Letter 19 (page 3)

In sickness and in health

Lan has suffered this year from adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as a “frozen shoulder”—as she did before we came to America. We hoped that physio-therapy and time would heal but after a year of discomfort, she went under anesthetic last week to be manipulated. She has regained significant movement but she is still in pain and little strength.

I found out this year that my stomach valve doesn’t close properly causing acid to eat away at my esophagus. I share this mainly because, with the benefit of hindsight, this hereditary condition is probably what led to my father being stricken with esophageal cancer and dying so young. I will have to take pills for the rest of my life to calm it down or surgery is possible.

Now that I’m in my mid-40s, there are several options allowing me to deny to myself that I’m getting older. I could have bought a red sports car for instance but being cheap, I elected to run a marathon instead. The mere fact that 26.2 miles or 42km is three times as far as I’d ever run was not going to stop me. I actually attempted training last year but soon had to give up after hurting both feet. I found out that shoes were my problem, not just the particular running shoes but shoes in general.Note 9 I switched to bare feet initially and then to “gloves” for my feetNote 10 and that corrected my running style. I was thrilled with my time of 3:51:47.

Runners ascend through the mist toward Georgetown Reservoir.
Marine Corp Marathon 2008.
I made it!

Bumper stickers

It wouldn't be a newsletter from me without noting the interesting and amusing bumper stickers we've seen:

  • Clear the road. I’m 16.
  • A woman’s place is in the House and Senate
  • Read my lips. No new Texans.
  • I support the separation of church and hate.
  • After the rapture, can I have your car?
  • Jesus was a liberal
  • I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
    —Mahatma Gandhi
  • Extinct: forever
  • Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes
  • Want happiness? Cherish others.
  • Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
  • Wag more. Bark less.
  • Coexist

Seasons Greetings

Happy holidays! Please stay in touch.

Peter's signature

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Notes:

  1. New York Magazine, You Walk Wrong. Back to where you were Back
  2. Nearly bare feet: Vibram FiveFingers Back to where you were Back
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