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A Different Light

A few days ago, when 2018 was rapidly drawing to a close, the sun finally came out so I decided to take a break from the routine that we have settled into these past few months and go to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a much needed long walk and a breath of fresh air.

Usually, when I go to the Garden it’s early in the morning but on this particular day I wanted to catch the last of the Christmas lights so I waited until later in the afternoon which enabled me to see things in a slightly different light.

The air was crisp and clear but there was little or no wind which made pleasant conditions for walking. It’s been a while since I went around the garden in Winter and it was interesting to see the stark lines of the trees and shrubs and the exposed walls amid a light dusting of snow, especially in the English Garden.


Heading over towards the bridge that leads to the Japanese Garden, I passed some geese pecking away at the grass. I’m not quite sure what they were finding to eat there but evidently it was enough to hold their interest.

Two bridges, both leading to Evening Island, cast long shadows in the afternoon light, and the bells rang out clear from the Carillon Tower.

The sun caught the top of the new copper sheathing on the roof of the Regenstein Center and as it dipped below the trees, the Christmas lights began to appear. Not only was I seeing the Garden in a different light but life in general. Now that my mother-in-law is in hospice care at her house in Chicago I have come to realize how lucky I am to still be able to get about and visit places like this. To have the ability to come and go as I please is an extraordinary gift and one that I hope I never take for granted.

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The Silent Stalker

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Up until recently I have always enjoyed what I considered to be reasonably good health. Admittedly, the blood clots in 2009 threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting that, but once I had recovered I felt pretty good so when this year’s annual check-up revealed high calcium levels in the blood it came as something of a surprise to learn, after several blood tests and scans, that I had a silent stalker, namely significant osteoporosis and something called hyperparathyroidism.  Go figure!

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I had no idea that all this was going on inside me.  I felt fine!  So it was a difficult call to make. Should I go ahead and have the recommended surgery or leave well alone.  For better or worse, after much soul-searching and weighing up the pros and cons, I decided to go ahead and have the op on Tuesday.

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Things apparently went very well.  The surgeon seemed pleased with the results and if I hadn’t had rather an unpleasant reaction to the anesthetic I probably would have gone home the same day.  As it was, I languished in hospital overnight and was sent home the next day.

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Naturally there have been some severe restrictions on my activities for the past couple of days and taking short walks around the garden has me itching to get back to work, pulling weeds and tidying things up. No! Must not!

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So what do you do when you can’t get your hands dirty, get down on your knees and get in amongst the flowers?  Why, you take pictures of them, of course!  Hopefully in another week or so I’ll be back to somewhat normal.

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