Thursday, September 6, 2007

June Volunteers

I know you don't feel sorry for me that I have been working for 12 hours. Have I done nothing but complain that I have had NO work for a month?! Don't you totally want to cut me right now?

The place I talked about the other day? That emails you jobs and says, "Here's work. Want it?" ObSESSed with it. Can't turn anything down. So far today I have proofread a letter to the president of Iran, a paper on Beowulf, a paper on the German economy and some introduction about Tennyson, a palace and art.

Total raked in? Like $200. Again, have I mentioned the pay is sucky sucky suck pants?

Do you like how I have titled this "June Volunteers" and all I've done is talk about my paying job? Good focusing.

So I went to the assisted living place to do my visiting. The auctioneer director of activity whirled by, all papers and crafts and doilies and words. Kind of like a sweet Tasmanian Devil. "WellHI,sweetheart,IrememberyoufromyesterdayyoucomeoninIhaveamillionpeopleonholdbutyouwaitrightthereandI'llgettoya."

Love her.

So I visited with the old people just hanging. One woman and I discussed how nice the breeze was out on the porch. Another discussed her arthritis in her leg. Seems her meds wear off fast. Seriously, when I get old, don't give me any of that arthritis. Doesn't it sound awful?

Then I heard music playing.

Okay, you must understand. I am depressed. I am crying at the drop of a hat. I am crying at the drop of a visor, for heaven's sake. I had already misted up at the St. Teresa Prayer hanging on the wall there:

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be....Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

So I go into the rec room, and there, alone, was a woman playing the piano. Now, sadly, she only has a few music books, including a Christmas songbook. She was playing "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

This song kills me on a good day. On a day like this? Drop the visor day? Oh, lord. I sat at a table near her and sobbed, sobbed, I tell you, until my tears formed a beautiful stairway, leading to the path to happiness. Until an ocean formed, and glittering unicorns swam to my rescue, lifting me to the pink sky above. Until that poor old lady saw me and said, "I'll play something else."

She was not even a nice old lady. We talked for a long time, and she asked my name and said, "What is the origin of that name?" I told her it is a Jewish name and she said, "You don't look like a Jew!" and I told her I wasn't but my husband is. She then proceeded to tell me how dreadful "interracial" marriages were.

But the thing is about old people? For me they're a lot like cats. Even the ornery ones, who hiss and swing at you? I still love them more than anything. And this old lady? She has been EVERYWHERE. Russia, Europe, you name it, traveling with Big Bands and eating figgy pudding and such. Also, she knows everybody in this town, she knew the lady who owns this house, said I was gonna have lots of daffodils in the yard come spring.

Okay, she's a bigot. She's MY bigot. I can't help that I liked her racist ass.

Oh. And speaking of my crying thing? Have you guys seen that ABC thing where people do a video using just three words?

You are gonna DIE of weeping. Isn't that something to look forward to?


Catherine said...

Good for you, for volunteering, and for seeing past "your bigot's" remarks.

Moving is so hard, adjusting to a new place. The not buying may be adding an element too (but I say that as someone who indulges in too much retail therapy at times).

Take care, keep blogging, and take some comfort in knowing that you are funny as hell even when depressed!

June Cutoff Cash said...

Not spending HAS added to my woes, I think. People are always saying, "Well, go to dinner!" Um, can't. (Plus, there is one restaurant here anyway.) But yeah, I can't drive into Charlotte and get a pedicure and have lunch to cheer myself up.

Anonymous said...

Go June--you'll be a great volunteer. Bigots are people who just don't know any better. She may have traveled but not accepted people for just people. Now you can do that--accept the elderly bigot as just people. Some folks are good, some aren't! But you gotta love em all.

Anonymous said...

Glad you got to go meet some of the people at the local old peoples commune .. um .. I mean your local assisted living facility. I always tear up at "I'll be home for Christmas" too .. and "I Still Call Australia Home". :o)

Is the purpose of you being thrifty and saving like crazy so that you can buy a house there is NC? It's a shame you can't allow yourselves a treat once in a while .. sure does lift a girls spirit self medicating with some retail thereapy.

Have a grand day! :o)

Lara said...

Yup I cried at the video, but then I cried at Leave it to Beaver one time :)
My mom used to go to a nursing home in Virginia every week and read the Mitford books to the people and play the piano for them. One of her favorite people was a man named John Brown at last check he was 106. He was afraid to talk to my mom at first because she is white and he is black. It was a little shocking at first until you think what he has seen as far as racism in his 106 years!

June Cutoff Cash said...


LOVE the Mitford books. I will be reading to a blind woman, so maybe I can force her to listen to them! She liks mysteries, but I'll throw in a fake Mitford murder.

That is a stunning story; you can imagine what that man has seen. Or maybe I can't imagine, actually.

And. Leave it to BEAVER!?

M.I. Susan Harris said...

As my dad's alzheimers progresses, I am sometimes amazed at the comments that come out of his mouth. Let's just say they're not very PC. It's almost like he's living in a time when racial sterotyping was more acceptable. Sometimes I call him on it so that he doesn't set a bad example for the kids, but most of the time I just let it pass. It's strange because I've always known him to be pretty open minded. He didn't seem to mind when two women got married at our house last year.

And I can relate to the interracial marriage thing. I bet you didn't know that Mr. Harris is one sixtyfourth Cherokee.

Seriously, good for you for volunteering.

Anonymous said...

June, I have the St. Theresa's prayer on my guest bathroom mirror. You must not have been in the mood to read it when you were last here. You have always liked old people so I think you have found just the right thing to do to lift your spirits and theirs. You were there for Grammy and now you can be there for others. Are you taking an anti-depressant? Pan

gramakas said...

So sorry to hear that this move has become depressing to you. I have a suggestion ... visit this woman's blog at Now I know you aren't exactly feeling "in the pink" right now but she has an interesting post referenced on her sidebar area under "my favorite posts". It is titled "my thoughts on moving". Maybe you could get some ideas from her experience. My niece just moved to Texas with her husband and 4 little girls so her husband could do a residency in trauma.He picked the most violent city he could find west of the Mississippi so he'd get lots of good experience. She has never left her home state for anything ever before in her life so this has been a huge adjustment for her. I recommended this post to her too. So far, they seem to be excited about exploring the non-violent portions of their new local and making some friends along the way.

I think you are doing the best thing possible for feeling blue and that is to do something for someone else. If nothing else, it will give you lots of good stuff to entertain your blog fans!

Kellie said...


I have to say, that although your heart is heavy, it's nice that you can make me laugh! You are so stinkin' funny.

And getting out and volunteering is going to be so amazingly good for your mind and your heart. I am sure it will help with the funk you are in more than you can imagine.

And that grouchy racist? I bet that you will have just as much influence on her as she you. I think that you are, exactly, where God meant you to be...and 6 months from now you'll probably see it more clearly.


Kellie said...

You were right.
Saw the video.
Now I am crying with you.

Bronwyn said...

Oh, June. That video. Sob city. STOP watching such things. In your condition it's not good.

I'm sorry the pay on your job is sucky sucky suck pants, but how interesting! I mean, do you read it and process it, or just look for errors in grammar/syntax/typing, etc? (not that I claim to know anything about it).

I truly relate to your depression. Just did a cross country move myself three months ago and am only now graduating to the point where I don't spend most of my free time bawling. I started back to school, maybe that's helped. Is there a place where you could take a class? I know you aren't supposed to be spending, but consider this a health issue.

Take care and keep up with that volunteering!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

That video is awesome. Made me cry. Now I'm nothing here but a puddle of tears and the children are wondering. Hang in there, kid!

Tee said...

LOL, so sorry you are so depressed. Great move--volunteering. You will be able to meet some of those elderly folks and perhaps make friends. They are lonely and you are lonely, you need each other. Only difference, you can leave and go home, they don't have that option, now that's depressing.

I've never moved more than about 20 miles from where I grew up, but even that short distance was traumatic. I was a senior in high school and didn't know a soul for the entire summer, until band practice started. Do you have any other talents that could be used by others? Do you sing, play a musical instrument? Is there a local drama group? What about a local church? Just be encouraged, you are going to make friends and you will adjust. I know for the moment that's not a lot of comfort for you.

emilyhope said...

I enjoyed it.
I teared up.
Thanks for sharing.
Sorry you're depressed.
Have some fatback.

June Cutoff Cash said...

"Have some fatback." heeeeee....