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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Once Upon a Wedding Night

Whenever I see the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, I think of my parents' wedding night. They told the story several times about how they had driven to what was then the Berkeley-Carteret. The management changed their room three times. In looking through my parents' papers, I found proof of the story. The letter is in my father's handwriting. There's a bill attached. Evidently, the hotel was very popular at the time. But obviously, the hotel management was not very efficient. 

My parents thought the incident was funny, which is why they repeated the story every now and then. 

I'm glad the building is still there after all these years because it reminds me of them. 


Thursday, January 06, 2022

First Aid at a Rest Stop

Photo by DanTD

My heroines are braver than I am, which is a good thing because I usually put them in terrible trouble. I know my limitations, which have increased with age, but I also learned a long time ago that instruction in any subject doesn't necessarily make any student competent. What helps is practice along with a heaping dose of mental strength--often mixed in with the incentive of need. But sometimes, witnessing the success of any endeavor will help in understanding.

For instance, as a teacher, I regularly took classes in First Aid because it was required. I practiced CPR on a dummy and was good at it--at least the instructor said so. But dummies are easy to work with. Helping a genuine human is another matter. 

Once, when hubby and I decided to take a trip, I learned a great deal about the Heimlich maneuver. I had been taught how to do it but I never used it. We stopped along the Turnpike for lunch at one of the rest areas. Our pleasant meal was suddenly changed when someone shouted out, "Call 911!"

We looked up to see a woman standing a few tables away with her hands at her throat. She was choking. Everyone in the room stood. The choking woman was tall. Another smaller woman ran up to her and attempted the Heimlich maneuver--without success. I sidled behind hubby and said a prayer. 

From far across the other side of the huge room, a state trooper ran to the choking woman. He immediately grabbed her from behind and started the Heimlich maneuver. One, twice, three times. And then a fourth. 

It worked. Whatever was stuck in the woman's throat came out and everyone in that room relaxed. The trooper saved that woman's life.

I learned that one thrust of the Heimlich maneuver--even by a state trooper--may not work. Keep trying, Don't give up. 

But prayer is a good thing, too.