Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A bit of levity, perhaps...

Kids being kids.


Couple of groaner Dad jokes.

What does a fish say when it bumps into a wall?


Guy walks into a bar with jumper cables draped over his shoulders.

"Hey," sez the bartender, "you tryin' to start something in here?"


She walked into the bedroom again Sunday night and smiled that smile. It was again an odd experience. I heard and felt her footsteps, her movement. It felt partly like a dream but partly like reality. Which was it?

"Do you come here every night?" I asked. I felt a moment of panic that I might be sleeping through most of her visits.

She just smiled. But words I'd shared with her many times came back to me in a strange commingling or her voice and my voice.

"It's just a thing, Sweetheart."

And, "Suck it up and drive on."



Monday morning.


I decided to cut my Sunday hike short at the 3.5 mile mark. I was experiencing a return of radiculopathy in my left leg and it got to the point where pushing farther seemed unwise.

Over the past week I'd been having more shooting-burning pains in the leg; on the outside or lateral aspect of the thigh and calf and on top of the foot. Those painful symptoms had been gone since the lumbar injections I received on August 4.

While the pain was returning and growing slowly in intensity, it hadn't yet approached the pre-injection level of intensity.

Fortunately I had an appointment with the pain doc Monday (yesterday as I write this) after lunch. While doing dishes Monday morning I noted that the old bugaboo of standing on a hard surface was causing a good bit of pain once again. So at lunchtime I headed for the big city of Scottsbluff to meet with the doc.

I've seen this guy thrice before; twice in his office and once in the interventional radiology/injection suite. Each time Alex was with me. So this trip was missing an important component, and that was a bit harder than I expected.

"Where's your wife?" asked the receptionist. She was shocked at the news and teared up.

"Where's your wife?" asked the nurse who took me back to the exam room. She was shocked at the news and teared up.

When the doctor came in he'd obviously heard the news and was blinking back tears.

Alex had a way of connecting with people. I think they sensed that she was a real person who was actually interested in them as real people. No game face, no bullshit, Just Alex being genuinely Alex.

It was tough to share the news and tough to bring unexpected grief to three people she had touched with her Alex-Presence. But it was good in a strange way.

Suck it up and drive on.

The plan is to do another round of injections. The doc thinks it might have a better and longer lasting effect this time. We'll see.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. As if you didn't have enough on your plate already...

    Stay strong brother.

    1. There for a while I was doing some "What? Why now? What the hell?" But i quickly remembered it's just stuff, just life stuff, and life keeps on happening.

      God's doing the heavy lifting while I try to emulate "strong." It's a good system and it seems to be working.

      Thanks so much Chris.

  2. I was perusing some older posts on my blog and realized just how much I used it to get past the initial loss.
    Today, six years later, I still periodically meet casual acquaintances who were unaware of Sharon's death.
    I feel their pain when I give them the news, or maybe it's I feel mine in a different way.
    I am happy that I live in the moment and not in the past.

    1. Living in the past is a real danger. It's clearly marked, "Here the be Dragons."

      Being from such a small town, yesterday was the first time I encountered people who didn't already know the "worst news in the history of mankind." Interesting how I recall realizing intellectually how crushing the experience was to others when it happened to them, and knowing at some level that such a thing would be very different when and if it happened to me. From my perspective it is the worst news in the history of mankind, but I know intellectually that most of mankind has no idea and will never know that it happened. It very nearly didn't happen to me, in the sense that I never had a soulmate until Allie. In a way I was untouchable until I gave all of me to all of her. So I could easily have never had this experience. That state of affairs would have represented an unknown and unsuspected tragedy of unthinkable proportions. I find that the adage, "tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all," is completely true in my case. Sigh.

      This place has been a lifeline. I'll peruse some of your older posts when I'm able. Thanks for pointing me in that direction, and thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts Skip. They mean everything to us.

  3. Kids being kids, and oldsters being oldsters. All part of life.

    Yeah, no fun at all sharing bad news with the Doc and staff, but in the real world bad stuff happens, and they, like you (and your reader friends) will work through it and eventually allow the pleasures of the present to overwhelm to bad stuff. (Just the bad stuff, keep the good stuff from the past front and center along with good from the present.)

    Great to see the kids doing well.
    John Blackshoe

    1. The kids are teaching me really important stuff.

      The whole life goes on thing is simple reality. And since life goes on, and it's all about livin', it's vitally important to live it. These are cherished days and hours and moments, and they're playing out they way they are supposed to. Saturday the oldest turns 11 and we're going to cherish the day regardless of the way it plays out. There will be longing and sadness but also fun and joy and much, much love.

      Thanks so much John.

  4. Reading and lurking here for quite a while, SoDak boy, Navy 85-94. Driven past your place many times on I-80 (live in Cali. now unfortunately) most recent was in Nov. after my father passed. Beautiful country. Since finding this blog I've thought about you and your posts when I drive by. Never met any of you, yet I've found myself crying fat tears over the posts of your loss. You truly reach many more people than you'll ever know. As for kids, I think I've learned as much from them as they from me.
    Stay strong, we're all pulling for you.


    1. Thanks so much David, your kind words mean a lot to all of us and that's a fact.

      A lot of us from this part of the country spent time in the Navy! It is beautiful country. Lots of beautiful country across America, lots of beautiful people across America.

      We're all doing our best and God is doing the heavy lifting. The kids are such a joy and blessing to me.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, man. Appreciate hearing from you more than you can know.

  5. I'm with David. I no longer drive the medical courier route past your ranch three days a week. Not much to see unless you "Look", then it is facilitating. Miss seeing the resident Pronghorn on the 71 dogleg between Rd 8 and Rd 6 and getting my "Gizzard Fix" at the Kwik Stop. Perhaps one advantage to living in a small town is people who know, appreciate, and are rooting for you.

    1. The amazing can sneak up on you on this part of the country, even though it feel's like "see 'em coming" territory. That dogleg is a neat place. Highway 71, which used to be Highway 29, has an interesting history and layout.

      This blogosphere is a small town too, and the sheer number of people rooting for us is incredible. We are so blessed. Thanks so much!

  6. Hanging around little kids "just being kids" can be a refreshing distraction from the reality of being an adult. Just watching them play gives me hope for the future, and that's always a good thing!

    1. Those kids put an incredible quantity of peace and hope in my soul every day. My grownup problems pale in comparison to figuring out how to catch grasshoppers, what's for lunch, and "I don't wanna take a nap!"

      Thanks drjim!