Sunday Break

Because there is no such think as taking too many breaks!

*****

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy is the fourth of five children. For our first Christmas, my mother would make each one of us a stocking with our name and felt cut-out designs. When we would woke up on Christmas morning, there was never any confusion about which stocking belonged to who.

Christmas Stocking

My stocking got many years of actual use…but around two years ago – when I was nearing my 35 years – it started showing some wear and tear (just like me…and come to think of it, the worst of the wear was right about the heel and the toes!). It was time to protect it for many years to come, so I got it mounted in an archival frame. Each December, I continue to hang it on my wall with pride.

*****

I am getting ready to re-read The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. I have always been interested in examining the role of all of the senses and how they relate to the architectural experiences. Some of my clearest remembrances of built space invoke not only visual memories, but also auditory and olfactory memories.

I also really like it when the sense of touch is present. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, next time you visit Louis Kahn’s Kimball Art Museum be sure to to enter from the park in the back and not the parking garage in the front, and you will know what I mean. (You will also be approaching the museum in the way that the architect had intended for people to enter.)

*****

All six volumes of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower are headed my way. I am also thinking of purchasing a copy of Under the Dome: A Novel (which is discounted 59% at Amazon!). Has anyone read this latest book yet?

*****

A week from today next Sunday morning, my parents will be starting their long journey to South America for the holidays…and won’t arrive until Monday morning. I can’t wait. There is still a lot that we have to do this coming week, including renting a portable oxygen tank for my father!

(Have I ever shared that I live 3,640 m/11,942 ft about sea level? Water takes absolutely forever to boil…and even then, it only reaches about 90ºC, as compared to the 100ºC at sea level. Don’t even get me started on baking. And the local airport is the highest commercial airport in the world, with an extra long runway that is needed for planes to land and take-off in the thin air.)

*****

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

8 Comments
8 comments
  1. Wren says:

    How incredible to live at such an altitude! I’ll bet it’s absolutely gorgeous, RA guy. I wonder, though, if the thin air (and subsequent thin oxygen you breathe) has anything to do with your RA flares? Just a thought.

    I also made a stocking for my daughter on her first Christmas, but unfortunately, it didn’t survive the many moves we made over the years, including to and from Europe. Still, we both share fond memories of her early Christmases. We still spend them together each year, too. It’s so nice that your parents can come to stay with you in your aerie for the holidays.

    I visited the Woolaroc Western Museum in Oklahoma in September while attending a family reunion there. The museum, which is full of cowboy and Indian statuary, artifacts, and even downright strange items, is an interesting piece of architecture on its own. As an artist, it appealed to my magpie eye; inside (oddly) it felt a bit like a cathedral. I tiptoed and whispered as I wandered through it, and so did the other visitors there. A truly unique space, it was. Here’s a link: http://www.woolaroc.org/gallery.php?cat=1003&id=1000&Result_Set=20&Per_Page=10

    Have a great day!

  2. RA Guy says:

    Thanks for the kind comments on the stockings. Wren, I am sorry that you daughter’s didn’t make it through all of the moves, but as you say you all can still share many other memories during the holidays.

    I’ve always thought that the cold has more of an affect on me than the altitude. (You can imagine what it’s like when the sun goes down in winter, and you’re on top of a mountain two miles up in the sky!)

    After living at the altitude for a while, the percentage of red blood cells (hematocrit) does change – from the usual 38-48% range – all the way up to 65%. This is always reflected in my lab tests, where I always show a result between 63-65%. (More red blood cells = more oxygen that can be pulled from the thin air.)

    It does make me wonder, though, if the elevated white blood count that I always show, due to constant inflammation, is actually being underrepresented due to the overwhelming presence of red blood cells in my blood?

    I do know that various institutes conduct different health studies in this area in order to study the effect of altitude on the body and different illnesses; beyond that I don’t know much more.

    Thanks for sharing the information on the museum in Oklahoma, I’ll be sure to take a look!

  3. RA Guy's Mom says:

    Your father and I can’t wait to take off next Sunday and arrive there on Monday!–we’re really, really looking forward to spending the holidays with you & your husband (and his family), plus being joined for Christmas by your sister and her husband!!

    Ahhhhh…the picture of your framed stocking brings back such sweet memories!…do you remember the tradition I started that after filling up each of the 5 stockings with goodies I’d stack each of your piles of gifts and lay each stocking above that child’s gifts?…each one of you–when you woke up on Christmas morning–would look for your stocking and know which stack of gifts was yours to open. This tradition continued into adulthood–and even now that each one of you has their own families!

    See you soon, Mi’jo!!

    RA Guy’s Mom

  4. Laurie says:

    I still have the wool stocking my mom made for me when I was a baby. I never thought about displaying it at Christmas in a frame…that’s a really good idea!

    I remember it being filled to the brim with a tangerine, chocolate coins, candy canes (looking back, it is a really small stocking, but we thought we had sooo much in them)
    I’m glad your family is visiting you for the holidays. Cherish the memories.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>