Elevator Shuffle


We went to Grand #10’s birthday party today. Eleven of our thirteen Grands were there. It was a boisterous time full of giggles and nonsense, snuggles and stories.

When we were ready to leave, Donnie went out to the van first. He always does. He lowers the lift for my wheelchair and gets the van warmed or cooled, depending on the weather. When I went to the van, I noticed the lift wasn’t down. I opened the door to get in. It wasn’t warm. Odd, I thought. The van had not been started. It has to be started for the lift to work.

“I thought you were going to lower the lift,” I said. Donnie, our son, and our “adopted” son started laughing.

“You didn’t use your chair,” Donnie said.

“Oh.” I hadn’t unloaded it because he parked close to the door and Jeremy helped me up the three steps into Doc’s house. There was no way to get my chair in. I had shuffled back to the van. No chair. I had even seen the chair in the van before I sat down.

The boys came to the van door to say their good-byes and tease me about not paying attention. They were having a good laugh at my expense. But it was good natured and loving, so I told them about another dumb thing I’d done this week. They laughed even harder. Donnie and I were laughing as we pulled out of the drive and headed for home.

On Wednesday, when I had to go to the pulmonologist, I couldn’t remember whether I was supposed to go to the 6th floor or the 8th floor. We split the difference and parked on the 7th level of the parking garage. As we got to the elevator lobby, Donnie said he need to make a detour and would meet me back at the car.

I got on the elevator, push number 6, then noticed the directory on the wall that informed me I should be headed for the 8th floor. I pushed 8. By the time the elevator door opened for the 6th floor, I decided to get off and try to catch an elevator that was already going up instead of riding that one down and then back up. I was already fifteen minutes late and didn’t want to be any later.

As soon as I pushed the “up” button an elevator door opened on the other side of the elevator lobby. I got on with another lady. She pushed the 7 button for her and the 8 for me. We talked a bit as the elevator started up. The door opened on 7. I didn’t notice it wasn’t my floor and got off—just in time to catch Donnie coming back through on his way to the van.

He asked why I had gotten off the elevator on the other side of the lobby and I explained what had happened. A younger couple had entered the lobby at the same time as Donnie and heard my story.

“We’re going to 8,” the gentleman said with a suppressed giggle, “I’ll see she gets there.” His wife nodded agreement. Donnie hates sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms, and his book was calling. So He smiled and thanked them, then headed for the van as the original elevator door opened for passengers going up. I entered the elevator ahead of the younger couple and turned my wheelchair around to face forward.

“Look at that!” the gentleman said, smiling at me. “Eight is already lit up.”

“Yeah, I know. I pushed it last time around.” We all laughed. The couple looked at each other. They probably thought I had Alzheimer’s and wondered why my husband had left me on my own. When the elevator stopped on the 8th floor, the gentleman escorted me all the way to the receptionist’s window.

Well, the boys thought that was a grand story and stood there laughing as we drove off. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they repeated the story to their wives when they went back into the house. But knowing those two, they likely embellished it at bit to make it even funnier. Darn, I wish I could have heard their version.

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