Editor’s Note: My mom watched over Dylan one night last week and I asked her if she wanted to write about her experiences. She said she would think about it and then she sent me a 50,000 word (this is a slight exaggeration) Magnus Opus. My mother lived […]
South of the Strait
Why is my page titled South of the Strait? Well I live in a far corner of the United States. I live in a small town south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If I was going to throw a rock across the strait it would land in Canada. I used to be an English teacher. I have worked in Westport, Port Angeles, and Sequim, Washington... and I did two years of substitute teaching in Coalinga, California.
I've moved around a lot, living in: Sterling,Kansas; Chicago; Jordan, Montana; Lemoore, California; Auckland, New Zealand; Spokane, Washington; Gambier, Ohio.
What do I write? For WordPress I used to print once a week for general comments. I wrote reviews of music concerts my daughter made me attend. (Each month she would want us to drive to Seattle to see a music group. I usually stood in the back watching weird stuff.) I also wrote about trips I have taken in Europe where I liked getting lost. I also wrote during the few months when my son was treated for cancer. (He is officially free of cancer of five years.) About three years ago I decided to stop writing blogs so I could concentrate on writing a few books. I have completed three books...or maybe four. I have now compiled my short stories poems and memoirs on Amazon. You can get it at Amazon now..."A Work In Progress"--Jon Eekhoff. I have been very close to getting a printed book called "Lost Summer" but I was never offered $1,000,000.00. (It's set in Paris, 1920's, with baseball, writers, artist, and actually true stuff.) I wrote a book about college basketball called "Laidlaw." It's kind of a mix of "Moby Dick" and a coach who is about to get fired so he takes his team out for a free drive around the West. My most recent book is "California Tales." These are connected stories about the missionary churches in California. They are sad, funny, inspiring, and odd. I had the entire book done in my head and had just one section to finish the next day...and that is when I fell 20 feet from my roof and landed on the cement. (Like a lot of men, I thought I could maintain my own roof instead of leaving it to the professionals.) I don't remember anything about my accident but I am told I was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Though conscious and responsive after surgery to remove part of my skull, I don't remember anything from my first month there. I spent another month of Harborview working on walking, speaking, and writing. That was two years ago. As a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor, I could have quit writing, but I am not going to quit. I work with the University of Washington Speech and Hearing Clinic.
So, here I am. I am married and live here in Sequim with my wife Cheryl. Our kids live in nearby cities. Writing is now an exhausting exercise, but something I plan to keep working on.
“Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.” I’d like to try to address this statement, seeing as I’ve been hearing it often since my diagnosis. I appreciate the overwhelming support I’ve been receiving, I really do. I just don’t like this statement. Although sympathy […]
The weather in Seattle for the past two days? Clear skies, close to 60 degrees, the days are starting earlier and ending later, spring is in the air. This is not normal and for two days I have had the chance to get out of the hospital and […]
Today, makes two weeks in Swedish Hospital in Seattle, it seems longer. I know all the nurses by first name, I know when blood draws are, I know that Dylan’s once distended belly hasn’t grown noticeable, and I know he feels better, but I also know the cancer […]
Dylan woke up the next day with unbelievable throat pain. No one was sure if the pain was a side-effect of the chemo, which happens, or if it was some type of infection so they bombarded him with everything. With cancer patients who have entered into a low […]
By Monday, eight days into our journey, I had hoped Dylan’s distended belly would stop growing, but it hadn’t. Each hour it seemed to expand beyond what was humanly possible. Nine months pregnant is one way to describe it, but I remembered a term from my research on […]
Nights in hospitals are long. The eternal fluorescent lighting in the hallways, the hourly bathroom breaks, and the switching of IV fluids never gives the ill or the family much time to tuck in a good solid sleep, so it doesn’t take long to get sleep routines jumbled […]
After the diagnosis there was relief, this is probably hard to understand, but knowing it was leukemia made things easier. The doctors knew this thing, they treat this thing, they cure this thing, while this entire ride was going to be new for us it was a path […]
Day two arrived, or was it day three? Hospitals are places where the normal rules of twenty-four hours cannot apply. The waiting hours are multiplied and the days can drift away without any feeling of accomplishment. Each doctor arrived, handed over their business cards, and talked about what […]
Sometimes trips are long because one travels a great distance but there are times when a trip is long because of reasons beyond distance. The outward journeys our bodies take are often paired with an inward journey of the mind. The distances we travel in our mind can […]