BY BEA WESTERBERG
“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right”. Oprah Winfrey Greetings in 2023 Loyal Readers! My article was not printed in full last week so I will put my wishes for a great, better, refreshing, good and many other things NEW YEAR at the beginning so it will not be missed.
I found myself looking back at 2022 on New Year’s Eve Day and finding that I was feeling very good. I did not open any champagne but instead had a hot chocolate drink with Mexican chocolate (which brought back many September memories) and a big bowl of Terra veggie chips (a favorite of mine, thanks Sister Diane).
During this look back, I recalled some of what happened in 2022, the first whole year without Husband Larry. There are no beginner classes for all the paperwork and changes needed so it was a nightmare to get done. On a beautiful, warm April day, a fire started in the shop and 2 car garage in which my 2004 screaming yellow Mustang was parked. I did not feel like putting the pickup away that day as it was a big chore to squeeze it in. The fire spread very fast and the first fire truck only had 3 minutes of water. The longest 10 minutes of my whole life passed and another truck arrived with more water. If I had not been home and smelled the smoke on the windy day, no building would have been left on the property. I was able to save Sitka the husky, whose dog house was just a few feet away from the burning garage. The fire was too far along to save the Mustang. The firefighters were able to save the house and studio but both got some damage. Dealing with fire claims on both buildings and a car was another no beginner class given operation. The sound of the damaged metal whipping in the wind and the smell of smoke is one that is probably going to stay forever. Cleanup and debris removal would have been a total nightmare but Neighbor Tony was my knight in a Bobcat. Only one company was willing to give me an estimate for a new garage and that was a shocking price to which I said “No”. The car insurance company and I were in a battle over the Mustang, and despite many hours of research on my part, I finally settled just a few days ago for the first offer they gave me. Since no car that fit all the “boxes” my car had was sold in the United States in the last 3 years, I was you know what. There were a few out there that were very close but it had to be an exact duplicate with current pricing.
On another pleasant summer day Neighbor Tony and I rushed to get Sitka to the Blue Pearl dog hospital. We got him there just in time as they said he was very near passing. Thanks to the watchful eye of Jeff and the staff at Rio Gran, they noticed he was not well and then contacted Dr. Jon and Dr. Julie who checked him out and made emergency appointments. In the end, the treatments for taking in rat poison saved him. It was not a clear cut case as he did not bleed at all which is usually the first sign of that problem. To say that I could have had a very, very fancy vacation or tons of wool for the cost of dog treatment would be putting it mildly. I was given a chance 21 years ago when I had my life ending stroke, so I decided he was worth a chance also. The indoor cat, Pumpkin, got outside and Sitka tried to “help” catch him. The result was me getting several cat bites that resulted in pain and a blood infection. I knew the danger of a cat bite because a friend almost died from one.
August was going along fine and I was looking forward to rug hooking camp the second week of September in Duluth and also a Mexico trip at the end of September. I was hoping my right leg would be feeling better by those times. To make that very long story short, I will say that I was saved from having my foot removed because of no blood flow, by great friends Margaret and Julie. With their medical knowledge and know how, they helped me bypass the ER doctor’s advice to go home, take some Oxy and rest. Also a GIANT thank you to Dr. Perra who went well above and beyond his duty to find and correct my problem.
I know that this is beginning to sound like a made up story but then we move on to the October problem of the well water system needing some major replacements. November was the furnace’s turn to demand a new blower or no air movement would take place. December did not want to be left out so the water softener decided it’s time for a complete retirement. Major decisions were necessary on that front as we have a high level of iron and well sand. A new filter system to take out sand and iron was installed and Culligan will be coming to give me an estimate on renting a water softener next week. Do I dare say “what will it be in January”?
So why am I still smiling and feeling good about life? I can say that I am very happy to wake up to a new day because of all the help and support of so many people around me that have helped me day by day to be able to carry on. This is totally not a thing one can do by themselves. I also have been gifted with the joy of sharing and giving things to others. As kids and maybe later, most of us were very much more interested in getting things than giving away or sharing gifts.
I am truly grateful to everyone that has helped me become what I am. I wish I could find the right words to express that. Let’s go forth to a good year! Bea Westerberg [email protected]