Sunday, May 4, 2014

On The Road Again... Almost

Friends come in all ages...
My last blog post was almost eight months ago, and we were getting ready to leave northern California to return to Lake Meade where we would once again volunteer for the Nat'l Recreation Area there and I would have my back surgery. It had been hard to leave dear friends, and I was looking forward to a joyous reunion with them and family on our return to Las Vegas.
Our beloved cowboy Rabbi Shmuel Oppenheim

These dear ones always took special care of me

Just as we were heading south, the government shutdown took effect, closing national parks and access to public lands. The workers were to stand down and so too the volunteers. We were so blessed, however, that people knew us and told us we could come on in and park, but not work, until the shutdown was over. Meanwhile, I began the medical tests and preps for my back surgery, and we were wrapped once more in the love of welcoming family and friends.

Some folks wonder about the loneliness and lack of roots for people living like we do, but as you can see, we are abundantly loved and we sink roots all along the way. The key? Loving others, being vulnerable and open and interested... simply giving of yourself and being willing to receive others as they are.

Larry Berk in the gym doing Physical Therapy
My surgery experience was not the best in spite of the fact that my doctor was perhaps the best back surgeon in the country, if not the world... I say that in all seriousness. But the surgery was extensive and recovery has been tortuous. Even so, I was mentored, encouraged, led, educated, blessed and prayed over by my precious friend Larry Berk from our synagog who had undergone similar surgeries and much more. He always knew when I was in pain, and knowing he understood meant more than I can comprehend.

Under the new health care laws, I was forced to leave the hospital (at midnight!) and sent by ambulance to a convalescent home after only three days. I had not been bathed at the hospital, and no one had tried to mitigate the rat's nest my long hair had become. Movement, for me, was almost impossible and the pain was intense since they could not give IV meds or shots at the convalescent home. 

My Angel of Mercy and I on the day I went home
Then a sweet young aide came to my rescue during her lunch breaks. I wasn't even her patient, but she came in to help me every day, patiently working all the tangles out and braiding my hair, helping me bathe and just giving me hope.  

Therapists worked wonders for me
The physical and occupational therapists were amazing, training me to work around two spinal fusions (one lumbar and the other thoracic) and an extracted rib, also a large herniated area in my left abdomen.

Curtis and Richard the day we left Lake Meade
Richard worked in the campground four hours a day except when he was taking me to medical appointments or visiting me at the hospitals. Our supervisor at the park was so very kind, a gentle, caring man who genuinely loved us.
 I will stop here and continue the saga in a day or so, bringing you up to date as we head for Vermont...


  1. You are an incredible woman (in Him of douse) you are looking good, love you and miss you

    1. Awwww, Mimi, my sweet, sweet sister, we love and miss you. We plan (if G-d is willing) to be back in Florida this winter. I can't wait to kiss your dear face.

  2. You have been through a lot! I have missed your blog. The photo of you in your wheelchair make me sad as I could see the pain in your face. You can count on us for prayers for your recovery.

    1. Thank you, yes, there was pain and still some, but our G-d hears and answers prayers... and even when the answer is no or wait, He is right there with us accomplishing good out of all things.

  3. So glad to read a bit of what has been going on. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. <3

    1. Thanks. I'll try to have the next one out in a day or two. ;-)

  4. Hi, Nice site I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing. Would you please consider a link to my website on your page. Please email me back. Thanks!

    Aaron Grey
    aarongrey112 at

    1. This is a personal blog and the only links I include are those that are part of our story... Glad you stopped by.