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change is good
I went down the road today on my mandatory 30 minutes off the clock to eat a turkey sammich' and smoke a few cigs so as to bump the nicotine level back up to get me through the work day enjoy the cooler weather while squirrels scampered about to and fro. This particular little patch of city land sits right across single lane Tickle Street from three places that I've called home during the past 30 years. There's a faded cedar quad of apartments directly across from the picnic tables, where I first lived after I graduated from med tech school and started the illustrious day job. One lot over is the one and only house we ever purchased with a honkin' big ass apartment building shoved in-between. A few houses up and ten steps past the nursing home and VOILA! There's the hospital. Can you imagine how fortunate Babygirl's two year old self was to walk across the freakin' street to her birthday party at!the!park!????

When BG was four, the house on Pecan Lane was vacated by Mr. Council, the horseman. His son Houston moved him out back behind the beauty shop into a little old widerman's place so he could watch over him during his last days. As I recall, Mr. Council died within months of the sunny April day that we moved into his home of fifty years. He had been alone for about ten of them, Mrs. Council gone to see Big Ernie, so the place was a pure mess, if you know what I mean. Just last year, BG and BF drug the last of the mysteries out of the attic and we examined them up close. A faded dress pattern...a Captain's hat chewed on by a mouse or two.

The legacy that the families who have lived here left me is more about things that come back on a seasonal basis. Crops get planted, harvested and rotated....critters hang around the river and get eaten. Perennials pop up every summer to surprise me with their unseen wisdom that well..hell. It's time to bloom and make somebody's day. In spite of floods,drought and a few kinky waterhoses, the rebirth has happened every year since that move. Sometimes it's as subtle as seeing a crocus in the February snow, and other times you would swear that spring will never come to Pecan Lane and the community of Samaria Bend. It always does, though. Mark my word.

I was so excited about the prospect of living in the country again. Daddy and I worked hours on end painting and wallpapering that winter. The bare hardwood floors still have our paint spills on 'em like they did back in the day. How do I know this? Because I ripped up the carpet by hand to find them again, that's why. I've walked the mile from my front porch down to the main road and back a brazillion times which explains why I still have nice lookin' legs, even when they aren't shaved. Well, that and walking halls of the hospital with a freakin' tray full of needles most of my somewhat adult life. Whatever pays the bills.

Around ten years ago, my focus at work shifted from analytical to palliative. One can only see so many folks suffer and die at the hands of modern medicine before you begin to realize that there must be a better way to live your life. I've spent time in a rural health clinic and an oncology center and several other physician's office settings when the day job allowed me the luxury of branching out, so to speak. The pay is always the same, but I've learned something from each of these experiences about people and their families. About denial and decision making. It is with the primary care physician that this sort of dialogue begins and morphs into a conversation about choice.

The current trend is for hospitals to hire docs who tend to the medical needs of the in-house and emergency room patient populations so that the others can spend time with their families try to figure out what the *uck is up with our healthcare system. A lot of this worry is of the CYA variety because medical malpractice has turned into the beast that raped healthcare. Sure...there are many well documented and tragic cases of true negligence by pracitioners. But mostly, the legal firepower is aimed at some poor schmuck who wishes he or she were working at the hardware store does an honest day's work trying to help sick people. Many shots are called by political folks who rarely have a clue what's going on and if they do...usually have a financial stake in the whole deal. Insurance companies are powerful, as is the pharmaceutical industry all because of dollar power. Very little of the healthcare dollar is spent on the patient and his family's needs. There's that Wall Street thing again..damn.

Anyway, things are lookin' up because I have enough cash to buy a new bullet at the "fun party" tomorrow at the kudzu bar. In case you forgot, it's ladies day and I have to pay my dues.

Later ya'll.
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