...the Journal

Mom's
Refrigerator Door

This magnet came from the Sacramento zoo.


How Popular Are You?
Link Popularity.com is a great site which will check how many hits your site gets on several search engines. Find out who is linking to your site.


Doc, I have this pain...
Mediconsult's Web site is a vast repository of information on over seventy different medical topics and conditions ranging from AIDS/HIV to breast cancer to spinal cord injury. Pick a topic or condition from the pull-down list on the left-hand side of Mediconsult's homepage and you are taken to a page dedicated to that particular topic or condition.


Be a Slacker!
You know those nauseating inspirational posters that you see in big businesses? Well, here's the answer to those posters. Check the messages at Despair.com.



WHAT I'M READING

Take Me Home
by John Denver
w/Arthur Tobler

When Peggy was here, we listened to a lot of John Denver music (which I don't think Steve has forgiven me for). I was so intrigued by so many of his lyrics that I wanted to read the story behind them, so borrowed the book from her.





That's it for today!

 

SINGING AND DRIVING IN THE RAIN

24 January 2001

We’ve been having nice weather lately, though today started out a bit grey. I drove into Sacramento in the morning to pick up a client and drive her to CARES for blood work. Ninety miles later, I was back home again. There were a few drops of rain on the windshield when I pulled into the driveway.

Lynn, who returned from LA last night, was here getting ready to go back to court this morning. I was thinking ahead to dinner tonight. And I decided that rather than go to the local supermarket, I’d drive out to the produce market, where the fruits and veggies are both better quality and lower cost.

I turned on the radio, started the CD player, and the familiar strains of Steve warbled out at me. At that moment the heavens opened up (everyone’s a critic).

I bet my mom will tell a story
Endowing me with lots of glory
And punish you by making you listen to my song
Or torture you by forcing you to have to sing along

It may be "torture" for Walt, but I generally have Steve on in the car, singing along with the familiar tunes. He keeps me awake on long drives.

The farther I drove, the heavier the rain got. I was driving over the two-lane back road where the spray from the trucks passing in the other direction splattered on the windshield, making it difficult to see.

I love the rain. I’ve always loved the rain. I remember winter days when I was growing up, sitting in the bay window of our San Francisco flat, watching the rivulets of rain running down our hill. I love sitting inside a house or a car...listening to the sound of rain on the roof. Feeling all snug and cozy. I was lovin’ this drive.

Somebody's friend took a trip to Chinatown
Somebody's friend got secret herbs...

I finally arrived at the produce market, driving through the puddles in the ruts of the gravel parking lot. The rain had let up a little now.

The nice thing about going out in a storm to go to an out-of-the-way market is that you have the place practically to yourself. On a sunny spring day when the freshly picked strawberries have just arrived, it can be difficult to squeeze through the tiny aisles. But today there were only half a dozen of us there and I could wander and stop and examine to my heart’s content.

They have unusual things there. Strange looking herbs, different sorts of legumes, and enough salsas to choke a horse. I couldn’t resist buying a jar of "chocolate and merlot mustard." It tastes very strange. I haven’t a clue whether you put it on a sandwich or on ice cream!

I heard of a group with others like me
who felt the way I feel
I felt sorry for myself like the only man on earth
and someone said a group would help me heal...

I reached for some bananas and locked eyes with a woman from Davis whom I haven’t seen in years. Lord help me, I know her well. I know who she is, I can’t for the life of me remember her name. I’m terrible at names. And it’s so embarrassing. I remembered she’d had a stroke awhile back and that she has had a long struggle back to health. From the look in her eyes, I knew that she was remembering our losses and struggling to know how to deal with me. We made polite conversation and moved on to other parts of the store.

Five bags of groceries later, I was back in the car headed home. The rain had stopped, for the most part. It was a quick storm, passing on to the Sierras, where it will deliver snow to the ski resorts.

Once again I was driving along the back roads, where I had the chance to appreciate the bare trees silhouetted against the grey skies, the horses looking miserable standing out in their pastures, and watching the birds huddle together on the overhead telephone wires, their heads tucked down between their wings. Do birds feel as miserable as they look when it rains? Or do they love sitting on a wire, letting the rain fall in their heads? If they're miserable, why aren't they hiding in their nest somewhere?

I came upon the hospital as Steve began singing "Connected"...

I saw a neon sign that said "Emergency"
I barely even know what happened next...

Bad memories of that hospital. I lost my job there. I lost my son there, under the neon sign that said "Emergency"....

Better to concentrate on the upcoming marsh across the street, where I walked with Peggy and we sat to listen to the birds singing on a clear, warm autumn day. The same marsh where I walked the day she left and found the rainbow off in the distance...

...Connected to each other
We will always be connected to each other.

Coming back into town now. Back to civilization. It had been a nice afternoon out in the rain. But now it was time to call in to Breaking Barriers, report on my trip with the client this morning and check about need for driving in the upcoming week.

When you care
When you care
you can only make a difference
when you care

It was also time to turn off Steve and get the groceries into the house.

Thanks for the nice afternoon, Steve!


 


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Created 1/24/01 by Bev Sykes