|Loved this... the notice below explains it. So funny, so Kiwi.|
|Burt Munro stuff - google "The Fastest Indian" A great story of Kiwi ingenuity.|
|Hardware and old vehicles - "man heaven"|
|Old tools - many of which I have.|
|1956 Morris Commercial brought back memories.|
I have been in Invercargill hospital where they gave me another TURP operation. It has been a roller coaster ride of different experiences.
We had to be at Invercargill Hospital at 11 a.m. on Monday for pre-op checks and interviews. We left home about 7:45 a.m. to drive the 220k trip south. About 26k out of Invercargill we were headed along a straight bit of highway amongst other traffic and heavy trucks. We passed a woman standing by an older vehicle, parked strangely across a road, desperately thumbing a lift. We were in a small Toyota Starlet car with luggage filling any empty places so we kept on driving, but discussed her predicament. Eventually compassion overcame us so we pulled over, did a u-turn and went back to see her. With jump leads we made an attempt to start her car. It looked a more complicated problem and we did not have time to spend fiddling with it. We pushed it to a safe place, moved our luggage around and squeezed her in the back seat. She was heading for a job interview in Invercargill. I have never heard anyone talk so much – for the whole 26 kilometres she talked and we listened. - It had been hard finding a job. She had just got engaged to the love of her life. He was so good for her. Where did you two meet each other? Her little girl had health problems. etc etc. - We were pleased to drop her off and regain a measure of silence. But I am glad we picked her up. We helped her out in a tough situation. She, and the people she talks with, will feel better about life. We felt good about doing something useful and sharing our resources.
Bad news then good news.
We had an interview with the surgeon who was to do the operation. He looked at the notes on me and very bluntly said that he did not think he could improve my “peeing problem”. He said that the purpose of the operation as he saw it was to check for cancer, but he would take a good look at what the problem was. Well they did the operation and later he visited my bed and told me he was sure that I would find life easier. He had cleared obstructions and made an excellent channel. I am hopeful that when everything settles all will be well.
Fun in hospital
We were told it was “TURP Tuesday” at Invercargill hospital so from Tuesday until Thursday afternoon I ended up in a room with three other blokes who had urology surgery. We competed, we joked, we helped each other and we enjoyed our time together. I was extremely appreciative of the nurses and staff. They do a great job, and were so much fun to talk with. I had to laugh. A new shift came on and as we met two nurses and two student nurses coming into our room on their first visit, their comment to me and my neighbour was, “We’ve heard about you two!” They were really lovely to us, having to do some awkward things, (Men with peeing issues involves strange things) but they did them with friendship and yet matter of fact professionalism. Nearing the end of the stay my neighbour gave the head nurse a box of chocolates to share, while I waited with a bottle of successful pee for her to measure. “He gives me chocolates, you give me urine! What goes on here?” she joked. At one stage when we were told we would be discharged, we said, “You’ll be pleased to get rid of us.” “Nah.” said one, “You guys make looking after you easy. You are fun.”
Last year when I was in hospital in Dunedin I had an embarrassing number of visitors. I thought that this time in Invercargill I will receive none. I was wrong. I received more than any in my room. #1 In the recovery room a nurse came up to me and asked "Are you Pastor Brown?" It was Emma, and she had been telephoned by a nurse friend in Dunedin and asked to visit me. #2 & 3. My daughter works for the local Dominican Sisters, and "Paddy" is one of them. Well Paddy had got in touch with her sister and her niece-in-law. Her niece in law, Michelle, is a nurse in Invercargill hospital and three times she popped in to make sure I had everything I needed. We had never met before. Then one evening a woman arrived with flowers for my wife and grapes for me. It was Paddy's sister on her way home from work... the gifts she said were from Paddy. Both of these ladies spoke of Paddy's high regard for our daughter, and therefore her high regard for us. Paddy's sister mentioned that she was the one who gave a donation each year to our Christmas Day dinner. #4 Then one afternoon Terry, a Workplace Support Chaplain in Invercargill called in and we caught up on each other. #5... but most important of all was my wife. She stayed down and visited regularly. I once suggested that I could go down to Invercargill by myself instead of disturbing both our routines. I received an almost angry response, she was going to be there, like it or not.
Hardware Store heaven. (E Hayes & Sons Hammer Hardware store.)
While I was in hospital my wife had been looking around Invercargill. She had found Burt Munro’s world champion Indian motorbike in a glass case. She had also learned about more Burt Munro stuff in a hardware store. Burt Munro’s story was featured in the film “The Fastest Indian.” Today we visited that store.The store itself was amazing. There was an amazing range of trade tools on sale. I simply loved it drooling over them. There was also a great range of hardware stuff. But all around the modern goods on sale there were a few older vehicles, a lot of motorbikes, old tools, various bits of machinery and odd inventions. I was simply in “man heaven” and loved it! One of the last things we came across was a 1956 Morris Commercial which the store had as a delivery van years ago. 42 years ago Jean and I with our six-month-old baby girl, and our belongings, drove from Dunedin to Auckland in one of these to catch a ship to take us to a four year life-changing theological training experience in Melbourne, Australia. We drooled over this van.