Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

A Second Opinion and a Happy Send Off

Friday September 4 and Saturday September 5, 2015                                           Most Recent Post:
Charlottesville and Mechanicsville, Virginia                                  Easy Wednesday Plus Two Sections Down and Best Bear Pics So Far




After yesterday’s big bear day (see link above), our only wildlife sighting today turns out to be on our way out the door where we find a walking stick, ambling across the door as we shut it.  Isn’t he something?   Nature is just so amazing and diverse. 






We are driving down to Charlottesville for a visit with the second opinion cardiologist who we were only able to see because of a good friend at the hospital.  He is the “expert” and is not taking new patients.  It definitely pays to have “connections”.  Thank you Martha!

The sum of the story is that he believes stents could be placed but because of the blood thinner required for 6 months after that procedure it would not be a good idea for David with his blood cancer.  The same is true of the possibility of a bypass.  Too risky given his Myeloma.

So instead he suggests that they up two of the medications by 50% and we see if there is another at rest angina episode.  He is very encouraged that David has had no trouble hiking, even yesterday after the Friday night episode of last week.  I hope it was just a fluke if that’s possible. 

Dr. Ragosta tells David to go on about his normal activities and in touch via email about any effects of upping the dosage or signs of angina.

So on we go.  David’s attitude is amazing given the precariousness of his diseases and the number of medications he is now taking.  I worry that the meds are all working against each other and cannot understand how someone who has done everything “right” in terms of diet and exercise all his life and who seems so “well” can be so sick with the two top killer diseases in this country.

We stay in Charlottesville over night in order to attend a “going away party” for our niece Ashley in the Richmond area tomorrow.




The going away party is held at David’s sister and brother-in-law, Robin and Ernie’s house in Mechanicsville.  Their daughter Ashley is living and working Charlottesville where she’s lived since graduating from high school including attending the architecture school at the University of Virginia.  So Robin is both sad and happy about Ashley’s opportunity to study for a certificate counseling in Seattle for 6 months.



When we arrive Ashley tells me all about her up coming adventure.  She really has it all worked out.  She’s sublet her apartment just off the walking mall in Charlottesville.  She’s found a really great little house in ????Freemont??? which she’s been told is a great interesting area.  She’s also arranged to telecommute to her job here and the program is arranged for working people so that too should work out well.  She leaves on Tuesday and will be back the Monday before Thanksgiving, return in January to Seattle and finish the program in April.  So really, she’s hardly going to be one at all Robin!   Lucky Robin is accustomed to having both her children about an hour away so Seattle seems very far.



Shortly we gather around the food for descriptions and grace.  Everyone has brought something and it’s a Labor Day week-end spread of barbeque, beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, chips, fruit and of course cake.



David with his older brother Roger and his sister Robin’s son Justin.  You’d never guess that Justin is the father of 3 3/4 children.



Justin and his wife Carmen who is due to deliver their 4th child in early November.



Ashley tells Roger’s wife Carol about her plans.


Carmen with her son John talking to Grandpa Ernie



Carol and Robin.  I just love Robin’s new haircut and asked her to pose for a close up which she graciously did.




Ashley cuts her cake which is so appropriate with the suitcase decoration.  Thanks to Carol for this delicious sweet.



I think everyone is gathered around the cake cutter.  Wonder why?  Carmen, Carol, Ashley, David.  Don’t they pose nicely.



David and I were both admiring Robin’s beautiful cat Bailey who is regally handsome.



Not sure who organized the gathering of the family men but when I saw it, I took the picture.  Ernie Walton is Robin’s husband and Justin is her son.  Those last two are Justin’s uncles David and Roger.



And of course then you have to do the women.  Carmen Walton, Justin’s wife in the front.  Ashley Walton Robin and Ernie’s daughter.  Then Robin Walton, Carol Boyd, Robin’s wife and of course me.  Thank you Robin for not making me look like the only short person in the group.  How’s it feel to be tall Carol?




Remember the regal kitty in the previous picture.   Now he’s kitty in a bowl while Roger and Justin try to figure out how to get Roger’s pictures of the summer family reunion in Oklahoma to show up on the Walton’s TV screen from Roger’s computer.





It takes a while but finally everyone is gathered round to watch.




Baby Johnny really loves his Grandpa Ernie and prefers him over nearly everyone except Mom of course.



Mom Carmen really has her lap full here with Elise and Baby #4.



Carol and Roger were the only ones from this end of the Boyd family to attend the reunion so Carol helps out by identifying the folks on the screen.





Not sure Ernie or Ashley recognize many of them but David appears to.





Earlier in the day Robin’s front room became the site of quite an American Girls doll fest.  I think they are having a tea party but they appear to have thrown all the outfits they didn’t choose onto the floor.



After a happy send off for Ashley, it was time for us to head back up the mountain to cooler temperatures.  As we head out the front door we see Big Sister Norah helping John at Nana and Pop Pop’s home office computer.  Not sure what they were up to as we closed the door behind us.  They probably know more about the machine than anyone else here.  






  1. I have always loved big family gatherings, although I don't get to nearly as many as I used to. It looks like everyone really enjoyed themselves.

  2. Looks like a fun family gathering AND a wonderful cat in Bailey! I love walking sticks - haven't see too many but love when I do.

  3. Hopefully the extra dose of medicines will be very helpful. Good that David doesn't have any restrictions so he can continue to enjoy life as he wants:)

    Fun times with family:) Love the cat in the bowl! Too funny!

  4. Glad you got a second opinion. Many times people accept the first one without verifying they are on the right course. Kudos to David for a wonderfully positive attitude. Lovely family gathering.

  5. Sherry, thank you for such a great account of the family gathering to send Ashley off to her new adventures. Always love being with the family, and even more now to see these kiddos all grown up and enjoying lives of their own. Glad that David enjoyed the pics of the Okla family reunion. As we get older, these connections become even more precious. Yes! The cat in the bowl, Bailey, left me wanting to own a kitty again. What am I going to do with this kitty urge? More than glad to hear of David's little in-road with a great cardiologist and hoping he tolerates this new medical regimen. He has a very large cheerleading squad out there.

  6. Very nice family gathering. Good to get a second opinion on anything medically related. David is a model patient.

  7. A great family day. David is a survivor.

  8. A very nice family day. Glad you got a second opinion. Maybe attitude has helped David be able to still hike.

  9. Today's doctors have to be good cooks as well I think. Knowing which ingredients to combine for the right results without poisoning us in the process! I am always amazed at the number of medications Bill has to take for his diabetes and he has no side effects (that we know of). So glad you were able to get in for a second opinion. Yay for Ashley! I'm always glad when my kids move somewhere else, learn new areas, have their own adventures. You all look so happy - family will do that :-))))) Bailey is a most excellent looking kitty!

  10. I'm with you in your worries about the meds reacting with each other. I remember some years ago my uncle who had serious heart issues and was on tons of meds, but kept getting sicker and sicker. A smart doc took him off all his meds and he improved, which added good quality years to his life.

  11. It was nice to put some faces with names. Sounds like y'all had a great time. Thanks for aharing!

  12. Safe travel to Ashley and may she grow from this experience. Seattle seems like a wonderful place to just be fr a while - lots of things to do & see there too. Wonder how long it would take a walking stick to get there.

  13. Fremont is a nice "Funky" area of town..Close to the ship canal, a bike trail and plenty of shops and restaurants.
    I'm sure she will like it..Maybe too much??

  14. David looks wonderful -- and I'm sure that his great attitude has a lot to do with how well he's doing. We're hoping to see you guys this winter in Florida. ;-) What a fun family gathering that you captured so lovingly! And the kitty in the bowl is just adorable.

  15. Im no stranger to family gatherings and it is always fun to bond with them once in a while and enjoy each other's company.
    I like cats and that kitty is making me missed the one I gave to my sister.
    David is an amazing brave guy full of enthusiasm despite his condition.

  16. I'm glad Dad has the attitude he does. What good would it really do to stress and wallow as unfair as it is what he's going through...so tough-he amazes me really. I'm still sorry I missed the gathering-next time I do hope someone will mention it. Everyone looked happy and healthy which is great. Carmen looks like #4 really is due any day!! Beautiful cat!! Both you and Dad look great in the pictures :)


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