We are back from Yuma, Arizona and really enjoyed the warm weather there. It was around 75 most days and for the most part, sunny. Later in the week that we were there, we went to Ajo, Arizona, a sleepy little place that has little going for it. The people there are very poor and there's little there in terms of places to stay or eat. But, it's close to a place that we wanted to see, Organ Pipe National Monument.
Here are a few photos we took...
I've grown to like the beauty of the desert a great deal. And since my operation, I've become very sensitive to cold weather. I have less tolerance for it.
Health wise, I'm feeling good. I've lost about 50 pounds. My diet is completely different from the "old days" before my operation. I seem to be getting my energy back. I'm not quite like I was before, but I've reconciled myself with the fact that I may not get that back. As long as I pace myself, I'm fine. But gone are the days where I can put work first, and put in a twelve hour day without it having consequences.
The down side right now is that I have fluid in my right lung that seem to have the doctors more concerned than I am. I had to go in for another X-Ray today. They first noticed it before I went to Arizona. I had hoped that they dry air of Arizona would clear it up. But that didn't happen. It's not causing pain. I can breathe without effort. So what's the problem? Anyway, my doctor is consulting with my cardiologist who has stated that "the heart is involved" with this issue, whatever that means. And he is consulting with the cardiac surgeon about it. So, we'll see where it goes.
Other news... this issue of heart disease (took me a long time to come to terms with saying that I have heart disease) apparently runs in my family. I knew that. My father died of a heart attack when he was 47 years old back in 1961. Everyone attributed it to over work, but they didn't know much about it back then (keep in mind that this was in Emmett, Idaho).
But now, my brother is having issues. He's four years older than me. He's a veteran, so he's in the VA health care system. They flew him to Seattle to do an angiogram, just like me. And, they found that he has three blocked arteries and will have to go through a triple bypass. The difference is, he doesn't have the health that I did when I went in for bypass. That's about all I can say about it without violating his privacy. We've grown very close over the last few years and it's hard for me to see him go through this. I plan to go to Idaho again this summer, probably in June or July.
It was a nice and restful weekend for us. We decided on the spur of the moment to take off Saturday morning and go to Cambridge, Massachusetts. We only stayed for one night, but it was nice to actually get away for a bit.
We stated at The Charles this time. We have a few places we like, but The Charles is right in the middle of Harvard Square with all it's excitement and so many people out collecting signatures for one cause or another.
The next day, we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and headed home. We were home by 2:00p.m. on Sunday and just rested the rest of the day. Sometimes, doing very little is just what the soul needs.
It goes to show how out of touch I am... the Academy Awards are on tonight and I didn't even know. But, I just happened to tune in as I was channel surfing in time to see the movie, Milk, win an award. It was very sweet indeed. And if Harvey were alive, it would blow his mind that all these years later, an Academy Award is being given to a movie that celebrated his life, and what he gave to us. In a word, Hope. And we have to keep that going because if we don't, life isn't worth sticking around for.
I have hope that within the next four years, we can start to turn this awful economy around. That my friends will stop losing their jobs. That all gay Americans who want to serve in the United States military will be able to do so openly and proudly.
I have hope that a bill will be passed that enforces the will of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution and will in one stroke strike down all the hateful state amendments that were passed prohibiting legal recognition of our relationships, and will finally say that just because we are gay or lesbian, that our relationships are just as valid as any other marriage across our nation, and those relationships deserve the label of marriage.
Hope is so important. I finally want to hope for decency. An off comment I suppose. But something happened last week in Hartford. A 26 year old man was driving along on I-84. He parked his car in the middle of the freeway, and for the next 3 hours, traffic in both directions was closed down because the man in the parked car had a gun to his head. He had lost hope. I wanted to reach out to him. I felt horrible that he somehow found himself in such an empty and lonely place.
And all around me at work, people were saying, "I wish he'd pull the trigger already so they can clean up the mess and get traffic going again." Honestly, is this what we have become?
I don't know what to say to that. I'm sad that as a society we have lost our humanity and compassion. And I'm so terribly thankful that I cried with thankfulness when I heard that the police were able to talk the man down so he could get some help.
I'm thankful that I am very much human, that I have compassion and love for others, and that I still have hope in my heart.
The photos below have little to do with that, but I have wanted to say these things all week ever since that man wanted to end his life. We all have moments that are low, but we have to think that there are people who care and love us. ALL of us! Remember that.
These were taken when we were in New Zealand in December. They are the first of the South Island photos. Feel free to view the full album on Flickr.
Where's this wonderful weather we are supposed to have today? I was planning on a nice walk/hike somewhere and maybe a few photos along the way, but it is now sleeting and windy. They said today was going to be the best weather day of the weekend. It seems that the weather people always get it wrong in the North East. So, I'm just going to do wash today, and go to a movie later. Kent is in Washington, D.C. for meetings until next Wednesday. So it's just me and the cats.
I finished of the photos we took of the North Island of New Zealand. If anyone would like to see the complete upload of all sets of the North Island, here is the link. This is the last photo of the set.