Taking A Break From Our Regular Programming

Normally I would have written a “Lighten Up” post about some practical aspect of grounding our lives in every day sustainability (yes, “sustainability” is overused and under-understood, but I can’t think of a better way to say it right now!), and would alternate that with a post about our journey with brain cancer. But this week I’m pausing the regular program because, frankly, I’m up to my ears and then some.

Richard’s headed for his second brain surgery this Friday, and we arrived home from our sojourn at Carpenter Ranch to the news that my 79-year-old mother had fallen in the night and broken her arm. She is mighty of spirit, but frail of body and mind right now, so her doc sent her to a rehab center. She was NOT  happy there–when I talked to her, she complained bitterly about being “trapped” in a nursing home “with all of these old people.” Oh my. You have to love that ‘tude! As of tonight she’s home and I’m going to look into some home healthcase assistance for my dad, who is 82 and very self-sufficient, even though he’s been legally blind for the last ten years (he can see, but he’s missing big chunks of his visual field–big enough chunks, I’m afraid, that my mother could slip away on him).

Stickered Book
And we’re headed to Pueblo, Colorado, tomorrow afternoon, where I’m scheduled to give a talk on Colorado Scenic Byways (the award-winning book and the real scenic roads) with my partner-in-coffee-table-books, Steamboat Springs photographer and publisher Jim Steinberg. The talk, at Pueblo’s Sangre de Cristo Art Center, celebrates the opening of a show of Jim’s photographs from the book. If you’re in the area, come by and listen to the Jim-and-Susan show–we call the book our “love poem” to the state of Colorado, and buy a book and taste some local wine.

After the talk, Richard and I will zip north to Denver in order to get in a good night’s sleep before the first of his pre-surgery procedures, a 7:20 a.m. Wednesday cystoscopy appointment at the VA Medical Center to check on his bladder cancer, which has been in remission for two years now. (If you don’t know what a cysto is, suffice it to say that our friend Jim calls it a “peckerscope” procedure.) After that big fun, we’re planning a relaxing day at Denver Botanic Gardens ogling the Henry Moore sculptures. Our Molly flies in from San Francisco late that afternoon, so we’ll have her company and support.

Which we’ll need, because Thursday we’ll spend the morning with my folks, sorting out anything they need in caring for my mom, and Thursday afternoon Richard is scheduled for six hours of tests and other pre-operative procedures. Friday, the fun starts early: he’s got a 7:00 a.m. brain MRI in his final prep for the surgery.

So. Big breath.

Here we go. 


(The photo above is the pygmy water lily that lives in a glazed Chinese cache pot outside our bedroom door. It bloomed for the first time ever after we returned home from Carpenter Ranch. I take that as a good sign, and am holding this image in my mind.)

Please forgive me for coming the radio silence. After tomorrow noon, I’ll either be on the road, spending some precious time with my honey, helping out my parents, or haunting the halls at the VA Medical Center, which has no wi-fi whatsoever. I’ll do my best to post news on this blog late Friday night.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and your hearts. Be present in your moments, take joy from the community of the land wherever you live, and hug the ones you love.