Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pile Up On Mayberry Lane

A year and half ago I started a cooking group at a local nursing home. I take in a picture, we go on a mental field trip, I show them how I cook something and then magically a dessert appears and we eat. The best part is the eating.

On my first day there I noticed two things. First, all the hallways had signs like Hopeful Avenue, Cheerful Drive, etc. Secondly, ninety-eight percent of the residents were in wheelchairs.

One day we had 45 residents, most like because we were having apple crisp with ice cream. Because of the size of the class two employees of the nursing home, Lindsey and Kala were helping me. We took our mental field trip. I told them a couple of jokes while showing how I make apple crisp. Then two warm apple crisps appeared. As soon as they were uncovered the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg filled the room and everyone was ready to eat.

I was rummaging through the box which contains all the ingredients and utensils I need when I realized I had forgotten to pack an ice cream scoop. That’s when I said the words that started a chain reaction of events, “Will somebody go to the kitchen and see if we can borrow an ice cream scoop? Otherwise there will be no ice cream today.”

Suddenly, all I heard was metal hitting metal and adjectives strung together in such a way it made any fire line I was ever on seem tame. I turned around and saw that about fourteen of the residents had pushed themselves away from the tables. Wheelchairs were banging into one another, arms and legs were intertwined, some people were cussing a blue streak and it was all taking place underneath the hallway sign which read Mayberry Lane. I threw my hands in the air and yelled (yes, I had to yell to be heard over all the commotion), “Hold it! Hold it!” Everyone stopped. Then, in a little calmer voice, I said, “I guess what I meant to say was, Lindsey or Kala, could one of you go to the kitchen and see if we can borrow an ice cream scoop?” There was a collective response of, “Oh, okay Ralph”. The residents started pushing themselves back to the tables with a lot of side conversations like, “I’m sorry I called you a @#$%^” taking place.

The ice cream scoop appeared and Lindsey, Kala, and I proceeded to serve everyone. I started chuckling about what had happened when Lindsey made the profound statement, “Never underestimate the power of ice cream”.


Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Thanks for posting this Ralph. I sure needed a good chuckle today. How sweet of you to cook for these people.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Loving Leelah Lou said...

There was a long gap between postings there for a while. I'm glad you came back. I just love your stories!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Ralph, that is a classic and definitely needs to be published. Speaking of publishing....whats the latest edition of Homespun Headlines? I think I'm behind.

My dear husband doesn't have much of an appetite these days but he will always take a dish of ice cream.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

Where were Andy and Barney when you needed them? *G*

8:26 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...


Wonderful story, so glad I dropped by!

8:05 PM  
Blogger Lanny said...

Good story, I always enjoy reading here, always enjoy the cooking class stories.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Janne said...

Ralph -- Thanks so much for this post! I'm new to blogspot and just happened on your blog a few minutes ago. I work at an eldercare day facility (see www.charleshouse.org), and can attest to "the power of ice cream!" I'll be back to read more.... Jan

11:29 AM  
Blogger possum said...

You almost moved things to Mayhem Blvd! Don't mes with people's ice cream, no matter what age they are.
Great story!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Ralph. I'm happy to see you posting more!! I loved your travel photos! The Aspens are so beautiful!!

The population sign was great. I'm sure a sign like that would get the attention of folks and bring a smile! Good work!

I love your cooking stories and I like the names they have for the hallways. Great idea! I laughed at your story; you almost caused a wheelchair stampede!!

11:56 PM  

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