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Saturday, June 1, 2013

On the First of June: Thanksgiving & Recollections

Hi, everyone! Good Saturday to all of us! It's the First of June, thank God; we're alive and well. [But, before I proceed, I'm saddened by the latest news that tornadoes hit Oklahoma again yesterday, with five dead (per latest news reports) and hundreds with their homes, properties destroyed. My thoughts and prayers for all the victims and their families, and those affected by the deadly twisters.]

Whew, it's getting warmer and warmer all over US, though it's not summer yet! There's plenty of sunshine everywhere...And with barometric pressure rising each time checked, heat and humidity are also felt, especially when you're doing outdoor activities, i.e., gardening or stretching or doing simple physical conditioning. It appears that summer has (unofficially) arrived in the East Coast, specifically here in Hampton Roads, undoubtedly! Just by being there outside under the heat of the sun at noontime, you'll get sunburn in minutes! Yes, that's how intense the heat is, outside! Forecast High temp for today, in our area, is low 90s Fahrenheit. The rest of the coming days will be like today, hot and humid, no signs of rain showers in sight.

Thank God, our A/C unit is functioning efficiently and effectively. As you know, it's only less than a year old, installed by our friend Chris B from neighboring city. Thanks Chris B for your help. (Though we only see him periodically, he's always there available, each time I call him if I have heater-A/C problem.) Likewise, Special Thanks to  our special friend Mike who's always ready to lend me a hand each time we encounter problems about this and that at home. Just like last time, he fixed something electrical in one of our restrooms  upstairs. And yesterday afternoon, past five, he and his wife Myrna came over while I was in our backyard patio/deck chilling out or relaxing. Mike was so kind and generous enough to give us their spare edger (electric) that he said he's no longer using but still works. Lending a hand to my wife Freny and sis-in-law Rose, he did yard work for us, while his wife Myrna and I engaged in regular/friendly talk. Btw, we both each have sort of physical/health problems that prevent or limit our ability to do hard labor or manual work that involves lifting or carrying, or strenuous activity. To those of you who have been reading my blog posts regularly, you know about my physical problem/s.

You see, my dear folks and friends, deep within me I feel bad for not able to helping them, specially my wife Freny who does the lawn-mowing and yard work, most of the time, or doing such type of work anymore, which I used to, for years before. Back in the days, I've been doing odd jobs and manual work. But now, it's different. That's why I retired early with permanent disability from the US Navy. Mind you, while working in busy naval hospitals/clinics, I've enjoyed doing portable X-rays back then. Doing portable X-rays here and there was kind of my exercise, physically. I always bring extra T-shirt for me because I sweat a lot, each time I finished a task. Believe me when I say, I loved where the action was, doing this and that with my portable X-ray machine. Name every department in the hospital where there's a volume of patients in and out, I've been there...ER, OR, Orthopedic, ICU, NICU, PACU, Labor and Delivery, Morgue, etc.

Then came those invasive procedures on my lower back/spine. Seven succeeding months. On pain medications. On convalescent leave, each procedure done. Limited duty followed. Admin work. Checking in patients, answering phone calls. Doing staff-personnel training records, assigning/scheduling staff for training certification updates, and other hospital requirements, etc. And the use of wooden cane, immobilizing devices/brace on my waist, and those rehabilitation/physical therapies and acupuncture sessions. The days and months of feeling down, agitated, depressed, frustrated, helpless and hapless, and hopeless...Going nuts...Future on hold, uncertain. Plans, no more. Retirement imminent, inevitable...Hello, Chris! Wake up! You're now in 2013, on the First (day) of June, two days after you celebrated your 60th, with Freny, with good food and good friends Mike and Myrna, and Baby Emily at Red Lobster's. You see, my dear folks and friends, how powerful our brain is when we're still alive and active, and mentally healthy? We remember, we forget...Memories of our life experiences...

When it comes to the month of June, one thing comes to mind, especially on its last two days. Why? It reminds me of my last days as a "Sailor" or serviceman. Yes, it will be eight years hence, since I've retired  with permanent disability, after having served in the U.S. Navy honorably and proudly for 20 years. I'm grateful for the U.S. Navy that I was able to realize my dream or ambition here in the U.S. Yes, how much I've wanted to enlist/join the U.S. Navy when I graduated from high school in the Philippines. But it didn't happen then, when we still had the Subic Naval Base in Olongapo, RP (Republic of the Philippines). Instead, I went to college and graduated in 1977, then immigrated here with my younger siblings in 1983. On the other hand, that dream of mine  wasn't forgotten at all. In fact, it laid dormant somewhere in my head, until it came back to haunt me. I, therefore, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, via the delayed entry program, in 1985, two years after working one job after another in the Silicon Valley.

Nostalgia, it's hard to overcome, at times. Memories come and go...Yes, that was then. This is now... Me, trying to live in and enjoying the present moment, with my Faith, family, folks, and friends, one day at a time; and having learned to let go (of things, thoughts, ideas that may seem important but they're not) and to move/go on...until the end of time here on Earth.

Well, this is all for now, my dear folks and friends. I do hope I didn't bore you to death. Anyway, until next time around. Thank you for hanging in there and keeping me company. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us and keep us safe from harm always!"-chris a. quilpa, 01 June 2013

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