Cow’s Creek Physician Rescue; Azalea Professional Wellness Institute
May 27, 2021
I’m still processing it all. It was a whirlwind 48 hours. Someone mentioned to me on a work committee call that I was able to make because I was at the airport on a layover flying home, “I hope you enjoy your vacation.” I’m not sure why, but that kind of took me aback. Vacation? This trip was not a vacation. There is never a vacation from being Dr. Plastic Picker. This particular person didn’t mean anything by it and we have a complicated history between us, but it just shows no one knows your journey as well as you know your journey and I certainly do not know this colleagues – and the challenge is how and if to articulate it to folks. I’m not particularly close with the person who made this innocuous comment and it was meant as a pleasantry, so I didn’t feel the need to explain it further. I just said it was not a vacation and moved on to the next topic of the committee meeting.
But oh goodness, this was not a vacation. This was a climate work trip and a work work trip (at least the way I understand the interconnectness of everything I do). I did intensely enjoy parts of the trip. But my family member and I trampled over pasturelands, estimated size of meadows and thought about possible amphitheatre. We talked about yurts versus tree houses versus ziplines (sometimes we talk crazy talk) versus remodeling the current run down guest house that has a termite-ridden platform on the far end fo the property. We talked about cell phone connection and walkie-talkies, and fishing licenses. There is also a six-week turkey hunting season where everyone can shoot 3 turkeys. This is good for the environment because turkeys are an introduced season. I’m not sure how my vegan environmental friends are going to feel about this. Personally I’m buying an air rifle.
One of the most amazing things about visiting the 197.5 acre property that we are now in escrow for, is that it was actually prettier than the realtor photos and drone videos. (Oh we definitely have to do drone events for the physician wellness institute and our family already owns drones. You can bring your own drone, but please stay over our airspace). How is that possible? It was such a pretty part of the world. The picture above is the Glendale Reservoir which is just a few minutes from the farm/ranch/property and it was empty. The water is calm and you can take a boat out or go pole fishing. Everyone has to do everything at their own risk. Honestly, I’m risk adverse (despite co-buying this property) and will just walk along the shore and that is amazing too. There were birds of prey everywhere flying above.
There is a small creek called Cow’s Creek that runs through the land, and that little clear creek was metaphorical for me. I’m not going to repost it here, but I saw a salamander. I saw a beautiful river salamander and it was beautiful and powerful and allegorical for many reasons.
It’s going to take me a lifetime to process this weekend honestly. My family member and I met Phillip at the Azalea Mountain Store and we are looking forward to seeing him again. He’s a funny young man. The general store is repainted and spruced up. We know Mike our realtor and we hope will be a friend later. I wonder if he wants to speak at the retreats about real estate. He is a quiet and very handsome man, and probably the burned out female physicians will take a liking (it a very appropriate and professional way) to him. He held down the wire fencing for me to hop over since I’m so short, as we looked at the pastureland. We met Doug the 72-year-old previously retired now recently furloughed gentleman from Eastern Oregon, who fishes most days off the Lowell Covered Bridge Reservoir. There are so many little reservoirs but we went to this one outside of Eugene and met Doug. Doug was generous and explained everything about fishing and he caught a Rainbow Trout while we were there.
Do you mind if Dr. Plastic Picker shares a few more pictures?
And on the way home, we met Chris on the flight back to Southern California. He is not connected with this property. But we shared a human moment, Chris and my family member and I. And Chris showed us pictures on his iPhone of beautiful moments of his life. He is an artist and we talked about preception and creativity, and sleep. We talked about sleep. And no matter where I go, I can’t stop being a doctor. Even on this semi-anonmyous Eco-Avatar blog I’m Dr. Plastic Picker. And I wished for Chris that he should get good sleep and I recommended some good youtube videos that talk about sleep. And the most beautiful thing is that I came home brimming with new quiet experiences during this trip, and I hugged my children who were generous with me and allowed me to take this 48 hours to look at this land. And I went to bed early. And I woke up from the most amazing 8 hours of sleep I’ve had in a long time. That is what this piece of land that belongs to no one but originally home of the Umpqua Tribe did for me. How can you own land? How can you own an area where there are salamanders in the creek and birds of prey soaring above? We saw the carcass of a dead elk in the middle of the pastureland, likely taken down by a mountain lion. It’s safe there. They avoid humans. But it was already eaten and the bones were bleached white by the sun, but the hoofs were still there indicating what it was before it was almost a museum type skeleton. It was to me a beautiful affirmation of how important this acreage is. And I, Dr. Plastic Picker, will “buy” it with my family member and will take care of it. And that is it. I will take care of it, and I may have fun trying to figure out a Physician Wellness Institute or Physician Rescue – because I think you’ll love it too. Just a few people, in small groups to offset some of the property taxes we have to pay and to repair some things. We’ll donate 5% to the Rainforest Trust and 5% to the Cows Creeks Community Center. We’ll offer CME and you can partake as much or as little of the program as you want. You can deduct the cost as a professional expense, because we’ll be discussing important things in medicine. Physician wellness, leadership development, creativity in medicine, climate change and health, plant-based eating, financialy independent, air pollution, adverse childhood events and nature healing. Or whatever you want. I’m only going to do it a few times a year, and will have fun with it. Bring boots though.