Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chats by the Woodburning Furnace

Dawn's new living room furniture.
Gavrillo here.  "Above the grass" as they say in the local parlance.  The Oxford English Etymology says the word is a relative of parole. Interesting. As if I haven't recently been hit by a string of shitful health issues, last Thursday I'm shivering so bad under three layers and a blanket, I call the doctor.  Actually, she called me.

"Howyre doin'", she says.

I fill her in on my condition since I'd last seen her, two weeks ago. Reports have been filtering in from two Mayo facilities, one in La Crosse and the other in Rochester.  Without actual details, they are clinical reports of tests that show an esophageal mass in my throat.

I leave out everything but my current shivering and an occasional inability to eat or drink anything.  She solves the latter "worry" by telling me to go direct to emergency in Rochester if I'm unable to drink or eat anything for a protracted period.  No ass kissing, no disclaimers, just get help. She's a sweetie. Smart too.   

She squeezes me in 45 minutes later for a few tests.  Chest X-Ray, white blood cell count and the usual cold hands, warm heart stuff.  I've got pneumonia. She hands me a prescription for an antibiotic after scanning her computer for the best possible medication to treat my condition.  The antibiotic works fast.  "In 24 hours if you're not feeling better, call me."   In three hours I'm back in fightin' form. Well, almost.  The antibiotic is a short course of five days.  I sleep most of the afternoon in the leather recliner at the top right in the picture.  Mandy sleeps in her chair across from me, protecting me from wolves, bears, lions and tigers.

When I saw this picture Dawn took of the living room ( front room if it were in a Milwaukee Bungalow), I was surprised at how comfortable it looks. It really is comfortable.  The old couch was too low to the floor.  After twenty five years the support gave way and one needed a small crane to lift yourself out.  The new couch is higher off the floor and the armchair/recliner in the foreground replaces a leather recliner with a leather ottoman no one ever sat on, except for the cat. We moved that across the room for the Pooch.  Now both animals have their own chairs.  The cat likes to piss off the dog by stealing "her chair.'  We intervene in these sibling rivalries.

We bought the furniture from a local, family owned company.  I could go on and on on how their business changed over the years. The saleswoman tells us the furniture is US made.  A real plus.  They didn't charge for the forty mile delivery trip.  We discuss a furniture giant with home offices not far from us whose product is mostly made in China. "Inexpensive crap."   I suggest to the saleswoman that good customer service can overcome the retail giants like Wal-Mart whose cheap bunk beds steal a major portion of their business. Not to mention the metal rungs on the ladders for the bunk beds fall apart, creating a safety hazard.  I  think of Jorge's recent purchase of a platform bed from Wal-Mart.  His chief concern, low cost. Safety, reliability and durability are not in his mind.  Who are you going to blame?  Impoverished people (except for cheapskate Jorge) who can't afford better quality, manufacturers, or retail giants?  It'd be a start if, one by one people started thinking about long term benefits versus short term pretty. I see it all the time. On the curb that nice new recliner sits between the sidewalk and the street with a free sign stuck to the back.


T. Roger Thomas said...

First, I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better. I hope you have a healthy New Year.

My experience tells me that US made furniture, which is mostly produced in North Carolina, is of fantastic quality.

Happy New Year!

Gavrillo said...

Thanks. Your thoughts mean a lot to me. You're right about the furniture and NC.

Anonymous said...

You left me hanging after the "esophageal mass" thing. What? What is that? I'm so glad you're feeling better, but you have me worried.

I dread furniture buying, which is why I make do with what I have. The markup on the stuff is obscene. Yes, it's no wonder that people buy it at WalMart and other similar places - good quality furniture is out of reach for many of us. Of course, I've seen poor quality furniture priced just as high.

Arthur said...

May God BLess You this year. Dear Jesus please provide a miracle for this lovely man that he may continue to enjoy his family, animals, writing and being in general. If possible please cure his physical health problems. If not, please comfort him as much as possible. Amen.