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Wednesday, April 26, 2017


     In the immortal words of General Douglas MacArthur, "I have returned." I have been away from blogging and the Hodgepodge for awhile due to my beloved SWMBO's need for me to be there for her as she went through her stem cell transplant. She, and by she I mean we, had a really rough time of it. We are 67 days post transplant and although we still have a long way to go, SWMBO is beginning to get back some of her strength and stamina and is returning to some semblance of normal. 
     Many of you have offered prayers and words of encouragement over the past few months. They were of much comfort and help and are very much appreciated. Thank you...and you know who you are. Now onto the Hodgepodge...

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 
     We received a good amount of rain here in the Granite State of N.H. Our drought has been significantly abated as a result. 
     I don't usually carry an umbrella but I do keep one in the car just to keep my options open...and for my beloved SWMBO. I do not wear a rain slicker, I make a break for it, running between the raindrops. 
     My April has been filled with doctor appointments and taking care of most of the household chores, i.e. cooking, cleaning, laundry and such. SWMBO is really motivated to get stronger because, although she really appreciates my efforts, my domestic skills are greatly inferior to hers. 

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?
     There are three subjects that I would feel comfortable talking about for 30 minutes extemporaneously...(1) The Bible, (2) American History; and (3) Constitutional Law.

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.
     My maternal grandparents lived with us during my childhood. The smell of onions cooking often wafted through the house. My grandmother put onions in pretty much everything that she made. To this day the smell of cooking onions evokes some wonderful memories of my childhood.

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?
       My song is "Stairway to Heaven." What I thought Robert Plant was singing was "There's a wino down the road."  What he was actually singing was "As we wind on down the road." I'm sure that there have been other songs where I misheard the lyrics but this is the one that comes to mind. 

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.
     I've been to Niagara Falls and Faneuil Hall and Boston Market. SWMBO and I enjoyed both venues. I don't know if "overrated" is accurate with respect to these two tourist sites. Boston is teeming with American History and Niagara Falls is a natural wonder.  Sea World in San Diego is a tourist trap because it is so expensive. However, I do love to visit the park when I have the opportunity.

6. Your signature clothing item?

     If you tortured me until I screamed out a clothing item, I suppose I would say a "crusher" style hat. I have a camouflaged hat that I wear during cooler times of the year and a navy blue Boston Red Sox hat I wear during the warmer times. When I'm not wearing one of my crusher hats I wear a Red Sox or Boston Bruins ball cap.

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?
     This is really a tough question and a great question. My answer is "unconditional love." Everyone should experience unconditional love at least once in their life. As a Christian, I have experienced the unconditional love of God. As a man, I have experienced the unconditional love of a woman, my beloved SWMBO. The beauty is that I still experience their unconditional love time and time again. I am lavishly, and undeservedly, blessed in this regard.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     On February 15th SWMBO entered the hospital for her stem cell transplant. She had the transplant on February 17th. While in the hospital a number of side issues arose that made SWMBO's recovery difficult in the extreme. She spent three weeks in the hospital, being discharged on March 8th. 
     It was really great having her home, but she was very weak and tired. Her first Sunday home I had to take her to the emergency room because she had become seriously dehydrated which dangerously lowered her blood pressure  and caused her heart to beat erratically. She was stabilized and rehydrated with IV fluids and sent home that same day.
     It took a few weeks for SWMBO to recover a small level of strength and stamina and to overcome a myriad of side issues that cropped up.
     Today, 67 days after transplant she is much stronger but she is not where she was prior to the transplant. Doing simple physical tasks still tires her out quickly, so she needs to rest often. Progress is tediously slow but, thankfully, happens bit by bit every day.
     So, in a nutshell, that is what I've, and by I've I mean we've, been up to for the past several weeks.  It's good to be back. God bless all of you!