Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday: Well, We Needed the Rain

We got a phone call from the Red River Valley of the North. It was a good news/bad news sort of call.

First, the bad news: As of this morning, my father can no longer swallow. So, no more food or water can go in. We've had some false alarms before, but I think there's a good chance that sometime soon - in the next hours, days, or - maybe - weeks, my father's life will end.

I don't like the idea. At all.

But I don't have to like it: Reality being what it is, death comes at the end of life. That's the way it is. What we make of that fact is what makes a difference. More of that in another blog's post.

I was shaky for an hour or so after hearing the news: needing to pay more attention to how I walked. Even my hands weren't as steady as they normally are, and I started a credible Elmer Fudd impression once.

Now, the good news.

My son-in-law is feeling a lot better. He'd come down with something, seen a doctor, and missed a radio appearance: but that's in the past, and it looks like he's very much on the mend.

Back here in Sauk Centre, I've noticed that I'm sometimes going up the stairs without gripping the rail - and once realized that I was only touching it at intervals. It's not many fifty-something guys who are experience a fairly rapid improvement in their physical abilities.

Those artificial hip joints are great: I'm back in the habit of walking places - withing about three or four blocks, anyway.

This afternoon I walked down to the Coborn's / Ace Hardware block. Since the hummingbirds have left for the season, I picked up a little "tray" - it actually looks more like a cage - that holds blocks of birdseed. And, a block to go in it. The seeds are picked with finches in mind: My guess is that the sparrows and chickadees will dig in, too.

The birdseed block is a clever product: the thistle seed, sunflower seed chips, red millet, flax seed and the rest is held together with a bit of gelatin, honey, and dextrose. My guess is that I could make something like it at home. Maybe next year.

I got the birdseed set out, a few feet from my webcam, so folks should have something to watch over the winter. The webcam looks out the window by my computer, so I'll be able to watch directly now and again.

We got roughly an eighth of an inch yesterday: which was welcome. I'd been hoping for more rain today. But, there's still time before winter to dampen the soil.

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