Three surprises in wake of Operation Deep Freeze


In the waning days of Operation Deep Freeze, it isn’t what happened that will live in my memory, but three things that didn’t.

No. 1 in importance, the power never went out.

I live in the boonies, you might say, where there are tall trees on both sides of the road which contribute to my usual half a dozen power outages per year by falling over due to wind, snow load or errant drivers and tree fallers.

I was able to buy my house because the previous owner threw in the towel after two weeks of trying to keep warm in front of a fireplace when the power was out that long.

My husband and I resolved the problem by having installed in the kitchen a supplemental Goldilocks stove that can heat the whole house and you can cook on the surface. We only used it in power outages.

Why the power stayed on this time I have no idea since I had a rare 8 or 10 inches of snow. Normally, since I live in the Sequim belt, I don’t get much, if any, snow.

No. 2 is the fact that, due to temperatures in the teens, I had my dogs in the house 99 percent of the time and they didn’t pee on the rug once. I did get up a couple of times each night to let them out if they wanted to go. If they pretended to be asleep I accepted that they would let me know and they did by staging a wrestling match in front of my closed bedroom door. I didn’t leave them out more than 10 or 15 minutes, so they obviously made use of the time to do what they had to do.

No. 3 probably should have been No. 1. I read and listen to everything about colon cancer. I’ve lost a couple of friends to it, so I take seriously the necessity of regular examinations. In my first many years ago, the doctor snipped off a polyp shaped like a mushroom that was benign. I have had regular colonoscopies ever since, a year apart and of late five years apart with no further discoveries.

Everybody hates colonoscopies, not the procedure itself because they give you a shot that puts you out like a light. You don’t feel anything, you don’t remember anything. You have have an adult with you to hear the doctor’s report and drive you home. All I remember from my last one was him saying, “See you in five years.”

What you hate is the preparation. Years ago, you had to give yourself enemas and drink a lot of crappy stuff. Then it was a lot of salt water and clear liquids on the day before. I didn’t get too upset because I included in the clear liquids a few McNaughton’s and water.

Anyway, Dec. 22 was my date for this year and it did nothing for my morale to find high up in the preparations those dreaded words, “No alcoholic beverages.” The prisoners at Guantanamo couldn’t feel any lower than I did.

Five days before the event, I got a call from my doctor’s nurse. “You don’t have to come in for the colonoscopy,” she told me. “The doctor says you haven’t had any polyps for 10 years and at your age, you don’t need any more colonoscopies.”

Who are you really? I asked. This is a joke, isn’t it? I said. You’re kidding, I said.

“No, no, no. The doctor says this is his Christmas present to you.”

A couple of hours later, however, I got a call from the clinic where I was booked. A nurse wanted to discuss the preparations with me. No need, I said, the doctor has let me off. Call him, I said. Minutes later, the doctor’s nurse was calling to apologize profusely for the other nurse’s call which was in error. Then I’m in the clear? I said. I’m off the hook? “As I told you,” she said, “this is the doctor’s Christmas present to you.” And a merry, merry Christmas to him too, I said, reaching for the McNaughton.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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