Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Weather Does Me In

Yesterday afternoon I accompanied the Other Mother to her appointment with her new physician. Thankfully the last one retired. I say thankfully because during an exam at which I was present, he was exhibiting signs of going into a coma. I am serious. He sat through the entire exam, leaning against the table, talking very, very, VERY slowly. The last straw came when I noticed his eyes rolling back in his head.

I bolted for the nurses station and asked, "Is there something I should know about the doctor? You might want to call the paramedics for him!"

The nurse informed me that the doctor had diabetes and his blood sugar was probably low. I was appalled. The nurse could feel my ire rising but she did nothing to intervene. Again, I was appalled. When we exited the exam room the nurse had a can of soda on the counter for the doctor. Seriously? His eyes are rolling back in his head and your only response is a can of soda? It's time to retire when you become the patient during an exam.

The Other Mother seems to like her new doctor, who is a female. True to her upbringing and generational world view, the Other Mother asked the question, "What is she?"

Can you guess the nature of her question? Seventy years ago the Other Mother lived in an ethnic enclave near the city. The first order of business when meeting someone was to determine "what tribe" they belonged to. Were they Italian? Polish? Bohemian?

Like I said, it's a generational thing.

"Her name is Patel", I told the Other Mother.

"She's probably Indian or Pakistani. Why do you ask?"

I already know why she asks, but I want her to think about why she is asking. Maybe next time it won't be the first thing she asks. But then again, old dogs don't learn new tricks very easily.

When we left the doctor's office it had started to snow. It had been cloudly all day but in my heart I was hoping beyond hope that it would clear up. Why? Because last night there was a magical occurrence, an event that is at the top of the list of the most wonderful things I've ever seen.

A full lunar eclipse.

The first time you see one, you're hooked. It's unbelievable. If you saw the moon in full eclipse without knowing what it was, you'd think you were in a science fiction movie.

The video cannot convey the raw beauty of this event. Normally the moon is bright, bright white, with all features washed out. But in a full eclipse the moon becomes three dimensional.

The truly upsetting part of missing this eclipse is that it's the first solstice lunar eclipse in 456 years. The next one won't occur until 2096, at which time I'll be cosmic dust.

Here's a link to one of my geeky astronomy sites. Pass your cursor over the photo to learn more.


Look at this terrific montage of different eclipses. This is from Astronomy Photo of the Day. Bookmark it! Also, be sure to click on the photo to see the large version.


Please pardon me whilst I go into my total astronomy geek mode. I could go on all day, so stop me please! But before you stop me look at this time lapse photo of a lunar eclipse over the south pole.


OK, now it's time to plow the drive!


Lisa D. said...

Glad she has a new doctor. It's not good when you're more concerned about the doctor's health than your own at the appointment you're paying for!
I grew up in an area that had a very large Polish and Ukrainian population and a very large French population. Yes, all the older people ask "What are you?" They need to know where you fit in to the mix, or are you an outsider. So many have only been in Canada for a couple of generations really, so that family/cultural history is still very important. I also find it interesting to understand how my history has shaped my family and me, and to see how those cultural influences have shaped the community and the community relationships, so I am also always wondering "What are you?" whether I'm actually willing to ask the question or not!

Vee said...

Oh, I, too, am glad that your mil has a new doctor after the description of her former one. I don't get shaken by these kinds of questions. I hear them all the time. I may even be the one asking.

So you missed the eclipse? So did I. I have seen one, not at this season. It was a thrill, but not enough of a thrill to rise so early from my bed and look. We had cloud cover and snow here as well so I have an even better excuse. Isn't it wonderful that we can watch videos of the event? Almost as good, right? Thanks for posting them.

MelissaD said...

I've seen lunar eclipses and you are right - they are stunning. Couldn't see last night's because of all the clouds. By the way I love the music on the video clip you posted.
Another fun space page? www.spaceweather.com
all sorts of interesting things and photos of aurora borealis, eclipses, etc.!!
Glad you MIL has a new doc - I would have gone ballistic!

Tess said...

My grandmother used to say "...his people.." as if they came from an American Indian Tribe. Drove me crazy. 25 years ago, while pregnant, she forbid me from looking at the lunar eclipse saying the baby would be born crazy. I sure miss her.

Leslie T said...

Okay, the doctor thing? Creepy. Good thing he wasn't a surgeon, passing out on somebody's appendix. I'm glad that a new doctor has been acquired.
The eclipse, very cool. It's too bad that winter weather kept most areas of the country from having good visibility. Eclipses are amazing things. Thanks for the post!

Mary said...

was that the doctor in my home town? I am worried about him. he is too young to retire but he needs to take care of himself.

Merry CHristmas to you and yours.

Auntie Bliss said...

Oh that doctor visit! Yikes!