After the Rain

I love the rain. Always have, always will. Probably because it was greeted with some joy, some vital need recognized by all living in the semi-arid coastal plain of Southern California. The transformation it brings the area, the grays, the greens, the sounds of staccato on the doghouse roof and decks. I love it all. Especially puddle stompin’!

We had a pretty good downpour overnight, but Willow stayed nice and dry for me. It was good being up listening to the rainwater pound the boat. I know my rigging is sparkling clean, decks run clear, and canvas covers free from bee pollen. I’ll put those covers away later today and hoist the sails here in the slip. I’d tell you I was hoisting them to dry them out, which is true, but I really want to see if I can still do it! Andrew’s coming down to help me take apart my propane fireplace element. Every now and then it needs a good cleaning to keep it running, and part of that is using a compressor. I ain’t got no compressor and Andrew does, so it’ll be good! (Turns out I fixed the burner accidentally before Andrew arrived, so, we had to have a Happy Meal at Gen Kai instead. Curses, sushi!!!)

I’ve been playing with getting a different care plan started. I was frustrated leaving UCLA with a “See ya in 3 months” wave. What am I doing here? Is 90 days with no intervention gonna cut it, especially when you keep telling me how sick I am? I’ve done some homework, with help from amazing friends like Linda and Erich, and I found a new oncologist down here. No more driving 2 1/2 hours each way to Westwood numerous times a week. This new doc is UCLA based, and has direct access to my patient file, as well as some new ideas. It seems as my taking the crizotinib is spot on, but perhaps more monitoring should have been taking place. Maybe even some new drug therapy? Last week, I went to get an updated PET scan , some lab work and another echocardiogram. It was scheduled for a week and a half, but the day before the scan, the insurance denies the PET. What the? I was on the phone with them for over two hours but no luck. Cancelled. The follow up appointment the next day was cancelled, too, but not the echo or blood work. A request was resubmitted for plain ol’ CT scans with contrast, but that would take another 2 days for approval. With the end of the year winding down, my follow up to my follow up appointment is now the 30th. I’ll just be hanging in, waiting for the new year. With that taking up the end of the month, I was looking forward to enjoying some of the sunshine that comes after the rain…

Missy, Andrew and I drove on up to Lake Arrowhead for the weekend just to get outta Dodge, as they say. It’s been cool, overcast, but pretty dang silent, and everyone we’ve been in contact with has been way friendly. The cabin belongs to some friends of Missy’s, and is a simple, beautiful A-frame with lots of warming, natural light. It’s clean, neat, and furnished with beautiful old pine pieces from many childhoods. Mom came here this last year for her 80th birthday and loved it. Easy to see why.
We’ve cooked, taken the dogs for walks, had fires, chatted, nested, taken the dogs for walks, gone snow stompin,’ eaten waaaaaay too much food, and taken the dogs for some more walks. Missy prepared a tender rib roast last night with some roasted veggies, and it was all that was needed. It was a beautiful meal with beautiful people.

Beauty. I’m gonna wax philosophical now, but what happened to our beauty? Our simple beauty, nothing complicated, just simplicity, just beauty, just daily. I find myself making excuses that, oh, I’m only one person, and what the heck can I do? There are government entities exterminating forty three prospective teachers getting in the way of a socialite having a party, for pete’s sake. One hundred and forty eight students and teachers are assassinated in school because their fathers fight ‘for the wrong side.’ A fourteen year old girl stands up for education and is shot in the head for it. By the order of tribal elders, no less. We here in the US are so much better. Are occurrences being reported quicker with ‘better technology,’ or are things happening with more frequency? As for being held hostage by a stoopid movie, well, that was just brilliant. And it cannot happen again.

Over the years, whether it was at work or play, I remember one term that was repeated over and over again: basics. Simple. Basics. How hard does it have to be? Can I tap into that childhood vault, pulling those time-worn but infallible premises out to present day? Do unto others, you get what you give, turn the other cheek, don’t do that or your eyes’ll get stuck, respect your elders, water off a duck’s back, thou shalt not steal, covet, kill, etc… Can some of these old adages come back to haunt me into being a better person? Whenever I was stuck at work, or on the court, the only thing that bailed me out was sticking to the basics. I always liked to think skill and treachery did it for me, but nope, it was the basics! I think I’m gonna try the basics for awhile again. Slow things down, go a bit retro and take a step back. When things get complicated for me, I have found this to be pretty beneficial. Finish the year simply, and begin another one basically. I’ll be trying to fill them in ways that are meaningful for me, my family and my friends. If we all were to do that, wouldn’t at least our neighborhood be a better place? Simple. Basics.

I love you all.

8 thoughts on “After the Rain

  1. dennis mendenhall

    You’re sounding much better and returning to basics is genius – not because I’ve been working on that for the last three years (when I converted to Catholicism, traditional Latin rite pre-Vatican II) – but it’s the only way to go. glad you’re taking a more positive role in your health care. I’m in my third battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, this time follicular small cell, no chemo treatment available that doesn’t cause leukemia or myeloma, so just watching and waiting until there’s a decent chemo. I’ve found the simple, basic faith has provided an incredible source of strength. As a former Louisville girl I’m sure if you’re not using that strong faith you soon will be. I pray for you and think about you every day.

    As always, love, and God bless you,


  2. Glenn Maurer

    Love your thoughts & incite. We think of you often & our thoughts & prayers are with you always. Have a very Merry Christmas & a joyful New Year. We Luv you girl. Be strong & remember “Life is Good”.

  3. Joanne Cameron

    Hi Wendy After reading your “After the Rain” I had to just sit and really look at those words. So true, and with such beauty. Think of you often, keeping you in prayer, and wishing you a Blessed Merry Christmas this year. Thank you again for sharing Wendy, your words mean so much.

  4. RAY


  5. Colleen Maurer

    So good to hear from you. It sounds like prayers are being answers through a new doctor. Perhaps a new perspective is what is needed to help you on the path to recovery. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, praying for continued strength and healing. Merry Christmas Wendy and may the New Tear bring you many blessings.
    ~Colleen Maurer~

  6. Grace Vernola

    I agree. Sit back and listen to the rain and remember all the good thing that you’ve had in your life. It’s pretty simple.  Love ya right back                                                                         

  7. Karen Lasley-slider

    You know the secret! Expect the best and know you will achieve your goal… Love the light you bring to all who read your post. I wish I could express myself as well as you. Thank you for your love and know you are loved in return.


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