This is the much-heralded Week of Cold. Real Cold. So one newspaper said: "Not just 'feels like' cold," but, the real thing.
Where were you when it struck? Skiing on a "Colorado high"? Or just shivering in our arctic land, bundled to the hilt, trying to get your car started so you could go to work?
Our work, Molly and I, was getting to "doctor-land" in St. Louis Park for 10:00 am "infusion" (of antibiotics, taken intravenously through a PICC line from arm to heart) with dear oldest daughter ready then to bundle us into her car, and drive off under noon-day sun to the Mayo world of doctors for a 3:00 pm nose and throat exploration to start the two days of "getting to the bottom of this, so we can make you better."
It was an adventure in the cold, for sure. Getting on the brave shuttle bus at our motel, we observed that the sick from everywhere, no matter their infirmity (one man on a leg stump with his head also bandaged, another pulling an oxygen tank, perhaps others struggling with obesity) all looked like Minnesotans with their new-style down jackets and coats, their stocking caps, scarves over noses, and mittens and gloves to prevent frostbite, climbing on with universal good cheer, helping each other on and off, generally laughing off the cold and its dangers, feeling safe in the superb hands of our expert shuttle driver as he made his rounds of motels, hospitals, and finally the Mayo Clinic, apologizing to us all, "This is the first time in two years I have been so late in this run. I'm so sorry." We all felt sorry with him, and gratefully left our tips as he helped us off at Mayo's Gonda Building.
Not only were our fellow shuttle-riders surprisingly cheerful, but all the young doctors and nurses, women and men, half born somewhere else, were kindly, caring, interesting young people of good heart and gentle spirit.
They were patient in explaining, gentle in their probing, wise and helpful in their observation, and clearly were doing everything they could to solve the mysteries of this old man's sources of infection, and ready with their healing plans.
While daunting for us patients, they were eminently helpful in all their insights and recommendations.
On top of that, I was guided, hand-held, even wheelchair-pushed by my dear strong wife, bustling and inveterately cheerful, and our oldest daughter (the "second mother" in our growing up crew of five children) doing all the driving, interpreting complicated instructions, and selflessly serving her old parents. What a gift are both these two strong women.
The whole two-day experience in the cold, yet in the hands of wondrously helpful kind healing professionals, and among a crowd of wounded human beings, battling disease and infirmity in their own bodies, plus the horrendous cold of this coldest week, all making the very best of it. God's children, being good to each other. So many lessons learned in our experience of this historic week.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES