Well, it time to rob your life of either five minutes or five seconds, depending upon whether or not you decide to keep reading about the adventures of Nadine and Henry, or press the delete key. The year 2002 has been a year of changes for us.
Nadine spent the month of January in a wheelchair, after having her foot operated on to remove a lump in the middle of her arch that was making it difficult and painful to walk. The biopsy revealed that she had Dupuytren's disease, a non-cancerous growth of fibrous tissue, which normally occurs in the hands but can also happen in the feet. There's nothing like having your mobility taken away from you to make you really appreciate it when you get it back. We all suffered along with her, and are happy to report that so far, while the lump has returned somewhat, she is still able to walk relatively normally, though she must keep her foot wrapped at all times to stay comfortable.
On a more tragic note, Henry's father was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus early this year. He had a very difficult surgery to remove the tumor, but the biopsy showed that the cancer cells had already spread to the lymph nodes. He opted against chemotherapy, and died on July 12, 2002. Henry visited him shortly before his death, while his quality of life was still good enough to enjoy his presence. He never lost his sense of humor, and we can only hope to face death as calmly as he did when our time comes.
Our last medical note is a happy one. After years of unpleasant symptoms, ranging from headaches, upset stomachs, joint and muscle pain, depression, and low energy, Nadine visited a new doctor referred to her by her friend Linda Ramirez. He ran a few tests and said it looks like something called fibromyalgia. He prescribed some new medication called triptophan and Nadine's life changed almost overnight. Pretty much all of the symptoms have disappeared, and she is a much happier camper these days. We are so grateful to Dr. Huerta, and have referred all of our friends to him.
Last May, Henry went to prison. Mercifully, his sentence was rather brief. He got out the same day, after taking a tour of the facility and meeting with the warden for about an hour with his friend Martha Armenta and a group of Spanish language students. It was a very interesting experience. While he wasn't able to see the living quarters, he did visit most of the public areas, including the infirmary, the workshops, the library, and even the computer room.
Sometime in May we decided not to return to our home in Belvedere, California this summer, but to see what it would be like to stay in Mazatlan for summer, and perhaps take brief trips to the US to "break things up." Our first trip was in the middle of June, where we rented the China Cabin in Belvedere to through a big birthday bash for Henry. He saw a lot of people that he hadn't seen in many years, and after two or three cases of champagne, everyone had a very good time.
It was also during this time that we decided we wanted to try something different and move out of the Bay Area. While Belvedere is a wonderful area, we were never really that happy there. The house was too small, the weather too cold, and the neighbors too nasty. So in July, we took another "little trip" to Reno, Nevada, and bought a house. The area is known as Caughlin Ranch, and it should be perfect for us. There are long, meandering walking trails with lots of grass and ponds for our doggies, the tennis club is less than 500 yards away, and the house is plenty big, with lots of warm weather and hopefully nicer neighbors. Right now, our friend Bertha Goldberg is remodeling it, and making it nicer than we ever could. We are both looking forward to our next summer there.
Our "big trip" this summer was in August, and started with Nadine's 30th high school reunion. It was hard to believe all those old people were in the same class as my beautiful Nadine, but the evidence was hard to ignore. While we were there stayed at Nadine's sister's home, and got to spend a lot of time with our niece and nephew, Samantha and Chance. They are both growing up fast, and were basically delightful kids. After five days in Simi Valley, we set off for Nanaimo, Canada, where we had a great visit with our friends Jack and Valerie Moreau. We played games, tourist, and discovered Nanaimo bars, all the while just enjoying each other's company. The weather and the area was just beautiful, and we hope to return again next summer.
After we returned to Mazatlan on September 1, we started getting lots of emails from Bertha, detailing the progress in the remodeling. Nadine got so excited that she insisted on going back in October to look things over, so on the 2nd we make a quick trip to Reno to check things out. Bertha had indeed exceeded our expectations, and it was a real treat to imagine our next summer there together. While we were there, we of course made our usual contribution to the US economy by filling our suitcases with goodies for the trip home.
Speaking of shopping, my Ebabe, Nadine, has become and expert and major supporter of EBAY, the online auction and shopping empire. So much so that she has been giving "shopping lessons" to her friends here in Mazatlan. Can you imagine a more perfect job? So, to sharpen her skills, we made one last trip in November to Las Vegas. Nadine had over 40 packages waiting for her at the hotel, and Henry spent a day at COMDEX, the (formally) big computer show. We also took in the Danny Ganz show at the Mirage, which Nadine thought was excellent.
Now we are back in Mazatlan, and ready for another fun filled winter with our Mexico friends. We just had Thanksgiving at our house, and shared the day with our best friends down here. Last night we celebrated Hanukkah with some other friends, and are planning on having an open house here on Christmas Eve, from 2pm to 6pm, so if you are in the neighborhood, please drop by and let us wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
With all the unrest and anger in the world, we feel so fortunate to have the loving support of each other, our animal babies, and all of our friends and family. To all of you who receive this message, please know that you are in our hearts and that we are glad that you are part of our lives. May the coming year bring us all peace, prosperity, an appreciation of our common goals, hopes, and desires, and a new tolerance for differences. There is only one planet Earth, let's share it wisely.