Downtown….

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, You can always go…Downtown” – Downtown by Petula Clark

They were small in stature but lived a big life. For my uncle and aunt, size did not matter! Both stood five-feet or less yet they enjoyed life to the fullest!

I had the honor and privilege of attending one of the more memorable services in my lifetime. What a blessing to live with your best friend, forever lover, mother of your children, and the most beautiful woman you have ever laid eyes on.

This was the love story of two people who overcame many obstacles and chose to see life as a joyous occasion no matter the circumstances.

So what is with the old pop song Downtown?

Here is my tribute to my aunt and uncle…. Continue reading “Downtown….”

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Surprise Rendezvous… (edited)

Bzzzz…. Bzzzz…

Someone was texting me. Casually I lifted the phone from my pocket to glance at the incoming text.

“I’m here. Where are you?”

Replying discreetly – “At the Red Panda.”

Slipped the phone back into my pocket before she sees me. We walked a little bit further when my phone buzzed again. I wandered away to read the message – “Where are you now?”

Replied – “Prairie Dog. Will return to the Red Panda.”

We walked back to the first exhibit. Stalling, I took a few more pictures.

She should be here any minute now – I whispered to myself.

“Well, hello!”

Continue reading “Surprise Rendezvous… (edited)”

E.R. Visit – Part Two (Sight for Sore Eye)

During my hospital stay, my right eye was nearly swollen shut. It was a challenge relying on only one eye to see everything around me. The doctors continued to prescribe different antibiotics into my IV line to determine the most effective solution.

Trypanophobia, the fear of needles, is something I have always struggled with. Little known fact – I almost did not get married the first time due to a silly requirement to have a blood test – seriously!

Now I simply look away but in the case of my recent hospital stay, I could not see the needle anyway!!! I would not recommend getting a swollen eye as a remedy to cure Trypanophobia.

Why?

Eventually you will see again and those needles will not go away! Hel-lo!!!!

Here were the challenges I faced with my one functioning eye, the IV port stuck into my left arm, and wearing those wonderful non-skid hospital socks…

Continue reading “E.R. Visit – Part Two (Sight for Sore Eye)”

E.R. Visit – Part One

I have accompanied, visited, and dropped off friends and family members at E.R. over the years but never would I have anticipated that one day, yours truly would become a patient as well.

It all began with a staph infection on my hand that irritated my annual eczema outbreak. Normally, my skin would recover with a plant-based lotion used for intensive skin therapy. Other eczema areas were effectively treated with this lotion but my right hand seemed to have a stubborn issue.

Fast forward a few months and having received some effective antibiotics and topical crème, it dried up the area on my hand and was getting rid of the staph that was now embedded into my bloodstream. All was going well until a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my right eye had a peculiar growth… Continue reading “E.R. Visit – Part One”

Left As A Cruise Ship, Come Back As A…

Another in a series of stories from my recent travels on my first cruise ship adventure (see the previous post to understand this link).

I had no expectations as I boarded the Grand Princess which was docked at Pier 27 in the San Francisco Bay. After the rough start before checking in, all I was looking forward to was a week of fun and relaxation. As a recovering technologist, I was glad to know that once we embarked on the open ocean, we would not have any cellular coverage!

In fact, I vowed that even though we would dock at a few ports where I could obtain cellular coverage, I was determined to simply delete junk email messages and read the rest of the messages when I returned home. For those of you who truly know me, this was a hard thing to commit to but I knew that this had to be the right decision if I was going to sincerely enjoy this family cruise!

Before the cruise, I exercised regularly to achieve my desired weight because I was warned about the voluminous amounts of food that would tempt even the most disciplined of souls.

On the morning of the departure, I weighed myself to establish the baseline weight.

Why?

The answer should be obvious – I wanted to see how much weight I would gain even though I was determined to eat well.

As the maître de stated, “We leave as a cruise ship – we return as a

Continue reading “Left As A Cruise Ship, Come Back As A…”

Rough Start To Our Vacation

(this is the first of a series of stories from our recent cruise adventure)

Packing our suitcases, checking our list of necessary items for the trip, trying to stay healthy, and arranging for drop-off and pick-up transportation. All this for the start of our first cruise down the Pacific Coastline on the Grand Princess!

Excitement grew as each day drew closer to our embarkation date of April 1. Nothing was going to deter us from our wonderfully planned voyage. I was exceptionally excited as this would be my family’s first cruise ever! Finally, we could see what this cruising-lifestyle is all about.

Saturday morning arrived. We had to wait for my older son and his wife to arrive so that we can carpool together into San Francisco. Last-minute preparations and the loading of suitcases into the car with some extra room for their luggage.

My phone buzzed – it was my son calling probably to let me know they were almost here. Upon answering my phone, I heard the words that would deflate my enthusiasm.

Dad, we have a problem.

Continue reading “Rough Start To Our Vacation”

Haunted By A Sciuridae…

During our recent trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, we were amazed by the different blooms that welcomed us to its natural playground. Devoid of many tourists, the pathways were peaceful. Strolling along the paved routes, we stumbled upon a squirrel.

It was kind enough to pose for a “welcome” photo opportunity so I snapped it.

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Continuing our exploration of the massive garden, we noticed something… Continue reading “Haunted By A Sciuridae…”