Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Long 2 Months!

Hello Daylily Friends,

So much has happened since my last post on February 1, 2017.  Everything was going well and I was reasonably strong, doing whatever needed to be done in our daylily garden.  Then, late on Monday afternoon, Feb. 20, 2017, my dear wife Diana Rae said she wanted me to go walking with her.  I truly didn't want to go, but she was insistent, so I went.  I didn't keep pace with her, and I was usually 6 to 8 steps behind and she kept admonishing me that I should "keep up."  As we neared the end of our walk I told Diana that my "chest hurt."  We walked to the house and I went inside and sat in my big chair for about 45 minutes. Then I got up and walked outside.  As I did I began to truly "sweat."  In fact, I perspired so heavily that my shirt became damp and my hair was damp.  Then, when I got outside I started to vomit.  It was bad.  Very bad.  Diana Rae wanted to take me to the hospital, but I foolishly said no.  Then she took my blood pressure and it was over 170.  I knew then that something was truly bad, and I thought that I was having a problem with my heart.

Diana Rae took me to the hospital in the car, and on the way I found it difficult to breath.  Fortunately we were less than 15 minutes from the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital I was met by someone who had a "wheel chair."  I was so glad to ride in the chair considering my condition.  As we approached the hospital door I was trying to get my insurance papers ready expecting they would be asked for.  However, when we went in the doot I wasn't even checked out in the ER (Emergency Room).  I was sent directly to a room in the heart unit.

I don't remember much about being in the room.  I remember an Anesthesiologist coming to see me, and I remember two young nurses using "Clippers" like the Barber uses when I have my hair cut.  They cut my hair from my chin to my ankles.  I don't remember all they did, and the next thing I remember was went I woke up in the heart unit recovery unit after my heart surgery.

Let me tell you about the surgery.  My physician, the very esteemed Dr. Theresa Luu, went into my chest and I had a "triple by-pass heart surgery."  A very, very difficult surgery.  When I woke up in the hospital bed I was in unbelievable pain.  I was given "Morphine" plus a sleeping pill and I was out for awhile.  The hospital journey over the next week was tough.  The Kennestone hospital personnel were outstanding, however, the hospital bed was very uncomfortable.  I was vert glad when I was ultimately dismissed from the hospital on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.  Each day that has since passed I have grown stronger, and today I am at about 80% of where I was before the surgery.

Such a difficult recovery, but as I said, I'm getting better each day and here is some evidence.

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, I was strong enough that I traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to speak to the Tennessee Valley Daylily Society where my good friend, Libby Hickman, serves as President.  It was good to see Libby, as well as Amy and Lauren, her two beautiful daughters,  It was also good to see my young friend, Tucker Gaby. who introduced me to the Club.  Tucker did considerable research to be able to speak so well about my background.  I was particularly delighted that Tucker said he liked my daylilies "because they grow so well" for him in Tennessee.  Thank you Tucker for your words of encouragement and for your wonderful introduction!  That is Tucker in the picture as he gave his introduction.  I was also glad to see my good friend Lee Pickles.  Being with Lee and the entire Chattanooga Club just lifted my spirits and helped me feel even better.  Thanks you TVDS!

The next Saturday Diana and I traveled to Albany, Georgia, to speak to the Albany Hemerocallis Society.  We had such a wonderful adventure that started the evening we arrived at our hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn.  There must have been around 500 people gathered close to the Inn, and we soon understood that a "Prom" was taking place at the Inn.  The young women were dressed in such beautiful gowns, and then Diana noticed a young man with dark shoes that "sparkled."  Then she noticed that he wasn't wearing any socks.  She also noticed that many other young men were likewise not wearing any socks.  Just a delightful fashion statement.

The next morning we learned that we were just across the street from the Flint River.  So we when for a walk along the river, which was such a beautiful place to take a walk.  We immediately saw a statue of Ray Charles playing a piano, and there was a tribute to the many songs he sang over the course of his life.  Ray Charles was blind from about age 6 for the remainder of his life.  One of his most famous songs was "Georgia On My Mind," which is now the official song for the State of Georgia.  Of course, Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia.  He passed away in 2004 at the age of 73.  And I think that I should show the shoes that Ray Charles is wearing in his statue.  These are truly incredible shoes.  I can see where the young man from the Prom perhaps got the idea to wear fancy shoes to his school dance.

As we walked along the river we noticed what I think were Bald Cyprus Trees growing along the bank of the river.  They were beautiful trees.  We have a Cyprus Tree growing in our back yard, but I'm not sure if it is a Bald Cyprus.  Anyway, the river moved very fast, and it was clear that it was not a place to go swimming.

Thanks to Tony Guarnieri, who is President of the Albany Club, and a special thanks to Jim and Mary Netherton who gave us one of their new, double introductions.  Also a special thanks to Ron and Pat Bonner who have helped us so much over the years.  They have been friends and we love them.  Thanks also to Marion Tyus who has been a Judge for us over the years at our daylily shows.  Just so many good friends in Albany.

Several months ago I mentioned that I hoped that I would have blooms this spring from having used Tet. Garrett Allen.  I did have a new bloom that I showed to the Albany Club.  In fact it was so beautiful that I knocked off an "Anther" as I was preparing to take my picture.  Sad about the Anther, but the flower was just so enticing.  It was just so large.  Perhaps I will get an even better picture when it blooms again.

Then on Thursday, April 20, 2017, Diana and I traveled to Evansville, Indiana, to speak to the Southwestern Indiana Daylily Society.  We made the 6-hour journey with minimal inconvenience, and arrived in time to check into the Hotel, and prepare for the Club meeting.  When we arrived at the Library where the Club meetings are held we were soon in such good company.  We were greeted by friends including Jan Wilson, Rosalie Mosley and Bob Runkle, One new friend was Julie Robichaud, who asked to have a copy of the Club Picture that I took for use in the Club's newsletter.  The picture is on its way as we speak. Whenever we visit a Club for the first time we are made to feel as though we've been members and are known quite well.

In Indiana I spoke about our Garden after my surgery.  I particularly spoke about my good friend who helped me apply fertilizer to our seedlings.  I showed a picture of when the fertilizer was actually being applied, and now I'm showing a picture of the row from this morning when it was raining.  Quite a difference from a month ago when the fertilizer was applied and the garden as it is now.  Daylilies grow pretty fast in the spring.

I have another seedling to show.  It is Seedling 7-801 and the cross is as follows:  (3-454 {Tall Red} x Tet. Emerald Starburst,  I really like the large green eye.  Such a big eye, and the flower is big as well, although I'm not quite yet ready to begin taking measurements.  However, I did gather the pollen, and I'm waiting to see if the seedling is pod fertile.

I would like to show Diana's seedling garden but that will have to wait until I write again.

Thanks to my friends for sending cards to me and particularly for praying for me.  I know that the cards and prayers helped and I'm glad to be almost back to normal.



  1. Great to see a new blog post! Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Dad- I love this post. I am so grateful that you are so much better. - Kelley

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