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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Storms over Iowa, A Storm in Florida

The RRR slept on the futon in front of the fireplace this morning after working another night on the adolescent psych unit. Grandpa RRR just found that the radiation treatments are not his only problem. The blood clots in his legs have returned and he is off to the gastroenterologist due to his anemia and leakage of blood from the bowel. He is about to embark on taking the laxative whose name is the biggest lie in medicine, Go-Lightly. Which is like naming moonshine Mildly Intoxicating. Dad will so be, in his words, "invaded fore and aft". Pray for Grandpa RRR fans. Things are piling up on him.
This afternoon I had the pleasure of a phone call from youngest daughter in Texas. Little Lydia was chattering and cooing in the background. She had scooted over to the couch (she can almost crawl now) and was rescuing Grandpa Bear who was peeking out at her. I got to talk to her and had Mommy touch each toe as I named them.
From Aunt Edna in the Appalachians comes the original and irrefutable names of the toes: Starting from smallest to largest… Icky Pea, Penny Rude, Rudy Whistle, Mary Hassle and Big Tom Bumble Toe. These names predate "This little pig went to market.". They may have been taught to babies on the Mayflower. Such traditions are kept alive back in the "hollers" of Appalachia. When the RRR was an orderly in a university hospital children’s orthopedic unit 30 years ago and had to teach parents to check their children’s toes for capillary refill, he made little posters identifying the toe’s proper names and placed them above each bed.
The ward was considered haunted, by the way. It was the old polio ward and many housekeepers refused to go there at night claiming they could hear the chuffing of the old iron lungs and children crying. The ghosts must have been rangers, as they didn’t bother me at all on the 11-7 shift.
A thunderstorm raged today as I slept. With the modem safely unplugged from the phone line and the windows shut, Bay-Toe-Ven and I slept the deep sleep of good conscience and the happy knowledge that Mrs. RRR would be back to cook lunch. Oh my, ¼ lb. hamburgers on homemade whole wheat bread. String beans from last year’s garden spiced with fresh ground sea salt and pepper and real butter.
And in Florida, a poor lady with a damaged brain writhed in throes of thirst and starvation, dying of dehydration, what mind she has left clouded with IV morphine. (given of course in spite of the fact medical science says "she has no feeling") Her husband, soon to have the money he refused to spend on her care, watched with glee with his mistress and their two bastard children. And the parents weep. God help us.


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Good thing we've got a God who can hush the storm.

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And He will not leave the guilty unpunished.

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