One of the many things I love about my volunteer work with Red at the Mansion is what I learn, and how it changes me. It's the little things that really matter – your letters and gifts and messages, the clothes and wool hats and scarves, the soap and body wash and stuffed animals.
Today, I delivered two bras to a woman at the Mansion who needed them. I have never bought a bra before, and didn't quite know how to do it or what to order. There was some trial and error, my first two orders were off, and didn't work.
Finally, I got it right. Now, if I ever need to, I will know how to size a bra.
Tonight a Mansion staffer came to me and told me that a resident felt cold in the morning. It wasn't the heat, it is very warm there, it was her own sensitivity, and she always feels she is cold, even in mid-summer.
Some mornings she feels she is so cold she won't get up and has an accident in the bed. The staff has been trying to help her, she says if she had a warm bathrobe, then she would get up and get to the bathroom herself.
I ordered one tonight, it will be here in a day or so. It is purple and fuzzy.
Tomorrow, the horse-drawn sleight is coming, and 18 Mansion residents have signed up for a ride. It is going to be cold, and perhaps that is why I had this impulse to buy a bunch of wool hats and scarves and sweaters.
The ride kicks off at 1 p.m., and I'll be there, and the staff is making sure everyone is bundled up and has some hot chocolate to drink. The ride costs $300 and lasts several hours, the sleigh has wheels on it for a smooth ride, and the ride will go through parts of the town.
This kind of outing is so important to the residents, they love getting out and interacting with the world. It is what they most need, a sense of belong to a community.
Today, a box of three beautiful dolls arrived, I will bring them to the Mansion tomorrow. I talked with the aides about it, and we know exactly who to bring them to. I'll take a photo in the morning.
Tomorrow, I'm getting a list of clothes a new residents needs, she has no clothes other than the ones she was wearing.
It's the small things that really matter, I think. Tonight at the Mansion, I was reminded of that once again. Red has a big crowd to work, and he got to most of them. Several times I couldn't find him in the crowd, when I looked up, he was usually watching me, his head popping up like Waldo.
A great night, and an exciting day tomorrow.