Monday’s Wandering Thought

It’s very odd. The coffee shop has two restrooms. Each has a button-cypher lock. The code for each is the same. It’s written on the menu board in the coffee shop and it’s on labels on both doors. It never changes, but inevitably, people go up to the counter and ask for the restroom combination each day.

Tuesday’s Wandering Thought

Everyone was worried about putting their trash cans out by the curb the night before pickup because of bears.

But most people’s trash cans are stored by the side of their house. Some are behind wooden fences, no doubt a robust protection against a bear (yeah, that’s snark). A bear can get these cans just as easily there as on the street, waiting for the trash collector. If they’re really concerned about bears getting into trash cans, they need to do a lot more than delay putting them out until the morning.

The Update

I live in Ashland, in southern Oregon. Events drove me east, to where Mom and several sisters reside in the Pittsburgh, PA area. On Friday, September 10, I took the redeye to Pittsburgh. Already down with COVID, Mom suffered a perforated appendix and also had COVID pneumonia, and was in Forbes Hospital, demanding morphine and fighting against being intubated. They moved her to a step down unit for more intensive monitoring and care, and was in isolation. Masks, gloves, and gowns were required to visit her, only two visitors at a time.

She’s recovered a lot since then. With antibiotics and treatment, her COVID subsided. The appendix perforation closed. Her pacemaker had only been working at less than 20%, so that was also a problem, as was a blood clot. The blood clot ended up in her spleen, which they said was okay, and her heart and pacemaker both increased to 50 % function. Pleased with her progress, she was discharged from the hospital last Monday and moved to a nursing home.

She liked the nursing home, Concordia. Physical therapy began. They told her she’d probably be there two to six weeks. That was pared down to two yesterday.

They released her today.

That surprised me. Apparently what precipitated it was a night of hell for her. Hearing about it, my sisters grew angry and charged down there.

You do not want to be in their way when my sisters are angry, especially if their family is involved. Move out of their way and in front of an oncoming bullet train. You’ll be safer.

Mom’s NoH included being abruptly taken off oxygen at midnight and not monitored. The night nurse had an attitude for whatever reason. She didn’t want to help Mom with her CPAC for sleeping and threw Mom’s phone on the floor. Mom’s door was open all night as another patient roamed the halls shouting, “I have a gun. I’m going to come in there and kill you.”

I’ve been staying at Mom’s house with her 92-year-old boyfriend, Frank, a great guy, but very passive, and under Mom’s control. Mom is 85. Her house was built eighty years ago. The steps are narrow and steep. It’s not built for a frail woman to get around and recover.

But this is why I’m here. I came here because it might’ve been time to say good-bye to Mom. I came here to give my sisters and Frank relief and support. Now I’ll be here to help give Mom care in her home. I don’t know what train of circumstances and logic led to the surprising decision that she’s being released today. It sounds like a crazy train, in my uninformed thinking. It’s a fluid situation. The sisters are racing back to the nursery home to learn more and, as necessary, help Mom get home. Per their thinking, I’m here, waiting for Mom to arrive in case my sisters don’t arrive in time.

Coffee is on. I think we’ll need a few cups. Here we go.

The Refugee Dream

Dreamland has been a busy place for me, but life has been busy, keeping my deeper ruminations about my dreams to minimal levels. Last night’s dream about being a refugee had a sharper feel to it, though.

I was a prisoner along with many others and had been for some time. The dream really began at the end of that incarceration, when we finally found a way past the gates and walls keeping us in captivity. After we came out, blinking because we were seeing the sun for the first time in weeks, we were told by someone anonymous that we were free, and that ‘our side’ had won.

We’d been falsely imprisoned, though, and wanted justice for that. The people who were responsible were eight men. We wanted them found and brought to trial. I was given the task of drawing wanted posters for them.

I protested, I don’t even know how they look. Well, it needed to be done, and I needed to do it, because I was the one who could, I was told.

I found paper, charcoal, and pencils, and began doing sketches, working off other people’s descriptions of the eight. Someone told me about an office where a cache of information was. Going there and rooting around, I found that someone else had already created rudimentary sketches of the eight. I began improving these, shaping and sharpening features, adding details. It all came sharper into mind as I worked.

The people in charge came by to see how I was progressing and were impressed by my work. Looking out, we then saw a bearded man walking past who resembled the number one wanted person on my poster. As word spread that it was him, I held up my poster and looked at him in profile, amazed at how well I’d captured his image.

Dream end

A Day in the Life

He sits and washes

Curls up and sleeps

Runs to the food bowl

And sits and eats

Yawns and stretches

Curls up and sleeps

Begs for treats

Curls up and sleeps

Runs and scratches

Curls up and sleeps

Plays with a toy

Curls up and sleeps

Goes outside

Curls up and sleeps

Comes back in

Sits and eats

Plays on the laptop

Curls up and sleeps

Takes my chairs

Curls up and sleeps

Watches birds and squirrels

Curls up and sleeps

Then sits and washes

Curls up and sleeps

Runs to the food bowl

And sits and eats

A Shoe Dream with Alvin

I walked along a sandy path to get shoes. I had shoes on and was fully dressed in pants and a shirt. When I was walking, I discovered blue booties, like something worn at a crime scene. I put them on over my shoes, and then continued on to get shoes. This made total sense to me, that I had shoes but needed a different pair. When I got to the location, a window on the side of a light blue building with a glass front door, I was told that my shoes weren’t ready and that I needed to return a little later. I walked back to where I’d started but took of my blue booties. I’d been thinking about them and decided that they weren’t needed.

I encountered a woman after taking off my booties. With dark, curly hair, she reminded me of one of my younger sisters. She saw the booties in my hand so we chatted about the booties. She told me that she wears hers in her shoes, over her socks. I replied, my shoes wouldn’t fit it I wore the booties like that. Then I wondered about the booties’ purpose and whether I needed them at all.

I went back and got my next pair of shoes, which were military jump boots, all black and shiny. I was baffled about why I had them and why I thought I needed them. Setting them aside, I began looking for Alvin. Alvin was the man who was gave me my shoes. I’d seen him, a tall white man with short, dark hair. I told other that I encountered that I was going to play a joke on Alvin. They asked me who Alvin was. When I explained, they replied, “Oh, that’s Mister Simon.” I asked why they called him that and they said, “That’s his name.” I repeated the whole name, Alvin Simon, and wondered if we had part of it wrong.

That’s where it ended.

As an aside, a scene in a movie triggered recall of a dream where bees were flying in front of my face, teaching me by sending me information telepathically.

Back with Jeff Dream

Jeff and I were together. We ran together back on Okinawa. Had a good time. Haven’t seen him since then, so that’s thirty-seven years ago.

In this dream, Jeff and I were civilians but tasked with working on what seemed to be military plans. We were each given fat folders of information. A global map dominated a wall. A few older men sat along the edges of the room. I was ready to get to work, eager for the task, but others reminded us that it’s classified and we need to be aware of our environment. Yes, the room was open on one end and other people, who might not have the clearance, were walking and milling. Most were female.

We were told there were a few training meetings about protecting information and ethics that we needed to immediately attend. Carrying our enormous folders, we headed for the meeting rooms with others. Getting there required climbing a wall. That seemed to be optional but I decided I was going to do it. A woman noticed me going up and asked, “Who’s that going up? Why, that’s Michael. Good for you. I didn’t think you had it in you.”

Shaped like the letter U, covered in red, yellow, or green rubber, the holds were loose. Many fell out when you grabbed them. I had one arm pinning my folder to my body. With the other arm and hand, I pulled myself, support myself and then find holds for my feet. When I reached the top, I threw the folder up, then used both arms to leverage myself up the final few four to five feet. The top was flat. Getting down required me to jump down three large steps. Picking up my folder, I descended and hurried on.

The rooms were already almost full. I wasn’t certain which one to go to. A woman told me where to go. I saw Jeff by the front so I went to that room. Only two seats remained at the front. I took one of them by the podium. Jeff then gave a short talk. When it finished, we were given a beer break. I went over with others and asked someone at the front of the line to bring me a beer. They did that. I drank some of it before I was told it was time to go to the next meeting. Still carrying my folder, I headed for the assigned room. When I reached it, I was told, no, go work on your new assignment. Another man then showed me where to go. I entered a room where Jeff was waiting. We sat down and began to work.

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