Good First Friday of September, everyone! How's life treating you nowadays? So far so good, huh? That's good! We're doing well, too. Thank you, gracious God!
This morning, I went out, strolling around our community (or subdivision that has almost 1,500 houses). I need it. For my health and well-being. I know that it's beneficial to me, as long as I'm able to do it physically. Doing or engaging in physical conditioning, like regular walking, enables me to stretch out my legs and feet, and arms, and helps my muscles and my whole body at ease and strong. It helps improve my health, overall. Likewise, it helps me socially, and mentally alert, I believe.
Along the way, as I did my regular walking around the neighborhood. I did finish praying my rosary. Thanks to God. And, thank you, Jesus! Moreover, I encountered many things, not to mention people walking, jogging, bicycling, trimming bushes and shrubs, landscaping, etc. Among the things that caught my eyes and gave me delight, while doing my pacing, were some birds trying to seek shelter on robust trees, a flock of Canadian geese on the school playground and a small group roaming around the facade of the elementary school where there's a spacious parking lot for school staff-employees and parents dropping off their school children. Passing by the school, I saw cars of different colors, sizes, and brand names parked in front of it. Left side of the school were five yellow school buses parked on the designated parking lot next to the school playground.
As I continued my stroll, I saw a number of dragonflies and colorful butterflies fluttering in the air, well-maintained lawns and tendered gardens with different varieties of potted plants with colorful flowers, a couple of houses with For Sale sign in front of their yards. To my surprise, I encountered an adult palm-size box (or snapping?) turtle slowly trying to cross the street! Having a digital camera on hand, I took a photo of this turtle that was kinda curious of what I was doing at that moment.
Though I've been experiencing pain on my left hip, I managed to go on wondering and wandering around the subdivision, my neighborhood community. This time, I happened to come to know a fellow subdivision resident, a white guy probably in his late 20s or early 30s, in his shorts and polo shirt, in his driveway. He was sort of inspecting the engine of his Toyota Solara because its hood was up. I broke up his quietness and silence, and I initiated our conversation. I called his attention by saying, "Good morning! You've got a nice car, huh? I wonder if they're (Toyota) still producing such kind of car like yours, these days!" He stopped at what he was doing and came to me. Then I introduced myself, offering my right hand. He did, too.We shook hands. I came to know he's got the same name as mine. I said, "you know, we're sort of like a Toyota family because we have four Toyotas that fill our driveway." He commented that he likes Toyota, too, although he has also a four by four truck in his driveway.When he found out that I retired from the Service, he said he's a Navy Reservist and currently working as a pharmacist in one of the private health care systems in our Hampton Roads area. He seemed to be a good listener. At least that's what I noticed when I was relating my work experiences while I was still active duty in the U.S. Navy. Though he was attentively engaging, I had to cut short my story-telling because I didn't want to take much of his time. I thought he may be busy or getting ready to go out to work, etc. "Yeah, I have to go to work," he said. I thanked him for his time and said,"nice meeting and talking to you, Chris." He said, "me, too, man!" Then, I continued walking...
Maintaining my slow-pace walking, I met again the two middle-aged black women and that white middle-aged woman with her chihuahua, in different areas of the subdivision. This time, I got to engage in a pleasant conversation with the former who were going back to their house. They said they're both next-door neighbors. One of them, Josefa, originally came from Cameroon, while the other, Gladys, from Latin America. Like me, they seemed friendly and gracious. We did talk about our life, as legal immigrants, while in the U.S. We also discussed briefly about politics and the forthcoming national election this November 6th. We bid each other goodbye and with "God bless you!"
I just finished getting dressed and had "brunch" (of peanut butter-strawberry preserved sandwich, two small slices of glutinous rice cakes and a cup of Organic milk), when my wife called me, telling me she's on her way home. BTW, she took a half-a-day off from her school-work because of her follow up appointment at 1:30 p.m., in the hospital's Radiology Department, specifically in Mammography. I, therefore, waited for her while downstairs in the kitchen. In about twenty-five minutes, she showed up. In a few minutes, we're on the road to the hospital.
We didn't encounter any traffic on the way to the hospital. It was smooth, accident-free. Thanks to God. In fifteen minutes, we arrived at the hospital (where I used to work and eventually retired). As always the case, we have had difficulty finding a parking spot at the hospital's parking garage. My gosh, it's always full and, at times, we end up going to the top (5th) floor. There's no doubt, the hospital gets crowded with more patients coming in to be seen. (If I experienced a busy hospital when I was still working there how much more nowadays? The hospital's parking garage is an evidence or proof that our medical center or naval hospital is in to the business of health/medical care.) In a few minutes after checking in at the Mammography, my wife was called to have her mammogram, while I was busy scribbling something on a piece of paper. (Hence, the content of this blog post.).
Within fifteen-twenty minutes, my wife was done with her mammogram. She was happy to tell me that everything went well. Nothing to worry about, regarding the results of her exam.
Man, I couldn't resist engaging in lively conversation each time I see some of my colleagues (both retired from military and civilian employees, who are either contractual or civil service) still working there at the hospital! Even if we didn't see eye to eye so much when I was there (because they're working in different areas in the Radiology Department, i.e., Nuclear Medicine, Mammography, Fluoroscopy, Angiography, MRI/CT, regular X-ray, OR X-ray, ER X-ray, Orthopedics X-ray, etc.) we still have that bonding or connections as members of one big department.
Each time I drop by at the Radiology Department, just to say Hi and Hello and talk to our remaining friends-employees there, I'm always reminded of the passage of a number of our former co-workers (mostly female civilian employees who were support personnel, not X-ray techs. May they rest in peace. Amen.) We always think or remember the departed in our department. And that's when we contained our happy, lively conversation and endearing moments. Just like today, my wife and I saw our friend Millie doing some art work on the transparent glass wall in front of the main reception/patient check in area in the Radiology department. Millie is one of the civilian civil service X-ray technologists who has worked there for decades. She can retire already if she wants to. But as I see it, she's enjoying her continued employment there and doesn't seem to show signs of retiring. I believe she's still has a lot to offer to the department, in general. And she's enjoying sharing her passion in art as evidenced in the unfinished painting or artwork she's started on the glass wall or panel in the department. BTW, when I was still working there, she used to be our clinical instructor for our military X-ray tech students. I think she still is...training and critiquing our students to do make sure that they do their job satisfactorily, in compliance with all the hospital and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) regulations and requirements. I admire and appreciate her and the rest of our staff-personnel for what they're doing: actively engaged or involved in the business of serving and providing quality health care to all of our health care beneficiaries in the region. Providing quality health and medical/dental care is, to me, another career or profession that knows no boundaries or borders. We're talking here of maintaining, protecting, saving lives. Well, I have to stop here, otherwise I would go on and on and miss some stuff that I'd still want to share with you, my folks and friends.
From the hospital, my wife and I drove to the Scott Center Annex to pick up my refill. Then, we went to the NEX where I we bought some shirts and blouses that were on sale, 50 percent off. We also had late lunch, or early dinner. While eating Subway sandwich there at Subway restaurant, I observed a young white man, probably in his early 20s, in another table facing us, also enjoying his sandwich and a small bag of chips/crisps. Though he's not in uniform, I knew he's an active Sailor because he's got that military haircut. I noticed he's got bruises in his face, near his left eye. When I went to refill our iced sweetened tea, I took a chance to talk to him. "Had a good fight, huh, young man?" I said. He smiled and admitted, "yeah, I wrestled a fellow shipmate." I introduced myself to him, and when he found out who I was, he asked me,"so what do think I need to put here," as he pointed his face. His bruise/scrape was kind fresh, like an open wound, and I don't know if he has gone to the medical department of his command seen his doctor or not. Concerned that it might get infected, I told him "to apply Bacitracin or Neosporin (I repeated what I said) and I assume NEX carries this ointment on their shelf or better yet go to the Medical Clinic in your ship or command." He thanked me for what I said. In a few minutes, he left the restaurant. I presumed he went to NEX to buy the ointment I mentioned.
After eating, I ordered one-foot long sandwich to go for our daughter and my sis-in-law. While there in the counter, I came across another young sailor who was ordering a meal sandwich. I noticed his whole right arm and forearm completely covered with tattoo. "Nice tattoo," I remarked then followed by, "so where did you have it done?" He said in Pensacola, FL. I mentioned about San Diego, CA, that they have that tattoo shops or parlors along Broadway or Main street? He said, "I know what you mean. I've been to San Diego." I was about to ask him if his tattoo is permanent or not, but I hesitated.
Anyway, my wife and I walked our way to the Commissary where we bought bottled water, some fruits and vegetables, and milk, and a cake. There, in one of the aisle at the Commissary, I saw this young Sailor with the tattoo on his right arm and forearm again. With a Commissary cart, he was also buying groceries. Bumping at each other, we just smiled at each other and continued our shopping.
No, we didn't go to the cashiers to pay and check out our groceries. We used one of the self-check out lanes for grocery items not exceeding twenty. That's so convenient, you know. My wife just assisted me by putting those items I've registered or scanned on grocery (plastic) bags.
Tired I was when we arrived home. But contented, though. I got a glass of smoothie (avocado and milk) and a slice of cake, two or three hours before my bedtime. While blogging, I was enjoying my late dessert. Thanks, Tintin, for that special delivery treat. And thanks, Rose for helping Tintin make smoothie. And thanks to you, my loving wife Freny for being there, always! Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus!
Well, folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. I thank you for your time. Take care and have a nice day, everyone! -chris a. quilpa, 07September2012