141) Texas Water Days

June 30, 2007

I’ve been on the road for weeks it seems… and unable to find the time to post here. I’m running back and forth; out of town and back to dialysis. Out of town and back to dialysis, and then out of town and back to dialysis. Sometimes I see the family. And then... its out of town and back to dialysis.

At least thats the way it seems. It’s been a very wet several weeks in Texas. On June 18th, I was cruising into Sherman on the day of the freeway flood (1st time I-75 had ever flooded --> I thought is was a car wreck that had traffic stopped 10 miles south of town). I got off the freeway and headed into town on the alternate, over bridges where Choctaw Creek was splashing up onto the highway and fields to the right were covered in water… and houses to the right across the flooded fields had water up to their roofs, and people were sitting on top of those roofs, waving. I waved back, thinking, “Wow. They’ve had some weather up here!”

When I got to the agency hardly anyone was there cause the roads all around town were flooded and many of the staff live in Denison. The folks who were at work were surprised at my arrival, although I explained we didn’t watch the news down in North Dallas, so I just got on the road and drove up. After a few hours we were able to have our training, with stragglers coming in every once in awhile.

I dialyzed on Tuesday evening, and then on the morning of June 20th I went over to Enterprise to pick up a car to drive to Houston. It started pouring and between getting the car and loading it with my stuff from my truck and I got soaked to the skin; as if I had jumped into a swimming pool. I was in a brand new car and was soaking the driver’s seat and my pants stuck to my legs all the way to Ellinger. I was wet in a car driving through driving rain, and still damp when I jumped out to get my kolache fix at Hruska’s: one sausage and jalepeño (technically a pig in a blanket, not a kolache), and one cherry and cream cheese kolache (yummy in the tummy good), + another cup of coffee. I checked out the Colorado River from Ellinger to Columbus, and noticed the trees dipping down into the water, and then could really tell how full the river was by checking that sand bar on I-10 just east of Columbus. That day it was almost all under the brown chocolate-colored water. In Houston it was gray and drizzly for my training and the meeting the next morning. On the way back to Austin on the 21st, the water in the Colorado was down a bit but I drove in driving rain from Ellinger to Bastrop.

After my evening dialysis on the next Tuesday, I drove to Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning, in rain from Austin through San Antonio and down to about Three Rivers, where I all of a sudden drove out of the clouds into the bright Texas sun and billowy white clouds ahead of me. In my rearview mirror there was the purplish blue bank of storms. From there on into Corpus it was beautiful. The folks in Corpus thought it was hot and clammy but I thought it was toasty and comfy, having been basically wet for weeks. I somehow got done with my training several hours early, and was left with a couple hours in Corpus on my own. So I went over to the South Texas Art Museum* and walked in, avoiding the $5-a-ticket window and slipping around a corner into the first gallery. I noticed first a Tom Lea painting and was drawn to its clean, bright, purple-shadowed, adobe squares. Then I saw a Luis Jimenez low-rider drawing, and then a James Drake. What? I was unstuck in place and time. This is El Paso art! Then a Manuel Acosta woman and I looked and here was art from the Adair Margo Gallery and I felt weird in a way that maybe only Albert would get. I came to Corpus to see EL Paso art! The Corpus art I saw was installations, architectural, and somewhat boring. The El Paso art reminds me of home. I walked outdoors and watched a big oil tanker come to port, and then walked in the wind on the beach for some time, just feeling that gulf wind blow my hair and try to unset my hat. The wind was really stiff and I thought about how it was making those storms back inland in Austin and up the I-35 corridor. This wind was the father of that weather and here it felt good and strong and salty. The next day I did some consulting and drove home into rain before San Antonio that drizzled between SA and Austin.

This morning we met with Ann Fry for brunch at Central Market and talked about twenty-three years of friendship and all those years of sharing office space. See Ann Fry at
www.annfry.com for more info on Annie. When we got home, I called El Milagro and Matt says, “First one I got is 3 o’clock”. Then Herman called back at 2:15 and said, “You can come on in now… we’re ready.” So, I’m outa here and will finish this at the center.

El Milagro: I arrive and rush in, get my chair, and Herman comes over and sticks me quickly and efficiently. We talk about my worries about my blood pressure seeming higher and I report to him how I have adjusted my meds to respond (1/2 Toprol on dialysis days and back up to a whole one on non-dialysis days. Today my BP starts at 137/78 which isn’t too bad. I am reading the Time Magazine about Jack Kennedy and his prepping down the presidency with blazers and chinos, and a tribute written by daughter Caroline. Then I nap some and wake up to watch golf. John, the new guy, is sitting across the way from me and I wonder how he’s doing. Last time I asked him, he replied that he isn’t really feeling better since starting dialysis and I wonder what his kidney deal is, since most of the time when folks start dialysis, they report feeling better. When I started I immediately felt better and the people in my life reported that I was more energetic and lively and focused after starting. I want John to do better, since I befriended him that first day. I wave at him and he notices and waves back. He is too far away to yell, “Hey! How ya doing?” Also, I’m a bit shy about asking, given his last response. Pretty soon it’s time to get unhooked and Gladys does the job with her deft feminine hands. She smiles and remembers, “…no bandaids, right?”.

I zip home and we zip up to Larry’s birthday party. And so it goes.

Notes: In at 74.4 and out at 72.0 Kgs.
New Readers: For A Welcome Post, click August 2006 on the Sidebar.
* Art Museum of S. Texas, Looking West: Regional Art, retrieved online from

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