Monthly Archives: March 2018

Entertaining Angels

By Sally

I recently had to take an emergency trip back home (Ohio). This is not the time of year to go from 70+ degrees climate to a snow-covered life – even for a visit. But this was an emergency and I really had no choice.

I called my friend and asked her to get me the quickest flight out (this was about 9:30 am). She soon called back and said my plane was leaving at 12:45. “WOW!” I thought. I was getting things together and still in my PJs, so I called my daughter, who happened to be close by at the time, and asked her to come over and help me pack, which she did. Well, I threw my thermals and other things at her, and she put them in my suitcase.

She drove me to the airport and I made it to the plane, after my daughter called for a wheelchair for me to make sure I would get there in time to board.

I sat next to a nice man who seemed pleasant. He didn’t say much, but was very polite. I was happy with that.

After flying a short while, I was getting hungry and in my mind I said, “I wish I had something to eat, even a cookie.” I knew the stewardess would probably bring some drinks, and most likely crackers or pretzels, but was really getting hungry as I had not tome to eat anything. After thinking to myself, I could enjoy a cookie (to myself, in my thoughts, not out loud), the man bent over and pulled out a bag from his things and said, “I have cookies. Would you like one?”

“Oh my gosh!” I thought. “Yes!” I said. Then he said, “I have some candy, too.” Funny as it sounds, the words of my mom popped into my mind, “Don’t take candy from a stranger.”” But I felt at ease with this man, and ate a couple of his cookies.

We then got to talking. We were headed for Chicago. He was going to Indiana and I was going to Cleveland. We both had about half an hour to catch our flights. However, mine was in another terminal.

After getting off the plane and asking for a wheelchair to get to the other terminal, they said I should have called ahead. About that time, the man I sat with came over and talked with them and they called for a wheelchair, and I ended up hopping on the terminal car that took me to my flight.

Now this man had his own flight to catch, but he made time and effort to make sure I caught my plane. How awesome is that!

When I got to Cleveland they had a wheelchair waiting for me to take me where my family was picking me up.

It was an unexpected trip, although for about a month, I kept getting the feeling I should take a trip home (even though Tucson is my home, I still call where I grew up home), but didn’t have any set reason to go, so I just waited. Then I got the phone call and all things went into action and just fell into place.

I laughed at my family when they said, “Where are your boots?” I said, “I don’t need them.” Even though I had a good warm jacket, they gave me another to wear plus a cap and gloves (I had brought my own but they weren’t up to their standards). So each day I was bundled up like a little kid going out to play in the snow.

It was beautiful to see the snow and things covered in white. There were even some wild turkeys that showed up in the yard, and some deer. It was very nice to watch them.

Everyone treated me very well. I even got a chance to visit a school friend I used to pal around with. I was well fed and taken care of, but wanted to return to Arizona – Tucson – which has been my home for more than 40 years now.

It was nice to see everyone, but I was really happy to get back.

January 2018


Something New

By Leslie

Do you know what a “POSSLQ” is? I didn’t until one week ago when my neighbor and her new housemate came over to read poetry. The census bureau created this category in the 1970s when they realized that many were leading a life that didn’t fit into the “single or married” categories. This new category stood for “Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters.” Since Deb and Sharon are of the same sex, they modified the acronym to stand for, “Persons of Similar Sensibilities Sharing Living Quarters.” This living arrangement indeed appears to be mutually beneficial – both individuals enjoy sharing their housing and resources and, most importantly, care about one another.

Charles Osgood, a CBS radio program host in the 1970s and 1980s, write a poem about POSSSLQ and read it on the air when he retired:


There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
If you would be my POSSLQ.

You live with me, and I with you,
And you will be my POSSLQ.
I’ll be your friend and so much more;
That’s what a POSSLQ is for.

And everything we will confess;
Yes, even to the IRS.
Some day on what we both may earn,
Perhaps we’ll file a joint return.
You’ll share my pad, my taxes, joint;
You’ll share my life – up to a point!
And that you’ll be so glad to do,
Because you’ll be my POSSLQ!

January 2018

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

By Leslie

An old proverb states, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” I spent my entire academic life teaching – teaching students, teachers, interns and residents, and even seasoned clinicians. I also hope that I taught my patients.

I have kept in touch with a number of former residents. It is a joy to hear about their excellent and caring patient care, as well as to provide “curbside consultations” for patients who pose diagnostic or therapeutic problem.

Amongst those residents is a woman who was in the Peace Corps before entering our residency program, and who has worked in a migrant-workers clinic since she moved to Washington State. We share a love of plants, as well as people. For the last two years she has sent me six monthly bulb collections – containing all those flowers we do not grow in Tucson, including hyacinths and tulips. How delightful to watch these bulbs grow and flourish; how wonderful to enter the room of freshly blooming, marvelously fragrant hyacinths. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

And now in my work as an editor of a journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, I still strive to provide excellent instruction – both to a new, as well as older, generation of pediatric clinicians. That too is a gift – perhaps of a different sort – that keeps on giving.

February 2018