Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Finger Made For Hitch-hiking

26 July 2014

Well, we’re in a strange little hotel in the region of Seattle-Tacoma airport, with slow slow slow internet.  But it’s a huge room, almost a suite, with a king-size bed and it’s affordable.  So we’re okay with the strangeness of the place.

Oh, there was a wonderful manhole cover at the Narita airport (in Japan) – I guess indicating the fire zone or something.  (Looks like a fire truck, right?)  The airport also had wonderful planters full of flowers, almost like little parks all by themselves.  Just a lovely touch of the outdoors inside the huge airport.

Anyway, we’ve been enjoying the things that Bellingham has to offer.  The Bagelry is a favourite spot for our family, so we go and have our egg and a bialy or bagel, and just absorb the Bellingham ambience.  Subdued excitement and all.

I’ve been sorting papers – a professor and author and book editor accumulates a ton of paper, which needs to be sorted into piles – some to be recycled, some to be reviewed by my brother the attorney, some to be donated to other coastal geologists (who were our father’s students, once upon a time.)

We also are taking care of medical stuff while we’re in the US – I finally found a doctor (or maybe a physician assistant) who took a biopsy of the rash that won’t die.  I’ve been asking drs if we could just culture the blisters, to find out exactly what this is – a fungus, or an allergy, or a parasite, or what.  Because it goes away with treatment, and then comes back.  So the medical person suggested a biopsy – which, of course, hurts horribly.  First there’s the shot in the thumb – ow, ow, ow, lidocaine shots hurt and thumbs are as sensitive as toes, there’s just not much flesh and too many nerve endings.  Then, well, I won’t go into detail about how they take a sample but it still kind of hurts and apparently fingers bleed more than one would imagine.  So I was bandaged up way more than seems needed for a hole that is maybe 1/8” wide.  But the bandage is weird compression stuff that supposedly helps stop the bleeding more quickly. 

Anyway, the diagnosis is eczema.  Good to finally have a diagnosis.  Not a fungus, just my sensitive and allergic skin freaking out from, well, who knows.  Environmental stuff?  The original fungus?  Stress and emotions?  I don’t know.  On Monday I’ll find out our treatment plan.  And hopefully make this thing go away for good.  (And does eczema impact finger- and toenails the way a fungus does?)

But it was an impressive bandage on the thumb, and Richard and I agreed I should try hitching a ride to somewhere, pretending I was Sissy from “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.”  (If you haven’t read it, find the book and give it a shot.  Tom Robbins is from Washington state, and his sense of humour is, well, rather Washingtonian.)

We’re taking a quick break from the sorting and trashing, and are in Seattle for four days – a little shopping, a visit with friends, and a little sightseeing.  Today was my shopping day, and I had a great time visiting a few of my fave stores to replenish my wardrobe.  Only bought a few items, but I’m happy.  Because sometimes you just need something new and pretty, right?

And tomorrow is the big get together with my friends way back from college – yup, friends for some 42 years.  Wow.  Amazing to think about that, having friendships for that long a period of time!  Sometimes life is really like a movie, where you meet as young college students and see each other through grad school, careers, relationships, marriages, children, changing careers, illnesses, eventual retirement, and of course for me, living elsewhere and then traveling.  And we’re still friends, and each time we get together we just pick up from where we left off last time.  So it will be wonderful to spend some time together, just hanging out and talking and eating.  Because of course we’re all good cooks.  And my friends make incredible chocolate desserts.  What’s a party without chocolate?

Since I don’t have a kitchen at the moment, I get to collect side dishes and condiments.  I’m going with all the exciting tastes we’ve encountered around Asia and the Pacific Islands – kimchee, wakame, satay sauce, sweet chili sauce.  Daikon radish pickles if I can find them.  Fortunately, Seattle has a large Asian population, and so many stores carry these items.  I met a lovely woman from Pago Pago, Samoa, at the grocery store this evening, who helped me find the kimchee and then insisted I get in the checkout line in front of her, since I only had three items.  She was impressed that we’d been to Pago, and we had a nice little chat as we paid for our groceries.

Oh, final photo – this wonderful manhole cover shows the Seattle waterfront in kind of an odd little map form, with all the piers sticking out into Elliott Bay, and the streets at odd angles around the curve of the bay.  However, nothing is labeled, so it doesn’t really help if you don’t know the city.  But it was a unique take on manhole cover art, so I thought I should capture it.   

There was a family of tourists who stopped and watched me take the photo, and were quite confused what was such a big deal about this manhole cover.  I had to explain that it was a map of downtown.  But, well, not everyone appreciates manhole covers.

Maybe I'm making converts! 


  1. We should send this out viral on Aug. 3rd, Phebe's 30th anniversary of her 30th birthday. Yes! She gets younger every year. (Did I do the math right?)

    1. I think the math works - I was trying to decide if the 30th anniversary of a 30th birthday made for 60 or 90 years, LOL!!!