Monday, May 30, 2011

Mulligan on life.

I have never swung a club at one golf ball but the slang for a free try can apply to this tale...

Two Sundays ago I was standing in line to pay a bill and I received a call from a friend of my Boy to tell me he was in a hospital over five hundred miles away. His liver and kidneys had shut down. I fought the urge to drive to him with the clothes on my back and just enough money in my pocket to pay for gas. Within hours I was on the road with all my things and Nice riding "shotgun" in the van. I was at his side the next morning in time for the doctors daily rounds when they ordered dialysis. A catheter would have to be put in his neck, a vein and an artery tapped to filter his blood to save his life.
He had taken a fistful of aspirin for the pain he was having from drinking too much alcohol for far too long. Already his body was breaking down, the overdose of aspirin sealed the deal, his kidneys shut down, his liver began to disintegrate into his bloodstream his stomach unable to function. Apparently this alcohol induced "brilliance" happens to many who think where one will not work a handful will. My son asked me to share this story despite his embarrassment which can be hard to swallow. With dialysis he was able to survive and is recovering after two weeks, others have suffered through three months of temporary renal failure before their kidneys resumed functioning again. Today he is a changed person, is convinced he will never drink again. He was given his" Mulligan" on life.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Sometimes circumstances throw me a curve ball and I have to step back from the plate. The train is barreling toward me and rather than fight with an immovable force, taking a few steps to one side or the other I am free from harm. Sometimes the ground is hard and the row takes more time to hoe, or the soil is too wet to sow. The storm sends debris across my path and the rain floods over the bridge. I have had to step aside, toil in hard dirt, be patient while the waters rise then fall to enrich the fields. Some things cannot be rushed into or away from. For a little longer I need to step aside and be still before I step out into the open. Until then...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A house.

The door was swollen from the leak in the roof. The carpet by the doorway was frayed and bunched. The mail was piled at the door below the mail slot forcing me to put my whole body against it. It was mid-January and bitter cold, but still the harsh odor of the house hit my nostrils like no other smell I had ever experienced. For more than a year I had a favorite song that I played constantly. Recorded by Tom Waits ,"The House Where Nobody Lives" was the title. This was that house in every way. From the piles of newspapers to the peeling paint. The windows were covered in layers of contact paper and blinds under curtains and plastic. It had been years since anyone had entered the house. It would be years of cleaning and clearing out the mountains of hoarding before bare floors would be found all through it from a lot of work and a bit of love.. Like a line in the song:" Without love it's just a house where nobody lives." It was my job to bring some love back into it. To sort through the mountains of trash and save pictures of the family and a precious few salvageable keepsakes.
To me the house was a place to heal from severe nerve damage to my spine, the pain of my recent separation and later divorce. To change my way of life, shed the baggage literally and figuratively. The house was my "reality check" showing me what I could become if I kept collecting things until I was old. Living in the house allowed me to create World Guy Foundation and dedicate myself to walking across the country for diabetes awareness. This smelly, cluttered, house destined for destruction saved my life.
Now all these years later it is time to leave. I have cleared it out and made it ready for the next family to make it a home. And I am soon to be back on the road to share diabetes prevention and control with exercise. My new job, my new life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Whole World and the Paddle

If you had the whole world to take with you, what would you bring?
A collection of patchwork and paint? A brush or two? In a world where traveling light can save a life, how much water, how much food? Plenty of socks and a spare shoe selection? And what would you keep in memory? Your borough of rocks, books and music boxes? I'll take the feathers. Should you find yourself over full with plenty, what worldly goods are worthy to sit in another's window box? I had one, until today when I gave it away; the window, that is. A small portion of pots and an ax, along with needle & thread may make it's way into your wagon on your journey. Left with the choice of a wagon filled, would you take a paddle in such a case you where find yourself up a creek? I have the paddle, brand named Feather. And should you find yourself walking away from the wagon. Ax, feather, or paddle? The lightest burden, memory of a gift given in return for a smile.