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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ho Ho Florida Christmas

A traditional Florida. Is there such a thing? Can you really get into the holiday spirit in a land where hurricane season has just ended and soaring humidity soaks up every ounce of your energy?  We're here in Florida for the Christmas holidays celebrating the birth of a brand new baby grandson and enjoying spending time with our daughter and her family. We live up North where right this minute, they are being bombarded with snow. Mountains and mountains of snow. Call me crazy, but I miss the fluffy white stuff...especially at Christmas time. Down here in Tampa, sunshine, balmy weather and palm trees just don't put me in a festive spirit. Store window posters of Santa Claus slumped in a beach chair and tossing back Jose Cuervo, don't inspire a holiday mood for me. Although it does make me hanker for a Margarita. Frankly, I would much rather experience falling snow, frosted windowpanes and a cozy fire in the hearth on Christmas Day than sweltering humidity and flip flops.

Nonetheless, we're embracing the warm tropical weather and are thankful that we're not slipping and sliding across ice covered roads. What? I just heard that a cold front may be moving in...low 70's. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Uncomplicated Christmas...Chapter 4

Christmas has come a bit early for our family. A tiny, precious Christmas cherub was born to our daughter a few days ago. Positively adoreable with the face of an angel, our healthy, new little grandson brings blissful joy to all of us. 

There is nothing else in life that compares to the birth of a child. It is the awesome majesty of life itself. One day, a baby is curled in the womb and the next day...he's nestled in your arms. The anticipation, pain, discomfort, stress and worry of the previous nine months dissolve into elation, wonder and tears of joy.

This year, I am trying to keep the holidays as uncomplicated as possible. Yet the birth of a new baby certainly adds a huge element of excitement to the season along with changes, adjustments and compromises. As our family celebrates the birth of our sweet, little fellow, we reflect on the birth of another child over 2000 years ago. A child that came into a complex and complicated world in a most humble and unpretentious manner and changed mankind forever. We know not what the future holds for our little bundle of joy. But as we gaze upon his angelic face slumbering away in dreamland, we realize that for now, our beautiful infant boy is the best Christmas gift of all. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On the Road Again

Valdosta, Georgia. Motel room. 4 o'clock in the morning. I'm wide awake. My husband is sleeping like a rock. A noisy rock that snores like a bulldozer. Other than that all is relatively quiet. It's the last leg of our road trip south to Florida for the birth of our newest grandchild. Our motel room is dark except for the glow cast by my laptop. I pull back the curtains just a bit to look outside. It's pouring down rain. Water pellets beat against the window and it sounds almost like hail. A scrawny palm tree out front sways in the wind like it's about to topple over. I look down at the parking lot. There are about 20 cars below me and nearly every one of them is white. A red neon light flashes from somewhere and reflects an eerie, mesmerizing, flickering beam off the car bumpers...on-off, on-off, on-off. I wonder if I watched it long enough, would I become hypnotized? Across the street, there's a Starbucks that's closed and a giant red and yellow Dennys sign pleading for customers. Past the parking lot is a Big Foot quickie food mart. I've never heard of a Big Foot store but frankly it doesn't sound very appetizing. I envision some huge gorilla-like beast at the check out register with donut glaze smeared over his hairy face and 3 empty beer bottles behind the counter. Oh wait...that was at the place we stopped at yesterday. Anyway, at this time of early morning, Big Foot is closed.

Just then I spy a solitary, dark figure walking down the sidewalk. It appears to be a very tall, rather heavy set man. Nobody else is around and there's only an occasional semi truck roaring by. It's still raining a deluge outside. I wonder where this lone individual is headed. No umbrella. Hard to tell if he has on a jacket or not. He must be getting drenched to the bone. Does he work the early shift at Denny's? Is he out for an early morning cup of java? Does he own a car? If so, why is he walking in this miserable weather? Did his girlfriend just dump him?  Is he the real Big Foot? Could be a million reasons why he's out on such a dark and stormy night such as this but I'll never ever know. In another minute, he vanishes from my view.

Just another night like any other night in a motel room in Valdosta,Georgia. Thankfully, we'll be leaving at daylight. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Uncomplicated Christmas...Chapter 3

Seems like my dream of an uncomplicated Christmas is flying out the window faster than that nasty grinch stole Christmas. It's now less than 24 hours before my husband and I will head out on our 1000 mile road trip to Florida for the birth of our second grandchild. But before I can even start packing up the car, I'm to be subjected to the inglorious horror of having a very long and very sharp needle stuck in my throat. 

After a visit to an endocrinologist-thyroid specialist two days ago, I was told I have a large cyst on my throat and a tumor on my thyroid. So today I'm going for a biopsy to determine if it could possibly be thyroid cancer. Drats! That insufferable grinch is having a field day snarling my plans for a simple, less stressful holiday.

I spent all last night on the computer googling "thyroid biopsies". Do I know how to have fun or what? I discovered that the surgical instrument used for this procedure is a very long, very fine and extremely sharp stainless steel needle. My brain envisions a giant, finely-honed knitting tool.

During my googling search, I came across an actual video of a throat biopsy. All I can say is GROSS!  Always trying to look on the bright side, I'm thinking maybe it won't be so awful what with a honking blast of pain-killer anesthetic injected first. NOT! I read that most doctors and even patients generally forgo the anesthetic because they say it's excruciatingly painful. One online comment from some poor soul who endured the anesthesia compared it to: a dozen angry hornet stings. Another person said the pain from the injection was so bad, they kicked and screamed for nearly half an hour. Somebody else actually fainted...and that was the doctor! So now I'm supposed to undergo this entire procedure WITH NO PAIN KILLER!!

Five more hours to go til my throat is pierced with a cold, steel, precision sharp, elongated, surgical needle...not once, not twice but SIX separate times. They want to make certain they suck out plenty of tissue for the pathologist to examine. Afterwards, I'm guessing my throat will be black and blue and maybe even swollen for a while. And it will take about a week before I learn the results of the biopsy. More anxiety... just waiting and waiting. But we're still planning on driving off to Florida at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

If I ever get my hands on that miserable grinch, I'd like to stick a knitting needle up his bah-humbug butt. Sphere: Related Content

Uncomplicated Christmas...Chapter 2

Just two short days ago, I wrote about how I was dreaming of an uncomplicated Christmas. No sooner did I post that piece then that evil grinch showed up and began to play sly tricks on us to spoil our fun. It's now a mere 24 hours before my husband and I will hop in our white SUV and head to Florida for the birth of our second grandchild. Yet that miserable grinch could not let things rest. Yesterday, we learned that my daughter was rushed to the hospital because tests at her obgyn's office showed abnormalities with the baby. After she spent nearly 15 hours at the hospital, doctors concluded that the baby was perfectly fine and the initial tests were screwed up. Thank God, it was all a false alarm. 

So now I'm thinking...OK, that whole incident gave us quite a scare but now we can all calm down and proceed with my plans for an uncomplicated be continued Sphere: Related Content
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