Boy and His Dog Panhandling

Madison Wisconsin. Yesterday I walked down State Street looking to catch photos of revelers in their costumes. I came across this boy with his dog sitting on the sidewalk. Throngs of people passed by, carefully avoiding them. I spoke with the mother as she played her guitar and panhandled. She said she needed money for food as she was having trouble with food stamps. I contributed to her cause and received permission for this photograph.

This photo makes me feel sad and as I post it, I am wondering what I can do to help.

Halloween Girls on State Street

Madison, Wisconsin. Late afternoon on October 29, I headed to State Street where FreakFest is held every Halloween. My favorite photo is of the girls featured above, looking outrageous and having a great time. About the “rear view” below, no comment is necessary.

Halloween, State Street

Halloween, State Street

Great Egret and Family: Selfie

This morning as I walked in a park along Lake Woodlands, I came upon a family taking a selfie with a Great Egret. While the Egret showed great patience in allowing this, it finally had enough.

The drama captured in my photo feels like a portentous moment, foretelling wonderful things for this little family.

MD Anderson Cancer Center

I am writing to thank the MD Anderson Cancer Center on behalf of my husband and myself. We traveled a thousand miles for my husband to be treated here. Why? MD Anderson is regarded as the top cancer hospital in this country, established as a national comprehensive cancer center in 1971. It offered us the largest center for treating the kind of cancer my husband had.

Our experience here has been nothing short of wonderful. Our physician and his team spent a great deal of time with us, explaining treatment and answering questions as if my husband were their only patient. The hospital was equally impressive and during our short stay, our surgeon or one of his team of surgeons visited 5 times a day. Our nurse also was able to devote much time to my husband’s care as she is only assigned a few patients at a time, unlike at most hospitals. My husband stay lasted only 4 days as compared to the usual 10 to 14 days that he would have experienced at our local hospital. And for a surgery that carries a high risk of complications, my husband has had none to date. We attribute much of this to the advanced and comprehensive care he received at MD Anderson.

The MD Anderson campus at the University of Texas is HUGE. My photos do not begin to show the extensive buildings and centers and offer only an impression of what it is like here.

A Rainy Day

On September 13, we awoke at 4 a.m. and made our way over a skybridge from our hotel to the hospital at MD Anderson Cancer Center. There, my husband underwent a 9 hour surgery, done robotically by wonderfully skilled surgeon, to remove his cancerous bladder and reconstruct a new one.

As I sat in the waiting room, with family and many other families present for their loved ones, time warped again. Everything in our lives stood still as we awaited the conclusion of surgery and the doctor’s report. Finally, my husband was out of surgery and in the recovery room. His surgeon told us the surgery went fast and well. And because my husband’s cancer was superficial and noninvasive (at surgery), the surgery offered a cure and a long life.

As I write this, my husband is recovering well and we remain in the Houston area for follow-up doctor visits. Less than two weeks after surgery, he feels energetic and is walking over a mile a day. Time still runs slowly as we wind through the healing process and patiently wait to go home.

View from My Window at Rotary House, MD Anderson

View from My Window at Rotary House, MD Anderson

Street Scenes, Fannin Street, Houston

Michael is a homeless man who hangs out near the train stops on Fannin Street. I spent some time talking to him, and learned that in his past, he took a photography course. He spoke articulately about technical aspects of photography and cameras. He no longer has teeth and did not want to be photographed with an open smile. I wondered about his past,  what his life might have been and where it is going. michael-on-fannin-street

Fannin Street, Houston “The Smokin’ Woman”

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Waiting for the Fannin St. train

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Exhaling

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Finished but chaos and frustration at the ticket booth

While my husband recuperated at MD Anderson hospital, I walked around the nearby streets and train stops. This woman seriously enjoyed her cigarette while the ladies behind her grew frustrated over the Metro ticket machine. The exhale starts with Photo #1, goes big in Photo #2 and completes in #3.