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When I lived in southern California, I had a wonderful doctor. Dr. Cohen was our family doctor. He had been my doctor until he switched to family medicine and we all started seeing him. I loved going there. Once, when one of the kids was sick but not too sick, I just wasn’t sure about taking them in but I wasn’t comfortable doing nothing so I called his office and talked to the nurse. After conferring with the doctor, she told me to bring them in. When I got there, Dr. Cohen said that his staff had a standing order that if I called, get my kids in right away because I was not one of the mothers that ran to the doctor for any little cut, scrape, or cough. That made me feel good! Then there was the time that I sat in the waiting room for over an hour past my appointment time. He told the staff not to collect my deductible because my time was just as precious as his and he didn’t want me to have to pay for just sitting. Not many doctors do that!

In any case, he sold his practice and moved to Oregon around 1999. After that, I struggled with other doctors in the building. For those that don’t know, there are certain experiences in my past that make it very difficult for me to trust new people. It makes it very difficult to start a new doctor. I have a very difficult time having to disrobe at the doctor’s office, let alone letting them examine me. Then in 2002, I lost my health insurance so I didn’t see any doctors. That was bad because I am diabetic so my diabetes went untreated for years. I got over some other problems and moved to northern California in 2004. Finally, I got to thinking about finding Dr. Cohen. I got online and searched and finally found him. I called his office to make sure it was him and it was! He was practicing in a small town near Klamath Falls. I started working to save money to go see him then I made an appointment. It was crazy to drive fourteen hours to see a doctor but I knew that I had to because I wasn’t going to see a doctor otherwise. So the Monday after Thanksgiving, I rented a car from a friend who  had an Avis franchise and agreed to rent a car to me without a credit card. And I was off to Oregon!

The trip started out on a bad note. Although I had checked traffic and weather before leaving, when I got to Redding, the radio was reporting that there was a storm headed for southern Oregon. I hadn’t prepared for that so I didn’t even have a coat. I stopped in at a K-Mart in Redding and bought a hoodie. I didn’t have a lot of money with me and I had to save what I had for the motel I was staying in for a couple of nights, before and after my doctor visit. So that’s all I had. A hoodie, some cheapo non-weatherized boots, and myself. No gloves. No scarf. No hat. But for this California girl who had not been in the snow previously, it didn’t really grab my attention and off I headed for Oregon.

Then, as I was about five miles away from my gas stop in Yreka, I saw a CHP car coming fast from the other direction and I figured he was after someone. That’s when I realized that I had not checked my speed in a while. I was going 97 mph! Wow! He was after me! Sure enough, I got a speeding ticket and a lecture. The guy was nice though and wrote me up for going 85 so I could qualify for online traffic school. So that was something but if you have ever been pullled over by the police, you probably know that it leaves you shaky and breathless and maybe disoriented. So I stopped in Yreka and sat in the car for awhile then got out and went to Denny’s for coffee so I could just settle my nerves a bit. I didn’t want to stay too long because I had the Siskiyou summit to head over and that is always dicey. With the weather turning worse by the minute, I didn’t have too much time to settle my nerves before heading toward my destination for the night, Ashland.

By the time I got up to the summit the weather had really changed. It was not only pitch black out but there were snow flurries and then snow all over the road. The big semi trucks were keeping the speed down to about 25 mph. Just as I got almost down the mountains, I could see the Oregon State Patrol behind me. Not after me this time. They had closed the road behind me. I was the last car through. I got  into Ashland and warmed up in my motel room and relaxed a bit. There was no snow there yet. After an hour or so, I looked out the window and realized it was snowing. I was so excited! I hadn’t ever seen it snow!. So I got bundled up (in my hoodie and cheap boots) and headed outside. I took a walk in the fresh snow. It was beautiful. There was no one out, even though it wasn’t very late (about 9 pm).It was calm. It was silent except for the sound of my feet crunching the freshly fallen snow. It was beautiful. I was only out for about ten minutes then I went back inside. The next day I was heading for Klamath Falls so I settled in for the night, watching a bit of TV and working on my NaNoWriMo novel.

That’s the set up. Come back for part 2 and read about Corina against the life threatening elements.

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