Jeff’s Magical Toyland

Lee and I are really looking forward to our trip to New Mexico. Touring galleries, exploring museums, taking in the enchanted vistas along with fine dining accompanied by the finest fruits of the vine await us!  However, Friday evening the brace that supports my left leg went “snap, crackle, pop” and ceased to offer any support. Fortunately I was also wearing my outriggers (aka, crutches), so Jimmy did not fall down and go boom.  Still, the broken brace presented a dark cloud on our vacation horizon.  I do have an old “beater” emergency backup brace, but it would severely curtail any ambulatory activity. My brace manufacturer is in Oregon and the turnaround time for repair is about two weeks, which would be just in time for chemo.😞

Enter my friend Jeff Elliott and his Magical Toyland.  Jeff is a master of all things metal.  Jeff has mysterious powers and he can bend, shape and fabricate any metallic substance.   Jeff happily repaired my brace and I have been putting it through its paces the last few days on my morning walks.  I’m so glad the brace broke BEFORE our vacation and sooooo glad that Jeff could invoke his super powers on my behalf!

  My repaired brace with Jeff in his amazing metallic toy shop 

On Wednesday Lee and I met with the final member of my cancer treatment team, a palliative care nurse. Although my cancer is treatable, it is not currently curable.  My goal is to extend my life as long as possible, but only if my life is worth living. The oncologist focuses on the cancer, the palliative nurse focuses on the rest of me, they work together to best achieve our goal.  It is possible, though highly improbable, that treatment could buy me enough time until a cure is found. 

While the odds are stacked against me , I’ve been an over-achiever my entire life.  I contracted polio at age ten months.  I lived in poverty and in foster homes until I was eight. While in college my History professor passed over me for an internship at NangYang University in Singapore despite my 4.0 GPA in history.  His assessment was that I was not a scholar, I was an overachiever, and thus not a qualified candidate for the position. I was offended and angry. But upon reflection I realized that he was correct.  I have never been the fastest, strongest or smartest in any venture or organization I’ve been involved with. However I’ve always been at the top in achievement and performance. I somehow get it done, I achieve beyond my measurable abilities. I am an an overachiever and I am proud of it.  Like athletes who don’t measure up on the practice field, but somehow out perform their more talented opponents, I am a gamer.  While my brain understands that my life is likely very short lived, and I am taking steps to manage and protect the quality of my life for myself and for Lee, I am accustomed to somehow overachieving.  I remain a gamer and this is my biggest game. 

Little Jimmy coming home from Sunday School
Last night Lee and I attended the final session of the “snow bird” season for the Wine Tasters.  A fun group of wine enthusiasts, of all different levels of wine knowledge, but with a common passion for fun and enjoyment of wine.  Most members will be gone for all or part of the summer and will reconvene in the fall. A good time was had by all and a perfect send off for our New Mexico vacation.

  Thank you to our hosts, Ralph and Mary, for a great evening


17 thoughts on “Jeff’s Magical Toyland

  1. how fortunate. a toy maker. who’d have thunk it? saved! I was about to say there is more than one way to skin a cat, but cotty might read over your shoulder and disown me. have a great trip. love your blogging. love you. marian

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A Magical Toyland to make dreams come real. An over-achiever all your life Jimmy & the greatest “Gamer” you invoke the SuperPowers & get it done. Mr Jeff is
    amazing, a real tool & die creator that made it fly. You Mr Jimmy surround yourself with an incredible cast of characters that make your world full of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YES a friend with superpowers, who can bend metal! How awesome is that. Wring enjoyment out of every second on that New Mexico trip. (And by the way, all your suggestions about where to eat in Portland and Seattle were spot on and fabulous.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What great friends you have, so glad you could get a workable leg. Have fun in New Mexico, just lovely there. Keep up the fantastic attitude, you are brave souls Jim and Lee! The world needs more like you guys. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You & Lea are such a breath of fresh air to us, overachieving and all. Have a great time in New Mexico!!! We are so glad to be living in your neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are indeed a gamer. Here’s to your customary overachievement! Cancer stats are never able to measure the characteristics you describe in yourself. That’s why they aren’t that helpful. Snub ’em! Live long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you could snub the teacher’s label too, if you want. labels are a replacement for understanding. they replace thinking. they are neat little packages to pick up. people aren’t comfortable not “knowing” so a label takes care of their uncertainty. if you have never seen a robin and suddenly one is in front of you, you say to your friend, “look at that bird!”. he says ” yeah, it’s just a robin.” you feel better because now you know what people call that kind of bird. it’s a relief, but that’s all you know. only what it is called by other people. you still don’t know much about robins. personally, I’m glad you didn’t get the internship. you might have stayed there for the rest of your life and never have met my daughter. worked out just fine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So “O” stands for Oregon, but also Overachiever, cool! Enjoy the City Different in the Land of Enchantment: beautiful sunsets, lively Mariachi music, great art and NM food. We will be here waiting to hear/read all about it.


  8. Jim and Lee,
    If you get to Santa Fe definitely check out 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar, 315 Old Santa Fe Trail
    Santa Fe, NM 87501. Yummy French food and wines! Oysters too!
    The Halls


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