Let there be light

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In church this morning, we sang an Advent song about light and pain and confusion in the world.

Reading in bed this afternoon, snuggled under layers of sheet and cotton blanket and comforter, my brain registered a sudden downpour of rain quickly followed by strong gusts of wind. The rain sounds grew harsher, sharper — turning to sleet. Then the world quiets once again and I return to my book while snow falls softly beyond my window.

One year later

dislocated left ankle, one of these things is not like the other

Both legs are stretched out straight, and both feet should be pointed in same direction… but one of these things is NOT like the other…

Today is my “breakiversary” — one year ago, I broke my ankle so severely that people gasp when they see the x-ray of the repair.

K's left ankle x-ray, webshare

The trimalleolar fracture has healed but the metal remains.

Most of the time, I do not need a cane — I keep it in the car for walking on uneven surfaces and for days when I am sore and tired. I can go up and down stairs if there is a sturdy railing.  I do still take the cane with me to the YMCA pool; locker room floors and poolside walking make me nervous. The fear of slipping and falling is stronger than my confidence level.

I’m doing better with pain control these days. I’m wearing compression socks or stockings  which really do help. I’ve learned to rest and elevate in advance of activities, not just after the fact. I’ve discovered that I can have a couple of busy days in a row before I have to take significant time off my feet. I can power through the pain when necessary but the price is twofold: I will have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly, so everything takes longer, and I will pay for it with increased need for subsequent rest. I no longer spend much time with my leg elevated above my heart (unless the ankle is really swollen) but I still prop it up on a spare chair and a pillow at the dining room table and I do spend quite a bit of time at home either on the chaise lounge portion of the sofa or on my bed.

One year ago today I went from mobile to immobilized. What I live with now may be my not-so-happily-ever-after or perhaps it could slowly get a little bit better. But I can walk — and that is more than I was promised one year ago.

Back in the Air

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I’m traveling home this afternoon, back to a place where there are four definite seasons. All this Arizona sunshine is lovely but I’m finding it difficult to believe it is late October when the days reach 96 degrees and the warm nights are filled with the sound of crickets. I miss my husband, my home, and — let’s be honest here — my internet connection. For this visit I stayed with my stepmother at her retirement center, which was lovely and quiet (and much cheaper than a hotel room); however, she does not have WiFi because she does not have a computer. Luckily, there is a strong WiFi connection at my dad’s place where I’ve managed to use the internet for his enjoyment, sharing photos, videos and podcasts while also briefly checking my own sites. Thanks to my daughter-in-law’s use of Facebook, I was able to go to her “timeline” and share the video of the baby learning to crawl with great-grandpa.

File this under “Proof that opposites attract”
My dad and his wife have been married for 31 years. She keeps the TV channel firmly set on Faux “News” (thankfully not at high volume, so I can “tune it out” pretty easily) where a certain so-called political candidate is nearly deified while his opponent is put down in various ways. Meanwhile, in his room at the assisted living facility, my dad watches PBS NewsHour on the telly. He is having no trouble deciding for whom to vote for President, although some of the local candidates give him pause. It made me glad that he is still mentally “all there” and that I was able to deliver my dad’s absentee ballot to him (his wife sent it with me when I drove in for my visit on Saturday). Like many conservative voters, she still does not know for whom she will vote for President — neither candidate pleases her — despite her steady diet of F-news. This election is going to have interesting results in many areas.

Two busy weeks of work are ahead of me, bookended by busy weekends filled with travel and activities. If it wasn’t for travel time, I’d be having trouble switching from one mode to the other.

What’s in your boat?

dscn0518-the-boats-websizedDale Chihuly’s incredible artwork: old wooden fishing boat filled with blown glass

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Looking at these images, I am prompted to wonder what I am carrying about inside of myself. What do others see? Am I carrying beauty or ugliness? Anger or forgiveness? Harm or helpfulness?
And I wonder why we worry so much about what our boat looks like instead of being concerned about the quality of the things we carry.

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Today I am reading the sixth chapter of Luke (New Testament). There are a lot of good things there to share, including the Beatitudes and the example of removing a plank from your (my) own eye before trying to remove a speck from someone else’s eye.

On judging others:

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”     Luke 6:37-38

Glass in the Garden

My dad chose to retire far from family and is now in an Assisted Living home. I’m visiting him in Arizona this weekend, something I do twice a year. One of the things we do together is look at photos on my laptop computer. He gets to travel vicariously through my pictures and today you do, too.

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The Seattle Space Needle reflected in a gazing ball outdoors in the Chihuly Glass Garden.
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Back in August, SuperDad and I met up with son#3 in Seattle for a day of playing tourist. Visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass had been on my wishlist for a long time and I love the pictures I was able to take there.

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reflections from Dale Chihuly’s basket phase

These beautiful glass sculptures are the artwork of Dale Chihuly. As such, I cannot use the photographs I have taken and sell them on cards at the farmers’ market.

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This glass sculpture rests on a reflective surface and brings to mind a fountain from the sea.

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Close-up of the “sea fountain” sculpture

I’ve got over 250 photographs from my time at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Not all of them are great, but I’ll attempt to do a better job of sharing the best of them with you. If I can’t sell them, at least I can share the beauty, right?

How do you decide what to share and what to keep to yourself? Are there any rules you wish you could break? 

 

What is it? Wednesday — the race course

I almost forgot to post tonight, so I’m getting this in just “under the wire”… or under the flags…

wiiwLast Wednesday I posted this picture. Carolyn had a good guess with a farmers’ market marker, but it takes a cross-country parent to recognize those flags! Melissa knew it was part of a course, although it wasn’t the finish line — just a marked section on a hillside. Here is the full photograph:

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The Scout ran his first meet of the season last Wednesday. He’s had a late start due to his fall on July 3rd and subsequent concussion. His head started hurting 2/3 of the way through the 5k last Wednesday, although he did well on Saturday at his second meet. Unfortunately, he had to come home early from school today with a headache that got worse as the morning went on, so he did not race in today’s meet. After taking a 3-hour nap, he and SuperDad went down to watch and cheer on the team, however, because that’s what they do.

My understanding is that there really isn’t anything you can do to hurry up the healing from a concussion, but he’s got an appointment with the doctor in 2 weeks to discuss his progress and setbacks.

MTM: Full of Memories

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The boardwalk is a new addition but the view remains the same glorious sight it has been for centuries.

We’re in a small window of warm weather right now and everything is gorgeous — the trees, the river, the sky. I was in my old neighborhood, where we lived 27 years ago, and stopped to snap this picture. It isn’t the best part of town when it comes to socioeconomic standing but it does have some fabulous view of the river within walking distance. When we lived there we often took walks and enjoyed the peacefulness of our surroundings away from the noisy street.

When we moved back to this city a little over 5 years ago, one of the first things we did (after unpacking and setting up the house) was to raft the river. In late summer and early fall, the water is low and it’s easy to get hung up on the rocks in some places but it is always lovely.  I wasn’t able to float on the river this summer and I miss it. I fondly remember kayaking in the calmer sections and getting soaked with near-icy water in the small rapids.

In this older part of town there are huge trees that create a canopy over the streets. Sometimes I return to reminisce over our days as a young couple when we were too poor to turn up the furnace, so we wore jackets and hats in the living room each winter evening. The old rental house still has the same faded red siding, the neighboring houses are just as dilapidated as they were a quarter-century ago, but the view from the bluff over the river is free and remains as beautiful as ever.

So, Which Is It?

She writes what I wish I had written. Read on…

It's Fine.

I’m scared to post this. I’m afraid of alienating people I love, people I interact with on a daily basis, people whose friendships I value. I wouldn’t say this if it hadn’t been weighing heavy, like a 50 pound weight on my tongue every time I open my mouth to say something and stop before it comes out because I don’t want to stir the pot. I don’t want anyone to be mad at me. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But I can’t, in good conscience, do that anymore.

I live with a certain degree of privilege. Monetary privilege? Not so much. But social privilege? Absolutely. I am part of a demographic that is perceived as the LEAST THREATENING to society. I’m a White Lady. Further, I’m a Southern White Lady. Still further, I’m a Heterosexual, Cis-Gender, Southern White Lady who Happens to be the Married Mother of Two…

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Sads and Glads

I’ve got a “glad” and a “sad” to share tonight.

First the sad: I finally had an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor to talk about my continued swelling and pain, and even some new (in past 2 months) pain from my hardware-infused ankle which I broke on 11/13/15 and had repaired on 11/25/15. I thought perhaps some screws had worked themselves out a little bit and getting them removed would help, but NO. Everything looks exactly the same as it did post surgery and the pain is “just” (supposedly) traumatized tissue and irritated nerves. In other words, it’s my new life. Terrific. [insert tearful sarcasm] The doc, who was nearly young enough to be my son, suggested compression stockings — which I will purchase and wear when the weather cools down enough to stop wearing sandals — but he couldn’t suggest any pain relief. I had tears in my eyes when I stopped to chat with his assistant (who remembered me from my long ordeal and many visits over the winter) and she offered sympathy which was nice. Honestly, I wanted to have a good cry and a couple of strong beverages but I had a meeting to prepare for this evening.

Hopefully this is all just for peace of mind (worth it!)

A dime-sized piece removed is small payment for peace of mind.

And for the glad: I hadn’t heard back from the dermatology office about my biopsy results, so I stopped in on my way back to work. The good news is that while the strange spot on my cheek was 2 different things (both common but not usually one on top of the other in the same space) it isn’t cancer. That cheered me up just enough to get through the evening meeting spent with my foot resting on a chair and ankle encased in a cold gel pack. I’ve since come home and had a glass of wine. Now it’s off to bed with a melatonin pill and a wish for decent sleep before going back to work in 10 hours.

Your turn… do you have any sads and glads to share?