Rina already had her plane tickets for a visit here when i fell sick, and she arrived six days after i got out of the hospital. I’d warned her that i didn’t have the strength to do much running around, but she’s so generous that she volunteered to nurse me back to health. I didn’t really need anybody to nurse me, but i did take advantage of Rina’s offer to help in one way.

When i got out of the hospital i had a really ugly deep hole the size of a fifty-cent piece in the outside of my right arm a couple of inches or so below the elbow, which was left from where an infection that i picked up in the hospital had erupted. The nurses had given me instructions on how to treat the wound and change the bandages every day, and they sent a visiting nurse around every afternoon to do this for me. All i really needed, though, was an extra pair of hands to help put this elastic net-like device over the fresh gauze pad to hold it in place, and so when Rina arrived she agreed that we could reduce my use of medical services by letting her do this.

Rina is the least squeamish woman i know, the only woman, in fact, who was as entertained as i was by my getting to watch on live television the progress of the catheters while they implanted the stents in my aorta and femorals four years ago. So after she agreed to help me change my bandage, i started to show her how the elastic net thingy worked and accidentally ripped the bandage off, exposing the suppurating wound.

We nearly bumped heads trying to see down into it simultaneously.

The rest of her visit was low-key, as i didn’t have the strength to do much. We did get to Renzo Piano’s masterpiece of sustainable design, our new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, to our legendary Exploratorium that i hadn’t visited in over thirty years and that was still as wonderful as ever, and to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was a mistake, as by the time we had walked from the parking garage to the Aquarium i was already exhausted. Rina came through by commandeering a wheelchair and pushing me around in it. Humiliating, but i could never have done it otherwise.

On the other hand, perhaps the high point of her whole visit was Flora Grubb, not your typical plant store. Rather, it’s a gorgeous botanical garden with, it you look closely, small price tags on just about everything. No no, it’s the tags, not the prices, that are small. Check it out:

Flora Grubb

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