Thursday, July 26, 2012

And We're OFF

 Last October, when I began taking care of my dad and mom, I earnestly began walking.  Later Mark joined in and we got to talking about hiking the John Muir Trail in the coming summer.  We've wanted to do it for years, but never could bring ourselves to take that much time away. 

But seeing my dad, on what was supposed to be his death bed, really got us thinking about living and enjoying what we have now.  So often as I've aged, I looked back and saw the youth I had lost, in regards to health and vigor and yes, of course, looks.  But I began looking ahead at what old age looks like and I realized how young I am now and how I should appreciate the NOW.  So, Mark and I have been living just a little bit differently.    

The time has now come to attempt that hike we discussed. Eric and Jo take good care of the ranch.  We've been conditioning for months.  Our gear has all been weighed and sorted and reweighed and made lighter.  The food resupplies have been mailed off.  It is time to head for the high country of the Sierra and hit the trail.

I worry a bit about my ability to handle the altitude with my lungs, but right now my lungs are  good.  If needed there are plenty of trails to lower elevations. I am happy to report though that during all of the huffing and puffing on these hills, with a twenty pound pack, I might add,  I have had absolutely no problems. The new medications are working fantastically.    Wish us luck and happy trails.

Some photos I snapped on the ranch during our morning or evening hikes:

Visiting  Will in the morning fog

The early light casting long shadows through shaded forest.


Loving on Molly in the afternoon



Hiking the burned out areas in the evening light



"Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest!  Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.  Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever."

-John Muir
My First Summer in the Sierra

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Doctors Practice Medicine

Early spring I went to my dad's lung specialist because my asthma had changed and I was using my rescue inhaler too much and it didn't work as quickly as before. After some tests Doc says COPD and asked if I ever smoked. A couple times, I respond. He does some more tests and next visit he says I tested positive for this genetic condition called Alpha 1. After doing research I freak out a bit and then begin to trust God. A couple of days ago, through some amazing providential circumstances I get a 1 on 1 time with a University professor who teaches me all about the lungs and Alpha 1. She taught me how to be a bit more proactive with doctors too. Today, I went back to lung Dr. And find out the phenome type for Alpha 1 that I have doesn't usually cause serious problems. My enzyme level is only slightly low. Awesome. It has been a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least. Bronchial asthma is what I have and since I always have some airflow obstruction it is classified as COPD, which doesn't sound so bad anymore. Perspective is an amazing thing. I'd like to think I've grown a bit emotionally and spiritually through this experience. I know I am physically in better shape because thinking you will have a physically restricted future really lights a fire on moving now. None of us know our future though. Only God. And as another of my dad's doctor's told me "whatever happens, you can trust God".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Signs of Summer


 Crystal Clear Water

 Black Cap Raspberries

 Baby Quail

 Fat Cows
 Fatter Horses

 Clear Skies

Cloudy Ones

 Cool Drinks 

 Lavender in Bloom

 Tassels on Corn

 Shady Grape Arbor

 Blooming Sweet Peas

 Soaring Buzzards

 Lovely Lily Ladies All Afloat

 Crunchy Lettuce

 Ripening Apples

 Hummingbirds


Sunshine and Smiles All Around!