Cows Creek Physician Rescue (CPR): Even One MD is Enough
November 26, 2021
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and we are home home. In our Southern California home. I have to work today normal clinic and Saturday 830-5pm. It’s extra duty on Saturday and my obligation of being part of our physician group. I get paid overtime. I don’t give away my shifts anymore. I don’t even know why we judge others for giving away their extra duties when others want to work it, but it’s still a thing in our department. The judging. But it’s getting better and I’ve decided that there are few times that it’s productive to render judgement on things like that. There’s Mr. Plastic Picker who is standing in the middle of the tree parcel of our Oregon farm. Over a hundred acres of douglas fir on that side of the parcel, and a healthy stream that flows through it. Both of us, and all doctors, we’ve been judged our entire careers. And sometimes the judging and punishing is inflicted by eachother. It’s an institutional and professional history that dates back centuries really. It’s no use blaming any one person or institution, but it’s important to understand how deeply rooted it is in our professional culture.
And so we are back after the longest vacation we have taken in a long time. Which was four days. Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t that crazy that I feel grateful to have just four days off? But with the Friday evening shift that wasn’t that bad and the weekend to bolster those four days and no traffic on Thanksgiving Day through LA, we were able to make it back and forth from San Diego to Oregon in the middle of the pandemic – and hopefully did not catch COVID.
This view and this farm fed our souls. Cows Creek Physician Rescue (CPR) – I call it, has done it’s job. Mr. Plastic Picker is better. I had to figure out how to buy an Oregon Farm to heal one of the most dedicated and self-effacing and talented physicians I know. No one was going to heal him but me. The HMO tried. But in the end, it had to be me. The financials made sense and this property actually costs us very little. If I know you in real life, come ask me and I’ll explain. Literally to save and preserve this mountain and to have a farm, it cost me less than going on one not even that fancy vacation a year.
He slept so deeply. He walked around the property with our crazy black puppy who was so free on the land. We took the trash to the transfer station and some of the recyclables, which was very interesting. We went to the Azalea General Store and the other local grocery store, which seemed so far away but honestly was about a 20 minute drive. We ate all of our left overs that we brought from home home to our farm home. We wore old clothes. Our hearts and mind wandered. I gardened every morning yanking out weeds from the overgrown garden. There were patches and patches of rotting carrots. It was so interesting. And everyone was happy. The children laughed and sang. The slept in or got up, and we had no plan. Neighbors stopped by to say hello, and reminded us what community is supposed to be. We connected and we were open, and they repaid in kind. Everyone here loves the earth.
My mind was so quiet those mornings staring at this view. I didn’t have access to this particular computer which I’m used to blogging on, so I did not blog. I didn’t need to. But honestly, it’s important for me to share this journey with you. On my mind the entire trip was family, the earth and the climate work. It is all blended it and related. Projects sorted themselves out in my mind, and now that I’m back home home – I know the way to go. Mother nature gave me that this last week. I just listened. The small flocks of birds on the meadow parcel. The sounds of Cow Creek rushing, you can even hear it from our porch. I really saw the milky way for the first time, when Mr. Plastic Picker showed the children. The stars were so beautiful and we are so small compared to the galaxy. The baby trees that are trying to overtake the pastureland. I’m thinking of letting them just take over a few acres. That is what nature does. She plants her seeds in our soul, and they grow into these beautiful living and young vibrant carbon sequestering and oxygen producing miracles.
But it was time to come home, as I can’t retreat up in the mountains. That was never the intent. Buying the farm and those forest was serendipitous. It was nothing I sought out. Literally it was a root canal that brought the farm to my attention and on a crazy 48 hour journey, I flew out and bought it with a family member. And now we are thinking of starting a Truffle Farm. It’s a way to bring eco-tourism to that area. Dr. Lori Byron, one of my mentors, has nominated me for a national climate award. I am so honored. I am going to submit the form today and in my mind was brewing the idea of hosting a Scriptorium for the Planet, that will bring together my friends Dr. Perry Sheffield and Elizabeth Friedman with premedical students to mutually inspire eachother and figure out innovative climate projects. Even if they give me $500, I will be able to create something beautiful. I’m going to probably ask for $2000. And we are going to plant Truffle trees together, but the truffle trees I’ll pay for. Because that is part of the farm.
We are back now home home, and we have an Oregon home. And both places need saving. They are both endangered by the climate crisis, and the children who live in both areas. Your local litter-picking pediatrician is back and restored and renergized. But more importantly Mr. Plastic Picker, the junior college boy I fell in love with and who is my partner in life, has rest and family time and sleep. Healing is slow. But this week, he healed. Now I just need to heal our entire HMO and the planet. Onward!!!!
I’m definitely going to serve Matcha Green Tea Soy Lattees at the Scriptorium if they give me funding! It’s super cheap like $15 enough to give everyone some every morning for the entire week and then some.