** A Covid Story**
On December 21st. I was scheduled to get back surgery in San Antonio. I have a pinched nerve between L3 and L4. My doctor said I could probably resolve it with exercise and care, but I am impatient, and I figured this new surgery was the fastest route to get me back on my bicycle again. I had surgery about 8 years ago by the same surgeon, and I was good as new till this. If you live in rural West Texas, here’s how health care works. You schedule an MRI from the traveling machine for Monday at the local hospital, and in a day or two you get the results. You send it to your doctor in a city, mine being San Antonio, and they tell you what’s wrong and your choices. Actually, if you remember last month, I mentioned my doctor friend Bill, well he gives me more researched and thoroughly explained options than any other doctor I know. Not only that, but he has had the same type surgeries, so he can speak from experience. We drove up on the 20th, stayed at our friends house, and made our appointment on time.
Before you know it I am in a nursing gown, and doctor and anesthesiologist are telling me what’s going to happen. I also get a Covid test, actually two covid tests while I’m waiting. They wheel me in the operating room, and give me my first dose of medication, and the nurse comes in and says I tested positive for covid. They stop everything, wheel me out, and send me home. We take a home covid test in the car, results negative, then go to an independent clinic that gives a PCR test, and we both get tested. We do the same thing the next day at another clinic that has a 24 hour turnaround time. Meanwhile, I have to get out of my friends house, isolate myself from Marci in case I have it and she doesn’t. This required two hotel rooms and staying separated till we got the results. Now I think I am in the position of spreading the virus. I wear my mask, make sure I don’t get close to people, and yet don’t tell anyone. Then I kept going back through what I did in the last week to figure out where I might have gotten it. I’ve played it really safe with covid. We’ve both been double vaccinated and boosted. I require and wear a mask in the gallery, and everywhere I go publicly, so I was bewildered that I could get it. I had no symptoms. The results from PCR tests came back negative, and we were so relieved. No more than 10 minutes passed, and my Uncle called to tell me his daughter, my cousin, died from covid. My first family member. She was not vaccinated, and as far as I know it wasn’t because of her religious beliefs or politics. I think she was just apathetic, and thought she would be ok. She was 53.
I am not a religious man. I do believe there is a higher power. I witness it in these mountains and in nature I live in every day. I believe that if I was in the operating room, sedated and called out for two false positive covid tests, that’s Devine Intervention. Marci bought me the McKenzie method book and has ordered me an inversion machine that turns you upside down to relieve your back. I am going to start there and see how it goes.
Happy Full Moon. Get Outside.
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Happy Full Moon. Get Outside.
**Ocotillo and Fog**
This image is from a ranch project I did several years ago. It was near the Pecos river, and some mornings the fog wouldn't burn off till 11 am or better. I used it to make soft spoken images.
It pains me to continually post images and memories of friends who pass away. There is a part of me that feels like it is my civic duty, but as I age it is more and more, so much so, that this email could just be just an obituary column. I've known Sue and the Roberts family since I've lived here. She had the sweetest disposition and was mostly always upbeat. Years ago when I was going through a divorce, she was the first person to acknowledge that it was all going to be OK. . She said "these things happen, come out to the ranch. We made art together too. The "Hawk" image (see below) was a collaboration with Sue. She had raised it from a fledgling, and she could call it up by putting a piece of meat on the fencepost. The hawk would swoop and grab it. You can see it in its right talon. In her selfless way she brought most of the town together the last day of 2021 to seal the lid on the jar of a miserable year. She was truly a special woman. She is already very much missed.