I thought this week’s post was going to be about lighthearted things like the art show, but two days ago we got some sad news. A very good friend from Austin, “the other Wayne,” died unexpectedly. He had cancer, but he died from something else altogether, his system weakened by the cancer and some recent surgery. I met him 15 years ago on a job, and he and his wife have been good friends ever since. Our hearts go out to Sue, his wife.
And in other respects, this week so far has not been so great. Yesterday, my husband Wayne had a lower GI scheduled. We made arrangements to take Luke in for doggy day care. I had made the arrangements with the owner the day before, and last time I did that, she never told her staff, so we were unexpected. So, while I left Wayne outside while Luke did his business, I went inside to make sure everything was set up. While I was talking to the owner, I looked outside, and Wayne was crawling on the ground. At first, I thought he was looking for something, and then I realized he must have fallen and was crawling toward the car to have something to help him get up. It turned out that when Luke realized I was gone, he lurched toward the building, pulling Wayne off balance, and he fell. His knuckles on his right hand were all gouged, but we had no choice but to throw some bandaids and antibiotics on his hand and go off for his medical appointment.
That went okay except they found an ulcer that they are biopsying. However, after we ate breakfast, we decided to leave Luke in the doggie daycare and take a break from him. We went home, and Wayne took a nap and I got interviewed by my great niece for a school homework project about family history. Then after Mischa went home, Wayne came out and said he wanted to go to Urgent Care.
We drove into the Vancouver Clinic Urgent Care in Battle Ground and waited in line for 15 minutes only to be told that THIS Urgent Care was only for Vancouver Clinic patients. We go to Vancouver Clinic for all our specialty doctors, but they would not take us for primary care when we moved here because we were on Medicare. The medical system out here is really weird. In Texas you go to your primary care physician, who is usually in private practice but may belong to a clinic, and then if there is an emergency, you can pretty much go to any Urgent Care as long as your insurance has a relationship with it. Here, most of the doctors are affiliated with big clinics, and it seems that the Urgent Cares are affiliated with them, too. So, we had to go pick up Luke and drive all the way to Salmon Creek in Vancouver to go to the Legacy Urgent Care, since our doctor works at a Legacy clinic. It turns out that if Wayne hadn’t considered it unnecessary that morning, he could have gone to the Vancouver Clinic Urgent Care where he had procedure, though, as they said it was a proper Urgent Care. Who knew things would be so complicated?
The good news about the Legacy Urgent Care we went to is that almost no one was there, whereas there were lots of people at the Vancouver one. Wayne got seen almost immediately, and the doctor put a few stitches in his knuckles. I thought they would need stitches as soon as I saw the gashes, but at that point, Wayne was assuring me they were fine.
So, those are our bad things this week. Our good medical news is that my middle brother, John, came through his second heart surgery just fine. He and his wife have been planning to move out here and had hoped to be here this fall until he started having Afib again. Now, he has a three-month recovery period, so they hope to be here in early December.
The big thing for me and my sister this week was the art show. It was at the main branch of the Vancouver Library starting Friday night. They told us the reception was at five, but there really wasn’t one, just people there looking at the art.
The exhibit had some really good pieces. Some that stood out for me were some very realistic horses done in colored pencil and also some delicious, dark plums with water beads on them, done in pastels. I didn’t know you could get pastels that dark. Anyway, there was lots of good art. I had to run out while Wayne was having his upper GI to pick up the paintings, and the guy said that they had a good turnout and were sure they would see us again. When we were there, only about 20 people were there, but we got there right at the beginning and then went to eat dinner nearby at a very good Thai restaurant. My sister met her son there, who passed off his grandson into her care.
I did have another accomplishment, though, and that was for our hike last Wednesday. We decided to climb Beacon Rock, which is a very tall outcropping on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. I saw the rock a couple of years ago on our failed hike on the other side of the highway and thought it would be a long time before I would be able to climb it. Its elevation is over 600 feet, which isn’t that high, but it is over the course of less than a mile. The good news is I made it! I don’t think I could have done it if it wasn’t for all the switchbacks, which made the rises less steep. When we started up, it was cool and overcast, but by the time we were halfway up, it was sunny, so we got hot. The views were fabulous.
The next day, I went with Sue and Mason, her grandson, to the Ridgefield Multicultural Festival, because Mischa was in a taekwondo exhibition there. I have been to Ridgefield Farmer’s Market before, and there wasn’t much there. However, the Multicultural Festival was nice. There were half a dozen booths with food (I went to get a tamale but ended up with some delicious ribs and a mango lhasi), about a half dozen booths with jewelry and other artifacts, and a stage. We missed most of the acts but saw a Ghanaian drumming act and the taekwondo exhibit.
That Saturday was pretty much our last summery day. For the next three days, it rained heavily most of the time until yesterday afternoon, when it was sunny but cool. Apparently, Monday night a tornado was in the area of northern Vancouver, which is unusual. Today feels like fall. Since we have had to remove all of our rugs, including our doormats from the house because Luke chews them up, I see it’s going to be a long winter. I just mopped the floors on Sunday because they got so bad so quickly, and now I need to mop them again.
I sighted an animal in the pond last week, but I couldn’t tell if it was the beaver or the otter, as I could just barely see its head. One clue, though, is that it was just swimming across the pond, not playing. Maybe our beaver ran the otter off.