Thursday, October 10, 2013

Time Off

Apple Cider Press

Time off from rotations, studying, and my part time job is almost impossible to find, but I got a couple days off this past weekend to see my family. Every year on the first Saturday in October my grandparents put on a Annual Apple Cider Party. They have been throwing these parties for more than 20 years. My grandpa has an apple cider press that is probably 150 years old that he has attached a motor to and my grandma spends days cooking in preparation. When I was a kid there was no motor on the press and so making apple cider was hard work. You had to cut the apples up and then hand crank the press. The motor really cuts down on the labor, but every once in a while you will get someone who wants to try to hand crank the press and my grandpa will put the handle back on.
There is nothing quite like homemade apple cider. For me, fall officially starts every year on the first Saturday in October.
For the last several years I have only been able to make it to the party for a few hours because of studying or work, but this year I really needed a whole day with my family. No matter how much you love what you are doing everyone needs a break. My 18 month old niece has become a walking, jabbering toddler while I've been studying. She has an very interesting group of known words and runs straight for the stairs even though they aren't her strong suit yet. I helped the kids put apple into the cider press which basically becomes a game of basketball between 5-8 year olds. I get the same questions every year about how much longer I have left and how things are going. This year I was excited to field those questions. I'm loving what I am doing and I only have a year and half left of this part of my journey. I enjoyed a long conversation with my grandpa's best friend who happens to be a dentist about what it is like to have conversations with non-medicine people. Apparently, non-medical people don't like to talk about guts at mealtimes. Who knew? And I was only asked once if I was going to get married any time soon. At sun down the 2013 Apple Cider Party was declared a success.
When the guests started to leave and the press shut down, we moved the get together into the house and continue on with drinks and cards. My whole family plays pitch and it normally gets a little wild in there. Lots of trash talking and telling of embarrassing stories. Laughing and sulking. It never gets old, but even I have joined the "old" crowd and when it hits 11 I'm exhausted.
Come Sunday I was able to sleep in before heading over for a little breakfast and goodbyes. Then off to my mom's for Sunday dinner. It has been weeks since I have been home for dinner and it was nice to have some home cooking. My nephew is also walking, but only a couple steps at a time. It is as if after he takes 2 steps he is surprised and falls down. My parents also adopted a little boy and girl who are 5 and 7 now. They spend from the moment I walk in until the moment I leave attached to my side. Nothing beats the excitement of children. They both are loving school and ready for halloween. We played several boards games and though the little guy normally likes to quit in the middle when he gets bored he made it through several games before dinner time. We found that Janga is right up his alley.
It's always hard to say goodbye when I know it will be another month before I will be home again. With my upcoming Pediatric Shelf exam and lots of hours left to put in it will be impossible for me to sneak home again until November.
Last week and this week I am spending in the Well Baby Nursery. Newborns are a whole different kind of world. Though initially I thought it would be difficult to flip a baby over to do the full exam, I have found it is pretty simple. Newborns are very peaceful. I spend a couple days in the NICU next week and then I am off to primary care pediatric clinic.

A little time by the fire
Lots and lots of cider

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