It was an overcast morning with a bit of wind blowing but they had forecast the temperature to reach 30 degrees so I really thought the bus trip to the beaches would be a bit of fun! Then……I get a phone call from a fellow resident who I have a somewhat “love, hate” relationship with, basically I adore her but just in small amounts. She’s calling me to tell me that the resident council meeting is on & there is no way she is missing that, she has too many important things to discuss. Oh, now I was in a dilemma….as I had previously told her I would also go to the council meeting but at that time I didn’t realize it was going to clash with the bus trip. I ummed & I ahhhed & I thought about the meeting & I really didn’t have anything I wanted to bring up & I was certain my friend would cover absolutely everything that needed to be said. Decision made – the bus trip it was!
So I packed my bag, made sure I was ready & took myself off to the bus trip meeting area. At this stage we didn’t know where we were going……it was a “mystery tour” but we did know we were heading for the beaches! The loading of the bus began, all bodies on first, then two residents in wheelchairs were coming, so they needed to be loaded, then the bags for morning tea, plus the hot water & last but not least one walker, for the “just in case moment” someone might have & they require a walker to get there. I might add just about here that without going into too much detail I had one of those “just in case moments” & believe me I was extremely grateful for that walker & the beautiful carer who helped me. There are not sufficient words to describe how hard these carers work & not only how hard they work but how much care they put into their work. I am just so thankful for each & everyone of them as it certainly would not be a pleasant or fun job at times!
Anyway, back to the bus trip, off we all went, great anticipation & excitement was felt all around the bus! Some of the residents rarely get out of the ‘establishment’ so this is a great thrill for them. As expected we headed for the beaches & we were spoilt rotten, we drove all along the Northern Beaches coast line & the more the day progressed the less cloud there was & the sun was out & it was actually hot! We saw beautiful trees, houses overlooking the water, beaches that were full of people & then our final stop was a little beach that was hidden away & hardly had a person on it. We pulled up in the bus & the staff started the production line of morning tea……who’s for coffee, tea, who has sugar, milk & it was on then the cream biscuits were passed around. “Do you think I could have two?” the lady across the aisle from me piped up, she had only just finished telling me five minutes before that her “mongrel of a doctor” told her she was overweight & needed to lose weight. “How dare he!” She said, “I think I’m just fine at a size 20-22!!!! I had a quiet chuckle as she grabbed her second & then might I add later on third Monte Carlo!! We sat & drank our coffees & teas & looked out at the views that I will post below & just enjoyed each others company & listened to stories of how some had grown up close by & others had lived close by after they were married & how nice it was to come back & see how much it had changed! You see for so many of these “oldies” this is their only chance to get out & see some of the outside world so it is a real treat for them & I think that is why ‘the establishment’ really tries to make sure they have two bus trips a week, so that as many people as possible can get some outside exposure.
Well, the time had come to pack up all the finished with plastic mugs, pack the cool bags & start on the homeward trek. It always seems so much faster going home & I think it literally was faster this time because we went the straight route rather than along the coastline. The trip home was a bit quieter than the outward bound trip as I think people were truly relaxed from a bit of sea breeze (they opened all the windows on the bus while we had our morning tea) & a nice fresh morning tea. I’m quite sure if I did a quick scan of the eyes on the bus many of them would have been struggling to stay awake – except hopefully for the driver, although he is only three weeks out from having a brand new baby so I sure his eyes were wanting to close after limited sleep!
Before we knew it we were reversing into our parking space back at ‘the establishment’ & the unloading of the bus would now begin. Walkers first, then wheelchairs, then bodies, they have got the system down perfectly, which they need to in order to avoid falls or any other type of accident. Off we all got, one at a time & made our way up to the dining room ready for what is for me a puréed Vegie lunch, yum yum!!!!
I know I had a great trip & by the oohs & aahhs & laughter of the other residents I am sure I wasn’t on my own in that enjoyment. I am so grateful we have staff who see the importance of these outings & go to the extra effort of making it so exciting & enjoyable for us!!!!