Florida had been our home since 2004, but we just moved north 1,400 miles (2,253 km) to the state of Connecticut. It all happened very rapidly. In early October I was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent a right hemicolectomy and removal of two metastatic lesions in my liver. Although the tumor had not spread locally or invaded the lymph nodes, this was technically a Stage 4 condition. The surgeons believed that all known cancer had been removed. Yet I was scheduled to begin chemotherapy in early December, conditioned upon the results of a blood test to determine the presence of tumor DNA which would be secreted by any undetected residual cancer.
We had already planned to move into the Connecticut home with our daughter and son-in-law, but accelerated the schedule so that the anticipated chemotherapy could be instituted in Connecticut without interruption. We put our home on the market and after only a single open house we immediately received offers from a half dozen prospective buyers, all but one well above the asking price. We accepted one and closed the sale in the middle of December-- hardly the best time of year to leave sunny Florida for the frigid north. Thankfully, no tumor DNA was present in my blood. The test is about 90% sensitive and highly specific for detecting colon cancer. The plan now is to periodically monitor for any indication that cancer cells may have survived.
Downsizing from four to a single bedroom in our Connecticut suite, packing and then unpacking has been a stressful process. We are delighted with our new residence, 1,800 square feet on the ground floor with windows on three sides overlooking the 5 acre property and an adjacent huge forested open space. The skyline of Hartford is visible above the hills, 11 miles away. I will miss Florida's wonderful variety of accessible and photogenic wildlife, our pre-dawn walks into the Wounded Wetlands, our many friends and neighbors-- and the Bald Eagles whose nest I had been monitoring since 2007.
Admittedly, I have been distracted by all that is involved with such a drastic change. Graciela, the older of our two granddaughters, was concerned that I had not posted any blogs since arriving. Simply put, I did not think I had anything to blog about. I explained that usually my blogs are inspired by some event or photographic opportunity. Since arriving I had gotten brief looks at critters such as rabbits, squirrels, crows, a few hawks and vultures, but really had not taken any photos because they were all quite far away. Graci thought I might have "writer's block" and came up with a solution: "Wait here and I will be right back."
She reappeared with Hizashi, her pet cockatiel:
Graci was also wearing a t-shirt emblazoned by one of my photos of the Florida Bald Eagle pair. Their poodle Cazador (In Spanish, "Hunter") true to his name, was staring intently:
The bird flew, landed on my head and proceeded to preen my coiffure:
The bedroom of our suite takes in the view through the three arches over our covered patio:
The skyline of Hartford is visible beyond the woodlands at a distance of eleven miles:
We have had spectacular sunsets:
This is the view from our front door on Christmas morning:
Rabbit tracks follow the path to our doorstep:
The family gifted us this tree ornament, a pair of cardinals, our favorite birds. When we lived in Dallas, our disabled son was visited by them as he sat quietly in his wheelchair under a tree in our back yard. After he passed, cardinals often appeared at the same spot, as if they missed his presence:
One of our final sunrises over our back yard lake in Florida (For Sale sign still up) :
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Fences Around the World
Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)
Our World Tuesday
Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display