Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Centenarian

Its not every day that you get to meet someone that has lived 100 years. In my current profession, I have met 1 or 2, but none that have left such an impression on me as Walter Scolney.

Walter was born March 14, 1911. He passed away April 6, 2011. Walter lived to be just over 100 years old... during these 100 years, he never let his youth leave him. He lived his life in a way that made others smile. While I was only privileged to know him for the last 3 years of his life, he made a lasting impression on me.

I was privileged to provide in home primary care for Walter during the past 3 years. He was my favorite patient. I know that I'm not supposed to have favorites, but there's no denying it -- he was my favorite.

Walter was originally from Germany. He came to the United States in his early 20's fleeing the Nazi regime. He came to the US and pretty much immediately, even before he was a US citizen, fought in the American Army in WWII. Upon his death, found in his wallet was a small copy of his honorable discharge from the United States Army --service he was obviously and rightfully proud of. During his time in the US Army, he listened to the Germans over the radio devices used in the war and would translate what they were saying to the Americans. Pretty cool, huh?
Walter's service to our country is impressive. He loved America and was so thankful for what it provided for him. Most impressively, though, was Walter's love of life. In the 3 years that I knew him, he could barely see, was quite hard of hearing and could walk only with the use of a walker. Despite these (and other) challenges, he was happy.

At his funeral, his grandson told a story about how Walter, in his 90's, joined his great granddaughter in laying belly down in an office chair and spinning around.... that story pretty much sums Walter up... he had fun and made others smile.

Although I was not able to be with Walter as I had hoped at the very end of his life, I do hope that I was able to help him some in his last years on earth. One thing is for sure -- HE helped me, helped me gain perspective on life and helped me learn to see the bright side of a not so good situation. He could always bring a smile to my face and cheer me on a gloomy day. Every time I visited him in his apartment, which he still lived independently in, he would offer me a glass of OJ... what I would do to take him up on a glass of OJ today.

Walter, I will miss you so much. Thank you for being you and for enriching my life. In my opinion, even though you were 100 years old when you passed away, you were too young. I will never forget you.

A New Favorite

Jonah's new favorite game is Hide & Seek. He doesn't play by all the rules, but he sure has fun playing!

As you can see in the video, he proudly counts to 10 and then searches for the hidden person. Often he will hide his favorite animal, lion, so he knows where lion is, yet he will search every room in the apartment before going to where lion is. He loves doing the searching. If you listen closely in the video, when Mark and I are saying, "Is Jonah in the Bathroom?", etc, You will hear him in the backgound saying, "no!". It is just too cute!

Here is a link to the video... I had trouble getting it to upload straight to the blog

Here is Lion, hiding behind the door where Jonah put him

Here is Jonah hiding on the far side of Mommy and Daddy's bed... a favorite spot :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

San Fran with Friends

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday morning we woke up to something a bit surprising..... a tree had fallen on our rental car! Surprisingly there was very little damage done to the car. Thank goodness! The tree falling on our car could've put a real damper on our day, but thankfully we were able to still go ahead with our plans to go into San Francisco for the day. Mark and Jeremy had to saw the branches off the tree to get it off. Although the tree looked like it might be kind of light, they said it was not.

tree on car! Luckily, it looked a lot worse than it was.

After they got the tree cleared off of the car, we were able to head out to San Francisco as planned. The first place we stopped was a place called Twin Peaks. It is an area where you have a good view of San Francisco. It was very scenic!

view of San Fran from Twin Peaks

Jenny, Mark, Jonah, and Jeremy walking along the edge at Twin Peaks

Me and Jenny at 'Twin Peaks'

Our next stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was nice enough for us to walk part of the way across the bridge. We could tell the rain was coming while we were out on the bridge so we rushed to get back to the car. It started pouring just as we got to the car, but we all got kind of wet as we rushed to get in. The bridge was beautiful and it was definitely at the top of the list as far as things I wanted to see while in San Francisco. I'm glad we got it in!!

Golden Gate Bridge

Jonah in his stroller on the Golden Gate Bridge

Thankfully, the rain didn't last, at least not where we headed next. We went down to the Fisherman's Wharf area by way of Lombard Street (the curviest street in America), then and had lunch and walked around for awhile and ended up down at pier 39 where the sea lions play. Jonah enjoyed watching and hearing the sea lions. I enjoyed it too although they were kind of stinky. :)

Lombard Street

Unique road sign at the top of Lombard Street

Looking back up Lombard Street. If you look closely you can see the cars that are obviously facing different directions as they curve down the street. (Can you imagine living on this street?!?!)

The 3 of us at Fisherman's Wharf

Sea Lions at Pier 39

By far, Jonah's favorite thing was riding the cable car in downtown. We rode a street car and a cable car. It was a unique experience. Jonah loved how all the street cars and cable cars were each a different color. He would say "you see that blue one?" or " you see that red one!?" He got very excited each time one passed.

One of the street cars... it is pretty amazing how they just travel along right in the middle of the road with the cars.

The Cable car we rode in

View as we went down the road in the Cable car

Me and Jenny in the Cable car

The 3 of us on the side of the cable car (after the cable car ride)

Jenny and Jeremy on the cable car

Me and Jenny on the cable car

At my request we next drove over to see the "Painted Ladies". Thes are the houses that got their fame from the tv show "Full House". Although, I don't think one of these houses was actually used on the show or anything. They were very pretty and again a sight that was high on my list of things to see in San Fran since this girl was a big "Full House" fan back in the day.

Me and Mark in front of the 'Painted Ladies'

We also went to Golden Gate Park which is a big park and reminded us a lot of Central Park. It was beautiful and had a lot of open space that was essential for those city dwellers in down town San Fran. The park goes right up to the coast, so we did get out of the car for a few minutes and admire the beautiful CA coast, unfortunately it was still too cold for bathing suits!

Windmill in Golden Gate Park

A funny sign inside Golden Gate Park -- pretty much you can't do anything in this area of the park.

The beautiful view at Ocean Beach (the beach inside of Golden Gate Park)

We ended our day by going to dinner with our dear friends Jenny and Jeremy. The time with them was way too short for me. It was a sad goodbye for me and Jenny. Jenny is one of those friends who I always feel close to and always pick up with where we left off. I am so thankful for her!