If We Were Having Coffee – October 25/2015



I’m Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. I am delighted to be back at Willow’s serving you, our treasured readers, a cuppa and sweets while we chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. She has also brought out the heaters so we can stretch our outside tea time further into the fall. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

I have spent some extra time in the hospital this week. I have an infection that is related to my dialysis and it is proving difficult to address. We’re currently using intravenous antibiotics and have just added a round of oral antibiotics. The infection is under control but is not disappearing as quickly as the doctors would like. The initial visit entailed spending the night waiting in emergency – which then stretched well into the following day – actually about 3 pm before I got home – that’s a story. The antibiotics cause diarrhoea and so on the way home, I had to get off my handicap bus when he stopped to pick up another passenger. The bus would not wait, of course, so I called for another pickup and explained what had happened. They have a policy that they do not pick up after 2 pm for same day calls as it is their busy period – which left me stranded at a mall many miles from home. @#$%^&*! I ended up taking a taxi home. Oh well – insult to injury.

So, I’m limping around feeling bad for myself when my friend John (name changed) drops by to visit. He has picked up some TP and bread for me as I can’t get out – he is a kind soul and always asks if I need anything when he is out. He sits down with a serious face and tells me that he has just come from a meeting with his employer and they are putting him on medical leave. He has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. It is early days yet as the diagnosis just came Friday so much testing has yet to be done. He has honoured me by explaining that he hasn’t told family yet. I have had and beaten colon cancer and we talked about the emotions involved and options available.

I explained to him that I have been told that cancer treatment is very personal – everyone reacts differently. For me, the treatment was completely pain free. It was the side effects that really knocked me for a loop. There are days when I would not go through it again, and days when I would. Each time I consider it I come up with a different answer. My best advice to him was to take it one day at a time by asking himself:”Do I have what I need to get through today?” When the answer is yes, then proceed. In the end it is actually amazing how little we really need.

Suitcases and food

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? Anyway, we spent some time discussing this and John went to leave. He went out my back door which leads to a small private deck and a set of stairs down to the parking lot. Sitting on the deck were a suitcase, boxes and plastic bags. John asked if they were mine. I told him they were not, that I was surprised, and asked if they were there when he came in. He said they were. We checked out the suitcases and boxes and they were all canned food and pasta and pots and pans and cleaning supplies – almost all new. Even the suitcase looked new.

We carted the boxes, bags and suitcase inside. There were no personal clothes or goods with the shipment. Mysteriously, there was one small transparent clamshell fresh food container that had been scrubbed so clean as to appear brand new. Written on the tag was “”Deluxe Fruit Salad – Large” We checked through everything and found canned goods, cereal, some towels, pasts and the like. It’s all piled neatly on my floor now except for a big can of Puritan Beans and Wieners, a package of spaghetti and the mysterious clam shell – which are sitting here on my desk as I write.

After some discussion, John and I have come to the conclusion that one of our mutual friends – Frank – must have left the goods there. Frank is as mysterious as the clam shell. He has a room here in our complex but says he spends time at a rehab centre sometimes in Kingston – about a 2 ½ hour drive from here. One day he showed up at my door with the most delicious homemade soup that I have ever tasted – soup he made himself. Another day he dropped off two seemingly random used books – no explanation other than he thought I might like them. He asked me to help him one day with his computer – a used computer he had gotten as a gift. It worked fine but wouldn’t hook to the internet – we have cable here. I was able to determine that the problem was in the wiring in the wall, not the computer and he had the manager get it fixed. It was about that time that he started dropping off things.

Anyway, John went and peeked into Frank’s window and although the bed and dresser were there, all personal goods appeared gone. I’m not exactly sure what to do with all of Frank’s stuff. There are a few items, like partial boxes of cereal that I will have to eat. I suppose I’ll wait for a few weeks to see if Frank comes back.

On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden.  Sweets anyone? I hope you didn’t mind the story today, and that you found it a bit more positive than last week’s story. Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all happy that Willow is back and honoured that you all dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

Sergeant Erica Hay bought food and coffee for the homeless man (Picture: TiAnna Greene)

And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. willowdot21
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 15:51:07

    Another great post Paul, so sorry to hear you are not at all well. I do hope you will get better soon and that the side effect of the drugs wear off soon. What a great neighbour and friend you are so helpful careing and supportive. You deserve your anonymous gifts no one more.
    I think the Purple Door Cafe is a great idea and full marks to Officer Erica. xxxxxxxxxx


  2. Paul
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 15:55:13

    Thank you so very much Willow for the opportunity to post here on your blog. I hope that you are blessed with the love and strength to get through this coming week.


  3. morgaine620
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 16:23:48

    Sending a big hug and lots of healing energy your way. Thanks for sharing this amazing story. If were having coffee I would invite you to my house for a cuppa for tomorrow. It’s my birthday :-). I hope your infection ebbs off soon.


  4. barbtaub
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 17:14:13

    Hi, Paul! I was sad to hear that you haven’t been well, and hope things will be better very soon.

    As usual, I enjoyed your stories about people you know. You really do have a gift for bringing them to life for us!

    I’ve been distracted by family issues lately, and haven’t been online much. Hopefully, things will be improving from here on out. I’ve missed you!


    • Paul
      Oct 25, 2015 @ 19:34:13

      Hi Barb! Great to have you drop by – Thank you Oh, I’m sure things will work out in the long run. It is a pretty consistent battle with the dialysis – there is always a price. Thank you so much for the compliment – I am honored that you enjoy my writing. I hope your family issues work out for the best. Please drop by again.


  5. Corina
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 19:08:01

    I hope your health improves soon, Paul. I think the suitcases full of food are a wonderful gift from your friend. What a thoughtful soul.

    Take care and I will hope to read that you are much improved next week!


    • Paul
      Oct 25, 2015 @ 19:36:55

      Thank you very much for the well wishes Corina. I am sure my health will improve by next week. It is a constant battle. Yes, my neighbor is a thoughtful person – very mysterious and thoughtful. Thanks for dropping by, please come again.


  6. dobetteralways
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 20:36:57

    Well you have had quite the week sir. Hope your infection is beaten soon.


  7. cordeliasmom2012
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 21:22:44

    Paul, I hope that infection clears up. How horrid that you were stranded at a mall – I think that bus company needs to change their policies to accommodate emergencies.

    Whatever happened to Frank, it’s sweet that he thought of you before he left. Hopefully, you’ll hear from him again sometime.


    • willowdot21
      Oct 25, 2015 @ 21:25:19



    • Paul
      Oct 25, 2015 @ 23:34:06

      Hi CM! Great to see you drop by. Oh, Para Transpo is a force unto themselves. They are owned by the city and are very bureaucratic. The service is excellent but we have had it out before and I might as well beat my head against a wall as try to change them. It won’t happen, so I just am thankful for what we have and carry on. ha!

      Yes, I hope Frank is OK. It seems he had some time to think and pack, so i obviously wasn’t a life=threatening emergency. Hopefully he will; get the help he needs where-ever he is. Thanks so much for visiting CM – please drop by again.


  8. Diana
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 21:46:23

    What a week! Sorry to hear that you’ve been ill–hope you are feeling better now!


    • Paul
      Oct 25, 2015 @ 23:37:03

      Thanks so much for dropping by Diana. It has been a rough week and is getting better. Thanks so much for your well wishes and visit. Please drop by again.


  9. Chatter Master
    Oct 28, 2015 @ 10:19:58

    I’ll have a cuppa Lyons tea right now Paul. It makes me feel all Ireland-y.

    I’m sorry for your ills, I hope by the time I read this that the side effects of the antibiotics have gotten better.

    I’m sorry your friend John has such a diagnosis, but take comfort he has a friend like you to share the news with and have an earnest and truthful discussion with.

    Sending good thoughts your way, and your friend’s.


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