Differing Opinions

Fandango’s challenge word this morning is CONTRAST

I offer this poem as my response:

THE DOCTOR
by Edgar Guest

I don’t see why Pa likes him so,
and seems so glad to have him come;
he jabs my ribs and wants to know
if here and there it’s hurting some.

He holds my wrist, ‘cause there are things
in there which always jump and jerk;
then, with a telephone he brings,
he listens to my breather work.

He taps my back and pinches me,
then hangs a mirror on his head
and looks into my throat to see
what makes it hurt and if it’s red.

Then on his knee he starts to write
and says to Mother, with a smile:
“This ought to fix him up all right.
We’ll cure him in a little while.”

I don’t see why Pa likes him so.
Whenever I don’t want to play
he says, “The boy is sick, I know!
Let’s get the doctor right away.”

And when he comes, Pa shakes his hand,
and hustles him upstairs to me,
and seems contented just to stand
inside the room where he can see.

Then Pa says every time he goes,
“That’s money I am glad to pay;
it’s worth it, when a fellow knows
his pal will soon be up to play.”

But maybe if my Pa were me,
and had to take his pills and all,
he wouldn’t be so glad to see
the doctor come to make a call.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

“It’s Over”

Fandango’s prompt word for today is OVER. As I took a second look at it just now to see if the word would nudge me into a blog post, a memory popped up. So here’s my response:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“It’s over,” I’d tell myself. Over and over I repeated those words, fighting the feelings, the sensations running through my system.

When I was 27 I found a hard, walnut-sized lump in one breast. A shocker. I thought my life was OVER — too soon! Five minutes later I’d made an appointment with my GP.  Within a week I was facing surgery for breast cancer.

Being so young, I recovered fairly fast afterward. I was booked for a trip to the Cancer Clinic at London’s Victoria Hospital. (London, Ontario, that is) I was given three different oral chemo drugs and the oncologist set up a schedule for chemo-therapy.

Every Monday morning I had to report for blood tests, then was taken to a small room where I sat and had that stuff pumped into my veins. As time went on the veins got more uncooperative and would collapse when the nurse tried to insert the needle. She tried 3 or 4 sites at times. Now THAT got painful!

It’s pretty hard to describe how I felt after chemo. Not really weak, but like you had something inside you that you just didn’t WANT to feel or think about. Even back in Jan of 1981, when I started chemo, they had pretty good anti-nausea drugs but I didn’t push my luck by thinking about how I felt. I focused on, “This will very soon be over.”

For the first eight treatments the drugs (methotrexate, vincristine, and something called FV) were cold from the fridge, injected right into my vein. Definitely chills a person! Sometimes I read that expression in a tension-filled scene, “His blood ran cold.” I believe I know what that feels like a lot better than any story character. 🙂 And before long my head was cold, too, because my hair started falling out after the second treatment and was completely gone by the third.

Vincristine—extracted from a South African primrose, if I recall correctly—has some nasty side effects: it damages the nerve endings. I had to quit that after three treatments because my finger tips and toes were numb.

The second round, Adriamycin, lasted four weeks, again once a week. This drug was so damaging to the vein the nurse would inject it very slowly through an IV drip. Thankfully, though, it didn’t knock out my hair, which had started to grow again.

During those weeks different friends kindly drove me into the city and drove me home again. We went straight home, never tried to stop and pick up this or that. And all the way home I’d tell myself, “It’s over.”

At certain times of your life, OVER can be a most beautiful word.

 

Ten Days in the Rear-view

I know I haven’t been posting for awhile, but when ten days have crept by since the date of my last post, it’s high time to cease this indulgence of “just don’t feel like it,” and write something.

It’s not that I haven’t felt like writing. As the various prompts have come in, I’ve mentally written different articles and stories, but so far these have remained cloudy images in my mind. Maybe soon I can get some of them down. Too often I’m fighting with a sense of futility, that nagging doubt of “Who cares?” that besets us all from time to time.

The weather has been very mild lately. The chill of early October has given way to temps of 10 (50F) to 20 (70F) which is what we’ve had today. Nice day for a walk. this afternoon Bob and I got our flu shots, so we should be protected from the flu this winter.

I’ve done some piecing blanket tops for the Sewing Circle this past week, and read some second-hand children’s books that I picked up at Value Village. Proof-reading them with the thought of donating some to our parochial school’s library. For those who are interested in good children’s books, we’ve found a couple by Alexander McCall Smith that are very suitable:
The Mystery of the Missing Lion (2013) and Akimbo and the Crocodile Man (1993)

For those who are interested in adult fiction with a Christian flavour, I can recommend Sweet Tea and Southern Grace by Glenda Manus. In this first book of the series the main character is a 45-year-old bachelor pastor in the South dealing with various issues in his parish. The story has some similarity to Jan Karon’s Mitford series, but a shorter read.

Fandango’s prompt for today is ABSTRACT.  I’m thinking now about Thankfulness, an abstract quality or emotion. We’re happy when good things come our way; we’re relieved when troubles don’t come our way. Then sometimes our thankfulness does a look-in-the-rear-view thing. My arms and hands, especially my thumb joints, have been affected by arthritis these past few days, which makes me thankful for all the times when they do function without pain.

When you stop to think of it, when we have arms and hands that work, fingers that obey the impulses our brain sends along, we have two invaluable pieces of equipment. How much do we think about that fact until this “standard human equipment” suddenly gives us grief?

Here’s another take on ABSTRACT. I came across this quote earlier today, it seemed rather profound, and I thought, “A perfect response to the prompt!”

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Qualifying factor:
The truth of this quote depends on what music you’re listening to.

A Cordial Welcome

OH, FOR MORE HOURS TO WRITE!

Good morning to everyone reading this post — and I’d like to say a special hello and welcome to my newest Followers. I appreciate everyone who takes time to read my posts and hope I can provide content that interests and inspires you.

As you can see from the Menu above, I am a creature of many moods and hop all over the board with my topics and genres. And since a number of bloggers have stepped into the role of Prompt-provider left vacant when The Daily Post moved out, I’m getting half a dozen new suggestions every morning. (If you’re interested in checking some of these sites, you’ll find the links in my BLOG ROLL under Writing Help.)

Oh, for more hours in a day! — the universal cry of mankind with stuff to do. However, I don’t want to flood my followers’ In-boxes with posts; I suspect most of us don’t have nearly enough time to read blogs as it is. I know I don’t. And summer always adds extra things to my to-do list — including just being out there enjoying it. 🙂

One of the things I have on my plate today is a sewing project. I wish I loved to sew. Think of all the lovely clothes I could make for myself!

OH, FOR MORE FERVOR TO SEW!

I did love to sew years back. Now it’s a very moody thing for me: when I’m in the mood, I enjoy sewing. Otherwise it feels like a mountain I have to — and don’t want to — climb. I’d rather be reading! Do you have any things like that in your day, things you know you MUST do — but then you just hate the task if only because you HAVE TO do it?

Once in a great while, however, the urge to sew comes upon me and I’m enthused, eager to start. So I act upon it, praying I’ll get whatever it is I’m sewing finished before the mood passes. And right now I’m enthused about whipping up a lightweight cotton dress for the summer.

And I’ve been rewarded! First off, because I’m working out a new pattern, designing it on paper first, adjusting it for my particular size — and it’s coming together nicely. When you’ve had breast cancer, it isn’t always easy getting a pattern to fit well.

My second reward came yesterday as I was sitting at my machine pinning pieces together. I’d opened my widow and could hear the twitter – twitter – twitter of the swallows in the nest outside, above and just to the left of the window. It dawned on me that all that noise must be the babies getting active. I looked out and sure enough, two baby swallows were trying to poke their heads out, fussing like siblings do when both want the window seat.

Finally one pulled back and the other took a gander at the big world outside — and saw me through the screen looking up at it. For a moment we both eyed each other, then I went back to my sewing. Soon, soon, these little guys will be out exploring, or lined up along the clothesline just below the nest. I love this time of year!

OH, FOR MORE MOSQUITO-EATING BIRDS!

We actually have three active nests of swallows tacked to the house, and a pair of barn swallows who’ve made their own nest in our yard. We’ve been very hospitable toward swallows, since they eat mosquitoes by the ton every summer. After this summer I’m going to be even more so, because I’m reacting so much to mosquito bites these days. I get huge bumps that itch for almost a week and often leave a scar when they finally subside.

Yes, our welcome mat is out to all swallows. And wrens. I’m really enjoying hearing wren songs from various spots around our yard every morning. And on that note I’d best end this ramble and get back to my sewing before the mood passes again.

🙂

RAGTAG Daily Prompt: HOSPITABLE

Teeth You Could Afford

Mail Order Teeth, Anyone?

Back in the spring of 2013 I was helping my cousin organize her place, and she showed me this letter her mother received decades ago. My cousin saved it all these years as a souvenir and I found the details quite interesting – especially the prices quoted. We all know what new dentures will set you back these days.

Daily Addictions prompt word for today: AFFORD

Before you read this letter I should tell you that Kinloch is a small remote town on the northern fringe of farming settlements land in eastern Saskatchewan, as much bush (mostly poplar forest) as farm land.

Ward’s Dental laboratory
Mail Order Dept
P.O. Box 16
Montreal, Quebec

June 10, 1944

Mrs W Vance
Kinloch, SK

Dear Mrs. Vance,

We have your esteemed inquiry re false teeth and in reply would say that we make full sets from $30 to $45, but we particularly recommend our $35.50 sets to give excellent satisfaction. This is $17.75 for each plate; upper and lower.

Terms for single plates: $5.00 with order, balance on delivery. Our terms for full sets are $5 with order, $20.50 on delivery and balance in two monthly payments of $5 each.

Our method of taking the impression is very simple. We send you dental compound that is soft and pliable. You bite into it, leaving an accurate impression of your jaws. By our simple method we give you the same high class service as one living in the largest city and without the loss of time and inconvenience.

All our work is done by skilled technicians in an up-to-date laboratory and few dentists are equipped to do work like ours. We guarantee the fit of our plates as well as the workmanship, for a plate that does not fit properly is not cheap at any price. Ward plates are natural looking and positively fitting. New hue Trubyte teeth $1.00 each plate extra.

We believe that one of the best investments a man or woman can make is in a properly fitting set of false teeth as poor chewing means indigestion and other disorders and one’s personal appearance means so much.

We thank you for the inquiry and it would be a pleasure to be of service to you.

Yours very truly,
Ward’s Dental Laboratory

P.S. : Our travelling dentist will call on you when in your area if desired.

(Weren’t they a trusting bunch? If you got your teeth and didn’t pay the remaining two monthly $5 payments, they could hardly reclaim them.)