And the road goes on forever...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Picnic...or Not

This was Marc yesterday as we enjoyed a brief respite outside on a simply marvelous coastal day of 77 degrees and no wind. Rarely has Coos Bay ever reached this degree of temperateness!

With sunny skies promised today and thinking that with such cooperative weather we really needed to get out for a seaside picnic, instead by the time we had driven to Sunset Bay SP we found this:

In actuality, instead of being able to be nonchalantly relaxed as we enjoyed the sight, sounds and smells with our picnic spread out before us, it started to sprinkle. Burrr, this was no fun—hurry, pack up and head back home so I can make a hot pot of coffee!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

At the Coast

The raucous cries of the seagulls seemed to beckon me back as I strode purposely down the quay of Charleston, taking note of the gently blowing breeze making the sea grass dance. Boat owners were out in force, working on their boats instead of playing on them, which seemed a shame given the gorgeous day. Coos Bay has welcomed us home with a spectacular fall day.

Earlier we had driven out to our friend’s house to pick up some of our things he had been kind enough to bring over for us in his truck from Bend. Paul is building a new home and has made quite a bit of progress since I was last there. Marc is going to wire it for him once his knee is better—having already finished the rough in weeks ago.
This morning dawned the quintessential coastal foggy morning as I rushed to get groceries and restock the park model and unpack all our stuff. It felt fresh and smelled so good, awakening senses as to why we like it here so much. The ride over was long and quite difficult for Marc. After all, it was only days ago that his knee looked like this:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Matching Set

Marc was released yesterday from the hospital before noon. A two day stay for this type of surgery must be some sort of record, but things are going really well for him. He has a lot less pain and swelling than he did with the right knee. Now he has a matched set!

The new protocol is to start physical therapy right away, so he had a session this morning as therapist Jean gets to work on him for range of motion. These sessions are pretty brutal given the fact that his knee is still stapled together but within just two short weeks he should be walking much better and have much more range. He will continue with PT every other day and take up in Coos Bay where he leaves off here in Bend.
The staples are due to be pulled out a week from today and we will be on our way back to Coos Bay for the three month recuperation. We can hardly wait to be back at our beloved coast and park model!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marc's Surgery--Part III

This picture about sums it up as the nurses and physical therapist dance gingerly around Marc’s prone body, disconnecting hoses, tubes and monitors to get him up for the first time only five hours after surgery. They lasso a big wide strap around his ample mid-section and off he goes with the walker, grimacing and shuffling like a ninety year old, as he takes the necessary fifty steps for today’s exercise. Since every step is one closer to getting released from the torture chamber, er, hospital, he is happy to comply however, so finally manages a grin and a joke. That’s my guy! By 6 p.m. he is frazzled and sleepy, as am I, so I bid him adieu and drive home for some of my mom’s chicken noodle soup.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Surgery-Part II

He's woken up and feeling good; pain is not a problem so far and he's hungry as a bear so I ordered his lunch. He feels much better this time around than last time so we think this knee was not in such bad condition. With any luck, he may be able to be out of here in a few days!

Marc's Surgery-Part I

I am up at 4:38 a.m. starting the coffee that only I can have this morning. By 5:40 we are showered and ready to load Marc’s few meager possessions he will take to the hospital with him. I have the laptop, a book, and my MP3 player to keep me company while he will be in deep sleep in drug-induced la la land.

By 7:40 a.m. they shoo me from the room in which he has just gotten all prepped, save for the femoral nerve block which sinks deep into his groin and will provide blissful relief from the worst of the pain for about three days. The nerve block is an option they offer on this type of surgery but comes highly recommended. It has worked well in the past on both Marc’s shoulder and last knee replacement, but it is only recently that I read a report that an instant heart attack can occur if it is not administered properly. Great, one more thing to worry about! The anestheologist jokes around, but seems competent. He is tall and rail thin and I wonder if he is a runner who works off the stress of life and death out along the Deschutes River trails. I leave Marc with a quick kiss, and “good luck” and “I love you.”

Waiting rooms are always tedious, are they not? People come and go, some drag in and some scurry hurriedly; the TV blares in the corner ignored by most and the people occupying the chairs across from me frequently change as one by one, they are called off to surgery. I turn jazz up fairly high into my earplugs to drown out the commotion as one gal comments why was she so stupid as to not bring her laptop seeing me on mine?

I finally have high speed in which to get caught up on some of the travel blogs I follow—too picture laden to load properly on the poor connection we have on the AT&T air card so I spend the next two and a half hours doing that. It is good to catch up with Mark & Bobbie nearly wrestling grizzly bears and Mama & wannebe Papa moose in Glacier National Park (Artful Adventures) as I sink into the grandeur of Mark’s photography and then I skip over to see where world travelers Pat & Ali (bumfuzzle) are since they left Portland. Hmm, they just passed us like ships in the night; fueling up in Burns and on over the Steens Mountains. Too bad we missed meeting them (again); we have corresponded since they were on the sailboat somewhere off the eastern coast of Africa and have tried to meet on several occasions but the timing just never works. They’re now off seeing the world (again) via Volkswagen bus.

Time to unplug the music, have some coffee and wait for the doctor’s call which comes at 10:20: the surgery went well, nothing unexpected, and the knee, although bad, was a much easier surgery than the other one. Good. Marc should be out of recovery and hatin’ life by 1 p.m. when I will be free to go up to his room. He will spend the next week in pain hell and then things will get a lot better for him. (to be continued…)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Here Fishy Fishy

Being Pacific Northwesterners Marc and I much prefer fish and seafood over beef. This is fresh Alaskan salmon season (the only kind we’ll eat; read about how unhealthy polluted farmed Atlantic salmon is sometime and you won’t ever buy it again either) and even though the season has been a poor one, Albertson’s finally got in some whole Coho (silver) salmon reasonably priced. It was time for some work!

A few weeks ago, our new vacuum sealer had arrived and Marc was anxious to give it a try. We got tired of buying and quickly burning out the Talia Food savers so Marc opted for a commercial grade one from an internet supplier. He has not been disappointed in it. He and mom went to work—Marc cut the whole salmon into steaks (gives much more meat than fillets and barbecues better too we think) and mom packaged them two to a bag and then Marc went to town sealing. We figure our freezer only has room for this amount of fish and there is a good chance we will have the opportunity to catch our own once we are back in Coos Bay. As it stands now, the freezer is pretty full of clams, some tuna, and the halibut we got earlier. There is also quite a catch of picked crab meat waiting for me to make crab brushetta—just about the yummiest thing we know. The glory of living on the coast has not dimmed one iota for us and hopefully we’ll be healthier people from all the omega 6 we ingest!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

North to Washington

It’s a spectacular day sitting on the corner of a relatively quiet street in Steilacoom, WA where my daughter and I are grabbing a snack and a cool drink after shopping all morning. The view of the ferry dock and sound are sublime and it is nice to imagine being able to live in such a setting with expansive water views.

I have come to DuPont to help my daughter with some health issues and it’s been a hectic few days which makes the street side break all the more welcome. Steilacoom reminds me of some of the small towns of the San Francisco bay area, clinging to gently swelling hillsides, covered in well tended gardens and flowers—each house with spotlessly clean windows taking in the vast views. The car ferry sits rusted at dock but used daily to ferry residents across to Anderson Island. A short hop up the two lane road finds towering fir treed wilderness stretching to the perimeter of Ft. Lewis military base. Life here must be nice.

I head back to Bend tomorrow and eagerly look forward to Marc’s return Monday about 4:30 as his flight gets in to Redmond from Texas. He is anxious to be done with Texas even though his surgery soon looms.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Autumn Already?

The arrival into Bend went uneventfully. The low tire is a complete mystery since I watched it like a hawk and never had any more trouble with it. Maybe someone tampered with it.

The days are pretty quiet here; I am getting lots of odd ball stuff done, like having my hair cut, coloring it, cleaning and waxing the Freightliner, cleaning my car, cleaning the RV, doing some shopping. We had a sudden and unexpected turn towards autumn as temperatures dropped under freezing at night for two nights in a row and day time highs didn’t even exceed 60. What a change from Texas! I am even running heat in the RV.

My daughter and her boyfriend made it down for a Labor Day visit and we had a wonderful barbecue dinner last evening which also included my son Neil and his wife Hillary. It was great having everyone together. I will be traveling north to Tacoma to help my daughter out late this next week but only for a few days. Marc will be flying in on Monday the 8th and I hope to be back to pick him up from the airport. I continue to have internet access problems so the blog will suffer.