Thursday, February 14, 2019

Goodnight Mrs. Calabash:
The Farm Report 02-14-2019

I've thought and thought about what I should tell you today. I do want to keep to my New Year's Resolution and post regularly for you. But you'll understand, I'm sure, when I tell you that today isn't a good day for me. I am very committed to being a happy guy committed to making the most out of every day - and not to just be a Sad Sack - and I do want to find something good for this post. But, today is a hard day. Today is the one-year-ago day I lost my lifetime sweetie, best friend and love of my life. 

Please permit me to share this with you. I do have a purpose in it. This was my Joyce at Christmas a year ago - 2017. Who would have known that just a few weeks later she would have been gone. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. Following a huge surgery, and pretty much full-time chemo, she did well. She lived another 3 1/2 years, and I want to emphasize that they were mostly good years! We had wonderful doctors and nurses - and the chemo/infusion nurses all get a very special place in heaven. Wonderful. She was able to return to her beloved classroom for another year after this. But eventually, the disease took its tole and she just didn't have the stamina to continue teaching. Her goal had been to teach until she was 70. She nearly made it too! She loved teaching and her students, and most of them loved her right back. Most of 'em.

So here's my purpose and I'm going to be blunt saying it: Ovarian cancer is a son-of-a-bitch! It shows virtually no symptoms, and it often kills its victims within weeks sometimes, or after a few months in other cases. Joyce was lucky, if you can say that, because she had just excellent doctors looking after her, and a strong faith and will to make the most out of a bad situation. Her family doc diagnosed her disease very very early. She got treatment right away. She got to live longer than most. Breast cancer has advocates and tricky pink stuff to remind people about it, because breast cancer patients often survive. Hooorayy!!! But ovarian cancer kills, and kills quicky, so there isn't a big support/advocate group to help people fight it. That's where my job comes in. I am the unofficial Ovarian Cancer Advocate Boy. So now, today, I am advocating!

Get seen by a doc if you have any signs of abdominal discomfort, and you are a gal, and you're not sure what it is. Period. 

Joyce thought she had pulled a muscle near her diaphragm doing garden work. Wrong. But her docs knew better, and they went after it.

Here is a link to help you learn more about it:

I have no relationship with this group at all. I just picked it to get you started. Learn all you can. And guys, if you have a gal in your life - sweetie, sister, mother - you get the point, support them to be seen if there is ANY symptom. 

So there. I hope you'll understand why I'm a little exercised today. 

Here is the February Calendar pic. This was taken one week ago actually. 

The land had been covered with about a foot of snow just days before this pic. Then we had a hot wind - not me! - and it all melted off in a fog London would have been proud of. 

This one was taken today. We're back to winter again. But this one is fun. Spring is coming! How do I know? Well, if you'll look carefully at the little dark dot in the middle of the picture, you'll see why. That is a lime/fertilizer truck spreading its stuff on the fields. These trucks are huge and heavy - and they go fast. I don't know who had more fun; me watching or the driver cutting cookies all over the slick field and terraces IN A TRUCK! while pretending it was farm work. Ya gotta get a yuck where ever ya can!

Joyce and I had our first date in college on Valentine's Day. We were engaged on Valentine's Day. And she passed away last year on Valentine's Day. The first year when I was a young guy hot to impress her, I gave her a dozen roses. The next year, she told me she would love me just as much if I gave her just one rose - and we could do something else with the money I would have wasted on the rest of the dozen roses. Those were her words, not mine. She was always a very practical person. So every year for the last 47 years, I have given her one single red rose for Valentine's Day. Today, I'll have to give it to her - and to you - this way.

For you young kids, this is Jimmy Durante. He was an old vaudevillian. He was a top comedian in his day, but what he really was was a tremendous piano player. He disguised it by doing comedy acts at the same time, but Jimmy Durante could play the piano - or 'pianner' as he called it. Jimmy Durante tragically lost his first wife at a very early age. He was deeply wounded by it, and ever after closed all his acts - whether on TV, the stage or radio - by saying 'Goodnight Mrs. Calabash (a nod to his wife) where ever you are.' Then he walked off. So with my own nod to my own sweetie, I'll end by saying, as Jimmie Durante would have said, 'Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, where ever you are.'

Next time will be more fun, I promise.