Chardon Polka Band
posted on Facebook, Sunday January 8, 2012

Hey friends and happy New Years! I hope everyone’s 2012 is off to a great start.

Currently I am in Wilmington North Carolina, where I resided before moving to Ohio many years ago. Wilmington is a great coastal town and it has been warm enough here for me to get outside and exercise a bit. Lately, I usually go for either a jog or a bike ride daily. If I think it’s too chilly for one of those activities (wow… I’ve sure become adjusted to the temperate climate), then I at least go for a walk. I still wear out a bit quicker than usual, but am making great progress! I’ve been trying to keep up with the exercises and stretches that my therapist gave me and may end up doing some more therapy at some point.

Tomorrow I will be back in Mooresville and on Monday I will go to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist to get my vocal chords looked at. I am optimistic that they will be able to help me with my voice, which is still troubling me. My neck still gives me some soreness and has limited mobility at this point. Prayers for my continued healing are appreciated. If I get good news on the voice on Monday’s appointment, I will likely return to Cleveland in February…. With the goal that the band would get back in operation by the end of that month. That’s all dependant on the voice though.

A lot of you folks helped make 2011 a banner year for the Chardon Polka Band! We had an incredible line up of shows…. From various summer concert series to unique festivals and a large assortment of Oktoberfests, we had an absolute blast this year! I was blown away by how many copies of “Pirates, Women, and Beer” we distributed. Our tune, “Free Beer Polka” was nominated for “Best New Song” in the annual Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame Awards. With acclaims like the nomination, various articles, radio airplay, and exposure at Cleveland polka-scene events like the annual sausage fest and Dyngus Day; I feel like the CPB has really come a long way this year in establishing itself as a real player in the polka-scene. None of this would be possible with you, the fan-base. Furthermore, 2012 is shaping up to be an even busier year for us. I’m using a good deal of my “time off” to work our summer and fall scheduling and am really excited about some of the shows and events in our future!

2011 was certainly an interesting year for me. During my stay at the Cleveland-Metro Hospital, I had a lot of varied experiences to say the least. One of the cool things about the hospital was that it is a “teaching hospital”. Every morning, a new group of interns and students would shuffle into the room on the coat tails of my doctors and nurses. I found the fact that many of these “recruits” we young ladies, pretty cool. They’d do things like checking my blood pressure, taking down my pulse, listening to my heart and lungs, and helping out with any tasks that I needed assistance with.

Now at the hospital, if one plans to stay there for an extended period of time, you must get used to a certain lack of privacy. In my condition, there was not a lot that I could do on my own. In order to “use the facilities”, I had a bedside commode set up next to my hospital bed. Attendants would help me to the device so that I could go about my business. (this story will eventually have a point)

One particular morning in my first full week at Metro, 3 young ladies (nursing students I believe) came in for my usual morning round of checks, shots, and information gathering. They asked in I would require some bathing that day…. This is something that happens quite normally in the hospital as folks in bad condition, as I was, are not able to take care of that kind of thing on their own. I couldn’t stand, so showers were out of the question. I believe this type of deal is commonly referred to as a “sponge bath”. As it had been a few days since my last “scrub-down”, I agreed that I did indeed need to bathe, but informed the young ladies that first I wanted to use “the bathroom” if they would be kind enough to help me to my commode. The ladies obliged and helped me sit down so that I could pursue my business.

Now normally most attendants would exit the room and swing my divider curtain shut to give me some privacy. It makes sense, as most people don’t really need or want company when they are doing “business”. These girls apparently were unfamiliar with that unspoken policy and simply continued their normal work around my room, changing the sheets, pillows, checking equipment. I will be honest that I found this slightly distracting, but had already been accustomed to a normal lack of privacy around the hospital… so I just decided to soldier on and attempt to complete my “work” despite the presence of the ladies. I was having questionable success with this matter when one of the girls moved right over to me, removed part of my gown, and started scrubbing me down. She had for some reason decided that this was as good a time as any for me to get my “bath”. While I had come to accept that I had to have people help me in my bathing and bathroom duties, I had not previously had anyone attempt to help me with both at the same time. This lasted for about a minute when I, not being able to keep my cool calm in the situation any more, nicely asked the girls if they could put a hold on the bath and perhaps give me a little privacy till I was finished. The young ladies were very compliant, and perhaps a little bit admitting of the fact that perhaps they should have allowed me to finish my business before the bath. They left the room and I was able to continue in privacy and the girls returned a few minutes later for my bath and the it was a much better, less awkward time than their first attempt.

It was in the mid-shower/commode moment that I realized that one really has NO idea of what’s going to happen in their life. We may plan or work towards certain goals or attempt to live our lives a certain way. When it’s all said and done, I don’t believe that what happens in our lives is under our complete control… not a bit. It’s expected that life may hand you lemons… If that happens, make lemonade. But what if life hands you a kiwi… or a pomegranate…. Or perhaps even a broken carburetor? (You can’t even eat that… or turn it into lemonade…and you know I can’t fix it!) The point is, you don’t know what life is going to hand you next. From my experiences, I’d suggest turning what you can into an adventure. Sure, you could have a couple of young ladies trying to bathe you whilst you’re on the bedside commode… but that’s an adventure… you could certainly have a lot worse. And if things get bad? Well, cliffs are for climbing…. That’s why God gave us grappling hooks.

I hope that everyone enjoys an adventure filled, interesting, and polka-filled 2012. Sorry if the toilet story was a bit out of place (I’ve got a lot of them from my stay at metro) We don’t know what the year will hold, but we can certainly enjoy and make the best out of whatever it is!

Thanks for your continued support. The Chardon Polka Band will no doubt return in 2012 and do so with great vigor and enthusiasm. We’ve been doing this for over eight years now… and it gets better every year! We’ll see you all when “The Chardon Polka Band” RETURNS!
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