Monday, April 30, 2007


I do not like emergency rooms. I am grateful for the important service they perform, but I do not like spending time in emergency rooms.

Yesterday my son the bachelor called to say a friend was taking him to the local urgent care facility. He had been eating a hotdog and it had gotten stuck in his esophagus. Could I meet him there so his friend could leave? I am his mother, so of course I went. He was miserable. The esophagus was completely blocked and nothing could go down and nothing would come up. The local ER tried to fix it with medicine. No luck. We needed to go to the county hospital ER. He would probably need an endoscopy. His condition was very uncomfortable and needed to be fixed soon, but it was not life threatening, so we waited. We were in the waiting room for a couple of hours. I like watching people and there were certainly a lot of people to watch. Most of them just sat staring into space waiting. I lost count of the number of ambulances that came and went. Two helicopters landed with trauma victims. One car pulled up with a gunshot victim. There was a lot of blood. That patient came with lots of police and upset family and friends. We finally got into the ER itself. My son was placed on a gurney in the hall. Other patients filled all the rooms and lined the halls. Paramedics came with more patients on stretchers. I stood by the wall just watching. I felt invisible. Doctors, nurses and all sorts of other staff hurried by us with out even a glance. It was a wild scene. After about an hour one the nurses did stop and tell us that the attending had been called and they were going to try administering more of the medicine that had not worked in the local ER. If that didn’t work they would have to do an endoscopy. I was then sent back to the waiting room to join the silent, staring group of waiting people. I finally was allowed back to check on my son’s progress. He was still on a gurney in the hall, but all the other hallway patients had gone somewhere else. He had received two more doses of medicine. The nurse gave him a third dose while I was there. This time it worked. The esophagus loosened its grip and the food moved on into the stomach. Hallelujah! He drank a glass of water without effort. The attending said he still had to do the endoscopy to find out why this had happened, but we could do that tomorrow in the surgical center. We came home after eight very long hours in the ER.

Today I took my son to have the endoscopy. The waiting room was clean and quiet. I was the only one there. The procedure was completed. There were no serious findings. He has GERD. It will be treated with medicine and diet. He will be fine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lilac Memory

The lilac bush in my backyard is covered in beautiful, fragrant blooms. The fragrance always reminds me of one of my favorite moments with my mom.

The year after my father died my mom flew from California to Maryland for a visit. Mom was blind and my sister-in-law had accompanied her across the country before going on to see her relatives. The spring was beautiful that year. One day I took her for a ride through the National Arboretum, (one of DC’s greatest treasures) to enjoy the beautiful sunny day. I especially love the azalea garden there with its multitude of huge, flowering shrubs in a rainbow of colors. I tried to describe their beauty to mom. She smiled and said she wished she could see them. As we drove on we came upon a field of lilacs in full bloom. We got out of the car and walked through that fragrant field and I noticed tears flowing down mom’s face. “Oh honey,” she said, “I can see the lilacs. The fragrance is the same as the lilacs where I grew up in Texas. They are a beautiful soft purple. The bushes are all covered. I love lilacs. Their smell lets me see them”

I love lilacs. Their fragrance lets me see my mom.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

About twenty-five years ago I met a vivacious little old lady named Mary Hupp. When Mary stretched up to her full height she was almost four foot, nine inches. She was eighty years old. I was forty. We shared the same birthday and celebrated together for several years. Mary loved me and wanted to do something special for my birthday so I would never forget her. She succeeded by buying me a dogwood tree. Today my Mary Hupp tree is covered in beautiful soft pink flowers. The tree, like its namesake has made my world more beautiful. It gives me joy to watch the tree change with the seasons and continue to make this earth a better place.

I think a tree is an excellent gift.

Friday, April 20, 2007


I worked as a nurse today at my old job. It was a busy, nonstop day. I am tired. I feel old. Dinner helped a bit and I managed to read the morning paper after eating. I was still too tired and achy to do much. I took a hot bath and soaked my weary bones until the water turned cold. I think I will go to bed way earlier than usual.

I sure am glad I am retired and don’t do this every day.

How do you relax when you are too tired to go to bed?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


According to a website I just found, there are 1688 people who share my name. I'm not sure how sure the information is because this website says one of daughters does not exist and there are forty people who share my other daughter's name.
Check it out. How many people share your name?

Monday, April 16, 2007


At least 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting. Worst school shooting in history. Only questions and horror.

Pray for all concerned.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Our taxes are done and we are getting a refund. That is good, but we still paid a whole lot of dollars in taxes. I don’t always agree with the way the government decides to spend my money, but, all in all, I think I am getting a pretty good deal for my tax dollar. Here are some of the things I appreciate that are funded by my taxes.

1. My husband is a federal employee. His job is funded by taxes. I appreciate his paycheck.

2. The security of having a military force to protect us is a wonderful blessing.

3. Libraries are a great blessing that are supported by taxes.

3. Roads that get me where I need to go make life good.

4. NIH – the National Institute for Health and all other medical research facilities are helping us to understand better ways to treat disease.

5. The Smithsonian – this group of museums is a national treasure.

6. Our national park system protects great areas of wild beauty. Yosemite is beautiful beyond description. Do you have a favorite national park?

7. Public schools educate the majority of our children. It is a blessing it is to live in an educated society.

What are some of the benefits you think of that are funded by our taxes?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Why is Friday the 13th supposed to be an unlucky day? Today has been a very good day for me. We finished our taxes and we are getting a refund. Yipee! I was able to get to my water aerobics class for the first time is more than a week. I always feel good after water aerobics. I helped my son work in his back yard this afternoon. The trees are just beginning to turn green, and there are wild flowers in the woods behind his house. I saw a Downey Woodpecker and bunches of other birds. I was able to enjoy a pleasant afternoon with my son and plant azaleas to make his yard even prettier. Tonight we went to a new Texas Roadhouse restaurant. I noticed there were cars in the parking lot and people going in so it must be open. It turns out that tonight was “Friends and Family Night” – a dress rehearsal for their grand opening next week. Dinner was free tonight while they practiced learning to run the place. We each had a delicious steak and all the trimmings at no cost. That was a lovely treat! And that’s not all! The TV is back on tonight. Somehow I missed a payment and the cable company stopped our service for three days until the check cleared. Tonight we can watch my husband the mathematician’s favorite show, “Numbers.”

Friday the 13th has been a wonderful day.

Hope you all a great day too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


One day last week my fourteen-year-old TV-loving grandson asked me what my favorite TV show was when I was a kid. His jaw dropped open and he was stunned into silence when I told him that I didn’t have a TV when I was a kid. He finally asked, ”Then, what did you do?”

So I thought about it. What did I do for fun when I was a kid? I remember playing in the big field behind our house. It was covered in long grasses that were waist high on me. It was a great place to let my imagination lead me into far away worlds. I crawled through the tall grasses stalking lions or cowboys or hiding from desperate characters. Sometimes I just lay on my back and watched the clouds change shapes.

I loved to ride my bike. There was a long gentle slope on a street near us. I was able to go down that street standing on the seat on my bike. I felt like I was flying. It was wonderful until my mom saw me and made me quit. She said I might kill myself and if I ever did it again she would kill me. So I promised to ride my bike only in a seated position.

We had a dog named Bootsie. She was part Pekinese, part terrier. Bootsie and I were best friends. That dog knew all of my secrets. She never judged me, and she never told my secrets. We went for lots of long walk together.

I loved to read. I can remember reading all day until my eyes hurt from the reading. I would go to the library every week and get a new stack of books. I read all of the Oz books, all of the Nancy Drew books, and biographies of everybody. I loved to learn people’s stories. I think my favorite story was,”The Secret Garden.” I felt like was in that garden with Mary.

It was a great childhood full of wonderful memories. I was too busy playing to feel deprived, but I was thrilled when our family finally did buy a TV. I loved watching Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, and Beanie &Cecil the seasick seaserpant.

What did you do for fun when you were a kid?

Sunday, April 08, 2007


My favorite Easter scripture is the story of Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb of Jesus on Easter morning. It is still dark as she approaches the tomb. She is overcome with sadness at the loss of her teacher and master. I imagine she is crying when she discovers the tomb is empty. She thinks the only thing she can think, ”Someone has stolen the body of my Lord!” She peers inside where she sees two angels who tell her she should not be looking for the living among the dead. She still does not get it. Then she sees Jesus but does not recognize him and thinks he is a gardener.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher).” (John 20:11-20)

He speaks her name and she knows it is Jesus. I love that moment of recognition. Hopelessness becomes amazement and joy. Can’t you imagine Mary’s emotion? Wow! I cry every time I read this passage.

Have you ever been there? Have been in that place of total despair and suddenly found there was joy right in front of you. That’s a God moment. That is the story of Easter.

Christ has risen.
He has risen, indeed!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


We woke up this morning to find a blanket of snow covering all our beautiful spring flowers. The daffodils look sad with their bright yellow blooms coated in ice and wearing a bonnet of snow. The cherry blossoms are gone in the storm. It’s springtime in Maryland.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

OC with DQ

We have just returned from three days in Ocean City, MD, with our fourteen-year-old grandson, DQ. April at the beach in Maryland is usually pretty cool, but we were lucky and had one warm day and were able to frolic in the sunshine and play in the sand. The next two days turned cold, but we found plenty to enjoy. Here’s a list of fun things to do at the beach when it is really too cold to enjoy the beach.

1. Eat Thrasher’s Fries

2. Swim in the indoor hotel pool.

3. Shop

4. Visit Assateague Island and look at the wild ponies.

6. Ride bikes on the boardwalk

7. Sleep

8. Read

9. Spend all your quarters at Playland and get a really cool prize

10. Ride Go-Karts with grampa

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The day is almost over and no one has tried to fool me. Did a good April Fool’s joke catch any of you?