Back on St. Patrick’s Day, I had an appointment with a doctor I’d never met before to find out more about my thyroid. A borderline nodule was not the main topic of discussion, however. Fascinating man — put ‘the fear of God’ in me regarding the brewing pandemic.

He did say physical distancing was key to avoiding the worst. He also said not going to church could be hard on some people.

Time for my three-month checkup. I’m not sure if I got so aggravated a couple days prior because the pre-visit questionnaires were bugging me, or if an array of other concerns were rattling around in my mind. I tried to look forward to the view from the back parking lot (where I sat for a few moments to decompress last time, grateful for the vista), plus I remembered there’s this one picture I really like (and how the nurse nicely teased me back when I said I might want to try and swipe it and she wondered out loud if it would fit under my coat). I also wondered about maybe peeking in the chapel. A woman I used to know from the church where I worked sung it’s praises a couple years ago

The visit with the doctor was mostly that, a visit. I complimented him on his shiny shoes. He commented that he thought it was the same room I was in for my prior appointment. The conversation kinda picked up where it’d left off regarding public health concerns.

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Along with a little talk about antibodies perhaps being at a disappointingly low level, and risk management being important, there was a general sense of hope that things are settling down. Some outdoor activities seem reasonable; 30 people in a classroom not so much because it is “definitely” still out there.

On my way out I found a blank wall where the pretty landscape art had been. I wandered into the sparsely populated atrium area where a couple pictures caught my eye. Seeing the elevator and a listing for the chapel I rode on up. After a slow twirl in the roughly circular space I picked up a sheet of paper explaining how the stained glass windows depicted the seasons and scenery around Red Wing. In bold at the top is written: “Our spirituality and religious practices can be powerful aids in healing.”

On my way out of the building I noticed a bit of a crowd by the registration desk, so I went out the patio door. A couple chairs had toppled over in the recent weather. I stood them back up — while appreciating the landscaping and view in all directions.