Roby's Lens

LIFE from my point of view

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The “dangers” of caller ID

It was 5:50 a.m., I was sleeping soundly when the phone rang… it was Dotti’s Mom, in Atlanta.  My first thought:  “Oh no, is something wrong?” 

6:18 a.m., I was just dozing off to catch a few more winks before getting up, and the phone rang again… St. Joseph Hospital showed up on caller ID.  My thought:  “Oh no, I hope Mom & Dad are OK and aren’t in the ER.”

1:00 p.m., my Mom wasn’t available to answer her cell, but when she was free, she checked her phone and saw caller ID as St. Joseph Hospital.  She thought:  “Oh no, I hope someone in the family isn’t in the ER!” 

That was enough adrenalin to last all of us a year!

What really happened: 

5:50 – Dotti’s mom accidentally called the home number rather than her cell phone.  Dotti is still in Atlanta, staying with her sister, 3 hours ahead of us.

6:18 – My co-worker called from the hospital asking if I could come into work early to see a patient.

1:00 pm – I called Mom from the hospital to ask her a question, but didn’t leave a message.  Instead, I hung up, called the home number and spoke with Dad.  He didn’t mention to her when she came home for lunch, that I had called.

Lesson:  Don’t assume anything!  It can be detrimental to one’s health.


Daddy, can I get my hair cut like yours?

Any man can be a Father, but it takes a special person to be called Dad.

Dear Dad,

Happy Father’s Day!  I feel very fortunate to have been born to such a good man.   I have many fond memories of you from my childhood… playing games, going to the dump, fishing, learning how to fix things, riding your Harley in the back yard, and “helping” you work on cars (which really meant me getting in your way, and dipping my hands into the pan of oil, spreading it on my hands and arms so I could look like you!)  I even wanted my hair cut like yours!  Although I no longer want a haircut like yours, (it looks better on you), there are so many ways in which I still hope to be like you when I grow up.

Over the years, as we both have grown, I have enjoyed and appreciated the relationship we’ve fostered.  You are always there when I have a need, and I know that I can call on you, day or night, and you will be here.   It feels good knowing I can count on you.  It feels even better to know we are friends and enjoy spending time together.

I am also grateful for how you have embraced Dotti, and how you have shown us such love and affirmation, even when it may have been easier, and more expected (from society and the church community) to refrain from reaching out to us with acceptance. 

One moment I will never forget was on January 5, 2002, the day I told you and Mom the truth about me that I had been trying to hide for 18 years.  That was a very emotional and difficult day for all of us, and yet you pushed through, rose above, got up out of your chair, and your comfort zone, to reach out and hug me, telling me it was OK, and that you loved me.   That was a pivotal moment in my life, and I will be forever grateful to you for that demonstration of love.

Dad, I celebrate YOU today, and I want you to go to bed tonight (and every night) and get up tomorrow morning (and every morning) knowing that you are loved beyond measure by a little dark haired girl who always wanted to be like her Daddy. 

I love you!


PS:  Thank you for being such a great Grandpa “Papa” to Rylee Joy!


Snuggles and toilet paper

Father’s Day 2010.  Rylee woke me up at 7:54 asking for permission to come up into the bed for snuggle time. 

When Rylee was a baby, I was single, and totally enamored with my new daughter.  She was little, soft, fluffy and oh so snuggly.  I had just spent the past two years learning about raising a dog, and I knew better than to allow her into my bed.  But oh how tempting.  The second day after I brought Rylee home, I called my breeder to ask how she felt about the notion of letting Rylee come up into the bed for snuggle time in the morning for a few minutes.  I was elated when she said, “Oh of course it’s OK… our Standard Poodles have permission for snuggle time every morning!” 

So the routine began.  And now, eight and a half years later, every morning like clockwork, Rylee wakes up, comes to Dotti’s side of the bed, and swipes her right paw along the mattress, asking for “permission.”   If, and only if she is granted permission, Dotti has to lean up and pull back the covers, and Rylee leaps up, gets in between us, lays her head on the pillow and spoons one or the other of us until it’s time to get up.  She likes to touch both of us at the same time.  It’s her version of Heaven.  And ours.  An interesting side note:  Sometimes, on a cold wintery night, we want to break the rules and get Rylee up into the bed to keep us warm.  She will NOT have it.  She will NOT jump up.  She will lay in her bed and make her 40 pound frame feel like 80 pounds so it’s hard to lift her.  If we are successful with the lift of the dead weighted dear, we put her into the bed and she sits there, wide-eyed, stiff as a board.  She refuses to lay down, and has a look on her face that screams, “Oh my gosh… how could I have let this happen?  I have to get out of here!!!”  If we dare let go of her, she leaps off the bed and gets right back into her bed, where she “belongs.”  I guess that’s what I get for training her. :)

I digress… so after snuggles this morning, we get up and go out to the kitchen to make coffee.  Dotti is away on business right now, so I am reduced to having to make my own.  Good thing I remember how.  I looked outside the front windows to take a glance at the gorgeous white flowers we have blooming, and see that we have more than white blooms… white Costco toilet paper all over the trees, bushes and landscaping.   This is the fourth time in 2 years we’ve been TPeed. 

The first time, they did such a stellar job, so we got out the video camera and made it into a laughable moment.  The second, third, and now the fourth time, I’m not really laughing anymore.  I’m grateful that it’s just TP and not something worse. 

Our neighbors are amazing.  Nick, our dear friend, and president of our HOA, always calls or sends a message with his frustration and condolences.  The first time, Nick was on his way to take the kids to daycare, then to work early in the morning, and he told us later that day that if he didn’t have the kids or need to get to work, he would have stopped and cleaned up the entire mess before we woke up.  Another neighbor, Brian, came down when we weren’t home, brought his truck and his ladder, climbed up on the roof to remove the remnants left up there that we couldn’t reach.  We have good friends and neighbors. 

So now what?  Feels easy to get angry, but that only hurts me.   Thanks to my wise dear friend, Jacqueline, I was reminded that “these people who are doing this need some extra help from the universe/Spirit or?.  Obviously something is lacking in their lives. There are better choices to make.” 

So this Father’s Day morning, I’m choosing to send out an extra portion of love for some young person who needs it.

Note to that young person:  You left two unwrapped rolls in the landscaping… I’m home all day if you want to come get them.  And… I do accept apologies. :)


Gasless in Seattle

Thursday, 9 pm.  Dotti says, “Honey, what is your gut feeling about me going to Atlanta for the mobile media launch this weekend?”  I reply, “My gut is saying you should go.”  (We’ve both learned to trust my gut.)  Need to find a flight… got a voucher… let’s see what we can do. 

Ten O’ Clock  p.m.  “Dotti, do you want the good news or the not so good news first?”  She opts for the good news.  “I got you a flight.  The not so good news is that it leaves in 8 hours!” 

She scurries to get all her urgent emails out, since where she’s going (her mom’s) doesn’t have internet.  I scurry to get her suitcase packed.  I must remember all the details… medications, in case she has a relapse of her recent asthmatic bronchitis, toothbrush, unders, hose, razor, craisins & almonds, a love note. 

She chooses her outfits.  I pack them. 

“Rylee, get in the car… we’re takin’ a middle-of-the-night road trip!”  She’s happy, no matter that we woke her from her slumber. 

4:45 a.m. – Got to the airport in good time, kissed my Sweetheart goodbye, and went to find gas to get home (120 miles away).  Oh shit.  Where’s my wallet?  “Rylee, do you know where I put my wallet?  She gives me a look like, “Mama, I can’t be responsible for everything!  For crying out loud, in case you forgot, I’m a dog!” 

OK… deep breath.  I’m out of gas, but it’s OK, I have a checkbook.  Six gas stations later, still no gas.  “Sorry… we don’t accept checks!”  “What???!!! So you don’t want my business?! Fine!”  I huff out of the first gas station, take a deep breath to calm myself, and inhale a stench that stopped me in my tracks.  I turn to look, and there stood a precious homeless woman with her entire life in a broken down grocery cart.   And I think I have a problem because I have no debit card and no cash with which to fill my 2006 Subaru Outback with gas?! Reality check.  Humbled, I climb behind the wheel and slowly drive off.  I don’t go too fast for fear I will use up more of the fumes in my tank!  The nice lady at the 6th station said, “Banks open at 9.”   It’s 5:30.

Oh but wait, I forgot to mention that the first gas station was like Heaven to me… because I had to “go” so bad I thought I might crap my pants!  And… the ONLY reason I was ALLOWED to use their toilet was because I LOOKED like a paying customer.  Little did they know at the time, that there was not one bit of difference between me and the homeless woman.  Neither of us were “paying customers.”  And the more I think of it, there still isn’t any difference.  We’re all connected,  we’re all valuable and we’re all worthy of respect and dignity.

I drive around, wondering how on earth my engine is still purring, and like manna from Heaven, I happen upon none other than a Bank of America and a Key Bank in the same complex at South Center.  I put Bleu (yes, I name things!) into park, engage the luxurious electric seat recline, and settle in for a 3 and a half hour nap.  Rylee stays awake and alert while I sleep.  She feels responsible to take care of me. 

Nine O’Clock… I put my seat up, check my hair in the rear view mirror, grab my passport and head into Key Bank.  The Security Guard says, “Good Morning, how are you?”  I reply, “Well… I’ve had better mornings, but you know, in the big picture, I’m very well, thank you.”  I get my cash, fill my tank, and head for Interstate 5 North.  The Traffic Goddess was on my side, and I made record time back to Bellingham, just in time for my 11:00 patient at the cardiology clinic where I work.

Tonight, I am relaxing in my little paradise I call Home.  I am tired.  I am overwhelmed with all the financial documents I need to put together.  And I’m feeling like heading to the fridge for a bite of leftover grilled salmon with garlic ginger sauce.  

And… I can’t get that homeless woman out of my mind. 

And I thought I had a challenging day!



I’m finally getting inspired to get serious about blogging, thanks to my friend, Linda. I have a lot to say, and I  love the notion of this platform with which to express myself… for better or for worse.   Stay tuned, better yet, sign up for my feeds, to read more about how life is viewed through my lens.