Home Sweet Home

Last Thursday, Marilyn and I hoofed it downtown to 1st and Union Avenue in Seattle. That corner houses SAM, the Seattle Art Museum. The first Thursday of each month is free to all visitors. We took advantage of the offer to check out the four floors of their permanent collection. We opted to not take in their special hosting of The Impressionists, as that was not free. I love museums but the drain from so much artistic input exhausted me. I felt like a child who’d eaten too much candy. On the other hand, I know that much of what I saw, felt, and experienced at the SAM, is stored for future use. I may need it to sustain me against my next bout with malaise.

Friday, we drove back to Oregon under overcast skies. Along the way, we stopped in Woodland, WA for gas and lunch. Cool, dreary weather wrapped us in a timeless frame of mind. Once we headed east on I-84 into the Columbia River Gorge, the clouds lifted. So, too, my spirits rose. For the first time in seven weeks, my sensory perceptions were loaded with the familiar comforts of home. I relaxed. My doubts about the trip, which centered on leaving the protective bubble of the SCCA, diminished. Suddenly, I felt untethered from my vulnerabilities. I unhooked the leash of fear about the cancer, which I’d strained against this summer. I was fed up with having pulled it up and down the hills of Seattle since mid-June.


A corner of my wildflowers
A corner of my wildflowers

Saturday I savored the peace and quiet of Alder Road on the Dee Flats, where our home is located. I felt as if I were on vacation. I walked next to the large orchard blocks of apples and pears ripening for the fall harvest. I puttered briefly in my garden even though doing so violates the restrictions of my treatment. Actually, I reasoned, my true immune-suppressed condition is ahead of me. The stem cell transplant procedure intends to destroy my immune system. Currently, I recuperate from the shock of just standard dose chemotherapy. I must be careful to not jeopardize the timing of my upcoming treatment. However, I can play a little. In fact, I think it may be the good medicine.

Sunday, my sons and I circled Dee Flats together. It may be awhile before such an opportunity presents itself again. Isaac’s dog’s enthusiasm entertained us. The weather was perfect. Smears of cirrus and tumbling cumulus clouds adorned the blue sky. Westerly breezes softened the warm, humid air. Late in

Ike & Noah with Bruce & Toby
Ike & Noah with Bruce & Toby

the afternoon, several friends joined us for a dinner party on our deck. I agonized about being the center of attention. But it went well. I endured the self-consciousness about my baldhead and the bags of worry under my eyes. We laughed a lot and ate too much. The SCCA may be the place to provide me with answers to my health concerns. However, when it comes time for healing, home is where I belong.

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