Two Weeks After Surgery

by | May 24, 2022 | 46 comments

It’s pretty hard for me to be quiet or sit still. At all. Constant communication and constant motion have been the norm for so long. And even though I’ve just had major surgery I feel guilty. For the people I haven’t had time to thank or reach out to. For missing the podcast and my Saturday radio show with Ed and Zip. For not yet congratulating Spike on his enjoyable performance (below) filling in on KIRO FM with Curley. Having Spike cohost with anyone on KIRO is a winner. He’s funny, full of heart, and well known. They should make him a regular asap. Don’t know why I never thought of it before.

So I’m supposed to be resting, but I don’t know how to rest. I’ve had a few visitors trickle in. After I talk for an hour I crash for a couple of hours. Lisa is the gatekeeper. I can see someone for an hour in the morning, and another in the evening. At that rate I won’t see all the people I care about for a long while. Not that I have a list. If I did, I’d feel guilty about all the people I left off it.

Some random thoughts.

The world is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up. Or maybe I’ve been living in the country for 7 years, where people and business still interact pretty much the same as they have for the past 30 years. In person. That’s one thing we love about living in Vermont. The nostalgic simplicity of interacting with people face to face has been very soothing in this hectic clickbait world. It’s how you roll when you have a 38 acre farm that needs helpers and a handyman who turns out to be your best friend. No Task Rabbits. No Uber drivers. No Starbucks even.

My son Keith does everything on a App. I needed a special bed that keeps my torso elevated, something I will have to do for the rest of my days. The hospital will refer you to a business that rents them about for about 300.00 a month. Or you can look on Offer Up, a much cooler version of Craigslist. Found one I could buy for 250.00. And used another App called Task Rabbit to get a guy to move it in an hour. There’s Turo, an Airbnb like app for car rentals. And you can pay using Zelle or Venmo. If it’s PayPal you’re old.

Back to Stone Hill Farm. We love it. But we’re moving.

We know we can’t take care of all that land and attend to all those hobbies like we’ did 25 years ago, or even 2 years ago. We need to downsize and simplify. And our offspring and grandkids are in California. Let me tell you, an aggressive cancer and major surgery changes your priorities fast. Before the pandemic we were flying to LA to see them every 6-8 weeks. Now we want to live near.

But California? No way. Another priority that changes in your sunset years. You want to pay less taxes. Washington? Tempting. But again, sky high cost of living. Not that we’re poor. But the sunset years gene kicks in and warns us to be thrifty. Seattle is a world class amazing city, and we hope to visit often.

So what’s a tax friendly, reasonably economical place that’s a short hop to LA or Seattle? It would be great if there were stores Lisa could enjoy shopping in again. And I’d like to be near mountains as I rehab so I can gradually start hiking. And wouldn’t it be great to live close to a major airport with non stops to everywhere. You know what else we missed? Entertainment. From Vermont we would take a 7 hour train to Manhattan and see shows on Broadway. Most concert venues were 2 hours away or more. And we went. That’s rural living.

What if we found a place where we could see great shows, be near a major airport, and some nice hikes? Oh, and I’d like gigabit internet. And sunshine. Dry heat.

In case you haven’t guessed, we’re movin’ to Vegas, baby! We’re going from 8 acres with a pond to an 1/8th of an acre with a plunge pool. From maple trees to palm trees. And we’re treating it as a vacation that starts now.

Back to my Catholic guilt. Even though I’ve thought this through as the best move we can make for a million reasons, it’s scary. And I feel guilty, for all the people I’m moving away from, and the people I’m not moving close enough to. Lots of radio people are nomadic. Especially early in their careers because they’d get fired so often. So maybe it’s the sense of curiosity or adventure that I’d experience every time I got a gig in a new city that drives the idea now.

Please let me know if you are ever in Vegas, and know that I will surely feel guilty if we don’t get together. Any recommendations on the area also much appreciated. We know very little… We’re more familiar with Bangladesh. Been there twice.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement during this past few weeks. It helps a lot. So many of you have written that you or a family member are fighting similar battles, and my prayers go out to you too. Recovery going well. Like many of you, I’ll now be regularly screened and keeping my fingers crossed.

Next time… a few thoughts about planning the return of our Podcast. The Bob and Zip Show with Ed Kelly and Special Guest Spike O’Neill.

All the best,

Spike with John Curley


  1. Rik

    On Vegas next week and would be honored to chaperone you around. Was looking to move last year and have a head start on the communities.

    All the best Bob. From someone that listened to you since moving to Seattle nearly 30 years ago, you got sewn in to my life’s journey.

  2. JT Cannon-Kyte

    Hi Bob and Lisa! We’ve met a few times through Joe. Welcome to Vegas! We’ve got a place there to escape the cold and wet Seattle winters, and bonus: Our grandkids are there! We’d love get together…maybe when Joe comes into town. Take care and hope to see you soon!

  3. Penny Elder

    Good luck in Vegas. We’re looking to move to Nevada too, but not Vegas. I need some trees and somewhere for a crazy Covid dog to run. Just have to sell my Mercer Island home to a developer “as is” with no closing costs or fees. This is entire retirement fund. Then I can buy. I am a bi- coastal grandma. Two in Brooklyn and one in LA. Happy about your continuing recovery!! Don’t get overly complacent.

  4. Gary From New York

    Hey Bob, I had Thoracic Surgery too… due to a dirt bike when I was 50. My liver was herniated through my diaphragm into my chest cavity and many other injuries. Its a long story but, can you believe a Southwest University Hospital released me without telling/noting the condition? Careful where for shop for medical! I continued to dirt bike (and still do). I returned to Everett some months later where my MD took an X-ray due to chest pain and called me the same night at 9pm…. and the dirt bike repair began again…

    You are on the mend and continuing the journey – Bravo Sir! We all wish you the best!!! We love you Bob, even with gray hair, sagging body parts and the new scar on your back! Girls love scars… not sure what’s up with that!! I think the stripper pole has something to do with it but just can’t find the link, I often try.

    I am so happy to hear Spike on the radio again as well! His perspective and enthusiasm makes my day!! Its the best!!!

    Also glad to see Joe teaching – I need some class!!!

    On that note – I don’t think I said Thank You for all the wonderful years you allowed me to be Gary from N.Y. on your show and even starring in the Twelve days of Layoff’s”. LOL how much fun those day where and soo many fun memories!. Thank you twice, fuck , thanks 12 times 🙂

    Be well BR and prosper

    Best Regards and thoughtful thoughts


  5. Yvonne

    Enjoy Vegas! I spent many memorable years growing up in Vegas. I highly recommend early morning hikes or bike rides around Red Rock. Make sure to bike the strip early morning when no one is around. Visit Boulder City, where many of the quirky retire go. Google hot springs near Hoover Dam, for a wonderful hike. To stay active enjoy cooler evenings and mornings. Hang-out in the casinos in the middle of the day:)

  6. Dave Van Dyke

    Hi, Bob. So heart-warming to read of your journey and improving recovery. Sending love your way with positive thoughts on a smooth move. We are considering LV as wel for the very reasons you site. When we are settled I propose a long overdue meal and catch-up. Peace and love. Let us all know when that move occurs.

  7. Tracey

    I am so HAPPY to hear that you are on the road to not only recovery but towards a “retirement” life in Vegas! A great location that puts you closer to Keith in LA and Andrew in Seattle and makes it easier for them to visit you and Lisa. Loved you on KJRFM and during my walks listening to your podcasts. Topical and fun with awesome cohorts in Zip, Ed and SPIKE!! I am a 3-time cancer survivor so grateful to have been treated in the Seattle area these past twenty years (Yay SCCA and Fred Hutch!). The song “I get knocked down but I get up again” is my mantra and your positive words and outlook makes my heart happy. Cant wait to listen to you again! And hoping Spike gets another radio gig too!

  8. Dan

    Our best to you and yours!
    Enjoy your move and family and quick speedy recovery ❤️‍🩹

  9. Diana San Venero

    Best wishes Bob ,heal fast .

  10. Cassie S

    Bob and Lisa,
    Did not see you often, but you have been good neighbors and good stewards of the land.
    Wishing you well in your new adventures.
    Can you tap palm trees? Palm oil perhaps?

  11. Lesa Bentley

    Take good care of yourself Bob, and please let Lisa know from this Lesa, the life of a caregiver is just as stressful as the one needing the care, and that she must take care of herself also.
    Much love and light to you both. You’ll love Vegas and I know you’ll both be happy no matter where you are, as long as your together 💙💜💙💜

  12. Mary McAllister

    So glad your recovery is going well and you have found a place to live that will be an adventure and allow for easier connections with family and west coast friends! As we all age and change and deal with what comes our way its great to be able to stay connected and explore new things! Thanks for keeping us posted and will love hearing about this latest chapter!

    Take Good Care


  13. Steve Maughlin

    All the Best of luck to you and Lisa Bob on your new chapter! I personally am five years cancer free.Being close to family is the way to go.Carry on brother!

  14. Christopher Walkin'

    Much love to you and Lisa!<3
    I hope the move goes swimmingly for you.
    Miss all of you on the podcast, but wish that you do, because nobody can do you better!
    Now you’ve done it.
    You’ve invited me to look you up in Vegas.
    I kid, of course.
    Cheers to you and your entire extended family!

  15. Laurie H-P

    So happy to hear you are recovering and planning your new adventure. I followed my kids to Vegas and lasted 2 years. Now I’m near Wenatchee WA and love the 4 seasons. Flights are 2 hrs from Vegas so you’ll be able to see the family often.

    I can’t wait for you all to be back on the podcast, but grateful for your blog!

  16. Lynn

    We moved just over the hump-to-Pahrump – 3 years ago.. love it here & have plenty of shows, entertainment, wonderful doctors, etc. 50 minutes to Vegas, just down the road! Wishing you luck & positive thoughts! I think you remember Trish!! She’s my little sister! Be well Bob! 😀

  17. Melissa Ryan

    Hi Bob and Lisa…. I’ve been meaning to write for ages and of course haven’t yet managed to get the card in the mail (feeling guilty myself). I regret that I didn’t make it to Vermont to see you and I’m not sure when I’ll be near Vegas, but please know that you are both in my thoughts and in my prayers. A big hug and healing vibes are being sent to you from Connecticut.

  18. Kevin Healey

    So happy you’re on the mend. Congrats on the big move! Can’t wait for new podcasts episodes, but don’t rush it. Be well, Bob.

  19. deweesenoel

    Hey Bob, So happy you are on your way to recovery. Lost my dad to complications from Esophogeal Cancer 18 years ago.
    Hope you enjoy living in Vegas.
    If your looking for a good steakhouse in Vegas, try The Steakhouse in Circus Circus. Now I know you’re wondering how good could it be – when you enter, you make a couple of turns and then don’t hear anything from outside the restaurant.
    Take your time getting your strength back up. We all understand you need to take care of yourself.


  20. Mark Chase

    If you can handle the winters, Missoula Montana meets almost all your criteria, and it’s still got the country laid back atmosphere. Wishing you the best Bob!!

  21. John

    Vegas is lucky to have you, but thanks to gigabit, it’s all relative. Would have lost the bet, though – thought you were going to say eastern Oregon until you said “dry heat” (aka the west’s answer to “if she ain’t good enough for her family, she ain’t good ‘nuf fer you, son.”). Glad to hear things are going well enough to start planning you next chapter – that’s the real news here. That plus you’ll be doing some guest spots filling in for Teller!

  22. Karin Price

    You are constantly in my prayers Bob! I’ve enjoyed you in all aspects of your career, from radio to playing with Heart to Heart, I’ve seen you everywhere in the Seattle area! Good luck in Vegas, hope to see you around!!

  23. Heidi Garske

    I’m so glad to know that surgery was a success amend you are recovering with plenty of help from your loved ones.

    Loved hearing Spike sitting in for Curley. I was thinking the same, he needs a gig with KIRO!

    Viva Las Vegas!
    Be Well❤️

  24. Donna Shattuck

    Yes, your positive energy, commitment to change and restlessness surely are great signs from what us anonymous fans know about you! I know we’re ALL so happy you are keeping in touch because we all care so much. Wonderful surprise to hear about your LV plans, more power to ya. Or, as your recent Facebook post reminds me, ‘live long and prosper’, Bob.

  25. Cathi Champion

    Bob & Lisa,

    This is going to sound a bit unusual but, if you eat animal products, I highly recommend Bazaar Meat, a restaurant by Jose Andres at the Sahara. Yes, it’s an indulgence, but when life is precious, treating yourself well is worth it. But there is more. This is an encounter.

    You’ll probably be aware of Jose Andres, but if you are not then check out World Central Kitchen. This is a man who feeds the world in an incredibly special way. Even those of us not in dire straits can experience his love of sharing food. I won’t explain too much, because you need to see, feel, hear, and learn at the hands of their exemplary staff. Even the decor is award-winning and well worth examining.

    But do indulge and do let them guide you through the history of Jose Andres’ life in food (the chicken croquettes in a glass tennis shoe is one story they will share). I am a not glamorous, widowed, woman a few years older than you. Often my solo meals are less than enjoyable. Everyone (and a lot of people participate) made me feel welcome, special, seen, and they made sure I enjoyed every bite. Then, to know that supporting his income-producing activities is in support of his being able to do the other side of his food mission is pretty cool as well. But go when you feel well enough to enjoy food, and for goodness sake eat only a light meal earlier in the day. It’s not that you will be overfed, it’s that you will want your senses ready to feel his love of the connection between people and food. Bon Appetit!

    “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
    Dr. Seuss


  26. Molly Rieman

    Thank you for the update. It’s great to hear you’re healing well and feeling restless; that’s a good sign. I continue to think good thoughts for you in your recovery and the next chapter. Be well!

  27. Chet Buchanan

    Glad to hear more adventures are ahead! If you need anything, please reach out! I’ve loved being in Las Vegas for over 20 years. It’s been good to me. We have mutual friends in Paul and Spike…and now your realtor, Tiffany! Safe travels.

  28. Amy Ackerson

    Vegas sounds nice. I have family there and they love it. Stay strong.

  29. Jeremy

    Glad you are getting better and better. Retirement is a long game not a slam dunk. I’ve heard many people that retire to the dream location only to move within 5 years to the better fit.

    Vegas is fun. Get a golf cart. and figure out a way to subtly mark your house, many of them look alike in neighborhoods so a small picture in the upstairs window or a daisy painted on the trim of the corner of the house can go along way to help not get lost.

    My coworkers will miss the Bob and Lisa’s Syrup. But we would much rather have you and can live without the sweet maple goodness.

    Keep getting better.

    Jeremy the Tax Guy

  30. Lorna Moon

    Love and best wishes to you both, on your recovery and your move. Will be seeing your son In a show in Edmonton, Alberta in a couple of weeks!

  31. Mike

    Bob, so glad to hear that things are looking up, and you should never feel guilty about moving to Vegas. I will give you a bit of advice, having spent a lot of time in hot, dry areas. Stock up on Gatorade or something similar for that first summer, and be prepared for the first time it’s 70 degrees and you start looking for a parka.

    All the best to you

  32. rkbarbuto

    We’ve only met once at one event, so I know I’m just one of your many anonymous fans, but you and your cohorts have been a part of my mornings for years. I’ve always enjoyed your thoughtful, and thought-provoking, discussions. I liken you to a modern-day Will Rogers: entertaining, compassionate, and approachable.
    I’m glad you’re recovering, and I hope it’s a quicker and more complete process than you expect.

  33. Scott Adams

    As it turns out, I have the opportunity to be in Vegas in October for a conference. If it comes to fruition I will definitely meet up with you! I’m glad you’re on the mend and making thoughtful plans!

  34. Ellen Torchia

    You know I was hoping it would be Phoenix but your decision is only 5hr drive. You know I’ll be visiting Lisa!! and you. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Excited for your new chapter.

  35. Donna R

    Ah Bob… You and I have such fond memories together. You have been there in some of my toughest moments with a distracting, thought provoking topic or a great, silly song. The day you stopped by our table at a radio show hosted Happy hour and asked us how we met and then shared our story on the air the next morning calling my husband “our hero” for riding the roller coaster when my date wouldn’t. Describing how we married and had been together for 25+ years was a real boost for my husband and our relationship. You just never know when a kindness will be a helping hand. Good news, working on 39 yrs and when I need some sage advice my mind wanders back to your descriptions of “couch time” and sex every day for a week 😉 . I hear you deeply when you talk about love and kindness and that seems to be our theme these days as well. Know that I am sending you the energy of prayers, love and kindness, as well as so many years of thankfulness . Much love to you and your family.

  36. johnknowshow

    … Bellissimo … May the A/C wind always be at your back … and a mic always in front …

  37. Bruce Tretzen

    Vegas baby!!! So good to hear that you’re feeling a bit better and recovering. I’ve lived in the Seattle area my entire life, but visit Las Vegas 3 or more times a year, mostly the Fall and Winter months to get a little sun. It’s also a great place to go see a concert. Honestly, I would rather fly to Vegas for a concert and make a mini vacation out of it, than go to the Tacoma Dome and sit in traffic for 3 hours!

    If you haven’t been to Hash House a Go Go for breakfast, do it! There are several around Vegas and it’s the best!

    I’m sure you will quickly settle in and enjoy the lifestyle, I have often thought about retiring in Vegas myself, in 15 years on so, let us all know how it goes. I will definitely take you up on your offer to say hi when I’m in town in October, if you’re up to it. I’m going down for sun and to see Alice Cooper, and it will be amazing!

    Take care Bob, constantly sending prayers your way!

  38. Mary K McBride

    Best wishes on your continued recovery from surgery and best hopes for a good long-term prognosis. Vegas gets HOTTT, so that plunge pool will come in very handy! You’re making smart choices for a more laid back “retirement!” Can’t wait for the next podcast!

  39. Chris Johnson

    Hey Bob, so glad to hear you are doing well in recovery. I have two friends that live in Pahrump, NV. It is 62 miles west of Vegas. They love it there. Best of luck with your move.

  40. Boyd G

    You will love it Bob!
    Red rock canyon,Valley of fire. MT Charleston. They are all an hour away. Best to you on your recovery journey and new home.

  41. Gena

    Bob, Thanks for sharing your insights. It is good to experience a little of it all!
    Just remember, “You can’t keep a good man down!” and you are a good man!

  42. Byron Blank

    When I think of Vegas I often forget it’s a place people also live because all you really hear about is the strip. Glad to hear things are going well and look forward to hearing you again.

  43. Pyrate

    Best of luck in LV. This old Pyrate had to find peace by the sea (Long Beach WA)…my squamous cell carcinoma isn’t particularly fond of regular sunshine. Best of luck and healing thoughts your way… ⚓️☠️⚓️

  44. Clayton Paulette

    Here in Hawaii we call Vegas the “9th Island” for a lot of reasons… enjoy a touch of Aloha with that warm sunshine all year. Sending love and hugs to you and Lisa from the Big Island. Love your thoughtful reflections about your journey.

  45. Brad

    We surely will be missing you two, neighbor, but we are really glad we got to be part of your Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, even for a short while. We’ll make sure the future owners of your farm keep it in as good a shape as you and Lisa turned it into!

    Best of luck in Vegas!

  46. Braun Beth

    Sending love, prayers and healing to you, Bob. Working in, and listening to, radio was never the same without you. Best wishes on your move. I love to visit Vegas but could never live there. ❤️🙏


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