Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 8-6

the house on the hill
Careening through the thickening darkness, I turned Granddaddy’s big boat-like Caprice Classic toward home. Leaves skittered across the roadway, indicating an impending storm.  There was definitely an eerie feeling to the evening and I felt a sense of urgency to return to the security of the house.

But, I didn’t feel that sense of welcome...that sense of home...that I usually feel when I finally get to the lane after a day away from the hill.

As I headed down the hill to the creek, I could tell something was truly amiss. Driving was difficult and the road seemed rougher than usual. Suddenly it was pitch black. Fear gripped me as I felt the steering wheel give way. I was no longer in control of the vehicle!

A glance out the windshield revealed that the roadway was rapidly falling away from underneath the car. There were odd sounds from outside. Suddenly, I pitched down...down...with a horrific rending the car swayed over the precipice and then cracked in half before beginning a rapid descent into the creek bed below. The bridge was gone, the embankment had become a steep sided gorge and the meandering stream was now a torrent.

Screams evaporated before they could pass my lips. My heart stopped...and then began to beat hard and fast, nearly coming out of my chest. I flailed around, grasping for something...anything...that might stop my inevitable fall.


What is this? 

My hand touched something.

Is that fabric?

My fingers clutched it, stroked it. I finally identified it.

The couch cushion.

I was on the couch!

Yes. It was a dream. All a dream.

And what a dream it was!

Every nerve in my body was a-tingle. For a moment, I lost my ability to think...and I have no idea how fast my heartbeat was at that particular moment. It took quite some time for my vitals to return to normal.

A dream.

It was just a dream.

It seemed so real. I could feel the wind, sense the storm, hear the rushing water. But, it was a dream. Although, that rapid heart-rate was real, I can assure you.

What brought this on? And, really...what does it have to do with this week’s walkabout?


And, everything.

You see, Monday was the Boss’ first follow-up scan.

cool wall art at the restaurant
(but, a burger place?)
The trip was uneventful. The imaging went well. We even went to lunch at this trendy, funky restaurant (where we were SO out of place) before returning to the hospital for the appointment.

When the PA popped her head in the door of the exam room to say that she’d be “right back after I check the images” a little alarm went off in my head.

It seemed a long time before she returned.

We chatted, she checked the incision site.

Then, she said something about centimeters.



Apparently I hadn’t been paying full attention. 

My hand went for my pen and notebook as she continued.

“3 new, small lesions…well within parameters…they will call them “indeterminate”, but given your history, there is some cause for concern… there are a number of treatment options…although transplant is the only curative option…we want you to see a hepatologist next to plan a course of action…”

I heard the words but couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I glanced over at the Boss. His ashen face revealed that he had also heard the words. I know him well enough to know that FEAR was causing him to shut down.  The “C” word has always terrified him. To have faced it once was one thing. To face it again (particularly so soon) was horrifying. To consider a repeat surgery and all the worries that follow a transplant. It was simply too much to comprehend.

She sent him to the lab for bloodwork and told us we would hear back in a few days. Then we would proceed from there.

The trip to the lab and the subsequent travel back over the mountain was nearly silent as each of us struggled to process the information we had just received.

It shouldn’t have been totally unexpected.

We are dealing with a horrible disease that doesn’t play fair. And, the odds are never truly in your favor.

He decided he didn’t want to talk about it.

At all.

And, if I couldn’t be positive, then I couldn’t talk about it either. Don’t tell anyone but the girls. Put them under orders not to talk about it either.


That is NOT the way I wanted to deal with it…but, it was his issue, so he could make the rules. I would just try to be supportive.

However, my brain took that order and concocted the dream from the beginning of the post. The memory of it and the implications stuck with me all week coloring my mood and affecting my outlook. I was freaking out and beginning to think I was losing my mind. Life suddenly felt like that trip back home, dark, scary and totally out-of-control.

But, I couldn’t tell him (or anyone else) about it because…well, positive…we were supposed to be positive. (and that dream was anything but!) I don’t do well with internalizing emotions.

I’ve spent all week looking for “couch cushions”. 

I assume you understand I don’t mean that literally. But, I’ve been searching for something that would give me (us) some sense of security…something to hold onto…in what looks to be the scariest thing we’ve ever faced.

So far I’m still looking.

a trip up the Valley
past a beautiful view
We kept up with our work, going through the motions in a daze, but getting things done. We made a trip up the Valley to pick up some gorgeous lamb chops. (a big shout-out to Gore’s Meats…they are THE BEST!) we planted, we picked…we mowed. We went on.

But, the Market was SO hard. He wanted to keep it positive and not tell anyone.

So,we told far too many people “little, white lies”. And, I feel really bad about that. He does, too.

This is our blanket apology for not telling the truth.

We’re so sorry.

“How are you doing?” …should not have been answered with “okay”…”all right”…or “doin’ fine!” I don’t think we’ve been okay or all right in a long time. But, we certainly aren’t right now. I don’t really know what we should have said. But, we shouldn’t have shut out the concern from all those people we consider to be our dear friends.

Words fail to describe where we are as we stew in some weird sort of limbo, waiting to hear from the specialist to know what the next step might be. The report and labs did NOT include the scary word that they did back in March, so to my mind that is good news. The numbers aren’t bad. But, he’s still not convinced. 

…and we have not heard from the specialist’s office.

It’s easy to get busy in the task at hand and forget about the uncertainty of the future. Everything looks so normal.
mowing the gardens
And, then it suddenly comes crashing back down again, taking our breath away with the frightening possibilities.  It’s been a weird and somewhat exhausting week where everything is still the same and yet nothing will ever be “normal” again.

This time of year is hard anyway. The heat, the lack of rain, the bugs, the constant demand for our attention that draws us in many different directions. We should be planning ahead for next season, next year…but, the way ahead seems so precarious, so uncertain.

But, much of life is much the same.
beautiful sunrise

planting the last of the squash of 2017

potato plants

for every foggy morning in August
there is supposed to be a snow in December
This is #1...

goldfinch in top of pine out back

a sea of brassicas ready for planting

Saturday morning, I woke with a start. Gus was barking that “alert, alert…invader!” bark that he uses only when there is a varmint in the vicinity. He has been adapting to being the only guard dog on the hill and he has seemed more than a little befuddled as to what this requires of him. I had about given up on his ability to take over the night patrol and this was the first time I had heard any serious nocturnal barking since Ellie died. In actuality the noise was a good thing. But, he continued to bark while we loaded the trailer and the Boss prepared to head off to Market. That meant I got to confront whatever was inciting the riot.

I just hoped it wasn’t a skunk.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of snakes, rats, ‘possums, ‘coons and all the other creatures that make up the “varmint” population on the hill. But, the thought of facing a potentially scared, angry skunk prior to the Market was quite worrisome. Can you imagine trying to explain that “perfume” all morning?

So, it was with much trepidation that I crept in behind Gus to peek behind the diesel cans. I could hear something growling and hissing in the relative quietness between Gus’ barks, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t a skunk. Check out the facebook video here.

It was a little ‘possum…with very large teeth.
angry 'possum

Before you tell me about the positives of 'possums, I know, I know…but, they eat chickens and eggs and make a horrible mess of feed and foodstuffs. They also carry diseases. So, he was dispatched with little fanfare. (reminder to varmints everywhere...don't mess with Mama...and Gus)

Gus headed out to the driveway for a much-deserved nap. And, I headed off to the Market.

It was a gorgeous day. There were lots of people. The folks from the Library put on a puppet show for the kids. All in all a great Market! Today is the beginning of Farmers’ Market week…so I hope that you will take this opportunity to visit the Market…even if just virtually. 

I’d like to think I will write some posts especially for the occasion, but in case I don’t…read THIS ONE.  Be sure to follow the links for a whole series on Farmers’ Markets. 

I hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring. Thanks for “being there”. Again, we apologize for not being honest with y’all…and we truly appreciate your concern and support! (and we will keep you posted)

the farm in summer

Come back and “visit” again real soon.


  1. I'm sure you realise that I understand exactly what you are both going through at the moment - and I hope for a very positive outcome. Love to you both.

    1. Oh, Pat. I know that you, of all people, understand this one. I think of you often and pray that you are finding some sort of comfort these days.

  2. I can understand that frozen feeling of trying to stay positive while you don't know what might happen next so I can only send you heartfelt care and support and hope for the very best outcome.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I truly appreciate your kind words.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the Boss. I know what it's like to try to bring 'normalcy' to any endeavor (especially life) when solid ground turns to shifting sand. The NOW becomes overwhelmingly sharp while the future goes blurry. Hugs and love. Kris

    1. Thank you, Kris! Your love and concern mean so much!

  4. Hugs and love to you both! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Cheri! We appreciate your care and concern.

  5. I am so sorry that both your husband and you have to ride this rollercoaster again. You should not feel that you have "lied" to anyone. When you are just trying to keep a grip on the reality of a situation, you owe nothing to anyone except the two of you and your immediate family. I very much hope this was an err on the side of caution situation and that everything turns out well in the end. -Jenn

    1. I've always felt that saying "I'm ok" is a good non-committal answer. It's not a lie, because at the moment, you Are ok. Not actively dying that Very Second, ya know?" "Eh" is also a good response. When my friend Mike the Preacher called the other week he asked same. I told him if I was any better I'd be dead. He laughed. I said it's True. And, OMG, Barbara, it has been so effing hard. Soooo.... I will hold you and the Boss up in prayer every single day. And remember, it's no surprise to God this is happening now. He walked this, too, down to the cross and destroyed it. xxoo, m

  6. With as much food as you've provided for our family through the years, we feel like you're a big part of our lives and we're awfully fond of you both. So our hearts are hurting that you're going through this. Kevin and I will be praying- for healing, good outcomes, strength, wisdom, peace....and couch cushions. ❤️

    1. Oh,'re so sweet!
      We have truly appreciated your kindness and commitment through the years.
      and, thanks for the cushion. ;)
      (and read the latest update! PTL

    2. Wow!!! I just read the update!! PTL indeed :) :) :) So thankful.