• author
    • Donald Sanders

      Columnist
    • February 20, 2015 in Columnists

    All the heart I need

    I had a pretty bad week. As a matter of fact, I’ve had a pretty bad year so far, but I don’t want to go back that far. Anyways, I’ll start on Valentine’s Day, last Saturday. Yeah, that’s a perfect place to start.

    OK, Valentine’s Day, right? Real early in the morning, I go to pick up a water pump at the water pump getting place. I also pick up a bunch of drills and some humongous drill bits that are the perfect size for planting the type of plants that my friend Carrie Shaw, the boss of the Putah Creek Council, wants to stick in the ground on this particular holiday. Carrie and her cohorts at the PCC have the creek looking really, really good.

    Anyway, like I said, I took all of these drills, bits, and the water pump down to the creek just past Pickerel’s place. Then I stood around and stood around some more, waiting for Carrie and her crew to get there so the work can start. While I was waiting, I started thinking about something I read recently.

    It seems that two University of Queensland (that’s in Australia I think) physicists named Martin Ringbauer and Tim Ralph had simulated a way that quantum particles could travel through a wormhole and go back in time. They used photons that are single particles of light, to simulate quantum particles traveling through time to study their behavior. This set me to thinking that maybe I could go back in time someday, but I never got to think about it anymore because here comes Carrie and her planting crew.

    I put on a happy face even though I was pretty sad about being passed up for the Citizen of the Year thingy and the fact that no one, not one single soul, nominated me for anything at all. Not a Pulitzer or a Nobel — nothing! I was absolutely humiliated and was just inches away from some pretty damn big tears. The kind that everybody can see from far, far away where they can laugh at you without being seen.

    So there we all are, down by the creek, drilling holes with big drill bits, and then sticking a native plant in each hole. I just kept on drilling so as not to cry and make a fool outta myself in front of all the people with dirty hands that were busy sticking native plants into the happy and healthy soil along the beautiful Putah Creek. As sad as I was about all those awards I could have gotten, but didn’t, it was pretty cool just taking part in all the festivities.

    Well, we all planted and planted until we ran out of time, but I was still getting sadder and sadder. My heart began to ache like someone punched me in the chest with a big rubber hammer or something like that. I thought to myself, “Man, I’m really getting sad if it hurts this much!”

    Yeah, I was really sad.

    OK, now it’s about noon, so all the workers leave and Carrie asks me if I’m OK. I wanted to tell her how sad I was and why, but I just couldn’t spit it out, so I says, “Ya, I’m doing just fine.” I’m such a liar. I lie about everything all the time, but everybody knows it, so it’s OK. Everybody leaves and I’m there all by myself like I like it. I enjoy the solitude while setting up the pump to water all the plants we put in the ground — hundreds of them.

    I was about halfway through with the watering when my heart starts to ache real bad, which is pretty common for me, but this was different. I thought, “Man I gotta forget about all those awards because it looks like the Pulitzer is out of the question for me.” Pretty soon the birds were singing and butterflies were a pumping here and there, and it was simply capital.

    A short while later, when I got home, I told my wife about my heartache. Well, she proceeded to worry about me and those stinkin’ awards until she said, “You dummy, you’re having a heart attack!” Well she must have been right because an hour later I was in Kaiser Hospital in Vacaville with wires stuck on me all over the place.

    When I say sad, I mean sad!

    Well, hell, I’m screwed now, because it’s a holiday weekend and everything is shut down tight until Tuesday. I was a little concerned that there was not a damn thing they could do to help me except get me into a bed.

    Well almost!

    Some nurse told me that since I have never won an award of any kind that they didn’t have a bed for me and I would have to go to Vallejo before I could lay down. They put me in an ambulance and took me south toward Vallejo and a bed. I asked about the siren but they said no! (No awards, remember.) So then I get a bed and I lay in it for two and a half days until the doctor comes in.

    The doctor says he can’t help me and I have to go to San Francisco or Santa Clara to get some relief. Right away I jump up and say, “Santa Clara!” because my wife’s mother and all of her sisters live there, and they always feed me cookies, pies and big red steaks. I just love that family.

    So, after about another three-hour ambulance ride, I get to the Santa Clara hospital. I’m supposed to get treated at about 10:30 a.m., but the doctor is so busy I don’t get to see him until about 4:30 p.m. I almost got up and went home after this guy came up and said he was gonna shave my groin. I said, “Yer gonna shave my what?” Now my package is all but bald and it looks pretty damn sad.

    After that, a guy gave me a pill that made everybody move real fast but talk real slow. They put me on some table and strapped my arms and legs down so I couldn’t move. Well, to make a long story short, they tortured me for an hour or two and then I woke up and the heartache was gone. They had fixed my heart this time, but they said the next time I was gonna die unless I win some kind of award between that time and the next.

    Now I’m in a real fix because my wife won’t even let me look at the creek. That’s OK though, because they can’t keep me away forever and I don’t get paid, so they can’t fire me. Now I’m thinking, “That’s OK with me because that is all the award I’ll ever need. That creek is my heart!”

    Before stint

    After stint



    • HOLY CRAP! Donald!!! I’m so glad you are all right! Please take care of yourself, because the world is a far more interesting place with you in it!



    • At first I thought you were kidding but I see you truly were having an angioplasty. So glad your wife saw the symptoms and am glad it was done, finally. A little too long for me but at least they found the problem and fixed it. WOW, so glad you are okay. Love you Donald Sanders. Glad your heart is not as sad.


      • Ralph A. Kelley

      • February 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm
      • Reply

      Donald, you do not get that many chances, so take care of yourself…….


      • Maya North

      • February 21, 2015 at 2:32 am
      • Reply

      Geez, did they take long enough????? My husband had a quadruple coronary bypass because he had TWELVE (12) blockages! It’s been 17 years now and he’s still going strong despite his initial heart attack (which apparently didn’t leave much, if any, real damage. Please take care of yourself and listen to your heart, which was trying to tell you all along that it needed help! Big hugs!!!



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