A welcome respite from worrying

The other afternoon as my husband and I spent a little while watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show, I realized I was feeling a profound sense of well-being.

Ellen and her wife Portia de Rossi were discussing the 60th birthday surprise when Portia described the new Dian Fossey Gorilla research facility in Rwanda she instigated.

It was an enormous birthday gift and they still have to raise $10 million for it, but wow!

Ellen explained that when she was growing up she greatly admired Fossey’s extraordinary work with gorillas and wanted to be just like her.


While I didn’t think I wanted to work with chimps, for me it was Jane Goodall. That interest was fueled by a television show called “Daktari.”

I was fascinated as a veterinarian and his knowledgeable and good-looking assistant roamed the wilds somewhere in Africa (Kenya?) treating animals. I was going to grow up and learn to speak Swahili and do all sorts of wonderful things far away from the Black Hills where I was raised.

Like Ellen, my career took a different bend. Unlike Ellen, I didn’t get to become fabulously wealthy. And my partner, my husband, isn’t in a position to found a scientific research center to save animals for me.

But that didn’t diminish that sense of well-being I was experiencing in the slightest. I just felt good in knowing that something wonderful could happen to help save the 880 remaining gorillas in the wild.

I felt so good that I didn’t even complain that our gas range wasn’t working. After 18 or 19 years, we finally ran out of propane. And we don’t want to fill up the enormous tank that came with the house.


When we purchased our modest house (second owners) we were asked to pay extra for the propane that was just topped off in this mega tank. At the time I thought $400 was a lot of money to spend, but it’s turned out to be one of the best bargains we’ve ever made.

At first we just had a dryer that used propane. The floor-vented heater was supposed to operate off it, but it turned out not to work when we went to light it that first fall. Eventually, we got rid of the dryer and went electric, but we also got a new range that was gas getting rid of the old electric one. We also went to oil (kerosene as some call it) for heating.

But it’s taken awhile to switch over to a smaller propane tank for our needs as a family of three. And then we’ll need to sell the green monster tank. We’re assured they’re popular and someone will snap it up.


So in the meantime we’ve relied on the microwave, a toaster oven and a camp stove. We’re fine, but of course everything that sounds good for dinner needs to be baked in the oven.

But on this night, that glow that everything was right was what was important. I don’t experience that very often. Something always interferes. I didn’t classify myself as a worrier until it suddenly occurred to me the following day that I am. I dither around about stories I need to write, am writing, have written. The same is true with photos.

I worry about our grandson and his progress and behavior issues. I worry about his health and his toys and whether we have enough educational materials.

I worry some about our finances, but usually my husband worries more about them and tells me.

So, a sense of well-being, good news for the gorillas, and knowing that eventually the new propane tank will arrive and get connected, was quite nice. The problem is that it lasted only for that evening, but I guess that was better than never experiencing it.