Monthly Archives: September 2017

Medical history

I recently got to complete a six-page set of medical forms so that I could visit with a new orthopedic specialist about some ongoing issues.

That led me to think about quantifying some things I know about blood relatives.

My right tibia.

My own history includes an intramedullary nail, work on a deviated septum 15 years ago, double inguinal hernia surgery nearly 20 years ago, and yanking my tonsils about the time that President Eisenhower died.

I am a moderate medicine chest, with daily pills for allergies, high cholesterol, and assorted other things.

My family history includes these causes of death:

  • maternal grandfather, stroke
  • maternal grandmother, old age
  • paternal grandfather, heart attack
  • paternal grandmother, old age and some dementia
  • mother, septic shock

And my father, now in his 80s, is pretty healthy for someone who nearly died of pancreatitis 16 years ago.

My family is blessedly free of cancer, for the most part.  I quit worshipping the sun about 8 years ago when I had a pre-cancer spot frozen off my nose.

So there it is.  A fairly normal 56-year-old medical history?


Childhood bedroom

Emery, at left, would be in his early 20s. Esther, Ruth, and Clyde complete the photo of four Gutshall siblings growing up.

Some years ago, my youngest sister gave my aged Great-Aunt Esther a book intended for a mother or grandmother to write recollections that could be passed on to others.

Aunt Esther filled out a couple dozen pages, and then said ‘enough.’

I have photos of all of these pages.  Aunt Esther has been gone three and half years now, and I thought I might slowly transcribe her writings.

Describe the view from your childhood bedroom.

I shared a rather small bedroom with your grandmother. It was nothing special but it was comfortable and adequate for two girls. A bed, chair, dresser, and a corner clothes closet made from a shelf, rod under it and covered by a curtain.

The view from the window looked out on the farmyard, barn, hen house, smoke house, and a pasture usually full of sheep. There was always something going on, if it was only the old hen in the flower bed!

At home

IMG_1431.JPGSome nights, a night at home is exactly what the doctor ordered.

And I’m grateful thereof.

Random thoughts on a Wednesday evening:

  • Temperate weather has arrived.  The windows are open.  And a slight chill is in the air.
  • Hot chicken salad and a green salad makes for a tasty homemade dinner.
  • Modern Family still makes me laugh out loud . . . every single episode.
  • Bon voyage to our Webster alum Christian Hendricks as he heads to the University of Durham (UK) to start a graduate program.
  • Teaching voice lessons is so damn fulfilling.
  • My passport is due to arrive tomorrow, with a Russian visa.  Too bad this is three days after I was due to depart for Europe.
  • Auggie’s skin allergies are under control again.
  • And my stenosing tenosynovitis is better after another cortisone injection on Monday, with a new doctor I like very much.
  • I hope Thursday’s recording session goes more smoothly than Tuesday’s.  The fault on Tuesday was all mine.
  • I’m in a quandary: how do I convince recalcitrant students that learning to read at sight is a most incredibly valuable tool? And life skill?  And necessity for employment?
  • The arrival of October = the arrival of travel season.
  • Sometimes a thank-you note from a student, and the next day one from a parent, can really lift the mid-week malaise.
  • And hearing from a former student — an exchange student from Germany many years ago — is even more delightful.

Not going

9.05 a.m.

I’m supposed to be on an Air Canada flight to Toronto at this very moment, and thence onward to Athens.

But the trip is postponed to Spring 2018.  Alas.

My Russian visa did not come through in time, after the Russian consulate asked for four different, consecutive revisions to the letter of invitation from my colleagues in Moscow.

So I shall keep doing what I do here in the USA for a few more months! Moscow and Vienna await in March, as does London and Cambridge.