Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yesterday my daughter Tracy called and asked if it was still "OK" for her to come spend the day with me. Silly question! I can think of few people on the planet I would rather spend the day with! She came down, and since her daughter, Savannah, was staying with friends down this direction I got a double!

Tracy is working on a college paper, and she wanted some information on our family, specifically my father's side. Several years ago for Christmas my sister, Lois, put together a book for me, followed up a couple of years later by another. They are truly remarkable works! The first one contained a letter about my life written by my parents, including the first words I spoke ("banana", go figure!), the age at which I first walked (16 months...little slow but Mom said it was because I scooted, carrying all my "goodies" on my lap with me), and even a sheet telling what prices were, what the top movie was, etc. during my year of birth. I know she spent many weeks and long nights putting that album together, then about 2 years later she did volume two. What a wonderful, thoughtful gift that has been. In volume two she took a tape recorder to the hospital while our father was ill and asked him to "tell his stories" about his family. Then she performed the labor of love of dictating all his stories into print. They are like reading a good book told by a friend...and the telling brings a picture in the mind that can put you right at the time and place.

Last night Tracy read both books, front to back, and asked for copies of the stories Dad told. He was such a remarkable man and he married a remarkable woman. Both our folks were totally blind..but there was nothing Dad could not do, from woodworking, to plumbing and wiring, to fixing his car (he had to hire a driver, but only because the State refused to give him a license). The newspaper articles Lois gathered together documented some of his remarkable life, from the time he taught at television school in Chicago during the infancy of TV to his college attendance and the work he did as a piano tuner. The book also documents, complete with old photos, his father, whom we never knew because he died while Dad was young, to great grandparents long departed. It was a fun and nostalgic evening that I have often repeated (I seem to pull out the books about once or twice a year).

So thank you Lois! That truly is the best gift I have ever received.

And thank you Tracy, for a crazy, wonderful, funny evening! I hope you had as much fun as I did...and I hope we didn't tell stories to Savannah that you had hoped to keep secret!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A wet spring makes for a wet nose!!

I was at work a couple of weeks ago, and the cute young gal who works directly across from me had what sounded at the time to be the Martian Death Flu. She was coughing, sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, and all the other "ing's" that go along with the dreaded gambu! Well, of course about 10 days later I too began to exhibit all the symptoms I had so sympathized over with her. After fevers, chills, runny nose, horrible cough, etc. I took myself off to the doctor, who promptly placed me on an antibiotic. I dutifully took the full course, and assumed I would live.

Never assume!

A week after finishing the antibiotics I was still exhibiting a lot of symptoms, wheezing, coughing, feeling like someone had beat me with a large stick, etc., so I went back to the doctors and saw another person this time (not necessarily my choice, I just hit a clinic and took what I got). The next doctor decided I have COPD, did x-rays (they didn't show anything unusual), drew blood (had to "Fish" for the vein....still have a bruise 10 days later), gave me a bunch of medicine and sent me home.

I have taken the new medicine, used a sinus rinse, and still felt like death was knocking at my door. Over all this I missed 2-1/2 days of work (I NEVER miss work.....there just isn't time to catch up!), and went back still sounding so sick that everyone was telling me I should just go home.

I've been fighting my way through this now for a couple of weeks. For those of you who know me, my work takes me into the Utah west desert on an average of 2 or 3 times a week. I discovered that when I was in the desert I didn't feel so bad, but when I got home I was sick and hacking again. Today, on my way home from the middle of nowhere to the good old "home front" I found out what the problem REALLY is! As we drove from the desert into the city, and especially as we approached the foothills I found myself rapidly developing a sinus headache, my ears plugged, my nose ran, and my eyes began to itch. My throat developed such an itch that only prolonged spasmodic coughing scratched it, and all the while my nose was running. DUH!!! Lightbulbs finally came on!!!

For all of you out there who have suffered allergies lo these many sincere sympathy and my apologies for not fully understanding just how mightily you were suffering! I will now take myself off to an allergist and see if I can get this under control.

All of this is, I'm sure, a result of the delightfully wet spring we had here this year. Everything turned green very early in the year, and has (for the most part) stayed green up till now. That means the grasses are taller, the weeds are larger, and the pollen is thicker.

All I can say is there really is something to be said for snow.....even if I have to shovel it! At least that should take care of the pollen problem (until next spring).

Again, my apologies and sympathy to all my fellow sufferers. I never KNEW!!!!!!