Showing posts with label Snowbirds home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snowbirds home. Show all posts

Monday, January 6, 2014

Clear to go but now waiting out the weather

Notice the truck tracks on our frozen Mississippi backwaters
transporting those who drove to their ice fishing huts

So here we are centuries after William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It about winter, "Thy breath be rude" we agree.  Inhuman, I say.  Winter has arrived with an icy grip but we are warm and comfy inside our home. Here along the mighty Mississippi, the river has frozen and the river barge traffic has long ago ceased, the waters are still and white all along.  Winter's metaphors often reference the stillness, sense of silence and darkness, a season of hibernation, a season where everything dies a little. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "The falling snow is a poem of the air,..where the "troubled sky reveals the grief it feels." That is a fitting sentiment as we marked three more  deaths in December, one anticipated a blessing after her long suffering, one sudden and most unexpected and the third a surprise perhaps not so unexpected with the person's illnesses the past years.  All were too young, or "not that old" as my Mom would say when she reached her 70's; one my contemporary from high school in Pennsylvania another only 74.  Winter with its cold and darkness aptly describes death and yet it is a respite for the year. In "January" John Updike wrote about the lack of sunlight in winter: "The days are short,   The sun a spark,  Hung thin between The dark and dark." Long freezing winter nights and crisp winter days can evoke harsh feelings among the people who endure them, but not all poets consider winter a bleak and lifeless season. My favorite poet, Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow," a crow’s movements cause snow to dust the speaker passing under a tree, and this dust "Has given my heart / A change of mood / And saved some part / Of a day I had rued." 
For my fellow bloggers not on Facebook, I passed my colonoscopy with an all good to go, clear, victoriously, flying colors and hope I get another 10 year pass until the next exam.  I will say the prep was easier than what I had 10 years ago and I was able to get a good night's sleep until I had to arise at 5:00AM to drink the remaining clearing solution.  At the hospital wing waiting area, holding my "traveling bag"so named by the nurse who processed me aboard, in it my clothing as I had stripped into the ugly hospital gown and robe the common dress of the women in the room.   I read and talked with another patient through her sign language interpreter, that woman was also named Patricia; soon another patient arrived to wait and she too was Patricia.  I have not been with so many like named women before.  Whenever a nurse came for Patricia we made sure by last name which of us was next.  Finally it was my turn to walk down to what would be my procedure room and climb into the bed which the thoughtful nurses had heated with a warm blanket and  then quickly piled some toasty blankets atop me, hospitals are always cold.  They hooking me up to all sorts of medical measurement equipment.  My doctor was a pleasant young woman, at least she looked young to me, an  Italian immigrant who apologized for being late to  proceed with me but explained that there had been issues with the  previous patient that took some time to resolve.  I assured her I expected to make it easy for her, in and out and done in no time so she would not miss lunch; by this time it was 11:30 and I had been admitted at 10:00AM. Moreover, I was hungry for lunch now.   She laughed and the next thing I knew it was time to awaken.  She said she easily removed 3 tiny sessile polyps, minute in size only 1 and 2 mm, or Millimeter which measures length; she sent the tissue for a pathology examination but she did not anticipate any problems and I would receive a follow up recommending my next exam and my primary care doctor would already have the electronic access o the results.  Technology abounds.  She provided a written report to the nurse who passed it along to me after I dressed for my exit. I have since learned that my tiny polyps were something that might not be spotted (ahem) but for the state of the art equipment of Mayo and the specialists.  

Back deck thermometer through kitchen window
8:15 this morning, sub zero has arrived
Now we are keeping a careful watch on the weather as our temperatures fell  well below zero overnight and the south eastern parts of the country all are experiencing very low temperatures. I have never before experienced these sub zero temperatures, all the more reason to stay comfy inside, marking another first for me.  We had been planning a departure about January 16 right  after my last meeting of the Diabetes Prevention Program at the YMCA.  But now we are watching for better weather. 

2013 at Easthaven.  Icicles hanging from the
wheels covers on our coach. Here in MN it
has its own house and is not exposed to harsh elements.
Last year we spent a week at Easthaven, just outside Memphis, TN waiting out the ice storm that was devastating the area and making for treacherous driving conditions in an area not equipped to handle it.  Then when we did get going we drove through snow in northern Mississippi.  It was not an experience we want to repeat.  Jerry said, why try to drive the rig and toad (tow vehicle for those unfamiliar with RV style lingo)  for two days to sit in ice, we are better off right here at home, cozy and warm and not having to go out in the frigidity arctic temps.    
2013 last  year through the windshield of our motor coach on
I55, northern Mississippi.   
So we wait patiently and keep warm and I keep busy with many projects including writing on my blog. I see I  need to remove the Christmas and Santa from the right side here, tomorrow perhaps. A lesson I have learned  to perfect in retirement, I don't have to complete all tasks in one day, tomorrow's another day. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Time at home and settling in again

Mississippi Camellia
We have been home for a week and all is well, despite the snow last week. This southern trip was the first time we have stayed in place and that was a welcome experience at Bay St Louis, MS, Bay Hideaway RV, where snowbirds flock.  Our last day driving home from Chatham IL  was in snow but none accumulated on the interstate and traffic was easy.  Once home, the white stuff returned, leaving a build up of more than what was present in January when we departed, with these late winter storms.  When did snowstorms begin to be named?  I just noticed that this year.  Fortunately we are shielded   by our river bluffs, the 6-7 inches was Ol Man Winter's welcome  and a way to tune up Jerry's shoveling and blowing skills lest they became stagnant while we were south.  I suggested he just allow Dustin to deal with it; Dustin is an ambitious and capable young man who practices winter snow removal and summer lawn maintenance  for a reasonable fee while we travel .  Butt oh no, Jerry says it is good free exercise.  Fortunately snow is already melting and the past two days with temperatures in the higher 30 degrees I have had two great outside walks, even worked up a sweat and had to remove my parka hood and unbutton. 

White camellia bush, notice the spent white
petals all over the ground around the bush
 
The photos are from Long Beach, MS  the  camellias had bloomed late January and by early February were nearly spent, reminding me of what I have not seen since we left California, the beautiful camellias of Sacramento where their lovely blooms have been celebrated with an annual  festival.  Far as I know camellias do not grow in MN, how could they harbing spring in January or February from  beneath white snow.  I had forgotten how lovely they are.

Azaleas and daffodils were in full bloom in
AL where we spent a week to return to Fairhope, my favorite little town in the entire country.  I have been working on downloading ,  organizing trip photos which I wonder why I take, but then I consider blog fodder and many I have slapped onto Facebook, so easily from my so smart Samung phone and or tablet, but sooner or later, like paperwork they must be dealt with, downloaded, cropped, deleted, and organized.  Adding to tasks that bide their time until I have some to spare. 

Speaking of time in Bay St Louis, MS where we spent a month, the local artists and shops host 2nd Saturdays offering wide assortments of refreshments and beverages for an evening stroll through the boutiques and galleries.  The following time sculpture caught our eye...Jerry is especially fond of clocks and watches and courtesy of my late aunt Jinx and Uncle Carl has a small collection. This was a unique use of vintage and newer clocks. 
Time sculpture at Bay St Louis MS
 
.Whilst I have not forgotten my blog, I will try to find time to bring posts up to date....and use those photos.