|Palms and Bougainvillea in SoCal|
|A poster I pass each morning|
So here is some of what's been happening:
Over the last four months I've been in California except for short trips back for holidays to our place near Zion in southern Utah. I've been dealing with a recently diagnosed health issue--prostate cancer. I was first diagnosed after a routine health checkup in early summer; luckily, it is not the most aggressive type. My physicians had us evaluate various options and after much consideration settled on going to the Loma Linda University Health--Cancer Proton Center where I started treatment in mid-October. This has turned out to be the right decision in all respects and I cannot speak more highly of the medical and support staff and their "whole person care" approach. During my treatment I've stayed with my little sister Patricia Rose Ford--the pastel artist--who lives nearby which has been a Godsend in so many ways--including getting to walk her dog Abbie twice a day.
I go to treatment in the early morning for about thirty to forty minutes then have weekends and much of each day for other pursuits including doing a lot of walking--often at the Drayson Fitness Center outdoor track (see below). I also participate in other fitness activities which are a part of the LLUH "wholeness/wellness" approach. The program has all gone very well and the prognosis for cure is excellent--thanks to caring and efficient support from LLUH staff and my family and friends. And I'm feeling stronger and even gained weight again.
|Loma Linda University recreational fields with Drayson Fitness Center in background|
and the School of Public Health on the hill (the Old Mound City) from early 1900s
|Early morning walk on the outdoor track at the Drayson Fitness Center|
Learn more HERE about the advantages of proton beam technology:
|LLUH Medical Center Hospital|
Tower in the old building
LLUH has much to be proud of in what they have accomplished over the 100+ years since it started as a small Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium first known as Mound City (see more about Loma Linda History HERE). And read about it's 2020 vision and about the new construction.
|New Medical Center being built--17 stories that will make it the tallest structure in|
San Bernardino County and has the latest earthquake resistant design
What I do in Off-times while in Treatment?
In many ways my cancer proton beam treatment has been what some call a "radiation vacation". So on weekends and during much of each day I've had time to take many photos in Southern California and get re-acquainted with old friends as well as continue my remote work as a geoscience and travel photographer and consultant (see my website at GeoBob's Photography and Consulting). Timing has also been good as most of my farm work was done for the season--see photos of "our place" near Zion National Park below.
Karen stayed home some of the time to hold down the fort around our small ranch and continue her volunteer work at Zion National Park as its librarian. And she has been assisted by Kayla and Colby (our newly married younger boy and wife) who both work at nearby Dixie State University in St George. More later about them as well as our other kids--Bryan & Anna (and Celeste our granddaughter) who live and work in Lausanne, Switzerland now.
|Loading hay on our fields below Mt Kinesava in Zion NP|
|Some of this last year's bumper crop of apples (and peaches as well)|
|Our place in Rockville Utah|
|Raking and drying our hay before baling|
|Some of our bumper peach crop in 2017|
|Colby & Kayla on a visit to our place whenever they can get away|
|Bryan and Celeste on their visit in October at the time of Colby & Kayla's wedding|
For those who follow my photography, you will notice that my current work has focused on Southern California with much of it taken on long walks around Loma Linda and Redlands along Beaumont Avenue as well as photos from around Redlands and Loma Linda and surrounding communities including sights such as Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Gamble House in Pasadena, Old Route 66 in Barstow. A recent highlight was attendance at special musical events for Christmas in Redlands and Loma Linda including the Festival of Lights at Mission In Riverside. Other patients did a lot of golfing (I never had done golfing well and prefer the walking and photo touring of the region). See a few photos below from my sojourn in SoCal:
|Mission San Juan Capistrano|
|Some street art related to the Old Route 66 area in Barstow CA|
|Lights at the 25th annual Festival of Lights in Riverside at the Mission Inn|
|Entrance to the Gamble House in Pasadena|
|Road stop commemoration of early mining era in the Mojave Desert near Cima CA|
|Musical seasonal events at Loma Linda University Church|
It has been particularly nice to enjoy the sunny days and warmth that comes with fall and winter here in Southern California. I've been out at least twice a day walking my sister's dog--Abbie. See some sights below from my walks.
Where else would you have brilliant fall colors of sugar maple and orange trees side-by-side. And I was able to enjoy some of my favorite local food haunts such as El Burrito--the best Mexican "fast food" in the Inland Empire, as well as new places such as Dhat Island--a Caribbean themed restaurant in Redlands! But most of the time I ate at the LLUH Community Hospital (East Campus) cafeteria which offers Seniors 55+ discounts for great healthy food at a good price.
|My new doggie friend Abbie who now feels entitled to two walks a day!|
|Old Historic barn on Sanger Orchards along Beaumont Avenue in Loma Linda|
|Some of the beauty to be seen along Beaumont Avenue with Mt San Gorgonio in the background|
|Sunday morning runners--many are members of Loma Linda Lopers running club|
|The view on our street toward the mountains and oranges!|
|Sugar maples in the fall in Southern California|
|Fall colors and oranges side-by-side|
|One of the new walking/riding trails in the area--Orange Blossom Trail in Redlands|
|El Burrito Restaurant in Redlands|
|Christmas decorations around Citrus Plaza in Redlands|
|My reflection--taking pictures at Citrus Plaza|
Thankfully, I did got off for both Thanksgiving and Christmas to travel back home and attend my home church--Red Cliffs SDA Church in St George Utah--for a lovely Christmas program. And we had some great family time with visits from family in Washington, California and Oregon, as well as a visit by Bryan and Celeste from Switzerland (I discussed that more in the last past post of Mid-December). Below are some pictures from this memorable family time together over the last three to four months at Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as New Year's--and Colby's wedding.
|Children's Story Hour at Red Cliffs SDA Church and visiting family and friends from Oregon|
|Special music by Alvaro Terrazas--one of our talented youth|
|Some visiting friends and members at Red Cliffs Church|
|Friends, family and colleagues at Red Cliffs Church--Giffords and Bryants|
|Campfire down by the Virgin River at Thanksgiving with family and friends from Washington (Seattle) |
as well as Chicago, Germany, Loma Linda and St George--my younger brother Dan is standing
|My nephew Daniel from Seattle with his daughter Willa as well as Patricia, |
my sister (left) and younger son Colby (right)
|Making smorrhs...yum! At our place in Rockville Utah|
|Sunset over the Pacific during a weekend getaway to Dana Point and Mission |
San Juan Capistrano during my treatment period
|My brother's wife (Barbara) from Seattle with their former live-in |
German exchange study-abroad student--Cora Bay--(front) who now works in
Washington DC--she has become like family
|Thanksgiving day hike in Zion|
|Daniel and his daughter Willa exploring rusty farm equipment in Grafton Ghost Town|
|Tourists viewing sunset at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley--seen on our trip to Colby's wedding|
|Old 20-mule team wagon Death Valley|
|Celeste with us on a pumpkin farm before Halloween|
|Karen and Celeste on the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz CA|
|Karen and Celeste in Big Basin Redwoods state park near Santa Cruz CA|
|My younger sister Pat (left) and her older sister Kathy (right) from Bend Oregon|
|Colby and Kayla at their wedding|
|The Ford siblings--from left to right: Dan, Kathy, Pat and Bob|
|Celeste as flower girl at K&C's wedding|
|Ford's at park day before K&C's wedding in Livermore CA|
|A tour with an old friend at ESRI in Redlands--the Mapping/GIS people|
|One of many old sights I visited while here in Redlands/Loma Linda--|
San Bernardino Assistencia Mission
|San Bernardino Assistencia--once on the Camino Real|
|Beautiful fountain at the Redlands SDA Church|
|Redlands SDA Church--rebuilt after a fire a few years ago|
|Beautiful stained-glass window at Redlands SDA Church|
|Family fun at Colby's wedding|
|Karen with Celeste and Bryan at Colby's wedding|
In sum, it has been an eventful end-of-year but I finish my treatment regime this week--tomorrow-- January 5, 2018 and look forward to some travel to Europe soon for both photography and visiting my son Bryan Ford and his wife Anna Lachowska as well as our lovely granddaughter Celeste--who now live in Lausanne, Switzerland. Anna (a mathematics professor at EPFL--École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne--along with Bryan who is a professor of computer science) were not able to travel for either the Thanksgiving or Christmas and events; Bryan and Celeste were able to make K&C's wedding though. But Karen and I will be visiting them soon in Europe--and we'll share pictures on Facebook and my BLOG.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and do keep in touch via Facebook where I have many more photos and current updates on my work, travel, family time as well as service to the town of Rockville Utah.
Robert (Geobob) Ford