Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Dear Lucy,
Well, summer is nearly upon us with Memorial Day Weekend this weekend, and I am working.
Bellingham has a yearly "Ski to Sea" triathalon this weekend that starts at Mt. Baker with skiing, then canoeing down the Nooksak river and finally bicycling to Bellingham.
This means that I will be driving the cab on a three day weekend with a big to-do going on all over the county and it's payday for federal checks.
So, it's off to the races for me. Hopefully, I will make some good tips.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

What I am reading

Dear Lucy,

Prompted by a facebook entry I read "A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are transforming the Faith," by Brian McLaren. Here's's synopsis:

McLaren, one of the most visible faces of the emergent movement, examines
10 questions the church must answer as it heads toward a new way of believing.
McLaren deconstructs the Greco-Roman narrative of the Bible and addresses how
the Bible should be understood as an inspired library, not a constitution. He
moves into questions regarding God, Jesus, and the Gospel, urging us to trade up
our image of God and realize that Jesus came to launch a new Genesis. The
Church, sexuality, the future, and pluralism merit chapters, as does McLaren's
final call for a robust spiritual life. Followers will rejoice as McLaren
articulates his thoughts with logic and eloquence; detractors will point out his
artful avoidance of firm answers on salvation, hell, and a final

Having become an "Unchurched Christian" over the years for many reasons, this book was a breath of fresh air to me as it grappled with many of the problems of the church that become more and more glaring as time goes by.

The church's refusal to deal with the world's problems but rather, to fatalistically look at it as "God's Will", the poverty of the world, the greed and ecological problems has frustrated me to no end.

This author feels the same way and has a new way of reading the Bible that finally gives the Christian the understanding necessary to live in the modern world.

Yea for this book!

I can't say that it will bring me back to church, but it is a relief to see some progress being made in the world to bring the real message of love that Jesus left.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Three Wise Women

Dear Lucy,
Found this in a book I am reading:

Did you ever wonder what would have
happened if there were three wise
women instead of three wise men?
The women would have asked for
directions, arrived on time, helped
deliver the baby, cleaned the stable,
made a casserole and brought
disposable diapers as gifts!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr Toad's Wild Ride

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday had to be, by far, the craziest cab day I have had.

It began with my first fare from Bellingham to Burlington, about 25 miles. The woman talked non-stop about her physical ailments.

She couldn't understand why she (who years ago lost her colon to cancer) was having pain in her rectum from having dental work done. HUH?

Yes indeed. Rectal pain from dental work. Katie said maybe she had long roots. I thought maybe the woman did indeed have her head up her ass...

Turns out, she had a fistula which is an abscess that becomes its own opening in the body. She had, in a word, developed a second ass hole...

Later in the shift I sat at a red light and watched a car run it and nearly t-bone another car. Then I was driving another group when the wind was howling and the rain falling sideways and all of a sudden a big tree branch drops in front of the van. Yikes!

The day ended with a woman on disability who wanted to stop for a minute at a convenience store on her way home to pick up some "junk food".

An hour later, she had spent $108.00 on junk food and $51.00 cab fare to have me sit and wait for her while she shopped.

Moral of the story: It's a crazy, unpredictable world we live in. Don't get attached to normal.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family update

Dear Lucy,
Well, Suzie is doing much better these days, in fact, she got her first shower in a week yesterday. For those of us who have had to go without we can relate to how much this lifts the spirits of the person showering and all those living around the person showering!

Visited Dad yesterday at the nursing home. He seemed quite pale (even for a white boy like him) and not really with it mentally. Kind of hanging his head and looking confused. He had a blood transfusion at the end of April and is now averaging one transfusion about every 4 to 6 weeks.

Lucy kept me up half the night with the shits. Every hour or so she was needing to go outside and so I had to get up and let her out the back patio. Finally, I just left the door open enough for her to get in and out and I slept on the couch.
When I woke up this morning, I was cold and cramped on the couch and she was sound asleep in my bed!

I just have to get a handle on my family!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I am reading

Dear Lucy,

These days I am reading "Footprints in the Snow'

By Sheng Yen.

Here is an excerpt of the book:

The author is a master of Chan Buddhism, the Chinese antecedent of Zen Buddhism that is not nearly as well known as Zen and other Buddhist schools that have migrated to the West. The Chan master's story is less Buddhist dharma and more history of his homeland. Born in 1930, he had a ringside seat for China's Communist revolution. In 1949, he left his Buddhist schooling to join Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist army, spending more than 10 years in military intelligence. That experience was but one of many teachers along his spiritual path, along with a few bizarre Chan masters. Sheng Yen has also traveled, spending some time teaching in America. His efforts, however, have been concentrated in Taiwan, where he has developed the fourth-largest Buddhist organization in that area. This book is timely, given that China is opening to the West this year on account of the Olympics in Beijing. China is also becoming more open to religious practices, especially its own distinctive Buddhism. This son of China is a distinguished teacher with a revealing, simply told story.

It was a very interesting book watching this man grow and change and the Chinese culture is facinating.

A very good read.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Sittin' in the ER

Dear Lucy,
It is 9:30 pm and I am in the ER with Suzie again. She had the tube that was placed in her kidney after surgery removed and a few hours later was in agony.
So, I rushed her to the ER where they rushed her into a bed and the nurse started giving me attitude about getting Suzie into a gown.
Yea right. She's in agony and dry heaving and screaming and I need to get her into a gown.
So, I blew up and yelled at the nurse. The doctor came in and yelled at me. Security was called. They threatened to throw me out of the hospital.
Blame it on the tattoos I guess. I am not that threatening!
Oh, the drama.
So, Suzie has been given pain meds and is asleep. The concern now is that there is a fragment of stone still in there trying to pass.
God help Suzie!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thankful to a stranger

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday I drove a woman about my age from the hospital in Bellingham to the ferry dock in Anacortes. It's about 50 miles south of here.

It takes an hour.

That's an hour of a passenger who was very talkative.

She had spent 6 days at the hospital because of an esophageal bleed. Her third one in three years.

By the time we got to the ferry terminal she had regaled me with stories of her poor health and near death experiences.

Most of the people I drive have mental or physical problems or are elderly. I get a lot of stories. It makes me thankful for my good health, and grateful that I don't suffer from chronic pain.

Sometimes I get into a funk about my life and that, at 51, I don't have much to show for it.

Then I get a passenger who is fighting every day just to get out of bed and function.

I am thankful for my good health, that I am not living under crushing debt, that I have a job and people in my life who care about me.

Sometimes, it just takes a good kick in the ass by a stranger to make me appreciate.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Dear Lucy,
So, Suzie had her surgery today to remove her mamoth kidney stone. She is in recovery right now (5-14-10 at 1:20 pm) and doing fine.
Chances are good that they will keep her overnight for pain control and she will be home tomorrow to start her recovery.
Thank God it's over!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Engaging Katie

Dear Lucy,
So, I bought Katie an engagement ring and gave it to her last week. She, of course was as shocked as if I had slapped her with a dead mackerel.
What does this mean?
I can't quite say the M word (marriage) but I wanted to make some commitment with her that when she moves to San Diego with her daughter at the end of the year (the daughter is in the Navy and being stationed there), that we would try and work out our family ties and find a way to be together again.
Stay tuned. I don't know how this will pan out, I am working without a net here!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Dear Lucy,

Well, it was about this time last year that I set out on my crazy journey on the train and started this blog. Hard to believe that time has passed so quickly.

When I hatched the scheme to take the train to everywhere the idea was to travel but still have the ability to be alone and think about my life and where it was going and where it had been. I wanted to be away from the surroundings that reminded me of Anne and triggered more emotions than I could handle.

It worked. As crazy as the thing seemed to others, it worked.

I remember loved ones telling me that I would get through my loss of Anne and get to the other side. To say I was skeptical is putting it mildly. I had hoped that I would be like some of those spouses who died within a year of their mate and wouldn't have to get to the other side of mourning.

Now, had anyone told me then that in a year I would be driving a taxicab for a living and falling in love again, I would have, well I would have really run away from home!

So, to sum it up, life is good. Different from what I had expected, and good.

And it has been a year of Dear Lucy.
(The picture of the rose is a painting done by Katie's daughter Megan)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tulip Festival

Dear Lucy,

Katie and I made a trip to the Tulip Festival and Katie took about a hundred pictures. It was a beautiful sunny day and we both forgot hats or sunscreen...ah well, who thinks about those things in rainy Washington?

We had a great time anyway and tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. I can take some sun but Katie is a blue-eyed redhead who burns easily.

Here's a picture she took.