070710 – Tuesday – day off

Yesterday, after an intense day at work getting our irrigation system sorted out (again), we took off and met our friends LA & Gillian in Kent for a ride on the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train.

For three and a half hours we rode from the south end of Seattle’s east side to the north and then back again and were served an excellent dinner. We were in an American icon, a dome car, the Mt. Rainier, which was made in 1952 and carried passengers between Washington D.C. and Florida until 1973.

The Spirit of WashingtonYours truly with Big RedMt. Rainier Dome Car

Sharon, my wife, and myselfOur friends, LA & GillianDessert with a beautiful Seattle twilight

The ride was over at 9:30 PM and the timing was good because I was scheduled for my annual physical this morning at 8:30 AM and I was suppose to fast last night after 10PM. After that big dinner on the train, I was well prepared to fast <smile>.

The physical went well this morning. I’ve had the same doctor for over 15 years since we first moved up to Washington from Southern California and he and I always find a lot of interesting stuff to talk about. But today, a lot of what we talked about were health issues – mine. I’ll be 60 in August and that’s a fact that amazes me. I sure don’t feel old in any significant way.

But, there have been a few glictches this last year with me. Last December, while running in New Zealand, I tore a cartiliage in my right knee. About the same time I hurt my knee, I noticed some swelling in my lower legs in the evenings when I took my socks off. These two situations collided in April when I had an arthroscopy procedure to repair the damage to my knee. The surgery went fine but the recovery was complicated by an excess amount of swelling around the knee.

Since then, the knee has healed well and now I joke that I know it is fully recovered because both knees hurt the same when I do stairs or squats.

But, investigating the lower leg swelling has been a longer adventure. The bottom line is that they’ve done all the tests they have and no one knows. The heart’s 100%, the kidneys are the same, the blood work all looks good and the valves in my veins that are suppose to prevent reverse flow as the blood pumps back up from my feet towards my heart are working correctly. So, nothing’s wrong – and yet the legs are always a bit swollen at the end of the day. ‘Idiopathic‘, my doctor called it. That means ‘we don’t know what it is but we have a big word to describe it.’

Ah well, if that’s the biggest thing I have to complain about, I’m going to keep quiet.

After I came home and told Sharon about my physical, we decided to (1) close the nursery tomorrow because the weather predictions here are for 100 F (records are going to fall) and (2) we decided to go for a motorcycle ride this afternoon just for fun since it was our normal day off and it’s pretty hot out now as well (though not as hot as tomorrow’s suppose to be).

And it was fun. We rode to from Monroe to Lynnwood and went to a business called “Bent Bike” where they have a warehouse full of used motorcycle parts. We bought some new face shields and looked at saddle bags but none, unfortunately, fit my bike.

Then we rode on up Highway 99 as far as Everett and cut over on Highway 2 to Snohomish where we stopped and got scallops, chips and cokes at a place with ourside seating in the shade. Yum.

That was followed by a brief stop to get some Rainier Cherries from a roadside stand (they are in season here and delicious!) and then it was off for home to check on the irrigation and get into our air-conditioned house.

All and all, a nice two days.

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