Baltimore who let the light in during a dark period. If this doesn’t interest you, skip to the bottom of the post. Or just stop reading here!
- Vis a vis the Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department: a) consider taking an ambulance. You might not get a bed for 6 – 11 hours. If you do not speak English, take an English speaking friend while you wait in the waiting room. If you are too “out of it”, do the same. No one should be alone in an emergency room. b)You need to know when your name is being called (isn’t this so true for most of life?). Thing 1 suggested the ED invest in buzzers like at Cheesecake Factory (probably cost prohibitive but really, considering the things we spend money on, worth it. Now, If I wrote about such things as the unused white boards in every room, that would be evil talk). c) DON’T GO ON A MONDAY. This is what we were told by the triage team. People procrastinate during the weekend and then flood the ED. d) There is no 24 hour pharmacy at the hospital so, unless you or someone you know is in shape to seek out an all-night drugstore, you will have to wait for the morning to fill your meds. Perhaps this is a security issue? I can tell you I will never be shopping for Rx during the wee hours of the morning in Baltimore. e) consider a different hospital unless this is where all your medical records are located.
- Mike Machin of Yoon’s Body Shop (across from the cemetery filmed in The Wire) was an ABSOLUTE ANGEL and not only recognized a WOMAN IN DISTRESS, he saved her (that would be me). He fixed my problem within 20 minutes and did not charge me a penny. He will never know how grateful I am to him. Perhaps he should be mayor of Baltimore?
- Nittany Kitten was also an ABSOLUTE ANGEL, visiting said WOMAN IN DISTRESS and conveying necessary items in her big car upon request in a most serendipitous timely fashion. She rescued me with chats and an outing to Fells Point.
- Laura Kalman, Licensed Massage Therapist and founder of Metta Integrative Wellness Center in Hampden, has healing hands, as does her coworker, Daniel Kemp. Laura and Daniel’s personalities radiated the hope for wellness. We will be back! Pun intended!
- The Turnover Shop, the oldest consignment shop in Maryland, also in Hampden, is the delight of an Ex-Expat Princess’ heart. Owners Alice Ann Finnerty and Alice Ann Martin (mother & daughter) display gorgeous antiques at very reasonable prices. The one that got away was a large Sitting Bull Toby Jug, which I realized belatedly would look fabulous on my Thanksgiving table, paying homage to the Native Americans with whom the pilgrims shared their first harvest meal. Sitting Bull was not present at that meal, I know, he is just representative. Apparently, somebody else had the same idea.
- The Antique Exchange, owned by Tom and Wesley Finnerty, is a potential money pit, filled with goodies old and new. When I was writing this post and looking at my cards, I noticed the coincidence of the names. A phone call confirmed that Tom is the Alice Anns’ son and brother. Good taste runs in the family, apparently. I refrained from purchasing anything except for a 1953 Queen Elizabeth coronation mug (it matches my QE2 Jubilee mug, destined for a consignment shop in 30 years).
- Even a 15 minute cruise through the Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art to look at the Matisses can restore a soul.
- I saved the most cherished shout-out for last. The concierge, manager, and night desk clerk at Thing 1’s apartment were beyond nice to us, helping us out, supplying information, expressing concern for Thing 1. They must remain anonymous here but I am writing their mutual employer to express my profound gratitude. Send me a comment if you need the name of a good apartment building in Baltimore.
Thing 1‘s “captured” pupil held her hostage for more than a month.* Now that the lens is unstuck and repositioned, the headache is gone, leaving in its wake exhaustion of body, mind, and spirit. Braced for the next storm, we are reminded that “the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective”* and are grateful for all the angels in our midst who held us aloft even as we were pummeled. There is grace in rest. May angels encircle those whose needs are far greater than ours and hold them even higher. Peace out, friends.
*Supposedly, according to the surgeon, there was only a 5% chance the captured pupil caused the migraine. Thing 1 was in the 5%.