New Spring 2005
Spring popped up the other day and I?m rather happy about the whole thing. Why shouldn?t I be? Maybe you have some good reasons to be happy also.
First on my list: I?m breathing. That is always a great start to anything (unless one is in the vicinity of a cabbage and bean tamale cook-off). I rather enjoy the idea of being alive. Given the trouble with my heart, it?s a wonder that I get around at all.
On the subject of my heart, I went to see my Cardiologist today. That guy and his staff are absolute geniuses. I was near dead, due to a pesky flu virus that settled in my heart. Now, I?m almost back to the normal range. The doctor is always glad to see me. I think he?s just as amazed that I?ve recovered so much.
This afternoon?s inspection of my ticker involved an Echocardiogram. That?s where they use ultrasound equipment to look at your heart while it does its thing. Using Doppler technology (like your local weather gurus) they can actually tell how efficiently your heart pumps blood. When I started all this my heart was at 15-20% pump efficiency. Last year I was at 45% efficiency. In about two weeks, I?ll know where I?m at this year. If my pattern holds, I should be around 55%. (Note: Human normal is 50-65% with about 65% being typical and 70% being athletic. I?m shooting for 75%.)
Second on my list is the fact that I?m doing well in school. As part of my rehabilitation I?ve had to go to college and learn skills that don?t require the level of physical activity I used to use. I?m a Junior double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. The upper classes have taken a real toll on my Grade Point Average and it has dropped to 3.79. Though that is good enough for a Magna Cum Laude, I was really hoping for the Summa Cum Laude. It?s not that important in the big scheme of things, but it would be fun to brag about the next time somebody gets uppity about his or her education. It may also help to get a better paying job so I can pay off all my student loans before I?m dead.
Now that I?m nearing the end of my undergraduate degree studies, it is time for an internship. I got me a good one. To begin with, it pays. It pays really well. Secondly, it?s the sort of work I really like doing. Third, it?s with a small, start-up division of a large corporate parent. That means I get to have the fun, start-up environment but still have responsible and economically sound people overseeing everything. What could be better?
The next thing on my list is my new love seat. About seven years ago, my sofa died. It wasn?t a particularly healthy sofa, being second hand and old and all. There were some large people involved and I won?t get into the details of walrus love (always keep an eye on all of your party guests) but there was not much left of the sofa when things were done.
I wanted to save up for a really good sofa to replace the old one, but that would take time. As temporary fix, I bought a cheap love seat. The thing had a frame made of black enameled pipe. Black nylon stretched between the bits of pipe to create structure. Thin, black cushions struggled to hold on with hook and loop fasteners. The plan was to use the pipe thing for no more than two years until I saved up for proper furniture. Like I said, that was seven years ago.
Now the poor thing is about had it. I?ve sewn the nylon netting repeatedly. Some the pipe has been reinforced. It is time for the old pipe love seat to go to its rest.
Some time in late April, they will deliver to me my new love seat. It is plush and yet sturdy. It is a slight grayish-green. (Ak! It just occurred to me that it is very close to my ex-fianc??s favorite color!) The upholstery and frame and cushions and everything are guaranteed for far longer than I can imagine needing a piece of furniture. I tried out the demo model and decided that this love seat (despite its small size) has nap-matic action. I am so excited.
The final notable reason for which I am glad that it is spring is that I live in Iowa. I love to see the small, green shoots push up through the yellow-gray stalks of last year?s grasses. The dirt is black which makes the green seem brighter. The wind is still cold, but the sun is warm and the combination is remarkably refreshing.
Soon, green will completely replace the gray. Red-winged black birds will sit on the barbed wire fences looking for plump, juicy caterpillars to eat. The wind will lose its chill. The tractors will stroll determinedly back and forth across the fields, making promises of food to come later. The thunder will come.
Few things are as beautiful as a prairie storm. You can see it form way off in the distance. The clouds line up in proper ranks and march forward, stomping thunder and shaking rain loose from the sky. Sometimes, they are more playful, dancing in great circles. Those are the troublemakers. Kicking wildly without concern for those below, sometimes they cause great damage. When they aren?t knocking over your house, they put on quite a show.
Hopefully you have reasons to be glad for spring as well. If you?re reading this, you are probably also doing the breathing thing. Other than that, you?ll probably have to come up with reasons of your own. It?s not that hard if you really think about it.