Thursday, April 28, 2011

This & That

This week, Buffalo has jumped not into Spring.. but into summer.  At least that is what it has felt like the past two days.  Last week we had some flurries and this week the temps reached the low 70s!  Our "springtime" seems to have gotten the short end of the stick this year.. either being cold and wet or unseasonably warm.

Tonight I slept with the windows open.  Even after the sun had gone down the temps were still in the mid 60s and humid from the rain we have been getting off and on.  It wasn't until this morning that I noticed a stark difference in the world around me... BIRDS!  I have become so used to the isolation of being locked up in the house for the colder months that I have forgotten the beautiful background songs of our native feathered friends.

Just as I get excited at the first signs of a new season like the first leaves changing or the first snowfall, the first appearance of the robin is a sure sign that spring has arrived.  Although the robins have been back for some time now - and we even have a nest of them just outside my bedroom - it's the song of the birds that is telling me summer can't be far off.

I always think of my Grandfather (Gramps) when I see robins.  He had a very simple sense of humor and a simple way of joking with us kids.  He loved to tell us non-sense stories that to any adult would seem just plain stupid.. but when he told them in that voice that he ONLY used when speaking to children under 7, it made a lasting imprint of simpler times and simpler joys.  Often he'd make up stories along the lines of The Three Bears, substituting anything he could think of for the bears.  His favorite story would be: "Once upon a time there were three robins sitting on the fence..... and they all flew away."  That was it... end of story.  But coming from a man who was otherwise so straight laced, it was funny to us kids.

I've been trying to get up to the rehab center to visit my friend Anne as much as possible.  I had a nice visit with her and some of her family Easter Sunday.  Two weeks ago doctors found a large brain tumor during an MRI... and three days later she had major surgery to remove it.  Sadly, the tumor was found to be cancerous, which is never a good thing... but even worse when those cancer cells are right in the brain.

She seems to be recovering well.. and at 82 is doing much better than I would be after major surgery.  Anne always did have a wonderful disposition and positive outlook, always trying to accept the things life throws at her.  She seems to have a permanent smile on her face which can still light up a room.  We tease her about her shaved head (and she makes jokes too) and laugh at the many "hole in the head" cliches.  It would be so easy for someone in her place to wallow in self pity and despair, but she just keeps puttering along... an example to people of all ages that attitude is everything!

She had her first visit to Roswell, our local cancer research hospital (and one of the best in the country!) to see about the extent of the brain cancer and what can be done.  I've been hesitant to call her - knowing she probably has visitors - but I've been on pins and needles wondering how her first appointment went.  I'm hoping to go and see her tomorrow. 

I tell her that the one good thing in all this is that it is infinitely easier to visit her now that she is a captive audience.  That woman has always been on the go - doing for others with a passion only Mother Teresa could relate to - so pinning her down for a visit was sometimes difficult. 

I'm trying to follow Anne's example and keep a positive outlook... despite my hardcore pessimistic tendencies.  If any octogenarian can kick cancer's ass.. it would be Anne!!