Sunday, January 06, 2019

Gardens and Grandchildren

By Fred Owens

Starting out the New Year with things that make us happy -- Gardens and Grandchildren

Al fell and broke his hip right before Christmas. I knew something was up because his wife Elaine had not returned my emails. I left several messages for her at the office, but there was no response. So I emailed Nanette who works with her and Nanette told me that Al broke his hip and
Elaine was tending to him at the hospital. So that explained it. Then I asked Nanette for Elaine's cell phone so I could call her at home.

That was Christmas Eve. I called Elaine and left a message. She called back almost right away and we had a chat. Al was coming home on Christmas Day but only for a few hours and then he would go back to the Rehabilitation Center for further treatment.

It was a hard way to pass the holidays but the photos I saw of them on Facebook, of Al and Elaine and their kids and grand kids, showed a joyful family spirit. That's what I mean by Gardens and Grandchildren.  Of course we all  have problems, but we can still enjoy the day and enjoy the company of the people we love.

This story about Al and Elaine is pretty short, but you can see it, can't you? You can imagine the details -- the ladder in the back yard, left leaning on the apple tree, where Al fell, and the cry he gave out when he fell. Elaine was on her laptop in the dining room when she heard him. He cried out, it was a muffled sound she heard, but she knew the man and knew his courage. Al was hurt and she knew it in the instance.

In the house where Elaine sat at the large dining table amid newspapers and a cup of coffee, the chandelier was sparkling above in the late afternoon growing dark. Can you see it? The trip to the hospital. The talk with the doctor. Christmas was planned, but plans were flying out the window. Kind of a raw, rough, exciting feeling, not knowing how this would all work. Time was passing. Christmas was coming no matter what and we'll just do whatever we can to have a good Christmas..... Did Al say that to Elaine?

Al and Elaine are real people. I know their last name and where they live. I've been to their house and played the piano. I can tell you all about the town they live in, the landscape and the weather. I can tell you stories about their lives together and the people they live and work with -- it could fill a good book. But this is just a short story and we will call it Gardens and Grandchildren, for these are the things that make us happy.

Note for Jim Langley. It's not prostrate and it's not terminal.

Twenty Years. Frog Hospital is celebrating 20 years of publication in 2019. Over 700 issues and some of them were pretty good. Our Credo has always been tell the truth and don't waste people's time -- meaning keep it interesting. We have done that. And we plan to keep going. Our motto is Onward!

Happy New Year,

It's not terminal and it's not prostrate

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