Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Genealogy, gout and the California Zephyr

The past several days have been filled with thoughts of health and family. All the while, I have't got much work done, but I did manage to finish my book proposal and I'm currently researching how to send queries to literary agents.

The biggest Easter bunny I ever saw came to my house on Sunday. My mom came over to have dinner. It was her birthday, so it was a double celebration, with prime rib, potatoes with kielbasa, mashed potatoes, asparagus, cake and ice cream. My wife and mom had wine; I couldn't have alcohol because I was having an acute attack of gout in my left foot. After dinner, my mom and I spent a couple of hours going through her new Ancestry.com account, which we gave to her for her birthday. She wants to learn more about her grandparents of Polish and Canadian descent. Since it's technically my family tree in the account (she doesn't have a computer, and I'm doing the legwork), I've been having fun learning about all sides of my family.

I found out Friday night that my father, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., had a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery. It took my two days to locate the hospital he was in, and I finally got a chance to speak with him Easter evening. He's doing better and will probably be out of work for a couple of months. He's 68 and a nurse. We're not that close and only speak a few times a year, but I wanted to make sure he was okay. I've been thinking more about him lately since I've been tracking his Irish and German roots. I plan on visiting him soon, traveling by train on the Lakeshore Limited from Albany to Chicago and then by the California Zephyr from Chicago to Sacramento. I've never been to California, so this will be quite an adventure for a mountain boy.

The gout has kept me on the couch and in bed for a few days. If all goes well, I should be able to leave the house in a day or so. Right now I can't even put my sneakers on because it is so painful. The best thing for me right now is to keep my leg up and drink lots of water. TV, reading and writing are keeping me busy. Oh, and the dogs are grateful to have the constant company.

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