Dinner in Stevensville and IHOP in Vestal – whatta contrast

Yet another blood test today for my dad at the Wilson Hospital oncology unit.  Given the flood damage at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wilson Hospital is accommodating — for some value of the word — OL of L oncology patients.  We walked in shortly after 8 a.m. and the place was already jammed.  Incredible.  When we slid up to the counter, the woman manning the reception area grunted, “have a seat,” without looking up as she simultaneously highlighted my father’s name on her master appointment list.  This pissed me off to such an extent that I turned to my dad and commented, “I guess she knows you.  I guess they don’t bother with a greeting here.”  It has become clear to me over time that several Our Lady of Lourdes Oncology Unit staffers need to be hit with a clue by four when it comes to etiquette.  Do these people not grasp that there is much more to the delivery of medical care than technical services, and that so much depends upon HOW they do things and not only WHAT they do?  The level of condescension is intolerable.  I am certain these people would be canned post haste at the UCSF Cancer Center.  After this annoyance we went to IHOP on Vestal Parkway and had a snack.  Does a restaurant that uses more syrup exist?  There were four huge syrup dispensers representing various fruits installed in a permanent holder at each table.  One would think that this would cover any and all syrup needs.  Not so.  After we served ourselves coffee from the urn placed at our table, we took what we thought was cream from the smaller urn next to it.  This, however, turned out to be the plain syrup.  Enter, new coffee cups.  It goes without saying, of course, that none of this vast amount of syrup is real maple — it’s pretty much all sugar and caramel color.  I must say that I did enjoy the chicken breast sandwich, but I swear that Matthew’s onion rings tasted like they were made with pancake batter.  Maybe it was the power of suggestion from all that damned syrup.  After dropping my dad at home, Matt and I swung by Motel 6, grabbed Steve and headed down route NY 26 cum PA 267 to Stevensville, Pennsylvania, to have a meal with Martha Yanavitch.  Martha had promised sweet corn, and there was much rejoicing when we saw multiple ears in the garage upon entering her home.  Martha, ever chipper, made fettuccine alfredo and minute venison steaks.  Martha is a hunter, and there is always dear meat in her freezer.  In fact, there is a good chance that any meat item she serves you either has venison in it or is 100% venison.  You just never know.  She won’t always tell dumb city slickers since she thinks they won’t eat it.  Ha!  Little does she know!  We’ll eat anything.  After dinner and photos and catching up, another 55 mile drive north in the world’s lamest car.  A car that continues to tell me, “change oil soon.”

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