with two cats in the yard
life used to be so hard
-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young "Our House"
I mentioned a few days ago that we've moved to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, but haven't given y'all much detail. "The House that Love Built" is indeed a very very very fine house. (No cats here, but I've got a couple in Raleigh that I'd love to put out in the yard...)
There are more than 300 RMH homes worldwide, but ours here in Philly is the first. It's a gorgeous old mansion, and some of the family rooms are actually original to the house. There is also a large, modern addition to the house with additional family rooms, and we're in the newer part. So while we don't get the gorgeous 12 foot ceilings and parquet wood floors, we do get our own bathroom. That's particularly useful for the unending washing of bottles and pumping parts. Ahhh, just a little slice of "regular" life.
The rooms are fine, and fairly similar to a hotel. We have 2 double beds, so Jane and I each get our own. (Derek's staying here in Jay's room.) But that's about the end of the similarities to a hotel. In many ways, it's like staying in someone's home. There is a GIGANTIC kitchen with ... hmmm, lemme count ... at least 5 huge, commercial size fridges. They have one fridge that is stocked solely with individual size milk cartons from a local dairy. (I do kinda feel like I'm elementary school again, drinking straight from a little carton!) Each family gets a locked cabinet for food you brought and a bin space in one of the fridges. But you really don't need it because there are cabinets upon cabinets completely stocked with anything you could possibly want to eat. Dinner is provided each night by "guest chefs" who come into the house to prepare a meal. Then, any leftovers from the meal are put into the shared fridge for people to eat the next day, to take to the hospital, for middle of the night baked ziti attacks ... you name it, you can eat it. Just clean up after yourself and put your dishes in the dishwasher.
There are laundry facilities, and Granna has been washing the endless mound of bibs & burp cloths that Luke drools all over. There are drink machines with bottled Cokes for $.25. When was the last time you put in a quarter into a drink machine?! There are movies to borrow and watch in your room, playrooms with toys for all ages, lounge areas to hang out and meet folks, and shuttles to get you back & forth to the hospital. There is a great deal of programming as well: tix to Phillies games, discounts and passes to area museums, therapy dogs coming to visit, a knitting group. (To my crafty friends, there's a Stampin' Up party tomorrow evening, and you can bet I'll be there. I have many thank you cards I need to make...!)
Like so many other things, it's as wonderful as it can be, given the circumstances we're under. But I still wish I didn't need it.
Jay's had a very stable day. He seems sleepier than usual today - he may still be feeling kinda cruddy from the fever. And I need to remember that he's on a healthy dose of morphine which is keeping him very groggy. They've tweaked his ventilator settings in preparation for coming off tomorrow ... though it depends on who you ask whether that will really happen or not. The echo from this afternoon apparently looked really good - and not just to our untrained eyes. His primary cardiologist here is Echo-Experto, and she said she's not just impressed with the progress but genuinely pleased with how it looks. Happy news, for sure.
Now, I'm off to eat my RMH dinner, delivered courtesy of dear Derek who's been taking a break from medical world to go back & eat with Luke. Wonder what we're having tonight?!