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The Other Side of Alzheimer’s September 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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170px-Maes_Old_Woman_DozingThe receptionist looked up at the elderly gentleman pacing in front of her desk, “Yes, sir?”

“I’m in a bit of a hurry.  Any idea how much longer?”

“It shouldn’t be much longer.  The doctor is with another patient, but you’re next on the list.  Do you have another appointment to keep?”

“Yes.  I’m going to the nursing home to eat breakfast with my wife.  I have breakfast with her every day at 9 am.”

“That’s nice.  How is she doing?”

“She’s fine, I guess.  She’s been there a while.  She has Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.  Will she be upset if you’re a bit late arriving?”

“No, probably not.  She no longer knows who I am.  She hasn’t recognized me in over five years.”

“And you still go every day, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He nodded, a gentle smile lifting the corners of his mouth, “She doesn’t know me . . . but I know her.”

* * * * *

Inspiration:  The Notebook

Wild America ~ Alaska! September 24, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Nature.
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Wikipedia ~ Bear (in Public Domain)

We recently watched an IMAX movie about Alaska, and another about Bears, and learned some interesting things:

* Animals, even full grown Grizzly Bears, enjoy playing.

After chasing a moose away, a bear jumped into a lake and started splashing around . . . exactly like a human toddler during bath time.

* Bears use varied approaches to snatch salmon racing upstream.

Nothing is wasted, as nearby gulls clean up anything the bears leave behind.

* Only one out of 100 salmon survive long enough to spawn.  Once they spawn, they die, never again returning to the sea.  The decaying bodies of dead salmon enrich the water to help other species thrive.

* During the nine month winter, 4,000+ eagles congregate at the one place in Alaska which ensures their survival ~ on the banks of the only river which, due to geothermal heat, does not freeze over.

* Polar bears spend time play fighting on the edge of the sea, until it freezes over, as they wait for the seal harvest to begin.   Their sense of smell is so acute that they can detect a seal from twenty miles away.

Wikipedia ~ Sea Otter (in Public Domain)

* Sea Otters and Fur Seals are able to withstand frigid temperatures due to the thickness of their fur ~ with 800,000 strands per square inch. In order to maximize its insulating properties, they wash it using motions similar to those of the hair washer at your favorite beauty salon!

* Seals on the beach play with each other, somewhat awkwardly, before dancing and playing in a beautifully choreographed underwater ballet.

Curious, they approached the underwater camera, engulfing it with their mouths, as if being asked to “Open Wide” by an unseen dentist.

And, if you go . . .

Kayaking around glaciers, during the short summer months, poses hidden hazards . . . ice chunks, as tall as 30-story buildings,  drop off without warning, creating massive waves.

Thar she blows!

Wild America . . . long may she  live.