Quick update of the last 5 months! We had C...

March 01, 2009 by Meg in Lytton

Quick update of the last 5 months!
We had Callie and Will, Julie and Alex, and Kayla here for Thanksgiving and the weekend before Xmas (we celebrated Xmas the Sunday before, causing a weird kind of deja vu all the next week!)and for New Years. Callie and Will went off with Will's extended family for a long Xmas trip in Costa Rico and Julie went to Alex's family's in Toledo.

Mikayla worked in Cleveland for her January break, on a project that one of her professors (who is the Cleveland City Treasurer) set up to try to help people renegotiate mortgages. She is hoping to use this to parry a job at the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank this summer.

Julie finished Anatomy, Biochem and is actually starting to have classes that involve real patient care at this point. She is applying for research jobs in NYC this summer so she can be up there with Alex.

Callie is flying to India, as I write, to spend a week working with Indian nonprofits. She will get to ride a camel and an elephant while there!She and Will want to work in Chicago this summer.

Dick and I just stay busy. My associate is expecting in April so I will be pretty busy while she is on maternity leave. We are considering taking in a 3rd doctor- lots of work and some financial risk but we seem plenty busy....

I just wanted to add to this thread on educat...

October 06, 2008 by Meg in Lytton

I just wanted to add to this thread on education, as it was the subject of the Query in our Quaker Meeting this morning and an incidental discussion in the Care and Counsel Committee meeting before Meeting for Worship. At C&C meeting, I mentioned that I attended my high school reunion last weekend. Most of my classmates had stayed in the area and continued in their parents footsteps in a fairly poor area of SW Pennsylvania. Another Committee member, Tippy, a retired professor from UC Davis, commented that she had attended her high school reunion in a blue collar town where most of the men had gone into the Army for WWII and then took advantage of the GI Bill and then purchased low cost, often government-subsidized homes. This led to the US middle class (something we rebellious anti-Viet Nam war students railed against!) and the educated work force that fueled a creative economy for 40-50 yrs!

Another aside-Dick and I are swapping MacCullough's biography of John Adams back and forth, with 2 bookmarks. We started it on vacation in August in Boston, when we were embarrassed that we were the only people on the T that weren't reading! All Bostonians seem to have their noses in some written material all the time! Anyhow, when he wrote the draft of the constitution of the State of Massachusetts, John Adams included an impassioned section in the preamble about the responsibility of the government to foster and facilitate education for all the people. He expected the legislature to edit that section out, but they left it in, unchanged! Do you think this is may be why Massachusetts and Boston continue to be the intellectual powerhouses they still are? How do we inculcate the love of learning that not only makes life richer but helps to make our lives more comfortable? I think the difficulties of the Depression and WWII may have contributed to the motivation to learn, which may even have been a distraction from the nightmares of life outside the ivy tower.

On that note, we're all fine. Callie is working incredibly hard at Duke and has been selected to do some other extra-curricular projects that she is pleased about. Will is happy with his program and his parents just visited them.

Julie is dissecting her way through their cadaver, the low point being dissecting the penis. She seems very happy, despite the long hours of study. They finish Anatomy this month and move on to Biochemistry. She is in NYC this weekend visiting Alex.

Kayla is happy and working hard on her classwork and her job at Oberlin. She is having a little trouble re-adapting to the social life of a small town after her time in Belgium this summer.

Not much more news of import.No exciting adventures planned.

Joy of joys! Julie was accepted to Jefferson ...

February 07, 2008 by Meg in Lytton

Joy of joys! Julie was accepted to Jefferson Medical School today!! We're delighted.It's a nuturing atmosphere-I have always been impressed by the kindness, competence and self-possession of the Jefferson students who have come to work in our office. This has been a grueling ordeal because of the intense competition--hundreds of applicants for each positions and several hundred interviewed for a hundred or so spots. She's relieved and now just has to finish off physics II. She'll start in early August. She is so bright, so hard working and so kind that she does proud all the grandparents who gave her her genes.

Not to be outdone, Callie has now been accepted to about 4 grad schools to study Nonprofit Business Administration, including being offered a $60K scholarship over 2 yrs at BU. Her boyfriend Will applied for the later entry cycle in March and is now anxious, wishing he had done the early cycle. We may have to finesse summer vacation arrangements because of kids' schedules but hopefully will get away somewhere!

It's just been such a day of good news that I wanted to share it with family right away. Please hold our happiness and good fortune in your hearts and in the light, as Quakers say....

We're now in Oslo, definitely a less gorgeous...

July 26, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

We're now in Oslo, definitely a less gorgeous and less charming place than Bergen. It's a bustling city, with public bikes you can borrow that have little transmitters on them and some mechanism for registering them, so life is not totally idyllic. The palace, however, has no gates and the Parliament building takes up 2/3 of a small block that it shares with a women's dress shop for the 20s crowd.

Mikayla is finally nearly better, though still weak, just recovering her appetite and intermittently nauseated. We extended our stay in the lovely hotel in Bergen instead of going on the overnight cruise up the fjord and northward to Alesund. We found out, when we cancelled, that all 3 cruise boats were beset by bad gastrointestinal illness outbreaks so it may have been a silver lining that only Kayla, not all 3 of us, ended up getting sick this trip!

Dick and I did do tourist things in Bergen--rode the funicular to the top on the mtn behind, breathtaking views, walked down the hill past houses squeezed in against the mtn in all orientations, with hairpin streets. I wonder how they manage in the snow?! It may not be all that bad--I met a guy on the train that said it usually gets no colder than about 0 Celcius, I assume because of the Gulf Stream. We also went to the Bryggensmuseum, a collection of excavated remains from Bergen's early days, when it was a collection of houses for fishning trade and then a bigger port that the Hanseatic League, a merchants' guild that ultimately set fish prices and made the rulers beholden to it because of tax revenues it paid.

Also fascinating was the Leper Museum, which was open until the mid 1940s. For some reason, there was a lot of leprosy in Norway, especially along the Western coast. The lepers, as well as anyone with any undiagnosed, ugly skin problem, were isolated in hopitals. Hansen, the Medical Director at the hospital in Bergen, was the first person to isolate the organism, Mycobacterium leprosum. It's is a very noninfectious infection and he tried all sorts of animals models to prove that the organism was the cause of leprosy (only armadilos and some rare bird work, though someone finally grew it on mouse foot pads). There was international skepticism about his theory so, out of frustration, he finally injected the organism into an unwilling female patient (I think he injected himself, the assistant medical director and a few assistants first, without success). She didn't develop the disease but he job as Medical Diractor (he got to stay on as leprosry research director) and the first Norwegian Patient Bill of Rights was deveoped! Ultimately, leprosy was named Hansen's disease. We now have a cure.

As a parting consolation for Mekayla, we bought knit mittens and hat for her in Bergen, then headed to Oslo yesterday (Wednesday) on the wondrous train through extraordinary mountain scenery, past glaciers, through dozens of tunnels chopped through bedrock. Mikayla vomited once, slept lots and was able to walk to dinner (her first meal since we arrived Sunday) to have a little rice. She woke at midnight, hungry, and is ready for breakfast this morning! Great relief here....

Off to the Peace Palace, the Viking ship and the Kon Tiki, etc.

Generic Heading

July 23, 2007 by Dick in Lytton

PS: Happy Birthday to Adam and Sue!!!

Hi all! We're in Bergen, Norway! We left from...

July 23, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

Hi all! We're in Bergen, Norway! We left from Newark, NJ airport Sat PM, after driving to Dick's Mom's for lunch and to leave our car. We took Amtrak to the airport and SAS to Stockholm, then on to Bergen. Sweden looks like Minnesota and upper midwest USA--same geologic forces at work.It's flat with lots of lakes, though there are flat, scoured-down mtns. that you can walk on top of, if you don't mind the wind. Norway, on the other hand, is unbelievably mountainous, with snow in spots even now. There are isolated houses and small villages but most of the country seems clustered along the coast. The fjords were created by the weight of snow and ice pushing the river valleys to enormous depths, up to 1250 m, 10 times deeper than most of the Norwegian sea.

Bergen is on a decent-sized plain by the sea but there is a larger "community" spread over many nearby islands and peninsulas. Bergen is lovely,clean from the nearly daily rains. The people nearly all speak English quite fluently (we only had to sign "binoculars")because it is taught from 1st grade on. The language is close enough to English that we figure out some signs. The people have been very friendly and helpful. The country seems very relaxed and accepting, although the tour book says public drunkeness and drunk driving are definite no-nos. Gays seem to be quietly accepted. They haven't been in a war (except The Resistence during WWII), don't have guns and have about 1 murder per week in the entire country.

Fish, meat and dairy are the staples here but we spotted Chinese, Thai, and Mongolian restaurants, as well as (yep, you guessed it) McDonalds and 7-Eleven. No American ice cream or ices--a definite shortcoming.

I sat with 2 young Swedish guys on the flight over--almost flawless English, without accents because lots of TV is in English. Apparently, Conan, Leno and Letterman are big hits. The Scans watch in English but the Germans have it dubbed with German. The Nords and Swedes are not totally enamored of each other. The Swedish guys said Danish is hard to read because they do weird things with consonants and that Finnish is closer to Russian so harder to understand. The Swedes have the same school year and school vacations that we have, with 12 years of school. College acceptance is based strictly on school grades, though school "slackers" can get a second chance by taking a 5 hr one-time exam that is not required if people have good grades. Sports and extra curricular activities have no bearing. University is paid for by the government and is 3 to 5 yrs long, including medicine and law and architecture. Architecture seems a popular career and the designs in our hotel reflect this.

There is a museum about the Hanseatic League era (the League had a monopoly and set fish prices here, even dictating the size and structure of shops). Greigg, whose home is about 7 km from town, is the home-town celebrity.

We haven't seen much of the town yet because Mikayla got sick and is still recovering. She started to vomit as we landed in Stockholm and continued through this AM. She has been sleeping about 2-3 hrs so I hope she'll be better when she wakes(it's 3 PM). We did get in a walk around downtown yesterday. We are arranging to stay here another day and will take an 5 hr fjord trip to Flam, then the famous train trip over the mtns to Oslo on Wednesday. Dick and the hotel and tour people have been great about quick plan changes.

As usual, this has been one of my over-long posts but I'll use it for our journal too.


We've had a lovely weekend of lots of family ...

June 10, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

We've had a lovely weekend of lots of family visiting. Allie came Friday evening on Amtrack. Dick picked her up and they stopped in my office to see the almost-complete renovations. (We are having an open house June 22). Dick and Allie shopped Sat AM for plants and I went downtown to pick up Callie and Will, then Julie and Alex.Alex brought along a hugh birthday cake for Julie's 23rd. We had a scrumptious poolside brunch, then Callie helped plant the new plants while Julie and Alex sunbathed. Julie has been applying to med schools and Callie is starting GRE review courses before she and Will start grad school applying next year.

I am relieved to be done with most of the office renovation work, able to devote more time to the house and working on getting our electronic health record really going. Kayla is helping us with training-- I'm amazed at how she can actually figure things out from the oblique, fragmented training materials for the new software program (not that the ones for the old software programs were much better!)

My other looming project is preparing for my re-certification exam Aug 3. I've always managed to come in in the over 90% backet on these but feel I should do some formal study program. There's always something to be learned....

My peonies have de-petaled and the trumpet vine and bee balm are not yet red so no humming birds yet--hopefully soon!

Well, we have to get Allie to the train. All my love to everyone!

It sounds as if all is well on the West coast...

March 07, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

It sounds as if all is well on the West coast and in Ohio.
Mikayla was homesick and came home from Oberlin for the weekend. She seems to have inherited Grandpa Bill's travel gremlin... For a variety of reasons (all solid), she and a friend decided to take a Thurs. 1:30 AM train from Cleveland, to transfer in Pgh and arrive in Phila Fri 3 PM. She called Fri 2AM to say the Amtrak train was 5 hrs late, & they would miss the connection in Pgh so they were going back to Oberlin and would figure it out the next morning. She called back at 6:30 AM as the "Fasttrack" train they got left Cleveland. They paid $50 extra and, for that, got a speedy train to Pgh and a SW flight to Phila, arrived 4 PM! Mikayla is so laidback, solid and resourceful, and seems to roll with the punches so I don't get anxious.

She was home for our one year anniversary of Grandpa Bill's death. We all went out to brunch- Dad was such a party animal, he would have loved it!!

We're getting the Alberta clipper that just gave Betsy -10 degrees. The winds last night were so strong that Dick asked if a train were coming down the street. Snow storm tomorrow...

My office renovations are moving fast. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures.

We're incredibly delighted to hear that Bob i...

January 28, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

We're incredibly delighted to hear that Bob is doing well. All our prayers (Quakers call it "holding you in the Light") go with you all. I'm glad I called you last night, Sue. Please don't feel guilty--there was no way you could have recognized an aortic dissection and things turned out for the best--you clearly got him to the best surgeons. I can't imagine they would have had the same technology in Prague or as readily available in England (I have a patient who went to an excellent London hospital after an India-London flight, told them she had had a pulmonary embolism en route--they didn't believe her, took them 5 days in hospital to make the diagnosis).
All's well here. We went to the peace march in Washington yesterday. Tons of people, probably not much effect energize and teach. We spoke with a Quaker from Rhode Island, who spent Friday speaking to their Senator Reed, liberal but still reluctant to take forceful action against the war. I think we need to keep pushing. Write your legislators!!!
Lots of love,

Well, we're officially "empty nesters"! We...

September 03, 2006 by Meg in Lytton

Well, we're officially "empty nesters"!

We took Mikayla to Oberlin last Monday. There were a few surprises as we traveled Westward, including passing a card with a Confederate flag sticker saying "May it ever fly". When we opened our motel curtains the next AM, on the car window right outside was a sticker with a kneeling girl and the phrase "Do 'em Southern style". I realized I've been out of touch with America and wondered if there is why the Christian movement is gaining strength!

Oberlin was started based on the concept of being open to enrollment by all races and both genders. It was a stop on the underground railroad and is still quite liberal.The most prominently represented student group at orientation was the Socialist Party, though they seemed to have a lot of trouble trying to decide where to put their table, kept hauling it around.

Kayla's roommate is an old friend from the Maine Coast Semester who wants to do environmental policy.

Kayla seems undecided about how committed she is to environmental studies, though that's one of Oerlin's strong suits. She emailed us that she was bummed that her Theater Production lab didn't give any credit so she was in search of another class. So far, she is signed up for a history course on fascism, a physics course "Einstein and Relativity". She's considerting an Econ course. I hope she's happy with the academics--I'm sure she'll be fine socially.

Kayla's roommate is an old friend from the Maine Coast Semester who wants to do environmental policy. She is chronically infected with MERSA, which makes me a little nervous because she has already had pneumonia and a kidney infection in the last 2 yrs and is allergic to the penicillins and Zithromax. Ah well, hopefully she'll wash well and not pick scabs or her nose!!

Julie finished her intensive organic chem 1 & 2 summer courses at Bryn Mawr College and has moved into an apartment with 2 good friends on Pine Street in Phila, several blocks from where Callie and Will live on Pine Street. She sometimes visits them when she jogs. She has been working in my office for the last 2 weeks as we await the arrival of a new employee. Julie just got a very good job as a reseach coorinator for a neurologist and a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center.

She has a wonderful new boyfriend, whom she met at Penn. He is now working for an international consulting firm in NYC, travels lots but they've been able to get together a fair amount. He's from Toledo, sends her letters addressed to "The Beautiful Miss Julie", etc., sends flowers, and sent us a thank you note for dropping her in NYC on our way to & from vacation ! I hope things stay this good!!

Will finished working in office when he got a full time job helping Phila boys from poor families prepare for college opportunities. Interestingly, though not necessarily suprisingly, the kids who stay in the program and do better are immigrant kids.

Callie is starting another course at Wharton in nonprofit business stuff. She and Will are both prepping slowly for GREs and thinking of grad school in California.

Dick is busy, has patients booked for new appointments in January, is depressingly far behind writing reports and is urging hiring someone else to help.He's still head of Peace and Service committee at Haverford Friends Meeting and on the Board of the school there.

Miracle of miracles, I have a new associate! When fewer docs are going into primary care and even fewer are staying in PA, I was fortunate to find a wonderful young woman who joined me 3 weeks ago and is going gangbusters!! Keep your fingers crossed! I only managed 1 week off these last 2 years and I would love to have more!

As per my usual routine, it's 11:30, I'm tired and I'm sure you're bored and have more important things to do!!