Summer Daze

Cancer requires one to slow down and simplify their life. Predictability in ongoing routines helps me to manage an otherwise unpredictable disease. Finding peace in a time of uncertainty is the goal.  Once a month, I receive a dose of immunoglobulins. It’s a support treatment. It doesn’t kill cancer cells. Instead, it boosts my immune … More Summer Daze

Sorry, We’re Closed

I live in Hood River, Oregon. The river for which it is named flows north from the foothills of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Its three forks converge ten miles south of town. My youngest son and his family shelter in place near that spot. From there it meanders through woods, pastures, and orchards before … More Sorry, We’re Closed

Books

Oregon’s reputation for tough winters suffered a setback in 2017/18. November, December, and January stretched like lazy cats across the blanket of the Northwest sky. They shed rain but mild temperatures prevailed beneath their sleepy overcast. On Mt. Hood, skiers lamented the lack of snow. In the valley below, orchardists fretted. They prefer harsh conditions … More Books

Child’s Play

In February, I bought an ukulele. The long winter depressed me. Furthermore, I’d become addicted to the dispiriting politics of our new president. His “amateur hour” buffoonery impairs reasoning. Like many Americans, I could not turn away. Music, I hoped, might help me kick the habit. Early on, my fingers ached. But a friend gave me advice … More Child’s Play

Notes To My Grandson

On the day you arrived, temperatures dropped into the single digits. A winter storm had battered Northwest Oregon for three days. Feathers of dry snow fell in the mountains and throughout the Columbia Gorge. The Hood River Valley, which is named for the town that would be your home, rested under a thick white blanket. … More Notes To My Grandson

Pneumonia

On Monday, July 25th, I circled the drain. Tuesday: I wondered, “Whose feet are these?”  I stared at bloated flesh topped with stubby sausages for toes. Then, I fell in love with a girl named Maureen. No, that’s not right. Her name was Morphine. By Wednesday morning, we were going steady. Accomplises delivered her to my room. … More Pneumonia

Back to the Future

I enjoyed two full months of recovery from the latest attempt to control my cancer, multiple myeloma. At first, that drug worked well. The harsh side effects, however, made me question whether it was worthwhile. Soon, its effectiveness waned. The setback left me wondering about my future. So, I took a break to reassess things. … More Back to the Future