Ponder this:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

One day blending into the next, punctuated by pain

Well. I see that it is Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We shall be dining at our favorite semi-local hotel, and coming home to read and nap. Heaven. Thanksgiving praises.

My knee hurts. My right knee. My left knee hurt for months, but stopped some weeks ago. Went to the doctor, got checked for osteoarthritis. "A little, not much." A prescription for pain medication and a caution not to use it unless absolutely necessary. It turns out that the stuff is nearly useless, and Tylenol works much better anyway. Still, that pain persisted. Day in, day out. And then it went away. 

Came the cozy Saturday evening that I was loading wood into the wood stove, barefoot, as always. Woodbox very full, wood very slippery. And so I enjoyed my annual Firewood-to-Toe event. Just as much fun as always at the instant of impact and for several minutes thereafter. OH. MY. That hurts. This time it was my poor innocent middle toe instead of the Great Toe. (Great Toe sounds so much more aristocratic than Big Toe, doesn't it?) It was still somewhat sandal weather, so no problem. Wrapped it up, let it heal. Put off the pedicure for two weeks until I was sure the pedicurist would not faint. And so, the toe is now fine.

While the toe was sore, however, it was necessary that I alter my routine of rising from a sitting position, so as to bear the majority of my considerable weight on my heel rather than rolling forward to the toe area. And that's how the right knee went bad.  

I haven't gone to the doctor again. Neither for the toe nor the knee. It would be like drinking myself into oblivion every evening and complaining to the doctor that every morning I woke up with a headache and woozy stomach. The remedy for this knee pain is that I either need to get lighter in weight or grow legs similar in structure to those of a young elephant. I'm not really sure which will (would?) be more likely, or easier.

Yes, Friko. 
Exercising the brain and body during retirement. You are so completely self-disciplined. I try to emulate your habits. Trying to figure out knitting stitches that I've never done before, which do not translate from the way most people knit to the way I was taught to knit. And tap dancing, with a knee that will bear no weight, across the icy yard to the car, grabbing the door handle with a death grip.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

My name is June and I'm a blogger

I'm still here. 
Over here, behind the floor plant, leaning to  my extreme right, trying to get some lamplight onto my knitting in order to save my sight until I finish this baby blanket. The yarn is very soft and slippery and slides very easily off my needles, so I can't do this job by feel. The blanket is for one of the poor souls who is still employed at Small Pond, and whose baby is due in January. I hope to have this project finished and delivered long, long before the baby's here. Or rather . . . there . . . with her. Not here, please God. 

I, myself, am no longer employed at Small Pond. I retired on my 65th birthday, the soonest I was eligible to collect my pension. I continued to work two days per week for three months. On the morning of the twentieth of September, as my boss and I were chatting pre-actual-work, I said, "Bill. I think I'm finished."
"You're finished."
"Yes. I think I am."
"Do you have a date for this?"
"Yes. Today. At four o'clock."
And so it was done. My whole week, my whole life: my own.

I have been having The Time of My Life enjoying the freedom of being socially acceptably unemployed! I love it when people say to me that I have earned it. Oh my, have I ever earned this. My retirement routine is still evolving. I'm still just doing small things that I want to when I want to, spending much too much of my time cuddling with and talking to Molly and Peep, but then, that's what they're here for, isn't it?

I feel sure that the following two items are related somehow.

1. I was gobsmacked by the results of the presidential election. Sick at heart and stomach. For a few days I engaged in commenting on news stories, but that just makes me angrier, so I think I've stopped that.

2. Today, on a full moon impulse, after I finished at the supermarket, I took the hour-long drive to my childhood home. 
Just to see, just to breathe the air there. 
It's been more than forty years since I've driven past the old farmhouse, although I've Google Earth'd it many times. The route there and back revealed such changes, yet the geography alone pulled me onto the proper roads. ("Is that the road? That's the hill...") And it was. Amazing.
It's no surprise that the space between the house and the road (the space that I ran madly across to try to get on the school bus before I was old enough to go to school, lunch bucket full of rocks rattling in my hand) is not acres wide, that the tree that held our rope and board swing is not The Big Tree of memory, but only a reasonably sized tree. It's dead now, the top all wrecked and broken, covered with vines. The pond appears to be much larger than it was when I was nine or ten, probably because more of that area was then swamp and less of it pond. It's where we gathered up frog eggs and jarred them, watching as they turned into pollywogs and then set them free back in their home. 

Maybe the moral of my story is simply that all things change, but I'm still here. Still breathing. (Thank you, Friko.)