Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Busy Days and Hubbs' Bucket List

Yesterday was a very busy day on the farm!
The morning started with a visit from the farrier.
All of my precious four-leggers were well behaved...
they make me a proud Mama!

(Photo from a winter's farrier visit.  No one is in long sleeves these days....including the horses!)
We are in the midst of a heat wave right now.
Everyone seeks out a place in the shade.
Thankfully, everyone gets along so well...
so sharing the shade is never an issue.

I picked our cherry trees and have enough for a good batch of sour cherry jam.
(now to get the pits out of those cherries!)
Today I will pick Dr. Becky's trees as well.

We had a special farm visit from our favorite girls, Maggie and Macy (and some of their friends).

You might remember them from last summer...
they raised those four white chickens and brought them to the farm,
only for us to discover they were ALL roosters!
And what a saga that was.

Yes, that is Macy, above, feeding a chicken Ritz crackers that she holds between her lips.
(She has done this for far so good, she has never been pecked.)

Maggie and Macy celebrate the end of school each summer with a trip to the farm.
These two are natural farm girls, through and through.
(Maggie is in the green shirt below.  The two blondies are their friends.)

The animals love their visits... especially the liberal portions of Ritz crackers that are distributed!
We've known their mama (below) since she was an adolescent and we think the world of her.
Their visits are always a welcomed part of summer on the farm.

If you have visited with us for any amount of time,
you might have already guessed that I am married to a rather extraordinary man.
He is one in a million (but extremely humble),
and I am so lucky to have him retired, now, and here on the farm with me.
He wrote a goodbye letter to his staff that I thought was great.
I want to share it with you as well....

This is my retirement clock.  What time is it now?  It’s Tuesday.
I started with *** in 1991.  I remember my first day…I felt as though I jumped on a moving train.  I have been riding that train for over 26 years.  During the last 21 of those, in addition to a busy practice, I have also served as the COO, Executive Director, or CEO of *** and now ***/******.  Geez a real high speed train!  But what a great ride!  Never boring!
Well just recently, I felt as though I jumped off and discovered a soft landing.  And it’s OK; real OK.
About a year and a half ago, I said goodbye to my patients.  That was tough.  Patients come to trust us, and they let us into their lives.  They share their pains, successes, failures, and feelings with us.  
Mrs. Smith was 87 and would come in every 6 weeks for an injection in her knees after her husband of 68 years had died.  I had treated them both for some 20 years.  For her appointments, she would get all dolled up and come to see us.  It was something that she had to look forward to ever since her love had passed.  I don’t think the shots helped at all…but that wasn’t the point.
My patient Gladys who would call every day to speak to the appointment schedulers and operators wishing them a happy holiday…every day, and she almost never had the right holiday.
Darryl, the engineer who had some arthritis in his knees, would show up with soooo many typed questions for us (the record was 48!).  A hall person would go in ahead and field what questions she/he could, then I would finish answering the last 4o on my way home via a phone call….
It was fun.  We made all kinds of people happy, satisfied, more secure, less fearful, or even maybe just a little less crabby.
The most important thing I learned along the way?  I am such a small part of the team.  Everyone would contribute to the excitement that Mrs. Smith would experience getting ready for her appointments.  A smile at the front desk, a greeting from clinical, a call from my assistant…it made all of the difference.  
When I offered to tell Gladys to stop calling everyday wishing our phone folks a happy Easter in October, they said “No, it’s OK, we enjoy hearing from her.”  Wow.  That is amazing caring.
When Darryl would ask the same questions almost every visit, my clinical staff was always accommodating.
A patient averages 60 minutes/visit in an orthopedic office.  The doctor spends an average of 6 minutes with each patient.  The rest of the experience was due to what you all did.  For your service to my patients, I will forever be thankful.  
It has truly been an honor and a privilege working with each and every one of you.  In my role as CEO/ED/COO, I had an opportunity to work and get to know more of you than I would have had if I just had a practice.  It was a joy to get to know each of you.  Taking care of patients can be hard, but so fulfilling like no other career.  Every one of you that I met shared the commitment to be kind.  
In my retirement, I will take some call at ***** and will fill in here and there in clinic.  Otherwise, as I said to my wife and family, “you are my bucket list.”  


  1. What a wonderful letter - nearly had me in tears. Happy retirement and may you both now fill your days on your wonderful farm, caring for your precious animals. P.S. I only work part-time, but I still wish I could retire!!!

  2. A few blogs back you wrote "This has been my favorite spring of my life", could it be do to the fact that you have your amazing Hubb's home to share it with him? It must be bitter sweet for his staff to have him retire. Wishing you many more of the "happiest" springs.

  3. What a wonderful tribute. I'm sure his patients are missing him. It's such a glorious thing when you can find a physician who really listens. What a keeper. Enjoy your time together.

  4. Wonderful letter . . .i am sure your husband will be missed . . .
    And you can enjoy him every single day . . .
    Enjoy this chapter . . .

  5. That is an awesome letter. Encourages us to do the small things that collectively add up to ease suffering. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful letter! Yes, it made me cry. .. As one who has been privileged to experience the talent, patience and kindness of "Hubbs", as well as marvel at the stirides and innovations he oversaw in the operation of the practice, THANK YOU!! I always felt like I'd struck gold when I scored an appt with him. How fun to now have this time together, sharing those same kindness and organizational traits with the farm brood and family!! And how special is that phrase "you are my bucket list"!!?! Thanks for another inspiring post. Have a great day!

  7. He will be missed by everyone. He is very special. We have truly suffered a loss. He deserves this time, he earned it

  8. What a great retirement letter! Love the description of Gladys phoning to wish everyone Happy Easter in October.

  9. Great letter and this is a timely topic for me. My doctor of 35 years suddenly passed away last week. Everyone is in shock as he was only 64. I am searching for a new doctor and have no idea where to start. Any suggestions? His nurses have given us a list of doctors in the clinic where he practiced but now what do we do? Thanks for any suggestions.

  10. what an incredible letter. that he wrote a letter at all is quite remarkable in this day and age! and btw...retirement is the best!

  11. Very impressive! Love the bucket list... must be a very special man and just by reading this, a pretty special doctor.

  12. Myself, my husband and my father have been blessed to have been counted as one of "HUBBS" patients. We will certainly miss his kind, caring and comprehensive care. He is truly one in a million! Thank you to "HUBBS" does not come close to covering how much we have appreciated how you have cared for us. At a time when many rush from room to room, YOU care enough to give extra time and genuine compassion. From our family to you and "HUBBS" may you enjoy many many MANY happy healthy years of retirement!

  13. I was very lucky to be one of HUBB'S patients for years. He always told me I will know the right time to have my Knee replaced. I am happy to say I just had it done on Monday by Dr. Buerk and am doing great so far. Enjoy your retirement on that beautiful farm. I love reading the blog everyday!

  14. diane in northern wisJune 14, 2017 at 9:40 PM

    Awww...what a beautiful letter your Hubbs wrote. Sounds like people have such wonderful memories and comments about him. May his retirement and your lives together just get better and better on your beautiful farm. What a beautiful team you two make. I feel like you're a part of my family, as I read your blog day after day. Thanks for all the time you have to take to bring it to completion each day. I truly appreciate all your efforts. May the Good Lord bless you both as you journey on together through this life.

  15. An American in TokyoJune 15, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    What a lovely letter!!!
    Please thank him for sharing it with us!
    I wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement!

    By the way, how did you two meet?!
    (Another post?! hee hee!!)


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