A Picnic I Won’t Forget

Now that was really uphill.

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

It was likely the summer of about 2000. Y2K was a distant memory though millions had been wasted on inaccurate fears, advice and action. Getting away from life’s hassles, or so we thought, our church was having an outdoor family event/picnic. It took place somewhere off the back roads of San Diego.

The location was a multi-acre piece of land. It was somewhat parched that summer though there were enough trees to suggest this might be a park. Additionally there were no street lights, roads or sidewalks. The sure sign of a park was that our cellphones wouldn’t work. There was also a sign at its entrance with the word “Park.”

All 75 or so of us hiked downhill from the parking lot several miles to a small lagoon. The water at one edge of the lagoon ended at the bottom of a 50 ft., stony, small cliff.

Before long…

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Time Constricts and Flattens

“Time constricts and flattens, you know. It’s not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind and others disappear.” Christina Baker Kline, an American novelist. I had several about 60 years ago that lingered.

I went to Emory University in my freshman year (1963) and soon met my academic advisor on the faculty. He revealed to me he was dying of leukemia. With the pain of starting a new venture, this struck me as an even more painful moment. That event helps explain why, when told in the infirmary in  1966, that I had a white blood cell count of 20,000 one day, and that it was infectious mononucleosis (mono) the next day, I was thrilled I had mono.

Another college surprise from another academic advisor occurred just before my graduation. He told me having dropped philosophy at my physician’s insistence the quarter I had mono; I didn’t have the two social sciences courses required to graduate. He noted, however, that since I finished a full pre-med curriculum and a history major which included graduate work in the four preceding years, they waived the requirement. The few seconds between the two sentences sure flattened time for me.