Still Here...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Hello all. It's been a long time. There's been a lot going on, so let me get right to it. 

Most important is my nephew C's health. He was back in the hospital yet again, I'm afraid. He has been seriously ill for over a year and a half, and the latest complications put him back in the hospital for nearly three weeks. I won't go into specifics, but he has had a very, very difficult time. His new team of doctors are excellent; the problem has been getting him healthy for a long enough period so that his system can fully recover. He's only 25, and it's absolutely heartbreaking to see him suffer like this. I would switch places in a heartbeat if I could.

The good news - and there is good news, fortunately - is that his doctors know what has been causing this. He is feeling better the past few days, and got out of the hospital yesterday. Without going into specifics, he will need home care for several months, which they believe will, finally, get him past all of this once and for all. My nephew has been a trouper through all of this; he is my hero, in no uncertain terms. I know he will get past this. Please keep him, and my sister, in your thoughts.


On to other matters. Work has been insanely, exhaustingly busy for months now, with no letup in sight. It has been absolutely grueling. I could say more, but for now I will leave it at that. Perhaps there will be more to say at some point relatively soon.

The last time I wrote I was recovering from three broken ribs, which I'd injured just before Christmas while out walking. Hard as it may seem to believe (although not for anyone who knows me), I managed to break the same three ribs *again* in early February when I slipped on black ice in my driveway. It could have been much worse; I also whacked my head on the railing, but managed to escape with only a nasty headache for a few days.

Speaking of hard to believe, I put myself on the disable list yet again just a few weeks ago, this time while visiting my dear friends A & B in Canada. We stopped for gas, and I was trying to get out of A's full-size SUV to pay. My feet got tangled in my pocketbook, and I fell - hard - onto the ground. Again, it could have been much more serious, but I escaped with a deep bruise to my right knee and some scrapes on my hands. 

Even for a klutz like me this is quite the run of incidents. The worst part has been my inability to do pretty much any exercise for months on end. Even before Christmas I'd been extremely busy with both work and a personal project that was enormously time-consuming. Exercise is my great stress reducer, so having to go without for month after month while under a great deal of stress has been very difficult. My ribs are healed, and my knee is on the mend. If I can manage to stay injury-free, I hope to start running and exercising again in another week or so. It is badly, badly needed, for both my physical and emotional well-being.

I've been in a rut for a long time - really, since my surgery in September 2017. There are a number of reasons why, mostly beyond my control. That being said, I know I need to do something - anything - to move forward. I have a birthday very soon, and it's reminded me that I have been in limbo for far too long. Again, hopefully I can elaborate in a future post, but for now suffice it so say that I am more than ready to move to the next phase of my journey - long overdue, in fact. Fingers crossed that I'm able to do so in short order.


I'll end with some music. I had the great pleasure of finally attending a concert by one of the last performers on my must-see list: Gordon Lightfoot. I saw him in Parry Sound, Ontario (Bobby Orr's hometown, for the hockey buffs), at a lovely, intimate theatre. He's 80 years old now, and also had major abdominal surgery about 15 years ago that permanently damaged his voice. But he still has those amazing songs, as well as a superb band that more than did justice to them. It was wonderful to see him. Amazingly, he has a new album coming out later this year - his first since 2004 - and the buzz is that it's excellent. I cannot wait to hear it.

Meanwhile, here are just a few gems from his remarkable songbook. First up is my very favorite song from Mr. Lightfoot - "Early Morning Rain", from a 1972 BBC performance.

Next is the aptly-named "Beautiful," from his 1979 Soundstage performance for PBS:

Arguably his best-known song - "If You Could Read My Mind," from a 1974 performance on The Midnight Special. Such a great, great song:

Next up: his other best-known song - "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," from 1976. Such a haunting, somber song:

And finally, a fitting song for spring - "Summer Side of Life," from one of his best albums, 1971's Don Quixote. This is from the same 1972 BBC broadcast.

I've always loved his vocals on this track; so expressive, and so much emotion. I never get tired of hearing this - or any of his songs, for that matter. There's a reason Bob Dylan consistently cites Lightfoot as one of his favorite songwriters.

Hope you all have a good week. Hope to write more frequently in the weeks to come...


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