Category Archive for: ‘Woody Weingarten’

Overcoming a hellish week by counting my blessings

CNN’s front page on the recent day markets tumbled all over the world — including a momentary 1,000-point drop in the United States.

CNN’s front page on the recent day markets tumbled all over the world — including a momentary 1,000-point drop in the United States.

It was, genuinely, the week from hell.

You know the one I mean, the recent time-crunch when the Dow plummeted over 1,000 points, just under 6%, in a couple of days.

That nose-dive really rattled me, because it severely messed with my retirement funds.

Despite that, I’d probably have been okay had I not been surrounded — as if trapped in the eye of a ferocious hurricane — by a plethora of illnesses, emotional predicaments and other events demanding my worry gland throb ever more vigorously.

I felt helpless, totally out of control.

So I prayed to a God I tend to believe in only when I’m in deep doo-doo.

And, surprisingly quickly, I was able to focus on my own life — and my wife’s, and, in fact, my pooch’s — being in relatively good shape.

So, to steal an Irving Berlin title, I counted my blessings (instead of sheep).

Yes, I do live a happy, Hershey’s bar existence — admittedly spent mostly in my San Anselmo hilltop home staring at the glaring of my iMac screen.

My next-door neighbor-friends weren’t doing as well, though.

The guy on my right was suddenly hospitalized with a mysterious leg pain and weakness. Viral infection. In addition, unidentified vegetation was found on his heart valve, so open-heart surgery was temporarily contemplated.

On my left, Neighbor No. 2 abruptly became an ER patient in the dark of the night. Diagnosis: internal bleeding.

A Mill Valley buddy required an eye operation. It went moderately successfully, but he was informed he’d need a series of follow-up procedures, none pleasant.

My grandson dropped out of Georgia Tech after less than a week. He was homesick.

The Alzheimer’s-troubled husband of my wife’s friend from kindergarten was put in a locked psych unit after trying to strangle her.

My daughter was hospitalized in a New York suburb and erroneously told her kidneys were failing.

Oh, yeah, then there’s the real petty crap.

My wife caused a minor scratch on a woman’s car that cost $900 to fix, and our flat-screen TV fried in a surge (the repairman needed $240 to replace the power supply, whatever the heck that is).

Like I said, the week from heck — uh, hell.

And, yes, indeedy, I did feel a little like the biblical Job.

But what all that did, ultimately, was alter my perspective. We’re okay and all the others are likely to be okay as soon as the scary stuff melts away.

As for counting my blessings, I can now more appreciate:

  • The teeny white rivulets and falls in the waters off Creek Park in San Anselmo.
  • The hundreds of animals I can discover in the puffy pre-El Niño clouds above my front deck.
    Columnist feels blessed that Russ Ellis, whose “Laughing Horse” is one of the found wood sculptures in Smith Andersen North gallery exhibit in San Anselmo, is a friend.

    Columnist feels blessed that Russ Ellis, whose “Laughing Horse” is one of the found wood sculptures in Smith Andersen North gallery exhibit in San Anselmo, is a friend.

  • Good friends like 80-year-old Russ Ellis, whose dual exhibit of ink on paper and sculpted found wood/steel at the Smith Andersen North gallery on Greenfield Avenue stole my breath away, and Edward Marson, a much younger painter-sculptor at 71 who’s getting incredible help, at Perry’s Art Supply on the same San Anselmo street, framing his equally incredible montages.
  •  My wife’s tinkling 88 ivories for “the wrinkle circuit” in multiple senior facilities in Marin and San Francisco.
  • That I can still pound out reviews and columns for MarinScope on my aging iMac even though on rare occasion, to quote Groucho Marx, “I didn’t like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions — the curtain was up.”
  • A grin-inducing memory: My young granddaughter on my Ross Valley slate walkway killing about 417 make-believe flying critters with one queen-sized plastic fly-swatter.
  • The frequent 20-minute geezer naps that refresh me.
  • An affectionate, confectionate hangover from my childhood: Cutting up sweet gherkin pickles and devouring them with sour cream.
  • My wife and I, who’ve survived three cancers between us, can smoothly live through anything — except, perhaps, old age.
  • The fact that I wasn’t at Woodstock in 1969, have never been in Times Square on any New Year’s Eve, and have no firm idea who was really on the grassy knoll in Dallas. But I did celebrate my birthday recently, so if anyone wants to send me a belated congratulatory e-mail, I’d be thrilled. And I’ll make sure to send you a thank-you note.

Contact Woody Weingarten at voodee@sbcglobal.net or at www.vitalitypress.com/

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