Time to Burn the Sage.

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The Curse is real, and The Curse is back.
Sometimes we can look back and chuckle.
Sometimes we cannot bear to think about it.
Sometimes it is too fresh.
Sometimes we have to make the hard phone calls: to the house sitter, to the loved one who was expecting to greet us at the airport, or at the campsite, or at their home in a far away town.
It’s been happening for years now.
Sometimes it’s Mr. Blitch: strep throat, so I take our son camping by myself.
Sometimes it’s a Crohn’s flare: I burn up all my vacation hours on sick pay.
Once, it was the house sitter: a last minute medical emergency. So again, the parents divide… One takes the boy solo. The other, left holding the short straw, stays home with the pets.
We have become fearful of planning. We buy the extra travel insurance, when available.
We cautiously make plans, we circle events on the calendar. We drink fluids, wash hands frequently, do everything proactive we can think of to stay healthy.

The Blapplegate Family Vacation Curse.

This time, it was a long weekend family trip to Pendleton to celebrate my dear friend Angie’s 40th birthday.
Angie, as another close friend referred to her, is my roll dog.
Starting from day 1 of nursing school, and everyday thereafter.
She’s a public health nurse, nay, the director of the Malheur County Health Department.
Angie is a steady force of goodness in a reckless and sometimes angry world.
Her dedication to public health, to providing education and medical resources to underserved rural and non-English speaking communities, inspires me every day.

The challenges I face as an Oncology Nurse Navigator sometimes seem pale in contrast to the challenges she faces in her work.

Managing the Reproductive Health Program and the Tobacco Prevention and Education Programs in an Eastern Oregon county where teenage pregnancy, STD, and high school drop out rates trend towards the highest in the state, she soldiers on. Cheerfully, and optimistically. I have no clue how she does it, but she does.

We were planning to convene at our favorite mid-way meeting place, a Pendleton Bed & Breakfast that has become like a home~away~from~home for us.
Mr. Blitch and The Boy were going to join us this time as well. The house/dog/chicken sitter was all lined up. The VAC days were secured.

And then… The Curse reared its ugly head. Some nasty viral infection has landed in our home. The Boy has missed a week of school, and I have once again killed off my available hours, and am sitting with a big fat negative balance in my PTO bank at work.

When the post-election blues are hitting the hardest, is when we all need to be drawing closely together with the people that heal us.
I can’t quite find the words to express how deeply disappointed I am to not have the chance to celebrate, in person, the birthday of this amazing woman.

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From to Blapplegate House in Portland, to your House of Many Canines in Ontario:
We miss you, we love you, we celebrate you.

We wish you a year of wellness, of happiness, of adventure, of miracles.
The world is a better place with you in it.
Your work, your friendship, your generous spirit.
Thank you for our first decade of friendship ~~ Looking forward to all that lies ahead.

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