Medicine For People!

November 2018: Thanksgiving

Codex Manesse


If you will forgive a personal note, among all that I am thankful for today the greatest is having met Jill Buhler and having won her affection. You may know her as the chairman of the Jefferson Healthcare System board of commissioners. We had a small wedding at Scott Rosecrans’ Methodist church in Port Hadlock in early September, graced by the presence of my mother from Texas and a few family members and friends.

In case you are wondering why I've neglected our newsletters, and without blaming it on Jill, it is possible that getting married has cut into my after-hours work activities.

While life seemed pretty good before, it is even better now. Though we are not likely to have more children, we do find ourselves in thrall to something of a nesting instinct.

I had for about ten years been looking for someone with whom to share my life. My best married friend, Rick Shaneyfelt, told me a couple of times that my problem was that I was looking for the perfect woman, and that perfect woman was probably looking for the perfect man. So obviously I was out of luck!

He counseled trying to find someone with low expectations, and then working hard to meet them.

Being a reader, and not hooked up, naturally I read a few books. Rereading The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm published in 1956 gave me a new appreciation for his writing. He gives a logical foundation to the adage that it isn’t all about finding the right partner, it is about being the right partner.

A newer writer, Alain de Botton, in his book On Love, continues from where Fromm left off, and describes some useful jujitsu to transform marital disagreements into the cement of a strong relationship. And I’ll confess here that I read his How to Think More About Sex (twice). It isn’t only about sex, actually. One word here: de Botton was 43 when he wrote this book. I know he will extend his understanding when he reaches a greater age.

For those of you who are still reading and more interested in current psych research, let me suggest The 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships by David Niven. The chapter titles alone tell the tale.

  • It Helps to Be Friends
  • Foundations Are Created in The Beginning
  • Share Housework
  • A Relationship Starts with Yourself
  • The Past Is Not the Future

And 95 more, each just a couple of pages long.

Even at an advanced age, such as I find myself in now, wise counsel can be life altering. If you might benefit from some, let me recommend my friend and trusted advisor Bob Podrat, still serving others at a time when many people have retired. Let me extend my gratitude to you here, Bob.

All of us in our office give thanks for your trust and support. Good medicine depends in large part on having intelligent and courageous people to care for.

Thank you!



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Medicine for People! is published by Douwe Rienstra, MD at Port Townsend, Washington.