Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tales of a Travelling Doctor- Interview with Hank the Dog

I anxiously awaited Hank's return from his vacation. He's back on duty today at The Common Man Inn in Claremont, New Hampshire.

Me: Good morning, Hank. How's it feel to be back at work?

Hank: Great. I just returned from my vacation at a beach in Maine where I played in the sand.

Me: How long have you been a greeter at the inn?

Hank: Since it opened in June 2009.

Me: Wow! You've been here since the beginning. I've bet you've greeted a lot of guests.

Hank: Absolutely. I love them all, especially when they pet me and give me treats!

Me: What are your hours here?

Hank: That depends on when my mom and dad are here, but "ruffly" Tues-Sat 9-5 p.m.

Me: How's the pay?

Hank: Wonderful. I get paid in dog biscuits. And the cook whips me up my favorite dish - green beans. Yum! I'm supposed to be on a diet, but what the heck!

Me: Do you have any other duties here?

Hank: Sometimes I go on errands. Some guests with dogs take me along for walks. I enjoy going to the park across the bridge.

Me: What is your typical day like?

Hank: When I arrive, I put on my uniform, the red bandana. I meet and greet guests. Then I break for lunch with the other staff. I go for my daily walk, and I squeeze in a nap when I can.

Me: Sound like a busy day.

Hank: Yeah. Sometimes I'm dog tired when I get home.

Me: Can I ask you a personal question?

Hank: Well, that depends.

Me: How old are you?

Hank: I'm five years young. How old are you?

Me: Older than you!

Hank: Fair enough.

Me: Thank you so much for the interview.

Hank: You're welcome. Stop by anytime. I enjoy the attention. Dog biscuits are of course optional but highly recommended. They're over there in that jar. Hint. Hint.

Me: Good to know!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tales of a Travelling Doctor

Greetings from Claremont, New Hampshire. This is my first physician locum tenens assignment of the new year (fill in doctor). I've not been here before so today the weather permitted me to snap some photos. I'm ensconced at The Common Man Inn, a restored textile mill from the 1800's. It now boasts modern amenities such as single to deluxe suites with hardwood floors, a beautiful sitting area with a grand fireplace, fitness center, a hot tub/spa area, home baked cookies, and Hank the black lab who welcomes everyone at the front desk. The hefty restoration project kept the feel of the historic building. The inn and its restaurant, The Common Man Restaurant, opened in June 2009.

I'm staying here for the next two weeks as an OB/GYN  doc at Valley Regional Hospital. Things are slow today so I walked around the area after orientation and office hours.

Claremont is in Sullivan County and is a stone's throw from Vermont. It was named after the estate of Thomas Pelham Holles, Earl of Clare. The Connecticut River is the borderline between the two states. Where I'm staying, you can see the Sugar River and its falls which historically was the source of water power. Right now it is capped by snowy glaciers (great pic below).

Complimentary breakfast is served at the Common Man Inn Restaurant. Everything from breads to cereal (hot and cold) to eggs, juices, and coffee are offered.  I park close by there, and it's always hopping. I've had a miserable cold the last two days so I haven't exercised in the fitness center or soaked in the hot tub. I'm feeling a bit more spry so I'll be checking out these luxuries soon.

I'm going to rest up tonight as I start call tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on my adventures in Claremont, New Hampshire. I'm hoping to interview Hank the inn dog to get his perspective on life at The Common Man Inn. Meanwhile, please enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farewell Charlotte

Saturday was moving day. I had been out of the apartment for a week. How had Charlotte fared?

I was hopeful when I saw a spider in the ceiling corner of my bathroom. Had Charlotte hitched a ride in the laundry basket from my apartment? Perhaps. The basket was parked in my home bathroom awaiting emptying. I peeked at the little thing. Hmm? Not Charlotte. I introduced myself to this spider. No wiggle or anything. Antisocial arachnid? No. Maybe just shy.

Knowing in my heart that this was not Charlotte, upon my arrival to the apartment I searched for her. Ah. There was my friend curled up in a corner by my bedroom closet. I waved and said hello. She jiggled her eight legs in response.

I introduced her to my husband. Nothing. I guess us "girls" have a bond. While I packed the last of my belongings, I implored my husband to not suck up Charlotte into the vacuum cleaner. He was careful. He did not.

I left Charlotte that day. The apartment is her home. It is not my temporary one any longer. I wished her well. I will always look back fondly on our unique friendship. I do have some great photos of her. Too bad we don't have one together. My hope is she will continue to live peacefully, horrified at the thought of the next tenant crushing her. But I know Charlotte. She is a survivor. She'll be fine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Missing Miss Charlotte

Sorry. No pic of Charlotte today. I'm in the process of moving out of my out of town apartment. Boxed everything over the weekend and moved some boxes with me in my car. I didn't see my spider friend, Charlotte, the day I left. I told her I'd be back later this week with a moving truck to get the remaining boxes and furniture. I hope she got the hint. Maybe she'll slip inside a box or hide in the furniture.

BOX. FURNITURE. Are you listening, Charlotte?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hide and Seek with Charlotte

Charlotte was no longer on the hallway wall. I searched her usual places. I even looked in the tub. Convinced she was off exploring the apartment, I continued to box my belongings, preparing for my own move out. She'll turn up, I told myself. Maybe she crept into one of my boxes. Charlotte, the stowaway! I peeked inside several of them. Still no Charlotte.

I finally got around to a pile of papers I needed to sort through. And who do I find among the haphazard stack? Charlotte! Tag! You're it, Charlotte.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Charlotte's Adventures

I looked for Charlotte, the spider I've adopted, on the ceiling, her last spot. No, not there. I check out all her former spots. Hmm? No Charlotte. I pull back the shower curtain, prepared for my morning rinse. Ah, she's in the tub, again! Good thing I hadn't started the water yet. I grab a wad of toilet tissue and scoop her up. She knows the drill. This time she dangles from the tissue by her web.

"Okay, girl. Off you go."

She skitters across the carpet and up the frame of the linen closet.

I shower. I'll find her later. I have to go to the hospital to see patients.

I return. Nope not by the linen closet. Charlotte has made it out of the bathroom and is now exploring the hallway wall.

"Smile," I said as I took her picture.

I think she likes the attention.

I'll keep you posted on Charlotte's adventures.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Friend Charlotte

We met in the shower. I saw her resting inside the porcelain bathtub, her willowy eight legs attaching her to just below the faucet. I can't kill her. I take a fluff of toilet tissue and scoop her up. Her legs flail in defense.

"It's okay. I'm not going to hurt you," I whisper to her.

I can tell she's not on board with the situation. I flick her into a corner of the bathroom, afraid I'd damaged her delicate legs. But the daddy-long-legs spider I've named Charlotte, not that I can decipher arachnid gender, scurried back to the tub, luckily with normal spider gait. I advised her that it would be a bad idea.

Pulling the shower curtain closed, I turned on the faucets and adjusted the water. Much too hot for a spider. As I shampooed my hair, I glanced down at the sudsy water circling the drain.

"Stay away, Charlotte," I said. "I can't help you if you get sucked into this vortex."

I rinsed off and shut the water.


As if she was going to answer.

After wrapping myself in a towel, I peeked over the edge of the tub. Where is she? I thought. No Charlotte. I stepped out of the tub, and there she was! She had spun a new web in the corner between the toilet and tub.

"That was fast," I said, relieved she had not spiraled down the drain. I live alone in an apartment two weeks a month, and I was enjoying her company.

In and out of the bathroom several times a day, I check on her. She seems satisfied with her new digs. She stays there the whole next day. What does she eat? I'm starting to get concerned about her. At night I turn on the light. She doesn't move.

"Goodnight, Charlotte," I say softly.

The next morning, she is gone. I sigh. Normally I respond to spiders with "ick", but not with her. I miss her. But when I go to the other side of the bathroom to blow dry my hair, I see her high up in the corner above me. I wave to her. With all those eyes she has, I'm sure she sees multiple fingers.

Clever girl! She's spun a nice cozy niche. I stare at her. She's not moving. I gently blow on her. Charlotte wiggles her legs.

"Good morning," I say. "See you later."

I returned from work today and hurried to the bathroom. Charlotte is gone. I search the bathroom. Only empty webs remain. I don't know where she went, or if she's alive, but every time I go into the bathroom, I look for her. She was a good friend. I hope she comes back.