Wednesday, December 10, 2014

End of the Year Review - 2014

It seems like 2014 has gone by very quickly. A lot has happened to me personally. My wife became very ill with her liver disease causing us to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah in order to be closer to the University of Utah transplant center.

We've become fairly comfortable in our one bedroom apartment, having moved from a four bedroom home in rural Nevada. It was kind of a shocking change from living in the country where once in a while we would hear a car drive by on our road, to living in the city, listening to police sirens day and night, traffic noise and trains blaring their horns as well as airplanes flying overhead. We're just a mile or two from the Salt Lake International Airport.

The mid-term elections resulted in a change of power in Congress for the next two years. We'll see how things get handled in DC now that the conservatives control both the House and the Senate.

There are riots and demonstrations from coast to coast, protesting racial inequality. If things could go back to the way things were before 2008, I think things would be a lot calmer. Our President seems to relish making comments in the media that simply seem to agitate rather than calm the populous.

Things seem to be escalating in the Middle East by the Muslim extremists. Beheading of westerners has really captured the attention of the West. I mean dead is dead, but beheading just seems so medieval and brutal to most folks. The few wannabe Muslim extremists in the USA want to play so they have taken it upon themselves to lop off a few heads here as well.

This makes Americans a bit suspicious and leery of the so-called 'Moderate Muslims' here in the states. We don't hear them standing up and denouncing the acts of their radical brothers, so one could conclude that they have a broad support base among American Muslims.

I've noticed here in Salt Lake City that many Muslim women who work at Walmart, wearing Muslim dress and rubber gloves, lest they actually 'touch an infidel'. Frankly, I find it offensive.

Less than a block from where we live is a Muslim 'social club' only for men, of course. I often see young men wearing ankle length caftan's (I guess that's what they're called) they look like Ladies house dresses to me. Kinda cute! Anyway, the locals always eye them with suspicion. One old guy (not me) sits across the street and watches them with his camera out. He's always snapping a few pictures. Not much gets by him.

A few of the local markets advertise food that is handled according to Muslim 'Halal' standards, which surprisingly is quite similar to Jewish 'kosher' standards. I wonder if someone pointed this out to them, if there'd be any offense?

On a more personal subject, my wife spent Thanksgiving in the hospital. She had some chemical imbalance that had to be taken care of. She was there for five days. I had a turkey dinner in the hospital cafeteria at no cost. It was actually pretty good. My wife had turkey dinner from a bag hanging above her bed. Not the way either of us planned on spending Thanksgiving. I was thankful she was alive and that we were together. That was enough for me.

You know you've spent too much time in the hospital when you know the nurses and staff by their first names. When they come to your room just to see you and say hi, even though they're not assigned to your case. I went into the cafeteria and the guys behind the serving line just asked "How's you wife?"  and "She's back in the hospital again?"

One of the housekeeping staff, Donald, comes by and checks on her every day she's there. He's become a friend. One of the nurse assistants, a lady from Great Britain, comes in on her own time just to visit and offer companionship.

We've definitely spent too much time in the hospital... but it's nice to see familiar faces there.

I hope we get called by the transplant team soon so she can be on the mend, instead of getting continuously sicker. That would be GOOD.

I hope everyone has had a good year in 2014 and that you'll have a better one next year. It's all we can hope for.

Geezer... out.