Archive for April, 2010

Trekkin’ Home

April 24, 2010

To continue where I left off about our last (hopefully) trip to Boise for Megan’s surgeries, uh, where were we? Oh yeah, still in Boise, and headed homeward to Idaho Falls, with David as pilot and Rudy as co-pilot, Megan as sleepy passenger, still sedated from her surgery that morning, and me as front seat passenger fiddling with my iphone.

I captured this picture right off the bat.

One of my abstracts. That iphone is wily. Maybe it just captures a Matisse when it sees it.

We weren’t too enthusiastic about the four-hour drive ahead, having already made this trek three times. I wasn’t in the mood, either, to photograph 40 more trucks and no scenery. So about twenty minutes into our drive, at ‘Mountain Home’ (not ours) David exited off I-84 onto I-20 east to take the ‘scenic route,’ which runs along the southern edge of the Sawtooth National Forest.

We started to climb in elevation.

There was still a lot of snow. But a lot of water, too.

Nice, beautiful water! The spring melt down!

Megan was immediately asleep.

All comfy in the back seat. Well, maybe.

David and I were both exhausted from the crappy night’s sleep we were operating on. I was keeping an eye on him. Hey, is he … sleeping?

He’s fading, for sure. Where are the toothpicks?

Oh, I see now…

Rudy is driving.

Good thing we have him along as co-pilot. I am sleepy too. And busy managing my iphone, which seems hellbent on capturing its own photos. Like this one –

an abstract that defies gravity.

With the shape we’re in maybe we should just pull over and find some lodging for the night. After all, we still have two hundred miles to go. Oh look! Lodging ahead!

Airport Inn? Where’s the airport? Where’s the Inn? Where the hell are we?

Oh here! What does that sign say?

Light Industrial Space Available? Huh? In my head, maybe.

Look there! On the left! Zooming toward us! – you suppose that’s a bed-and- breakfast?

Should we pull over and knock?

No?

Keep driving? We’re driving, we’re driving …

Semi’s approaching us head-on at combined speeds of 150 mph should keep us awake.

Ah! Look!

The Arco Motel! It’s such a rigorous little town, which, where did it go? Oh, it’s behind us now…

Keep driving. We can make it home!

We had to find ways to entertain ourselves. I started fiddling with this:

It was a giant …

barf bag, compliments of St. Luke’s Hospital for the road, in case Megan falls ill from the car motion, combined with sedation. The beauty of this bag is that you can vomit in it and then use the lines on the side of the bag to measure how much you vomited and then write it down. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Rudy is fading now, too.

We’ve lost our co-pilot. He has resorted to lifting his head every so often and gazing at me with his pleading eyes …

as if to say, “Can we please be home now? I’ll even try to get along with that despicable cat, Tee-Box.”

Hey, look there! A cabin! Honey! Pull over!

Looks a little lonesome. You have to take whatever lodging you can get out here in rugged ‘ol Idaho, but why don’t we pass on this one? Like, where are we gonna go for dinner?

Our last chance to pull over and bunk is up ahead, flying toward us … another cabin, a little more rustic

and weather-beaten. It’s available, for sure.

All right so we can make it home. But not until my iphone shoots another abstract of the inside of the car:

What artist is it this time?

We are home now. And Megan is up on her feet.

Yay!

It’s great to be sleeping in our own beds.

I took a picture of the flowering crab in our back yard on April 20, the day after we got back, with our lilacs in the background:

Yes, that’s a flowering crab tree. It’s still ‘sprinter’ here in southeast Idaho.

Back to Boise!

April 21, 2010

It’s Sunday, April 18th. The day has arrived! Megan has had her casts on for six weeks and it’s time to get them off. We make the 275-mile drive back to Boise today! 6 AM tomorrow morning Megan will check in to St. Luke’s Hospital for surgery to remove the pin in her left foot. Then another cast goes on her left foot for 4 more weeks. The cast on her right foot comes off completely. She will be able to walk!

It’s noon now and we are loaded up, ready to go. Megan and Rudy are in the back. We have purchased a harness for Rudy and strapped him in next to Megan. Good dog!

Except he hates it. He tells us by whining, yipping, and howling through the first 45 minutes of our drive. We stand our ground. He must stay in the back, in his harness. After all, he’s a dog and we are his masters.

Until we relent and finally let him have his way. He knows where he belongs – on the console between the two front seats – to help drive. He spots dogs, squirrels, pedestrians, bicyclists and blowing leaves ahead and and lets us know by leaping across the car frantically yelping at them through the window as they pass. This is why we tether him now. He could sail like a missile across the interior of a car traveling at 80 mph, especially if we have to slow down suddenly. So we have tethered him at his post and yes, he is helping David drive.

We shoot to Boise across I-84, making it in four hours, and check into our motel. We enjoy a lovely dinner outside on the front patio of a restaurant in downtown Boise. Here is a picture of Megan at dinner:

The girl at the table behind her posed for the photo, too, because she knows what a special evening this is.

Megan took a picture of us sitting across from her:

… Big ‘D’ and me. Why does he look so much bigger than me?

After dinner we take a stroll downtown. The weather is exquisite with temperatures near 80 degrees. We pause at the fountain in the square –

And walk to the Capitol building a few blocks away:

Back at the motel I get the worst night’s sleep ever. The room is too hot (or were my hot flashes too hot?), the bed too soft, and all night I worry in the haze of my semi-sleep about having to be awake by five, to get her to the hospital by six.

But we pull it off. Here she is at 6:15 am, her usual cheerful self, waiting to be admitted:

She’s gone into surgery now. David and I grab the time to take a walk outside around the hospital. And discover this garden –

transplanted from Holland? Wow! Spring is sprung in Boise, Idaho! David checked out the aroma of this tree:

Does a cousin of the southern magnolia thrive here too?

Megan’s surgery went beautifully. Here she is in recovery, sleepy, but happy.

Who says hospital gowns don’t look sexy?

We check out of the Hospital by 11 AM and decide to grab lunch downtown.

A perfect pair, we are at lunch – Megan, sedated, and I, sleep-deprived. But we do enjoy lunch. Next, we return to the car to head for home. But wait! The dog! He’s been cooped up in the car most of today and will surely give us fits on the long drive home if he doesn’t get some exercise.

So last stop – Ann Morrison Park, home to a fabulous Frisbee golf course. Megan is not so enthusiastic about the Frisbee golfers, or the walk-

However, the exuberance she lacks has been tamped down but is now overflowing in Rudy.

… fetching the tennis ball. We walked about a quarter mile, while he ran a good two miles, retrieving that ball.

The flowering crab (?) trees are putting on a show as well:

Spring here is unfolding a good three to four weeks ahead of Idaho Falls, where winter can, more likely than not, turn to ‘sprinter’, with spring arriving so late you’re into summer by the time you even notice the trees.

Anyway, it was time now to head back to the car

through this beautiful park, savoring the sights, sounds, and smells of spring.

And hit the highway for our 4-hour trek home.

Megan and Rudy are in the back seat again, ready to go.

Yeah, like that’s gonna fly. How long do you think Rudy will last tethered to the back seat?

It lasted about three blocks.

He’s gotta help David drive.

Do you wanna hear about our trek home?

‘Rudy’

April 5, 2010

I’ve spent a lot of time in the house these past four weeks, keeping Megan company while she’s in her two casts. We’ve done okay. Pretty well, actually. I’m trying to read more, write, dream …

However, quite often as I’m settling in my chair to read or relax, I’ll get distracted by something, like the furniture arrangement across the room –

which just doesn’t look right, and I’m compelled to get up and rearrange it.

Then some other form of bad feng shui catches my eye, like this scene in the same formal living room:

That sharp purple corner of Megan’s bed sheet is emitting poison arrows which look to be shooting into the carpet, but in reality, the arrows are ricocheting off the carpet through the air toward my face. Bad feng shui! Bad energy! I must tuck that in.

However, whether minor or major, most distractions at home seem to involve our dog, Rudy.

For starters, I’ll be at the kitchen table trying to read when there he is at the back door, wanting in:

I don’t even recall letting him out. But I get up and let him in. Three minutes later, he wants out:

and back in.

I get up and let him in again. And try to ignore him. But it’s impossible. Because he’s bored. And hyper-energetic – he hasn’t been getting his walks. What Rudy needs is vigorous extended play with his ‘punky-monkey.’

Except a few weeks back, while I wasn’t looking, he ripped his punky monkey apart and de-stuffed it all over the house. I gradually collected all the scattered bits of white stuffing into a bag and shoved it and the limp monkey into the buffet. Well maybe now it was worth putting the thing back together. After all, this house confinement has been hard on the dog.

So I pulled the stuff out of the buffet and set it on the kitchen table. Was it really worth the effort to put the punky monkey back together?:

I had a little coaxing from the dog:

Off he goes!

He loves his punky monkey!

Hump the monkey!

This helps him compensate for the problem he has with our cat Tee-Box –

who dominates him, posing as ‘evil kitty’ daunting Rudy to just try and pass him on the stairs.

Which, overall, can be a good thing. Because Rudy is liable to get into something when he knows we’re not looking. Like the upstairs bathroom trash. He knows he’s being bad. He’ll sneak up to the trash bin and snatch the largest and most disgusting thing he can find and race into our bedroom with it and and dive under our bed

for a private chew fest. He’s in heaven here and I’m on my knees cleaning up his mess.

He’s humping his punky monkey again, mostly to raise his alpha index:

Uh oh! Punky monkey is giving out again.

There is only so much abuse a little stuffed monkey can take. It’s back to the clinic for the punky monkey.

No problem because Rudy has a second-favorite monkey, his “new monkey.” He has found it now.

Throw the monkey!

Which, I do, of course. Wish I could throw it five blocks.

Because, sure enough, he’s right back with it. I’ll throw it again. Anything to wear him out.

Oh no!!

Poor new monkey is nearly ripped to shreds. It’s off to the clinic for him too.

Luckily, David is home now and can take the dog for a walk.

In the Idaho spring arctic temperatures.

Hooray! The dog is finally worn out.

Okay, so we are too.

It’s a new day.

Here we go again.

Ah! Except we have invited Rudy’s girlfriend “LA” over to play with him.

She’ll wear him down!

I may not be writing a novel, but at least maybe now I can grab a few minutes upstairs on the computer to write on my blog.

Oh! I’ve just received a text message from Megan, from her recliner downstairs in the den:

“Rudy wants in.”

What? Dang! You’re kidding.

I pull myself away from the computer to go down there and see for myself:

Rudy and Little Angel are wanting in all right. Well, I surely don’t remember letting them out.