Autumn

Autumn

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

Isn't it interesting how the best laid plans, once declared, slap you back to earth. I believe it was last week I wrote and informed everyone within hailing distance I planned to work six days a week through the month of December.  Yeah, right.

Many weeks ago, due to chapped lips, I developed a crack in my lower lip. Sucker wouldn't heal. I applied the wax in a bottle stuff several times a day. I was very careful with the wound. It would partially heal but it seemed each and every time I opened my mouth the upper portion of the wound would re-open. Then, last Friday, I noticed I didn't feel very well and my lip was extremely sore, painful. I applied more of the wax in the bottle.

By Friday evening the whole of my lower jaw was tender to the touch. It hurt. My lower lip had swollen to twice its size. Doctor time.

Long story short it seems my old nemesis, staff infection, had returned and kissed me hello.


At the doc's office the nice nurse told me to drop my trousers. Sweet Wife giggled. I manned up and took the shot like a big boy. Three days later and my butt still hurts. As I write my lip has reduced in size and I feel somewhat better but here I am at home...and my business is closed.

All this to explain my absence and I'm truly sorry for my silence but to tell you the truth I haven't felt well enough to write. Ever tried to eat and drink with a lower lip the size of a baseball.

I swear I thought I heard the nurse giggle when my trousers hit the floor...

*****

Our weather is hot. I hate it. Of course I'm not in a seasonal mood but cool windy weather is best for those out cruising for evergreens.

I do so miss the days when I'd take saw and ax in hand and jump into my truck and ride the logging roads of Western Washington, my lab by my side, in search of our Christmas tree. The sky gray, light rain. We'd ride and climb to the higher elevations where tiny white puffs of snow peppered my trucks windshield. Dixie, my black lab, insisted I lower her window so she'd not miss one trace of grouse scent.

We'd drive for hours. Frequent stops to measure and test each tree. I'd judge the trees on limb spacing, height, and ease of retrieval as most were located on steep hill sides either above or beneath the logging road. Most were Douglas Fir but occasionally I'd opt for the rare Royal Fir with its circular and even spaced branches.

We owned an old Victorian in those days. It had been built high on a hill with an overview of Puget Sound and there was a beautiful clear and cold creek just yards from our back door. From our living room we had views of two mountain ranges, each wore a year round coat of snow.

When I'd arrive home with the tree I carefully measure and remove a small section of the trunk and place it in the old cast iron stand of faded green and red and carry the tree into the living room and next to the window with the best view of the mountains. Afterwards, when the Christmas tree was dressed, we'd lower the lights and silently stand and admire its beauty.


I remember my last Christmas under the mountains. My last Christmas tree of my last season stood freshly dressed as outside the snowfall was reflected by its dance of red and green and orange light. I remember the tree was a Douglas Fir found high in the Cascades and I remember I had shot three Blue grouse and my lab had retrieved each and placed them gently in my hand. I remember we'd eaten our lunch while sitting upon an long ago cut red ceder stump and watched a bear work its way across a canyon as a lone raven circled the thermals. I remember it as a good day.

Sadly, I cannot remember physical gifts of my last Christmas under the mountains. I do, however, remember the gifts of the tree and its lights and the beauty of the snow and the vistas presented from the windows of my old Victorian home and the smell of firewood and fir and the aroma of fresh baked cookies.

Mostly I remember the happiness.

Stephen

41 comments:

  1. Lip the size of a baseball? OUCH.

    You're in my prayers today, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure keep you busy with the prayers, Rev., sorry. The baseball has reduced in size to a small tangerine. Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  2. I'm a slave to chapstick, without it I would crack like a china doll leaping off the shelf. Heal up, don't let anyone swing at your face like it's t-ball.
    All will be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The doctor told me to throw it away. Said it just helped reinfect my sore...Thanks, Max.

      Delete
  3. Man, I sure hate that.

    And during your busier time of the year at that. It's been said that if you want to make God laugh, then tell him your plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He giggled...God did, when he heard me say I'd work six days a week. It sure hurts but I will be back tomorrow morning...again, hear the laughter.

      Delete
  4. " Sadly, I cannot remember physical gifts of my last Christmas under the mountains. I do, however, remember the gifts of the tree and its lights and the beauty of the snow and the the vistas presented from the windows of my old Victorian home and the smell of firewood and fir and the aroma of fresh baked cookies.

    Mostly I remember the happiness."

    But you see you do remember the special gift that is Christmas, for the exchange of gifts is not what is important it is the joy of family and the gift of a memory. I couldn't tell you what I gave or received last year but, I do know the excitement in my children as they approached Christmas day, and the smiles on my children's faces as the day arrived. And that my friend, brings a memory of joy and serenity that will last a lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed, Thor. I believe that was my message. Thanks for the nice comment, my friend.

      Delete
  5. I'm having a hard time getting in to the season this year too. I'm keeping it simple this year, what choice have I got, since I'm not "feeling" it anyway.

    Hope the lip feels better. Just tell them you were in a bar fight and they should see the other guy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chuckle, I will, Izzy...thanks. I do feel better. It'll be a while before the virus runs its course but until then I'm back at it.

      Delete
  6. Wow! Glad you are getting the infection under control. I'm so sorry you had to close the store - especially at this time of year. Hopefully you'll be back at it quickly.

    I agree with Thor - physical gifts matter very little. When I remember happy times I see faces that were smiling. I remember hugs, given and received. Those are the true gifts.

    Get well soon my friend.

    Blessings,
    Red

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my dear lady. I shall. And, I agree. God bless.

      Delete
  7. Get well. Rest when you have to.

    My snow on the mountain has turned to freezing rain. I've good looking spruce trees within walking distance to my house, but they are the black spruce also known as skunk or piss spruce. When cut and brought into a warm house they smell just like cat pee.

    No, I never made that mistake, but a friend of mine has. They'd even decorated it before it warmed up and started to smell.

    There may yet be other spruce or fir trees nearby that will do the job. They've had time to grow since I thinned them out last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bubba, out west we had a spruce, a blue spruce with the same skunk scent...it held pitch pockets and when punctured released an odor strong enough to gag a maggot. Thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  8. Feel Better....You have some beautiful Christmas memories there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mamma Bear. Memories are all we have at times.

      Delete
  9. Sorry to hear the staff infection returned, that's no fun and very painful. I hope you're feeling better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, its a pain. Doc said this stuff lives in our bodies for a very long time. Thanks, my dear.

      Delete
  10. I so agree with Thor...he said it so beautifully!

    So sorry to hear about the return of your infection..hard to deal with, especially on a lip. It may have also been God's way of getting you to slow down a little again, my friend.

    Take care...blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sweet Lady...you take care too.

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Thanks, Warlock. I'm fine, just a sore (well, very sore) lip. It'll be fine.

      Delete
  12. Thor said better that which I wanted to say. Also, throw away the chapstick or whatever you were using so as not to reinfect yourself. Feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wax is thrown..by doc orders. Thanks, Kristine.

      Delete
  13. Get better soon Sir, and yes you DID remember the gift of that Christmas...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my friend...some just didn't understand the message, and you're correct..I did remember the gift of Christmas and told in my strange way.

      Delete
  14. The gift of happy memories is WAY more important than any physical gifts you received, as you well know, you are just yanking our chain with that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, I knew someone would get it...thanks, my friend.

      Delete
  15. Ouch. Staph is no joke, and no fun. Hope you heal quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I, my friend. One thing for sure - its painful. Thanks, daddybear.

      Delete
  16. Hope the shot knocks out the staph! Get plenty of rest and get well soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Between the shot and the two other antibiotics the sore area has decreased in size and most of the soreness is gone...thanks, Mrs. S., and take care.

      Delete
  17. oh dear sweet one - i love it when you write like this! those are some beautiful memories that you have and i thank you for sharing.

    in regards to your staph and lip infection - jeesh - ouch! get some unpasteurized liquid honey and put it in a little container. then use a q-tip to dip into the container of honey, wipe the q-tip with a clean finger and apply the honey to your lips. honey is a natural antibiotic as well as a very soothing lip balm.

    please get better soon but take care of yourself! your friend,
    kymber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea, the honey...thanks, Sweet One. And, thanks for the kind comment.

      Delete
  18. This post made me want to visit the mountains :)

    Traditional "Christmas Trees" aren't native down here, but we do have lots of cedar trees which kinda look like christmas trees. When I was a kid, my Dad got the idea that we would just walk the woods and cut our own tree for Christmas. When we got home, there were bald sections that he didn't notice when we were in the woods but that stood out in the house.

    Easy fix... just cut limbs off the bottom and nail them to the trunk in the bald areas :) The tree was turning brown in places by the week before Christmas. My Dad is/was one of the smartest people that I've ever known but that wasn't once of his shining moments :)

    Feel better, buddy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny, as I can also remember my father picking the first small pine tree he could find and it always made such a poor appearance in our house. Charlie Brown would be proud. Thanks, my good friend.

      Delete
  19. Hey Sir . . . . Was thinking about your post last night and wondered - the lip balm you used, could it be contaminated? If you use it before, is it possible staff was left behind on the balm? Just wondering . . . .

    Hang in there, just the good Lord's way of sayin' you need a down day or two . . . .

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed, my friend, it was contaminated. I was using one of those little jars and the doctor took it and threw it in the trash...

      Thanks, Bubba.

      Delete
  20. Lordy! Modern medicine to the rescue. I guess you'll go easy under the mistletoe this season:) Glad you're OK.

    Your memories of happiness. Beautifully told. Like you . . I try to focus on the happiness. . .

    ReplyDelete