Bill Moeller Commentary: Rough Year Can’t Keep Chronicle Columnist Down
By Bill Moeller for The Chronicle
Many, if not most, of you readers are aware of the fact that 2022 was not really a very good year for you.
It seemed like every time I returned, I would find myself in the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital being treated.
Whether it was stitching the skin off the back of one hand, falling flat on Main Street, being treated for COVID-19 even though I had all three strokes, or breaking a leg bone when a long chair threw me into a gutter while attending a regular Saturday noon Veterans for Peace vigil in Centralia, I have become very familiar with the health care system this year.
With the current overcrowded conditions at Providence Centralia Hospital, it was only two or three days before I was transferred to Sharon Care Center, where I stayed for two months at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Fords Prairie Avenue.
This is what became a strange situation for the rest of the summer, mainly because the care facility is not too far from where my house is.
But I wasn’t allowed to walk down the street to feed or even visit my cat, Sam. “For your safety.”
Maybe my pedestrian was not up to public highway standards?
My son, Matthew, could drive down from the Olympia area where he lives, but he couldn’t do that every day, so the food was shared by a best friend who I will only refer to as “Anne.” .
She even admitted to me not too long ago that some days she would leave her job to check on Sam more than once. Sam has that kind of attraction to almost anyone who has petted him, even if it’s just once.
You see, I had promised her that Sam would be hers if I didn’t have a birthday after my 95th in May.
When I was released and Sam and I met again, face to face, the excitement felt more like something out of a freak movie.
My time passed slowly in the care center.
I made a few friends and even strummed my ukulele a few times during the meal, but it wasn’t exciting at all. Meanwhile, my kayak continued to hang from the rafters on my dock. Nor could I sit with a glass of something refreshing in one hand and a good book in the other under the tree that leans over my backyard fence.
Life, however, is slowly getting back to normal, although I am moving much more slowly these days.
My son insists on using a cane every time I go from point A to point B, and I try to do so, even when he’s not around.
You see, I’m a quick learner. It only took two times of falling over not using a cane when crossing the street to get my mail to make it seem just sane.
However, I can still plan for the future.
My acorn squash crop was terrible this summer – and I can’t blame it all on my lack and inability to keep it watered.
So I’m thinking in my head to dig a big hole and install a fish pond. That should keep me busy, but first I have to move the permanent pea cage to make room.
Well, that’s something to think about for the next few months as we head into a new year, isn’t it?
And it is a little more “solvable” than the other problems we have to face!
Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, skydiver and pilot who lives in Centralia. He can be reached at [email protected].