The Sandwich woman’s sippy cup

I have been privileged to connect with some outstanding individuals online – and most of them I like better than my friends IRL (in real life). One of them is the writer of today’s guest post. She is funny, witty (is that the same thing?), and an exceptional story-teller. You’re going to wish you could hug me for introducing you to her. I had the honor of reviewing her new book Knitting With Hospital Gloves: The How-To Guide for Instant Caregivers and I encourage you to get a copy and keep on-hand. You will be glad you did.

Image Credit:Catching Fireflies 

(drum roll please)……………………………..

“When are you going to write about us?” asked the gentleman. I looked up from signing the visa receipt, smiled and said, “Oh I’m mulling it over; believe me.”  That was 4 months ago. Now every time I walk in the liquor store and see the friendly men sitting behind the counter I feel guilty for having not written about them yet.

I have vivid childhood memories of accompanying my parents to “the state store”. I knew the scotch and crème de menthe my parents bought were grown up party drinks, but kids like me were still welcome in the joint. Why else would they have provided those miniature shopping carts?

Apparently kids are also welcome (as long they’re accompanied by someone over 21) in North Carolina state liquor stores because they too have those shiny miniature shopping carts. Some days I feel kinda self conscious using one of those carts—not because I’m buying more bottles than I can safely carry in my arms mind you, but you know, what if some cute kid came in with their parents and I was hogging the last cart?

When I don my Sandwich Woman cape and fly to Ft. Myers, Florida to attend to my parent’s latest medical issue, I use the big girl shopping carts. In the wine section at Publix. While Publix has a liquor store (with a separate entrance) next to the grocery, I feel like I’d be cheating on my local liquor guys. Besides, what if I got in there and they don’t have those miniature carts? Would I know how to function?

If I do get a taste for a martini or a vodka tonic, all is not lost. Whichever of my brothers visited last always leaves behind a nice stash. Frankly, it’s one of the most thoughtful gestures those boys bestow upon me these days. Or ever. With mom and dad unable to imbibe due to current medications, those bottles of Liquid I-Can-Cope just sit around waiting for me.

That’s the upside. The downside? For some reason when I go to crack open the liquor cabinet, located in the great room right outside my parent’s room, I feel like an underage child trying to sneak a drink. I’ve figured out how to open the doors reeeeeeeeeal quite-like, then tip toe to the garage frig where I stowed the tonic (God bless Publix for selling it in 2 liter bottles). It’s like if they can’t enjoy their evening adult beverages, neither should I. Luckily, the neighbors let me use their recycling bins for the Empties.

And God forbid anyone asks for a sip of my “orange juice” I schlep to the hospital in my niece’s Dora The Explorer sippy cup. During my dad’s latest quick outpatient visit which lasted 3 days,  Dora was my new best friend. I mean, coffee and cafeteria fare only goes so far. Alas, after two years of assuming this role, I’ve learned a relaxed Sandwich Woman is a more effective and patient Sandwich Woman.

And in mulling it over, believe me, I owe my parents at least that.

About the Author:

Karen is a frequent guest humorist, mommy and Instant CareGiver expert on TV and radio shows, spouting off on timeless themes featured in her first book, InvisibleUnderwear, Bus Stop Mommies and Other Things True To Life.  The July, 2011 release of Knitting With Hospital Gloves: The How-To Guide for Instant Caregivers addresses a serious issue we’ll all face, but in Karen’s trademark humorous and concise, easy to read style.

Read more and see Karen’s famous sippy cup on

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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1 Response to The Sandwich woman’s sippy cup

  1. Pingback: Driving Mr. and Mrs. Daisy « theworkingcaregiver

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