Before we ever left . . .
There has been some surprise expressed over the fact that Daniel and I suddenly took out for California, not only without telling anyone, but without permission, for cryin‘ out loud! I never really thought I needed permission. Not only that, but sometimes I think that people really don’t listen very well when I say something, and when things like this happen and I start hearing things like, “Mom! (or “Sis!” or “Mary Ann!”) I didn’t know anything about this!” — That’s when I’m a little suspicious that people aren‘t listening. The thing was, we’ve been planning our California trip for a very long time.
Daniel’s oldest sister, Lena, has lived in San Diego for over twenty years. When she started to noise about retirement back a few years ago, Daniel expressed great interest in visiting her before she left the area. The thing was, My reputation is such that Lena really didn’t expect that it would ever happen. Although we have discussed it frequently, when Daniel specifically asked me (probably about a year ago) if I would consider going, He must have caught me at a time when I was feeling at least a little bit adventuresome. At least, I thought that it sounded like a great idea. Daniel had never been to San Diego, either, but every single one of the offspringin’s had, and loud was the encouragement for Daniel and me to pursue this dream.
And so, after Lena had visited Delaware yet again for Thanksgiving, we decided to start planning our trip with intent. There was one thing called “chickens” to organize our lives around, as well as care for Our Girl Audrey and Blind Linda. When the wonderful gals who attend the Thursday Morning Bible Study at Shady Acres gave me coupons for “Time away with your husband, we will take care of your ladies” for Christmas, my heart was more hopeful than it had been in a very long time that it just might happen. So Daniel went to the calendar and determined that his chickens were going to be leaving the first week of February and he and his sister began to look for ticket deals in earnest. They settled on a flight that left at 6:10 AM on February 8th.
It has been a thing of wonder for me to observe how God has brought all these pieces together for us. Situation after situation just kind of worked itself out, and the plans seemed to be going right along quite well.
Until last week,
It was one of those kinds of weeks — started out with a bang, and did NOT stop. Daniel was fighting an upper respiratory infection that seemed to worsen as the week went on. When he stayed home from work on Wednesday, I was secretly concerned. Daniel NEVER stays home from work except under the duress of feeling really, really bad. The chickens were going out on Thursday, and he had already changed his Alternate Work Schedule so that he was off Thursday instead of Monday because the chicken company somehow feels it’s a good idea for the farmer to be present at chicken catching time. With that in mind, I knew something was seriously amiss as it was very much unlike him to stay home when it meant he would be off two days in a row.
Wednesday, I heard him call our family doctor to see if he could get an appointment. I guess he was figuring that he only had a week to get better before he left for California, and decided that he had better get on with it. Dr. Wilson had no openings on Wednesday and was going to be out of town Thursday and Friday.
“We could see you Monday morning,” said the ever helpful receptionist.
“I could be dead by then,” said Daniel in his usual manner of responding.
“–or, you could go to one of the walk-in,” was the helpful advice from the office.
He got off the phone and came to complain to me. “It doesn’t make no sense,” he intoned. “Where am I supposed to go to a walk-in?”
“They have one here in town,” I said. “And then there is that ‘Doc in a Box’ place up by Camden Wal-Mart.”
“I guess I’ll see if I can’t knock it out by myself,” he said, “I’ll see how I feel.” And out he went to work in his chicken house. Coughing and snorting and looking like he could hardly put one foot in front of the other. He spent a great deal of the day on the chair.
Thursday came, and he was feeling no better. One thing about Daniel Yutzy is that when there is something to be done, he just kinda’ gets busy and does it. And on Thursday, there were chickens to get moved, so he would come in and crash on his La-Z-boy, drink a cup of tea, take some cold medicine and sleep if he wasn’t coughing too hard to sleep. Sometimes I would find him on sacked out on the floor of the sun room, while he waited for another coop truck or when he found he couldn’t push it anymore. Sometimes he would sit in his chair and try to prepare for his Sunday sermon. I kept watch, and wondered mightily, but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. Some things a man just has to decide for himself. But the days were getting shorter and shorter until our expected departure date. That was something that made him push himself even harder.
“Hon,” he would say stubbornly when he saw me looking askance at yet another bout of raucous coughing, “I HAVE to get this done. It HAS to be done before we leave, and if I don’t do it, no one else will.” And I guess it was pretty well the truth– especially if he wasn’t going to ask someone for help. Something he likes just about as much as he likes macaroni and cheese. Which is not at all.
I came down to find Daniel on the La=Z-boy when he normally would have been out doing chores. I thought briefly that there were no chickens, so maybe he was going to just flee out there at the last minute and check on things and feed the cows. One look at his face, and a touch to his forehead and I knew he was really sick.
“There’s no way I can make it,” he wheezed. “Where is there a walk-in that I can get to first thing this morning?” I got on the phone and began calling. The one in Milford didn’t open for walk-ins until noon. I had an old phone book and couldn’t find a number for Doc in a Box. Yhe local hospital gave me a few numbers, but all of them were pretty much dead end leads, too. “I’m going to go feed the cows,” he suddenly said, on his feet and looking pale, “and maybe you can figure something out until I get back in. Then I am going to get a shower and find somewhere to go.” No offers to help were accepted, and I was in the middle of getting ladies on the bus, so he tottered out, and I went back to looking for the elusive phone number in between showers and meds and packing Linda’s lunch. Tucked away on one of the shelves of our bakers rack was a newer version of the Yellow Pages. I quickly took a gander through the business section.
Finally, SUCCESS!!!! I called Doc in a Box, found out that they opened at 7:30, were not especially busy at the moment, and that they only accepted credit cards for co-pay. When he drug himself back in from his chores, it took about fifteen minutes for him to be on his way.
When he came back he had a report of all sorts of “cute” things wrong with him. “aCUTE Sinusitis.” “aCUTE Pharyngitis.” “aCUTE asthmatic-type Bronchitis.” He had a great experience at “Doc in a Box“ where he found my own cousin, Dr. Bonnie Yoder, the attending physician. The upshot was FOUR prescriptions that would hopefully make everything right as rain!
. . . MORE LATER!!!