Today 18Dec2022: Sunday

I could sleep last night and started this morning, not coughing and stumbling into the morning like last week. Today I felt like at least I walked into the morning. I felt much better, but I knew not to set my hopes too high, and by 9ish, the cough and wheezing started to resurface.

It is Sunday, and I planned to get Susie to church today and then quickly leave the church and get back for the Allegiance Christmas party. I first wrote the blog for Saturday, which took most of my spare time; while not an extensive piece, it was still a thousand words. Producing 1K words that are reasonably correct and at least readable is about a two-hour job for me.

Writing could be three or even four hours when I was on chemo and telling the story of my long, slow days while enjoying cancer treatments. But then, the clock seemed to spin forward like a horror or sci-fi movie. I have completed it in less than two hours on most days.

Breakfast was Karen’s (from church) breakfast bread with raisins and cinnamon swirls, buttered, with liberal coffee made in the French Press. And then I was headed out. I remembered the little collections of gold, frankincense, and myrrh I got from Esty as gifts.

The trip to the hummingbird house was easy in light traffic on Sunday morning in Beaverton. When I got there, we had a little traffic jam with various folks wanting to park near the house. We arranged that, and I hopped out of Air Volvo and set up for boarding Susie. Anassa, the nursing aide on for the weekends, had Susie ready and in her coat. After putting a belt on her, I wheeled Susie out and lifted her into the car. I am not as good as the nursing aides and need the belt to have something to hold on to. I loaded the wheelchair, which is heavy, and got in the car to start some coughing and nose blowing. Susie was concerned, but I recovered, and Air Volvo reached First United Methodist in Beaverton without any scrapped paint or breaking any laws (I think).

We disembarked from Air Volvo, but I managed to kick the stool under the car (!?), but I recovered it after crawling on the ground. Susie was more concerned now. We managed to reach the church service as it was starting.

The music was traditional Christmas music, and Susie sang along. The sermon was about the passage in Mathew about the fruit of good works. Pastor Ken Wytsma traced the Golden Rule and covered that it was not about not doing harm but actively doing what is right for people. It was not evangelizing and forgetting about love and caring, counting the number of saved souls instead of feeding the poor.

Susie was still wrapped up in a coat, and it was warm in the church, highly unusual, and when Ken started to preach, she began to lean forward and fall asleep. I had to wake her a few times and ask her to lean back in her wheelchair. This was not that Ken’s words were not interesting; Susie now sleeps easily–it is a new thing.

When the sermon was done, I rolled Susie back to the coffee area and got her some coffee. She was safe as she held on to the table and stopped falling asleep. Bill got her some hot spiced cider, and she was happy there.

I managed to give the gifts to Dondrea and Howard. I told them the gold, frankincense, and myrrh were from the wiseguy.

Dondrea with flowers for Susie. I also got a basket of goodies. Thanks!

After a short time, I moved Susie back to Air Volvo and managed to perform the boarding procedure without severe incidents or having to crawl under the vehicle. We found the Sunday mall traffic but arrived at the hummingbird house as the party was getting going. Michelle, who runs the Alliegenece, and all her staff were there.

I called Leta, Susie’s mother, during the party. She was happy to see everyone, and Michelle chatted with Leta on FaceTime for a moment. Santa came by, and we ensured that Santa knew we had been good that day. We also called Cat as she had Covid and is isolated in her room, staying with her parents, and hopes to pass a Covid test and be released for Christmas activities. So it was good to FaceTime with her for a few moments.

There was plenty of food, and we played a fill-in-the-blank for Christmas song lyrics (Susie got 17/20). Also, they gave you a jingle bell, and if you said ‘Christmas,’ they took it. One person managed to gain two more bells. Susie was looking tired by the time the party was ending. I headed out with a kiss after the party. I was tired too.

The cough was back, but the wheezing was much reduced. Due to my terrible cough, Dungeons and Dragons was canceled today to prevent anyone (we have at least two people with reduced immune systems) from getting my cold. So I was free for the rest of the day.

I read more of the Poppie Wars and tried to slow the cough by resting a bit. Repeating lifting the wheelchair and poping Susie in and out is a workout for me. Returning to the book, I was surprised when the girl in the story took a drug to destroy her womb so she would not have month cycles–not writing, I was expecting. But, with that exception, so far, I have liked it. The story is a bit of a predictable pattern–but it is a good brain cookie.

I headed to BJ’s Brewhouse house. Katie was bartending; she is from Philly but was from South Carolina, so her accent is Philly with just a tiny hint of the south. She remembered my name, but I failed to get hers–she was not offended. She pointed out that it was prime rib Sunday, and so far, everyone at the bar had ordered that, so I joined in and ordered that. It was huge and came with a loaded potato, asparagus, and a caesar salad. I had that with my usual red ale, coffee, and a scoop of ice cream.

Dinner was excellent, and I exchanged a few words here and there with Katie while I was slinging out prime rib dinners and various drinks. A pleasant dinner, as usual, at BJ’s.

Stuffed, I headed home in Air Volvo and arrived without any issues. I stopped by Anne Weld-Martin’s house and picked up some music. No, I am not singing (I sing so bad folks move away from me at church), and I scanned it and sent an electronic version back to Anne and others. Scanning and emailing are the best I can do with music.

Next, I read for a bit, the coughing jags started, I fell asleep, and work an hour later to get up and write this blog.

Thanks for reading.

While not a happy song, it is one of my favorite Dean Martin Christmas songs, sung back in 1959. It shows his skills, and he gets help from well-done trumpet work. So for the 18th day of Advent, we will have a melancholy song: The Christmas Blue.

Feel free to call or send cards. Susie resides at:

Allegiance Senior Care

Adult Foster Care Home

9925 SW 82nd. Ave.

Portland, Oregon 97223

The house phone number: (503) 246-4116

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