Unusual Day

After playing phone tag for several days with a specialist I’m finally able to see (I say finally because I do not have medical insurance which made seeing this kind of specialist difficult), I was finally connected to his nurse. She used the word “unusual” when quoting the  dr. in reference to a test and it’s results, I had in the hospital, 10 days previous.  Unusual, eh? Hmm. I think I like that word better than another word he could have used.  I guess he could have said, positive, or concerning, or deadly, haha. I don’t know. What is the word that most drs. use when the results are not so great?

The word unusual was warm and fuzzy compared to the next few words the nurse spewed out of her cute little lips. They were words that I had NEVER googled in my life while researching my symptoms the past year.  I’d never googled that kind of specialist to which I was referred and I’d never googled or even had any knowledge of the next test she talked about.

So I hung up a little in shock, made some important calls with a dry cotton mouth, while at the shop and of course the minute the phone would return those calls, the empty shop would fill to the brim with shoppers. So I just told myself to wait. Wait. Wait. One of those shoppers was an eccentric man and his wife. I knew him from my social work career. He was what I would call a spiritual Sage with many professions. He has 9 children and when he walked in the store, like before, he announces, I have 9 children and I want to buy my wife a shirt to match this skirt. I think, oh crap, I don’t need this.  He is a Sage and has many helping professions, surely he can pick out a solid colored shirt. The conversation with my nurse was still reeling in my head. I was feeling much anxiety. But this man and his stories and wisdom calmed me while his wife was in the back trying things on. It was good he was there.

So the rest of the day brought in more neat people to take my mind of my morning conversation with the nurse. A couple from Minnesota came in and we shared stories of the North Woods and the Twin Cities. I laughed and had fun and I forgot the earlier morning for a few minutes.  I was so grateful these people came in. It’s like they were lined up outside with a purpose. Make her forget, make her happy until she can get home.

And then the time came to go home to google the medical words I had never googled in my life. I pull up in my drive at home and a woman about my age, clearly a tourist came right up to me as I was getting out of my car. I think,,,oh my, I don’t wish to talk, I must go upstairs to my little cave and computer. I need some alone time. But it was not to be for the next 15 minutes. She requested a ride up the hill 3 blocks to her car near the train. She was afraid she might pass out due to the elevation. She was also from Minnesota. So I said, sure, get in and we headed a few feet up the hill towards her parking lot, when a trailer jack-knifed in front of us. I was trapped in the railway and incline traffic just a few feet from my solace, my little home, my computer. She apologized and I told her not to worry I was just going to get on my computer and look up some words related to an illness for which I had just started taking tests. She turned to me and said she was a breast cancer survivor of 4 years and then she started telling me everything I needed to do to stay calm through whatever my illness is and know that there are people out there that will carry me through this. My eyes started to water.  I asked her her name because I was sort of getting a feeling that all these people walking into my life during the course of the day were sent to me. Sort of like angels. She told me her name. It was the name of a dearly beloved relative that had passed many years ago and then I knew this was not a coincidental moment.  She also said, I’m a prayer warrior, Nancy. I’m so glad we met and she hopped out of her car while we were forced to back the car away from her destination and I told her to have a wonderful year, thinking of how important the 5th year of being in recovery of cancer would be for her and I continued to back up to finally return to my home. After that final unusual visit with someone I knew was sent to me that day, it just didn’t seem as important to be alone in my little home with my computer in which to google unusual medical words.

God Moments



Falling Rock is the name of my Blog. I drove up the Ute Pass, where one of the biggest dangers is falling rocks, at 6:30 this morning to #1 water a friends plants because he is working out of town for a month. #2 Clean Jack’s house because he asked me to and I needed the money #3 Buy gas at $2.50  a gallon, #4 Buy some glue sticks and #5 Feel Gratitude.

In the midst of tears, halfway down the pass on my way home, I felt gratitude for having my life spared. If I hadn’t done all the above, maybe changed my mind about the gas or the glue sticks, I would have been in the worst accident I have ever seen on the pass. Firetrucks and ambulances were on my tail, rushing to the scene, as I pulled over to the side. SUV’s and cars were dumped over in the ditch, crushed up and what this rubber neck could see, looked terrible. A pick-up truck was facing the traffic with his wheels knocked off and a pit bull was roped to the door. It looks like he might have pulled out in front of traffic outside Green Mountain Falls and the other cars went flying in the ditch to avoid him. I’m not sure. Yeah, I’d say I missed it by about 4 minutes.

I did what I had to do today to help a couple friends out, but mostly to make some much needed money. My car was on empty on the way up and I scrounged for $2.50 to put in the tank early in the morning and cashed my cleaning the house check at my credit union on the way down. And then I stopped for gas again. Sometimes the money and the health thing get me really really down, but today my attitude was bright and I was just thankful that Jack called me when he did. Timing. His timing was just right for me to make some extra/needed money before my trip to see my grandchildren. There will be a time I won’t be able to lift his ancient but still powerful big red monster of a vacuum cleaner to clean his mountain solar house in the city above the clouds, but until that time, I’m grateful for the work.

Life HAS been difficult lately, however, I have been trying to adapt.  I don’t question a recent piece of not so good news about my future, just hem haw a little about it, research it,  take a break from researching it, damn internet! Grateful is what I feel right now. Not for the recent news, that was dealt to me for some reason from which to learn, but for my life today. It’s gorgeous today, not real sunny though, but warm and the birds are chirping and the mountain air feels great. I have a full tank of gas. Saw a good friend, talked to another on the phone, got texted by one, made some money, had some lunch, have another job to go to this afternoon and had my life spared by about 4 minutes on the mountain pass. I’m not going to ask why. But when I passed the carnage, I broke into sad but grateful tears.

Not Long for this World

I have a good friend in the mountains. He has a good friend down the mountain from him, just down the road. His friend is older, but they have a lot in common. They both live alone and pride themselves in being recluse. However,  living alone was not exactly their chose at first. My friend’s wife left him 5 years ago and his Dad died at his home a little after that while visiting for Christmas.  My friend’s friends wife and two baby children died in a car wreck about 20 years ago. My friend’s friend has two dogs. One died a few months ago, but he immediately bought another.  He probably understands grief so well that he needed to get another companion for the dog that was left behind.  My friend’s friend has no family nearby and the only family he has lives in Hawaii and Michigan.  If his friend is out in front of his cozy looking A framed mountain home with little groups of deer outside; working on vintage cars from a gold mining town near-by, my friend will stop and chew the fat with him. Sometimes my friend takes part of a cooked pot roast dinner down the mountain to his friend. And sometimes my friend’s friend shares mechanic and vintage car education and tools with my friend. He has helped my friend a lot with car advice.

They both have twinkly  eyes and mountain sun tanned faces with turned up crows feet fanned out on their temples. They both have silver furry full beards and hair they wear back in a pony tail. They are both muscular from splitting wood every year for their wood burning stoves and other chores it takes to keep ones mountain home, at 9000 ft elevation, running smoothly.

My friend is in for some grieving and his friend has already started. They both have experience in grief, yet their eyes still twinkle. We’ve known that my friend’s friend has had cancer for the past year and has been going in to town to the VA for chemo-therapy. They are both very private people and when I ask my friend questions about his friend’s illness he answers that he doesn’t want to pry. However, this week his friend had to ask for help,  something he said he doesn’t like to do. His truck broke down and my friend took him in to town which is a good hour drive and gave his friend his truck for the day to go to the VA and run some errands while my friend worked at an engineering firm in town.  His friend said that if you miss two visits in a row at the VA, they will drop you as a patient.  I guess since they were in the truck together one hour going down the mountain and another hour going up, they got to know each other a little better.

My friend’s friend found another cancerous lump. He called my friend the other night and said, “I’m not long for this world and I’d like you to come get my chainsaws for yourself on your way home from work. He said he was cleaning out his garage. He said, ” I won’t be around in the Fall to use them and I’d like you to have them.” You really can’t live high in the mountains with a wood burning stove without a chainsaw and that was a meaningful gift, however, sad. So my friend stopped off the other night at his friend’s pretty A framed home with the groups of deer out front and picked up the chainsaws.

I told my friend, we can’t let his friend die alone. My friend said he is leaving his land line phone on so his friend can reach him. Their cell phones do not connect when they call each other. My friend’s friend had some severe pain the other night. That’s a good time to call a friend.

I stopped by to see my friend’s friend the other day. I’ve made “home visits” through the social work I’ve done for the past 15 or so years and I told my friend, I’ll just stop by if he’s outside or in the garage and check on him. He’s met me before, but I introduced myself again. He was working on one of the three vintage cars in his driveway.  I told him that I heard he’s not doing too well and I gave him my phone number to call if he needed anything. He took the paper with my number on it and said he probably won’t call. He didn’t want to bother anyone. He said something about holidays, stating that there is no joy in them, being alone and when I asked about family, he told me the story of his wife and babies in a car crash, 20 years previous.  He told me how old his children would be if they were alive today. I shook my head. I asked him about his pain and has his doctor set him up with enough pain medication. He said he was on 7 pills. I asked if they helped the pain and he said the other night they didn’t help. I told him I would take him to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary if he would like and he said his doctor approved him for it but he never liked how it made him feel and hadn’t tried it since the 60’s when he was younger. He just doesn’t like the feeling of it. I shook my head and said that any time he could call. I told him in my work I helped people and I’m used to it and I wanted to help him if he needed. I live pretty far down the mountain from him and we talked about that and that I’m only working part time right now and it would not be a problem. He said my friend used to never answer his phone. I reassured him, he is now answering his land line and will be right down the road anytime of night if he needs him. He’s that kind of friend.  I didn’t want to keep him too long, because he was holding his side like it hurt and sat down on a trailer while we talked. I repeated that my friend and I were “here” for him and to please call anytime and I placed my hand on his shoulder and then turned around and drove off down the road.

Anyone that knows he’s not long for this world needs to know he will not die alone.  My friend is a good friend.

Lightning and Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teeth pulled

You look miserable son. I wish I was there to help. It was nice of  Rachel to take the day off to help. I chickened out of getting mine pulled 25 years ago. I hope you feel better by the time your 26th birthday roles around on March 7th.

That story I told you about Aunt Janet and her wisdom teeth is true. She would have been struck by lightning if she hadn’t had her wisdom teeth pulled when she did.

She fainted in the parking lot of dentist’s office afterwards…oh about 25 years ago, so mother said, “you need to sleep in your brother’s room tonight to be closer to us in case you have more problems. (Joe was off to college).  So Janet slept in Joes room.

Around 7 am the next morning, while Daddy was waiting at living room window for his carpool to take him to work, Crash bang &^&*%$()-0*#%$@ lightning struck! It went through the chimney and struck in Janet’s closet and room. Daddy said, “You have never seen two women run so fast down the stairs in your life.” It was a beautiful house, however, after the firemen came there was a lot of water damage.  Mother never wanted to live there again, even though they designed it and had it custom-built. So they put it up for sale and believe it or not, it was struck by lightening again!
I was married and lived in Santa Barbara when it happened. Janet was one lucky little chickey.  And sounds like mother made a good decision about moving.
Love you son, and I hate seeing you in pain.

February 27

Storm over Garden of the Gods

“When healing is the target Illness is the bow.  What is a bow but a device for the transfer of energy? Properly used, an illness turns an outward focus inward.  Sends energy to where it’s needed most.  Transforms fears into strength, Arrogance into humility, Compulsion to caring, Cynicism to compassion, Bringas balance to imbalance.

The release of pain over-long denied.

Worldly medicine does the opposite. It requires the patient to look outside herself To give her power to another To maintain control To invade the body To deny the spirit.

One who embraces illness as well as health Embraces the whole of life. She can offer life.  Because she receives life. – Haven Trevino

Exercise to make you laugh!

I have found this to be an inspiring exercise!
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of  room at each side. With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax. Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags. Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level.) After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

He Can do all Things

To ignore God as of little use in sickness is a mistake.  Instead of thrusting Him aside in times of bodily trouble, and waiting for the hour of strength in which to acknowledge Him, we should learn that He can do all things for us in sickness as in health. – Mary Baker Eddy