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We arrived back home safely from Rochester yesterday afternoon around 2:00 pm. The roads were good, the car worked fine, I found my way around Rochester just fine, and I didn’t see a deer the whole way over and back.

Our dear friend Evelyn had some tests run, and consulted with the Mayo specialists. It was found that she has five spots on her lungs, four of them very small. Three showed up as white spots, which the doctor says are calcium deposits – he’s not at all concerned about them. The fourth is turning white, most likely a calcium deposit as well; he’s not concerned. The fifth one, however, is nickel-size and dark. That one does concern him, and Evelyn is now scheduled to return to the Mayo Clinic on March 1 for more tests, which will include their going into her side with a scope and removing that spot from her lung. If it turns out to be benign, or if they’re sure they got it all, she won’t have to undergo any radiation or chemotherapy treatments. So we’re hoping and praying for her!

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night, probably because I was acutely aware that I had to get up early and drive, plus I was experiencing quite a bit of pain in my left shoulder because I didn’t medicate it much because I wanted to be as alert as possible for our early morning trip. I drove in darkness all the way to Rochester. At my age that’s quite a feat. We were up at 3:00, at Evelyn’s place at 4:30, and arrived at the Mayo Clinic at 6:15.

We entered the Gonda building from the subway level at 6:30 when the security guard came and opened the gate. I didn’t know they had such security there, but these days it doesn’t surprise me at all. But I was a little bit surprised at all the people who were standing there waiting to go in. I shouldn’t have been though. People come from all over the world to Rochester, and having lived there for three years I am very cognizant of that fact.

After stopping at the business/administration office on the lobby level for a few minutes, we were directed to the elevators. We entered one and suddenly whooshed upwards eighteen stories in a few seconds! My wife said the elevators seem like they’re jet-propelled!

When we arrived on the 18th floor for our friend’s appointemtn, it was still pretty dark outside. But in a few minutes the bank of windows on the east side of the waiting room became very obvious. Not only did it grow light, but soon the sun was streaming in those windows, and right in the eyes of the poor ladies behind the counter as they tried to check in the patients. Fortunately it wasn’t long before the sun had risen high enough that it wasn’t a problem.

In a short time our friend Evelyn was called back. We were told it would take at least an hour, possibly more, so we headed off to the elevators again, and dropped all the way down to the subway level in a matter of seconds. In short order (no pun intended) we found the cafeteria, where we bought a couple Jimmy Dean biscuits wrapped in their paper wrappers, a couple fresh donuts, and a couple cups of coffee to wash it all down with. It turned out that the biscuits were as bad as the donuts were good, and the fair-to-middling coffee made it all a pretty average cafeteria experience. At least we got some food and coffee in our stomachs!

So we then zoomed back up to the 18th floor, and discovered that Evelyn was still “back there”. We found seats near the windows. I stood up and looked around out those windows a bit; I’m always amazed at the wonderful views one can get from those high locations. Then I saw a fellow near me taking pictures out the window, which made me remember the camera on my cell phone. Thinking you all might like to see a few of the sights I was seeing, I pulled out my cell phone and started clicking away!

This is the view that first inspired me to take the pictures. This is looking east out of the 18th floor of the Gonda Building. The tall building is condominiums. Behind it the odd-shaped building is the Rochester Civic Center. Directly in front of us is the roof of the Kahler Grand Hotel.

That beautiful old-style tan building is the Plummer Building – the original Mayo Clinic building. I’ve never seen it from way up here.

Another, more-modern Mayo Clinic building.

The bank of windows we looked through, showing some of the interior architecture of the Gonda Building.

Here’s part of the waiting room we were sitting in, over near the windows.

So we got done at the Mayo Clinic around 11:30 am. My wife caller her sister who lives there in Rochester, and she met us at a Perkins for some lunch; then she went back to work and we headed out on the highway headed west towards home. We arrived back here to our little vale of tears around 2:00 and rested the rest of the day.

And I slept like a rock last night!