Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...
The author of Mark's Work

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Crossing the Eel River at French's Camp

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Butter in the fly...

July Jewels

July Jewels
Bees to the Kingdom

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I'm Helping! I'm Helping!


San Francisco is always kind of unfocused for me.

I'm Helping! I'm Helping!

The less-is-more concept is much easier to describe than it is to implement, because it’s hard to admit that by staying out of the arena, a guy could actually accomplish more. I mean, I want to climb into the ring, with my gloves tightly laced, but I keep tripping over those same laces in my desire to help.

It’s in my nature to want to contribute. But what if in trying to be helpful, I actually cause more trouble than if I just stayed away? Think of it as the two-year-old wanting to “help” make the chocolate chip cookies, which includes a steady stream of taste-tests, complete with finger-licking, lip-smacking sound effects.

And did we have to put ALL of those chocolate chips into the mixing bowl?

I am less likely to produce sound effects than I am to produce anxiety. I can sit in a hospital room, ostensibly offering strength and support, when in all reality everyone in the arena can clearly see that I am a basket case.

If it’s not the pained expression on my furrowed brow, then maybe it’s my quasi-fetal position I have assumed, as I struggle to contend with the forces that swirl in and out of that revolving hospital door. The flow of hospital staff seeking clarification, imparting pearls of wisdom, and conforming to hospital policy is of white-water proportions.

Annie meets every lurch and jerk with a practiced hand, while I am still trying to process what was just asked. I do struggle to comprehend the spoken word, especially in a venue which promotes anxiety by definition. 
Driving in San Francisco? Not I.

When she went down to San Francisco to have both a kidney and a softball-sized tumor removed back in September of 2012, I remained on the mountain because I had to-someone had to keep the home-fires burning.

I mean that metaphorically, of course, September being not such a good month for fires and all. Somehow, though, the critters just don’t understand the concept of hunger, any better than we do, and besides, San Francisco is not a venue that meshes well with that of the country.

Therefore, I acquiesced, until such time as the venue shifted closer to home, like Willits or Ukiah. Then it was much more feasible to commute back and forth, than it was to The City, and therefore more feasible for me to be in the same room, “helping.”

One such stint last fall, took place at Howard Hospital in the new facility that just opened up on the east side of Highway 101, about five minutes off the main drag. It involved a couple of days and nights for a normally-routine procedure, that got complicated, because the original plan called for us to return to the mountain that same afternoon.

That tends to happen with cancer patients.  

I had dutifully checked in with Annie and hovered for a short time until they wheeled her away, and then returned to my truck out in the nether regions of the parking lot, where Dozer our faithful bulldog was patiently waiting. 

That’s how routine we had thought matters would go, or else I would never have brought Biggie Phats along. The idea was that the two of us would get to know the immediate vicinity of the hospital intimately, by circling said facility as regularly as the second hand of the clock, until it was time to go home.
Dozer, speaking of rays of sunshine...

Unfortunately, that time never arrived for Annie until two days later, so I had to go home to put the chickens away and batten down the hatches. Ben and Holly took over for me, since they now own a home in Willits, while I returned the following day, sans Boo-Boo, and vacillated between Annie's room and the truck.

I was determined to be a ray of brilliant sunshine for Annie, but there were simply too many threatening clouds blocking her vision. After all, how could I be anything but personally affronted by the construction that was going on out in the hall, the new facility still working out the kinks of its being, well, brand new?

My thought process was unclear enough to provide what might have been an acceptable time frame, except that it should be a time when there were no patients in-hospital.

Come again?

That pretty much sums up why it was that Annie had a hard time basking in the glow of all that sunshine that I had intended to emit during my stay with her. I kept finding ways to block that sunlight out, that did not involve sunscreen. 

I knew I was blowing it, I acknowledged that I was part of the problem and not part of the solution, and I agreed to reevaluate my role in future hospital stays, should such stays prove necessary.
Say, can I get any of you girls some, er, chicken soup?

Voila! The next time the situation arose, matters went quite smoothly, the more so because I never went south of Laytonville. With Annie in Ukiah, I was thrilled to have had to remain on the mountain. Taking. Care. Of. Chickens. Instead. 


While sighing, I can still smile. 

But since Ben and Holly were there for Annie, along with her bff Debbie, I went with the flow, and you know something? We avoided that same white-water patch that we seemed to keep encountering in the past.

I know. Weird.


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