Friday, October 28, 2011

Viele Road

It's Friday again and it's been a really busy week.

I am a creature of habit. I drive to work every morning, five days a week and I use the same route to get to my office 99% of the time.

Why in the world would I write about it? Because for four minutes every Monday through Friday I drive along Viele Road, also known as SW 70 Avenue between Griffin and Stirling Roads.

The roads in Davie are named after the pioneer families of Davie, those early Everglades settlers who were tough enough to live in the mosquito infested sawgrass prairies and smart enough to see what southern Florida could be. The Griffin Brothers ran barges up and down the New River, utilizing the newly dug canal between Davie and Fort Lauderdale and bought lots of land. Frank Stirling was Davie's first mayor and a horticultural genius who knew how to grow anything in the fertile muck of the River of Grass. They both made their fortunes here. And, their descendants continue to be active in the community, which I think is really cool. It gives you a sense of the place, which I like a lot.

So, there your are. That's my offering to the writing gods for today. I've taken lots of pictures of Viele Road over the years, so here are a few.


The S-11 Canal runs along the west side of Viele Road,
which runs north-south between Stirling and Griffin Roads.
Most of the homes and horse ranches along Viele Road
are one acre or more. There are a lot of small lakes.
This section is what I call "a manicured lawn." The birds
seem to love this section -- there is almost always a bird here.
A Woodstork, just hanging out on the manicured lawn!
This is my girlfriend, Norma, with Lonnie Quinn from NBC6.
He was the meteorologist who was assigned to report on the
relocation of the 1912 Viele House, which sat at the corner of
Griffin Road & SW 70 Avenue. The house was moved to save it
from demolition in 2003 and what a media circus it was!
This is my personal favorite photo, shot on a cool and foggy January morning
in 2007. The geese acted like they owned the road, and, for these few minutes
they did! It's available to purchase on Veer, here!
Carpe diem!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alice, big and small

I feel a little bit like Alice did when she drank from a bottle labeled "DRINK ME" and became small. And, it's not the most comfortable feeling. You see, in order to talk about it, I'd have to go into details. Are you supposed to go into details on your blog?

Okay, then. Here's how it's gone. So far.

I'm a big fan of Jazzercise. It's fun and it keeps me fit. I honestly don't know how I would live without it. So, during a class sometime in August we were doing pliƩ (Which looks a lot like a squat, but Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett doesn't like to call them squats!) and I noticed something going on in my lower left abdomen. If you put a pair of socks in your jeans pocket and squat, that's sort of how it felt, but inside my body.

When I got home after class, I disrobed and examined my abdomen. Now, I have never had a flat stomach. Not even when I was a teenager. So, I long ago gave up any hope of looking like those skinny models in VOGUE. I accepted my body the way it is. And, that's been okay so far. But, here I am in front of the mirror, naked as a jaybird, looking at my abdomen. All the crunches I've done in Jazzercise have paid off, because my abs are looking good for an old lady like me. But, that little pouch on the lower left ... is that fat? And, why do I have it on the left and not on the right?

Over the last couple of months, I've poked and prodded my abs, wondering why it feels weird, like I have a pair of socks in my pocket. Since it didn't hurt, I figured it's just fat. Until last week.

I was leaning across a counter that just happened to be at the right height for me to press my lower abdomen against it with my full weight behind it, and I felt something. It wasn't pain, but it was something to think about. And, after I thought about it, I called my doctor.

I've had the same physician for more than 20 years, which is saying something in today's world of healthcare. And, he's a good doctor. I told him what I've just finished writing here, now, and after a thorough examination, he suggested we should do sonograms. (I like the "we." It makes it feel like "we're" doing something together, even though it's me who endures the procedure.)  So, three days later, I arrived before sunrise at the local women's clinic with a full bladder. The tech was terrific, letting me go pee as soon as she was done with the first scan, the one requiring the full bladder! She did three scans and sent me off with a pink carnation in honor of October's Breast Cancer Awareness.

Later in the afternoon, my doctor called and said the results from the first scan had come in and it showed "an abnormal thickening of the uterus." I guess that's my pair of socks, huh?

I have an appointment next week with my GYN. Lucky for me, I've had the same GYN for at least ten years, so he's got all my medical history right there, which I hope is helpful. And, now, like Alice, I feel small. My imagination runs away with me on most days, and I suddenly feel as if my time is running out. I am mortal. I am human. I am oh, so small.

There are a hundred "what if's" and I've poured over most of them while waiting for that next appointment. In the meantime, I'm looking for that little cake with "EAT ME" on it so I can be big. I really need to be big.

Where IS that little cake? Where is my courage? Did I lose it when I fell down the rabbit hole?