When have we ever been normal?

Chris, I would never label you as a normal! – or someone who strives to be. You are extraordinary and so is the life we have made for ourselves. Seriously, I try to lead a life as far away from normal as I can. But perhaps when things get mucky and murky and the sediment of your life has been stirred up and tossed around, then maybe one would wish for it all to settle out- get back to “our normal”.

I found this quote the other day while surfing the internet and it kinda struck a chord with me:

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life.  It goes on.  ~Robert Frost

-it goes on. It does, really. And we are trying to fill the holes in our weeks off from treatment and extra long hours of work with as much abnormal fun that can be had! Why not?

My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year. “Remission.” Unfortunately, as she told me, health is not an on/off switch. “I don’t WANT anything else”. She suggested Chris and I do something together, a mini-vacation-or escape- whatever you want to call it. So after a short discussion, we decided to rent a small cabin on Big Bear Lake, up in the San Bernadino Mountains, for the 4th of July. Gromit came. We had a paddle-wheel boat tour of the lake, did some swimming, BBQ-ing,  jacuzzi-ing, a 2.25 mile hike!, fire-work gazing and relaxation. We tried to book a zip-line trip, but they were sold out because of the holiday weekend (we plan on returning soon to do this). It was a great trip and it put Chris in the best spiritual and mental place to enter back in to chemo when we returned home. He soared through this last treatment!

Panoramic view of Big Bear Lake from our hike, Castle Rock

Big Falls, San Gorgonio Mountain Range










Did I forget to mention the Alpine Slide?!!


Last weekend we planned on coastal (beach) camping. Got an early start out and after 4 full coastal campgrounds, I turned the car East and headed up to the mountains, Palomar, to be exact. We found a great camp site up on a hill and spent the night playing Rummy (I won), eating, drinking beer and relaxing. Yes, relaxing is always a goal for us.

Observatory Campground, 6000 ft.

The view from Hart Winery, Temecula

The following morning we hit the road thought we would go do a little wine-tasting. When the road gave us the option of Julian (South East) or Temecula (North West), Chris decided Temecula would be a perfect excursion. We enjoyed a nice long drive through the remote areas of San Diego County up to the vineyards. Our first stop, always, Hart Winery. Hart has great picnic tables and “Big Reds”. We devoured a cheese and meat plate while tasting wine.  Our second stop was Alex’s Red Barn, another nice vineyard featuring Pattis and Sherry Brandy. After, we made our way back home.


This coming Thursday, Chris will go back into chemo. There will be  much anticipated imaging after this round and we will see how the radio-surgery and past 2 chemo treatments effected the tumor. Please keep us in your thoughts. Also, thank you to all who have made either a monetary or food donation in the past month. It is very much appreciated. I will try to continue to keep you update on our not so normal, but adventurous lives.


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2 Responses to When have we ever been normal?

  1. Karen Smyczek says:

    Excellent entry–I live my dull life through you two! You have to be the most unconventional, fascinating couple I’ve ever known. I SO admire the way you have handled this most unwelcome intrusion into your lives. You really are an inspiration and part of your charm is doing it your way. Sayer, your commitment to this ordeal warms my heart and the strength you provide to help Chris through this is nothing short of phenomenal. I think you are the definition of a HERO!

  2. John A. Baird (a.k.a.= "Uncle" John) says:

    Sayer & Chris,
    I loved your “blog” on your recent camping excursion. I younger ddays (now past) I did my hiking and camping ~~in Ohio, MI & WI. Was a Scout leader 50 years, and your “travelog” brought back many happy memories. There’s noing like Go’s great out-doors!

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