Posted by: chlost | September 26, 2015

I can’t imagine it

Although I was not posting on the blog over the summer, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t writing. It seems as though I am constantly writing. I do write a lot of Facebook posts, often many more than I should. I also write little stories and thoughts down in a journal. I’ll admit though, that recently the journal has been nearly as  neglected as the blog.

But I am always writing in my head.

As I drive, I write little commentaries in my imagination about the scenery, the weather, the other drivers. If I am waiting in line at a store, I write little dialogues in my head for the people I see and little vignettes around the observations I make as I shop. At work, when things get slow, I daydream about how I could write about the people I deal with, in a way that would maintain confidentiality and professionalism.

Unfortunately, very little of that great writing has ever made it to a computer screen, let alone a page. It always sounds so much better in my head. When it is put down in black and white, it seems to lose something.

So I don’t write much.

And I think a lot.

The other day, a coworker and I were on a long road trip together to see a client. The coworker and I know each other fairly well, although I wouldn’t say we are exactly friends. We don’t see each other outside of work or work-related activities.

To see us, it would not seem likely that we would have much in common. She is Latina, born in Ecuador, adopted as an infant and raised as an only child in a  Minnesota family. I am WASP, born in the Midwestern United States.  I would guess her age at mid-thirties. I am *ahem* NOT in my mid- (or even late, late) thirties. She worked as a police officer before going into social work. She then joined our office. I was an anti-authoritarian, not quite a hippie, young adult. I still don’t like “big brother”.

Somehow, we managed to fill 7 hours in a car together with conversation.

It didn’t get boring.

But if I were to have written the scene in my head, I would have been hard-pressed to figure out how it all would have worked. Even looking back on it, I am not sure as to exactly what we discussed, or how we managed to make that time pass with conversation.

It would be hard for me to transfer our actual conversation to the black and white words of the computer screen. Even in my head I have a hard time recreating it.

Maybe I am going to have the start turning on my phone’s recorder in order to have any chance of capturing the real world and recreating it in written words.


Posted by: chlost | September 22, 2015

Well, that lasted much longer than I’d anticipated

It’s been over three months since I’ve had a laptop, and since I’ve been here in the blogging world.

While I was gone, I heard that blogging has become obsolete. Man, I leave for a few months, and look what happens! Now that I’m back, maybe things will pick up again.

You’re welcome.

It will take me a very long time to catch up with everyone. I hope that I haven’t missed too much, I also hope that everyone (all ten of the people who used to read this blog) still remember me. Did anyone even notice that I was gone?

It was a very short summer.

I am not ready for it to be fall.

I am definitely not looking forward to winter.

There. That’s my update. Just like last year. Just like every year. Fall has this habit of becoming winter. Every year.

Well, we did have another family wedding this past summer. My brother, who at age 50 married for the first time. It was a very nice wedding, and they seem to be doing great. He also took on two step-children, ages 12 and 16, so there may be some interesting times ahead.

My mom turned 85 this summer. I figured out a way to give her a ride in a red Mustang convertible. She has said for years that she wanted to do that. She liked it, but wasn’t overly excited. She doesn’t get overly excited about much of anything any more. Is that what happens when people get that old?


Her walker adds a nice touch, right? As my sister said, you could make an ad for Mustang from this. “The dream lives on” perhaps?

A few weeks ago, I had a big “zero” birthday. Merle decided that the best gift he could give me was to gather the kids together for family time. He worked out renting a townhouse on a lake and got our sons, granddaughters and daughters-in-law there for a weekend. It was great. We had a wonderful time and it almost made that number before the zero bearable. I don’t mind birthdays, I am just going to stop counting them.

Now that I am back, flush with new laptop and extra hours of cold and darkness, I will attempt to keep up.

After I catch up.

Posted by: chlost | June 4, 2015

June Musings


We have had a lot of rain this spring. Almost every day, there has been at least a rain shower. Some days, it has poured.

It is nearly the middle of June, and it is still cool and wet.

The upside of this, of course, is that everything is lush. The tree branches are so full of big green leaves, that they nearly touch the ground. The grass is thick and green. There are no brown spots or areas bare of grass in the lawn.

The downside here is that a wet spring means millions of mosquitoes are just waiting to hatch out and begin their radar-enhanced search for human blood. There will soon be a high-pitched whine in the air as they take off looking for dinner.

It is also difficult to get the lawn work done. It is hard to find time to mow in between all of the rainy days. By the time there is a chance to mow, the grass is nearly knee-high. It is the same for gardening. The flowers are getting a lot of water, but not much warm sunlight. The weeds don’t seem to care, they flourish in this wet weather. I am going to have a long day of weeding and trimming whenever I can get out there to fight the weeds and the bugs.

During the winter months, I longed for green. I craved the colors of flowers. The black and white world of January and February bore my retinas. Now, the rods and cones in the back of my eyes shiver with the abundance of colors and shades of green which surround me.

The summer continues to be busy. Almost every square on the kitchen calendar is filled in with the scribbles of an activity of some sort. Weddings, dinner with friends, weekend visits with the granddaughters. We traveled two hours last weekend to see the granddaughters’ 10 minutes of dancing in a 3-hour ballet recital last weekend. It was worth it. They were sweet and wonderful.

This season passes so quickly. It is sometimes hard to enjoy the sweetness of a summer. I want to bottle it up to shake out just a bit here and there in January. Just a shake and the smell of fresh-mown grass to offset the stale closeness of a cold, gray day would do wonders for the psyche.

This evening the rain appears to have dissipated for at least a while. The forecast calls for some warmth this weekend, interspersed with thunderstorms. The granddaughters will be here to visit. Hopefully, they will be able to get outdoors with us. We have bicycles, swing and sandbox ready to go. The river will be high, the woods tick-filled, and the grass long and lush.

Life is pretty darned good. It is summer.

Posted by: chlost | May 20, 2015

The Family Busy-ness

Our family is slowly moving forward after the disappointment of our son and daughter-in-law’s loss with the miscarriage. Our son is trying to be supportive while our daughter-in-law’s grief is almost palpable. She continues to struggle. He tells me that they are becoming closer as a couple, which is encouraging.

Mother’s Day was a bit difficult, but we had lunch together and just relaxed. It was what we needed.

My husband’s 92 year-old aunt Lois passed away this past week. She was what is lovingly called “a character”. A woman who graduated from college in 1947, was pregnant when she married, then was divorced with a young child at a time that it was considered shameful. She later remarried, had five more children and raised them in a very small home. She was full of life, a person whose brain and mouth had no filter in between. She said whatever she thought. She made us laugh a lot when we were near her, whether in embarrassment or delight at what she said.

This past weekend, I made my first trip to Florida, to Naples, to attend my nephew’s law school graduation. He attended a very Catholic school, one which lists the names Scalia, Bork and Thomas as founders or supporters. Then they wonder why they had problems with the bar passage rate of their students. Teaching lawyers from a political perspective does not generally improve their intellectual reasoning skills, no matter which end of the political spectrum. I only hope he passes and is able to find success away from his father. My sister’s ex is a very obnoxious, pushy and financially successful man. He paid for the law school, and I suspect he expects some payback in terms of how my nephew uses that education. It was a stressful weekend in terms of family dynamics, but the weather was gorgeous, and the time with my sister, niece and nephew was very enjoyable. Naples is a bit too ritzy and picture-perfect for my taste, but we had fun.

This upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be spent with family as well. We are having a “welcome to the family” bridal shower for my future sister-in-law.. A winery visit, food and dinner should give us all a chance to relax and get to know each other a bit. We want to be sure she knows how happy we are that my brother has found someone to share his life.

Merle is gone this week, so I am alone at home. It is the first time he has been gone this long. The house is quiet, but I am enjoying it. The first night I returned from my Florida trip, the dog wasn’t even here. That was too quiet. But now it is the two of us, and we are okay. My single friends-one is a widow and the other never married-would probably think I am getting a taste of their lives. And I suppose that’s true. I miss him, but I am also enjoying the time alone. He is on a fishing trip in Canada with my sister’s husband. The weather there has been very cold, including snow. I am pretty sure he will be ready to be home this weekend. He isn’t even that much of a fisherman. Doing it in snow would not be fun for him. I just hope he enjoys spending time with some guys. Is it strange that I want my husband to make some male friends? He doesn’t have any right now, and I think he needs that in his life. Friends are so important to me, and I hope he can have that too.

This busy-ness of family makes it harder to say goodbye to the baby we were hoping for this fall. Our family is the biggest part of my life. It is the most important to me. It has been difficult to let go of the idea of that little one. But we go on with all of the family stuff, enjoy what time we have together with who ever is able to be with us.

Someday we will be able to welcome a little one into the family, and things will be fine.

In the meantime, we keep busy.


Posted by: chlost | April 24, 2015


It happens.

It’s life.

Millions of people go through this.

We never have. That’s good, but it makes it very hard.

Our daughter-in-law and son found out this week that the much-wanted and already-loved baby they were expecting in November is no longer alive. The baby stopped growing after about 8 weeks.

They had a twelve-week doctor appointment this week, and went in happily expecting to hear the heartbeat of their first child for the first time. I was excited for them. That first time you hear your child’s heartbeat is indescribable.

Instead, they were told that the baby “was being uncooperative” and they had to return for an ultrasound. Two days later, the ultrasound technician’s face told them everything; the radiologist confirmed it.

They are no longer expectant parents.

We are no longer anticipating the fun and excitement of a new baby at Christmas. Our three granddaughters aren’t quite sure why there no longer will be a new cousin for a playmate. Merle and I were very happy about a fourth grandchild-maybe a boy, just to change things up after three granddaughters.

In my mind, I know that they will likely be pregnant again soon. I know that they will likely have a baby in the relatively near future.

But my heart is sad for them, and the little one whose arrival our entire family was excitedly anticipating. I had very nearly purchased a little baby outfit last weekend.

There is this downside to knowing so early about a pregnancy. Back in the day, we didn’t know we were pregnant until 3 or 4 months along. We may have miscarried before we ever realized we were pregnant. Now with the ability to know a woman is pregnant within just several days, the parent knows about every one of those early miscarriages.

My son and his wife had been very reticent about acknowledging the pregnancy. No one outside the family had been told. But they were just beginning to feel confident enough to make a more general announcement, which they planned to do in just a few more weeks. They had just started to allow themselves to start to think of possible names. They were saving up their PTO from work so that they would be able to be at home for the longest possible time.

It was a long week. My daughter-in-law told me they were staying home tonight to go to bed early. “All of this crying and stuff this week is exhausting,” she told me.

Yes, I agree. It is very exhausting.

Posted by: chlost | April 12, 2015

Still Home

There was a time, fifty years ago now, that my family lived in upstate New York. As a fourth grader, I made the transition which came with a move from the midwest to the east coast relatively easily. My family moved into what we believed to be an enormous, modern and fancy home. The front entrance had a little medallion that said the house was “all electric”!  There was an attic bedroom with purple ballerina wallpaper. There were dark, secret places behind the closet walls, and under the home’s rafters in that attic bedroom which were magical places for girls with vivid imaginations and thin bodies to explore.

My two younger sisters and I loved that house and the neighborhood. The top level of the next-door neighbors’ split rail fence became a balance beam which we conquered with grace and laughter, and no broken bones. The backyard abutted to a small pine woods whose trees dropped long needles that were easily swept into piles which became the “walls” of make-believe mansions with adjoining stables. Just beyond the split rail fence neighbor was a creek (which in the sobering reality of adulthood was a really just a drainage ditch) that entered a large culvert as the water flowed under our street. It was perfect for wading, building dams and for make-believe world exploration expeditions. The culvert was big enough that we could walk through it to the other side of the street, where the water dropped from the culvert in what seemed like a huge waterfall back into the creek. In the winter, the water froze into a blue ice slide.

We knew every family in the neighborhood, which of them had kids, and which families were in the very unusual situation of having no children. Our best friends’ homes were interspersed within the neighborhood, down one street or up another. The rich families lived at the top of the hill behind us, the elementary school was just a few blocks down the street from our home, and the busy main street was several blocks away. The neighbor kids all walked to school each morning. The school playground included a very steep sliding hill that we used in the summer, on large flattened pieces of cardboard and in the winter, on wooden sleds and toboggans. The unspoken but clearly understood limits on our parental-authorized realm were approximately 5 blocks in any direction. More for me as the eldest, and less for my younger sisters.

My parents developed a group of friends primarily through a small church and my father’s work at IBM. This group of IBM employees and their families were like our young family, and we socialized together. In those days, IBM had a joke that the letters stood for “I’ve Been Moved”. Most families had moved many times, and had no family in the area, so it was important that the employees’ families had a chance to get acquainted. The company provided its employees a company-owned country club, which included a swimming pool and golf course. We spent many sunny hours at that pool in the summer months. We felt very lucky. These same families traveled together towing pop-up campers to warm states each spring and to state parks in the summer to camp. For the most part, the families had children of similar ages, but some did not. We swam in the very cold ocean, played mini-golf, and sang together around campfires in the evening. The older kids played guitars and knew all of the newest songs, like “Blowing In the Wind”.

In my mind, I know these memories are long in the past, but it is hard to realize that they are from 50 years ago. FIFTY years!

This past week, Merle and I took a road trip to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Philadelphia. On the way home, we took a detour of a few hundred miles so that I could visit my old house in New York. With the assistance of the miraculous GPS, we were able to easily find the house.

20150409_172506While it has been well-cared for, it is obviously not the mansion of my childhood memories. But as I stood on the sidewalk across the street, it still felt very special. The sidewalk is still the same one where we roller skated (with the metal strap-to-your-shoes skates), back and forth in front of the house, as well as down the sidewalks of a  hilly street that is perpendicular to the house. The split rail fence is gone, the creek is filled in, and the little pine woods is now just a few trees with grass underneath. But when I looked at the house’s Zillow listing, the attic room looks the same, minus the purple ballerina wallpaper. Those secret rooms are sure to be there, and the room above the garage-mine-still looks over the neighborhood. I spent many hours just daydreaming out the window. The vinyl siding has likely covered over my name that I left written underneath the outside of the window frame when we moved. I wonder if the siding contractor noticed it when it was installed.

Over the past fifty years, I’m sure that there have been several families who have lived in the house. How many children have grown up there?  How many of them felt it was a special place?  Did any of them put their little sister down the laundry chute? Did they roller skate in the basement, while holding hands with a sister or two and circling around the metal center pole? They probably found those secret rooms behind the closet, but I’ll bet they didn’t play a game called “Green Ghost” in there. Did the mother iron laundry in the family room while watching her soap opera until her children came home from school screaming for snacks?

How many times did other children race outside early in the morning to get the garbage can down that steep driveway as the noisy truck rumbled up the street?  Did other parents curse that same driveway in the winters as they aimed the car for the garage when it was covered with ice?

My brother fell on those front steps and had to be raced to the emergency room. I wonder if his blood is still somewhere on the cement. When we had guests from overseas sharing a Thanksgiving meal, I fainted and broke off a front tooth. I don’t suppose that the kitchen renovator found a piece of tooth in the floorboards.

The memories which this house hold are all in my head. Only my sister shares them. My brother was too young. My mother was an adult. Her memories would be different, and she is not a sentimental person.  It was one of the best times of my childhood.

What memories does this house hold for others who have lived there? Will someone else use a GPS and track down the house to see it again?

All of those memories, all of those children, all of the families have made their own memories in that house. That is not just a house in that photo, it is a home, not just for me, but likely for many others. I hope that their memories are as good as mine.

There have been many days lately when I have felt as though I am once again on a very small island of sanity in an ever-rising sea of crazy.  The water has been lapping at my chin for many years. Recently I’ve felt that I may need a straw to point up into the air to maintain the ability to breathe as the tide of insanity rises over my head. I often feel this at work, but listening to the world news can also make the scene quite vivid.

Through it all, I usually see myself as coping fairly well. You get used to it. After a while, you just figure out a way to do things-routine, repetition, systems. We all have them. They become automatic.


Almost every morning, I buy a coffee on the way to work. When I got to the office this morning, like every other morning, I sipped my coffee as I checked to see if there were phone messages, then turned to my computer on the credenza behind me.

CTRL+ ALT+DELETE   Enter password.  Password Incorrect

The computer would not accept my password. Re enter password. Password Incorrect

The state requires that our passwords change every few months. Instead of making up a new one every time, I have figured out a progression that I just change one part of the password each time. I wonder whether I need to change it. Nope. The password is still good.

I tried over and over. My one-handed typing is often not particularly accurate, so I set my coffee down and tried several more times using both hands to enter the password.

I typed it more slowly.

Password Incorrect.


Password Incorrect.

One. Letter. At. A. Time.

Password Incorrect.

Password Incorrect.

After several more attempts, I sat and stared at the monitor. And as I finally took a moment and just thought about it, I realized that I’d been entering the password for my home computer rather than my work computer password. When I finally used the right password, the computer magically allowed me access.

The password I’d been entering was incorrect.

It’s just a little thing, I know. And maybe it happens to everyone. And maybe it is normal. I realize all of that. But it made me realize how much I expect my mind to handle every day. Over and over. Passwords. PINs Multiple ones for banks, messages, computers, phones, security codes, email addresses, phone numbers. They are shoved in there with the thousands of names/faces of clients, colleagues, family, friends, baby’s and/or pets’ names of all of those people. My medication names, dosages (Is this a day for a 1/2 tablet or is that tomorrow?) my calendar, my mother’s appointments, bills, social security number, birthdays…….

No wonder the passwords got mixed up in there. It’s a wonder I can walk and talk at the same time, let alone know whether to enter a PIN or a password.

A few weeks ago, I started reading the book “Still Alice”. I had to stop. It was very disconcerting to read this woman’s story of losing her memory to Alzheimer’s . I was still at the very beginning, when she suddenly didn’t know where she was while on a routine walk in her neighborhood. It was too real. That could happen to me. I think it may have happened to me. I have not gone back to try to read it again. I’m not sure I ever will. I don’t want to see the movie, even though everyone tells me “It is SO good!” Um, no-it feels uncomfortably possible that could be my future.

The world seems crazier every day. People seem to do stranger things every day. The amount of information and feelings that must be maintained in our brains increases dramatically each day.

Sometimes the most rational way to react to an irrational situation is to lose your mind.

Maybe I am the one losing my mind. That sea of crazy surrounding me may be doing just fine.

Posted by: chlost | March 15, 2015

The Week That Was


My high-school friends and I traveled to Texas again for a girls’ only vacation. Last year we were in Mission, stayed with a friend of one of my friends, and the four of us took a day trip to South Padre Island. The weather was not very warm. So this year, we scheduled it almost a month later, planned to fly into Mission, pick up that friend, then drive to Corpus Christi for a warm relaxing several days on the beach. We found a hotel right on the beach, and spent a bit extra for a “corner balcony room”. We were very excited. Then a few day days before the trip, one of my friends got the flu. the out of every orifice flu. We thought she’d be better in time to travel, but she could not take her diabetes medication, and became horribly ill. She didn’t want us to cancel, as the reservations were nonrefundable. She thought she might be better and could join us a day or so later. So only two of us got on the plane. And she didn’t recover enough to join us late. It changed the entire trip. Not only was it less fun, but we felt guilty the entire time. We made a “flat Stanley” version of her and took photos of it as we went to different places. People around us thought is was funny. A waitress came up with a prop for one of the photos. Others suggested poses or took our pictures with the flat friend. The weather was pretty awful, too. It was rainy, cold, and windy most of the time. We wore our flip flops one day. Otherwise, it was jacket and socks weather.  We are putting the photos into a book for her through shutterfly. We haven’t gotten the final product back yet, and we haven’t seen each other yet. I still feel guilty.

Even the seagulls didn't want to put both feet in the cold wet sand.

Even the seagulls didn’t want to put both feet in the cold wet sand.

When I got back to work, it didn’t seem as though I’d been on a vacation at all.  So work has been a bit overwhelming at times. I had a huge hearing soon after returning. Very emotional and depressing. Any positive effect of being away was soon gone.

This past week seemed very, very long. It’s so strange that sometimes a week can just seem to fly by, others drag along. It was a drag-along week.

There were some very odd things at work. My job is filled with odd things, but these were notable even for us.

* After learning that there was an outstanding arrest warrant for her
husband, a woman brought his box of ashes in and plopped them down
on the front counter to “prove” that he was dead.

* An entire jury pool was excused and the trials postponed until a new
set of prospective jurors can be called. One of the guys in the
jury pool had commented in front of everyone that he knew the defendant
because he “met him when he was in jail”. The judge agreed that it
may have compromised the presumption of innocence. It is pretty rare to have the entire jury pool contaminated and start over.

* Our boss, a man of 60 who has been married for over 30 years, came into one of my colleague’s office and sat down in the middle of his conversation with someone else. He then told them that he “really needs to get laid”, and that he just “cannot understand this menopause thing”. It did not appear to matter that one of those in the office was a woman.

* We learned that one of my former clients recently was married. To his
former adoptive mother. The family was part of a very conservative
cult-like religious order and they had adopted a boy they found on
a mission trip in Africa. The whole case was beyond bizarre. They had
ten other children. There were criminal charges for assault, criminal
sexual conduct, abuse and neglect petitions in child protection, with
the children removed to foster care. The parents’ rights were termin-
ated as to my client. Now, the mother and former adoptive son have
married. He is an adult, but not yet 21. She is about 39. She has a
blog describing their story. She’s not so religious any more, I guess.

You just can’t make this stuff up. No one would believe it. And although we laugh about the weird stuff that happens, it wears on you.

It seems that we may have an early spring, so most of the normal people in the world are in a very good mood. It is great to leave the window in the bedroom open a crack and smell the fresh air. The eagles are gliding along the tree line of the river, hunting. The small birds seem to be returning already. The forecast is to return to reality this next week, with the temperatures going back to normal, but it has been wonderful to taste the spring. I try very hard to take note of these things as a bit of a buffer for the weirdness of what I do for a living.

And family is what saves me from insanity, I swear. Earlier in the week, we were informed that we will soon be grandparents again. Our oldest son, the one who was married this past August will become a first-time father this fall. They are still in just the very early stages, and have decided not to tell anyone except their parents and siblings until they are about 20 weeks along. This means that I cannot tell my mother, my sister or my brother. It’s killing me. I understand why, but I am so excited I am bubbling over. So I am telling you…….just don’t tell anyone else!  It would be so much fun if it were a little boy after our 3 granddaughters, just for a change of pace, but I know that this will be an amazing child no matter, girl or boy. I suppose I can’t start shopping until it is formally announced either.

By Christmas, our family will have added my brother’s soon-to-be wife, her two children and this new baby to our midst, all within a year. Oh, we will have fun! The budget will have to be increased, that’s for sure.

After a week like that, I am a little curious about what this upcoming week may bring. I am hoping for a little less odd, and a bit more of some good stuff.

Now, if our daughter and her husband were to have a big announcement……hmmm.

Posted by: chlost | March 9, 2015

One Dog in the Chair is Worth Two Canaries in a Cage

Each morning, as I groan and roll away from him, Merle turns off the alarm and slowly rises to get ready for work. The green glow of the clock radio says 4:30. No matter the time of year, even in the daylight-rich summer months, it is dark. He is in the car and off on his hour-long commute by 5:30.

I have the luxury of a bed to myself and a 7 AM alarm. Even then, I often struggle to get going on my morning routine after being up much too late the night before. Seven o’clock is much too early for a night owl like me.

Our dog sleeps in even later. He does not move out of “his” soft armchair until I am ready to go downstairs each morning. At that point, I suppose he feels it is worth expending the energy to be let outside for his business and to eat his breakfast before he goes back to sleep.

Yesterday was no exception to the routine. Roll out of bed Stumble to bathroom. Pick out clothing for the day. Step into shower.

But while I was in the shower, I was surprised to hear Merle’s voice. “Hello!”  “Hi there!” I heard him coming toward the bedroom, announcing himself so as not to alarm me.

I waited to hear him explain why he came back home so early. I could hear his voice over the shower water. “Hi! It’s me!”  I waited just a few more beats as he came down the hall that runs alongside our bathroom.

“Merle?” I called from the shower, thinking that maybe his car broke down, or perhaps he wasn’t feeling well. “What’s up? Why are you back home?”

No response.

I turned off the shower and called his name again. “Merle? Is that you?”

Nothing. No response at all.

It was a bit unnerving, to say the least. It wasn’t like him to be home. It wasn’t like him not to answer me.

All sorts of scary scenarios played through my head as I stood there, naked and dripping with soap. What was going on?

Finally I turned the shower back on, rinsed, and stepped out to towel off. I called out again, just to be sure. Still no answer.

He wasn’t there.

As I thought about the whole thing, trying to figure out what was going on, it finally hit me.

Our dog barks like crazy and runs around and jumps up and down when Merle gets home. Our dog barks frantically and jumps to attack if someone other than Merle comes anywhere near me.

As I stepped out of the bathroom, the dog was curled up on a pillow in the chair. He was awake, but not moving. Just like every other morning. No frantic barking. No jumping and running all around the bedroom.

Merle was not at home.

No strange person was in our home.

There was no one. It was nothing.

I was hearing things (otherwise known as hallucinating, but let’s not go there) that were not there.

In the future, I will keep it in mind-if the dog does not bark, there is nothing there.

If the dog barks frantically, all bets are off.

But at least I will know I really did hear something.

Posted by: chlost | February 16, 2015

Worry, the Best Medicine Doctors Can Provide

Presidents’ Day. A holiday that virtually no one else has off from work. In a way, I suppose it is a preview of retirement. Everyone else is working, and except for the post office, all other services are available.

It was the perfect day for a doctor appointment.

With the help of modern medicine, I am relatively healthy.

If I did not have access to modern medical miracles, I would be a blind, seizure-ridden, arthritic cripple with a huge goiter-assuming I were even alive at this point. I may have succumbed at an early age to heart disease. I definitely would not be able to enjoy my grandchildren, may not even be able to see them. Yes, if I were living in the 19th century, my life would be quite different.

You would think that I would happily trot off to the doctor regularly in order to ensure my continued good health.

You’d be wrong.

It is not as bad as the dentist, but I have had my fill of doctor offices. It feels as though I have used up my allotment of doctor visits, and prefer to just avoid them all together. It isn’t fair for me to take up the appointment slots when there are so many truly ill people. Plus, I really don’t like to push my luck. At some point, I may become one of those legitimately ill patients, and I know I will find out about that by a doctor, in their office, while I am visiting there. Best to just stay away, right?

I know that’s not right, but my procrastinating nature buys the logic.

Thankfully, up until now, I haven’t had to deal with any life-threatening illness. I am not a good patient. I know my faults.

Today’s visit was for the ol’  twist and squish torture of the female parts. The tech told me it has been five years since the last one. That surprised me-I knew I was overdue for it, but didn’t think it had been that long. Apparently time flies when you are procrastinating.

In any event, now that I’m home, it is time to worry. I always worry about the results. I’ve had issues two or three times in the past, and each time it turned out okay. But I worry each time. It seems prudent.

And really, in this day and age, why aren’t there faster ways to receive the results of the scan? You mean to tell me that no one has figured out a way to use a computer to read and interpret these things for instant feedback? What are we wasting our research and development funds on if not for this?

As I stood there, attached by the you-know-what to a machine which must have been designed by the spurned male lover of a woman who didn’t let him get to second base, I wondered out loud whether or not there is a comparable machine for men. You know there isn’t. Men would never allow their nethers to be squashed between plates of cold glass, even in the name of cancer prevention.

The technologist was very kind and helpful. Who has this job? Who decides to become a professional torturer of female anatomy? What kind of day do those folks have, anyway? I can’t imagine maneuvering dozens of mounds of flesh onto a flat surface each day. then slowly but surely lowering the boom until the flesh resembles pie crust dough ready for baking. Then they have to make the subject turn to repeat for the other side.

And we allow them to do so willingly.

We pay them to do this.

And we feel guilty when it has been five years since the last time.

And worry each time about the results.

The marvels and the curse of modern medicine all squished together.

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