An emergency thank you...

I have had two ambulance rides in my life: one where I was more fascinated by the quantity of saline being poured over my legs than I was scared or in shock, and one where I cried the whole time with blood pouring down my face.

I have been a patient in the emergency room for both minor mishaps (they laughed when they saw how little I had cut off my finger) and for major physical and psychological trauma (car accident, massive panic attack).

After the trauma and drama are over, I sometimes wish I could track down the first responders, the doctors and nurses who have been there for me through these distressing events, and thank them. But I think for many of us who have experienced these kinds of emergencies, we don't really want to relive them or remember them any more than necessary. And I'm pretty sure that the EMTs and ER staff who helped me have forgotten me by the next day.

Still, I'd like to give thanks this year for the police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, doctors, nurses, technicians, and everyone else who has scooped me up off the street, stitched me up like Frankenstein, shot me full of sedatives and did what they had to do to put me back together, physically and mentally.

I've always appreciated the dry humor, the calm demeanor, the matter-of-fact attitude that faces me in the ER. I might be freaking out (or just out of it), but the person who meets me never is. When my head was busted open in five places, I don't recall a single ER staff person looking at me in horror. I understand the training and conditioning these people go through. And I appreciate it.

I still remember cracking jokes with the doc who sewed up my lacerations; I distinctly recall telling him I'd "always wanted a needle in my eye."

I've been a visitor with with hubby as he's experienced extremely painful kidney stones, strange dizzy spells and heart palpitations, and also a co-patient (between the two of us, we used up most of the saline supply in the ambulance -- in a ride that took two and a half blocks). They always take us seriously, but they don't make us more scared. How do they DO that?

I take comfort in living near a major hospital, and having spent so much time in its ER, I feel safe and secure as I pass by on my regular walks in the neighborhood. I know what goes on inside. I know people are there for me if I need them.

So on this Thanksgiving, six days short of the 20th anniversary of a car accident that would change my life in so many ways, let me give a resounding


to all the first responders, the ER personnel, and everyone else who helped put the pieces back together again. You rock.


Yay Life IRL

Here's the license plate that inspired this very blog! I think I must live near these people, because I frequently find myself driving behind their car or, in this case, parking next to them at Trader Joe's.

I'd love to meet the person behind this license plate!


A dino a day keeps monotony away

On my neighborhood walk, I'm constantly entertained and engaged. There's so much to see, smell and experience on a beautiful fall day in Santa Barbara. Today, for example, I encountered:

Butterflies and bees
Giant orb spiders
A single yellow leaf dropping from a branch
A sleeping Labrador
A barking Pit Bull
Shimmery snail trails
A car trunk full of groceries
A woman with a camera on a tripod
Gardeners and construction workers
A double-sized, long-haired, chatty, purry gray kitty
A large story board or planning grid in a garage

Dinosaurs! Yep, this house never fails to grab my attention. In its desert-style garden, there are hidden treasures, if you take a moment to look.

There's a brawl about to happen between a stegosaurus and a little guy someone will have to identify for me; there's a brontosaurus guarding a boulder in front. And then, just when you think you're back in prehistoric times, you spot a tiny red car driving through the tableau (see it?). I might find more critters if I look more closely, which I will next time.

I can't help but think I would like the people who live in this house. Their humor and playfulness are two qualities I require in people I choose to hang out with. After all, who wants friends with no imagination or sense of fun?