TIME SPIRALS

I’ve had little time of late to simply settle into my thinking chair on the back patio and ponder whatever comes to mind.  The big move we are undertaking has kept me busy filling boxes and checking off items on a never-ending to-do list.  Time is being consumed at an excellerated rate as I race to complete the move within a self-imposed deadline.  There’s that word again…time!

Time is my biggest hang-up. There is no stopping it.  How fast I wished it would go when I was an anxious child always wanting to be older, be one of the big kids.  Most of my adult life I did not pay it much attention.  I just followed through every tick, every tock taking each for granted that there’d always be one following the other. How wasteful!  And now…well, now that I am in my 70’s, time looms over everything I do, or so it seems.

I have become super alert to the passing of every day, attempting now to seriously make the most of each one.  It follows that I would want to clean up any messes I’ve left behind, mend any fences broken, finish what’s been left undone.  But these are daunting tasks and they are burdens some of which I placed upon myself, others having been thrust upon me from alternative sources. Trouble is, some messes can’t be cleaned up, some fences can’t be repaired and some unfinished things are best left alone.  It is how life is meant to go…not always perfect and certainly not always the way you want it.

This is where all the what-if’s come in, along with the regrets and guilt. But it’s not all negative.  There are things that went well, brought joy and happiness and, most imporant, offered up some peace of mind.  It is a mix of all these elements–positive and negative–that have launched Rosemarie and me into our current “move” status.  There is some practicality to our needing to downsize at this point in our lives. There are expenses that can be cut and chores elimenated. But there is also a need for change, a revitalization of sorts in that we could both used something new in our lives.  What better to turn upside down than the environment in which we have lived the past 23 years.  Getting rid of the stairs alone will be a “big deal!” Physically, they have become the nemises for both of us as each assent and dessent challenges our muscle and mind.

It is true what they say, that youth is wasted on the young.  Well, maybe not wasted, but lots of it tossed about aimlessly.  But that is part of the process we are all meant to go through.  Some of us are just better navigators than others.  My scope nowadays is more finely focused and my goal is to sop up as much glitter as our golden years will yield…time willing.  

*****                                      

Posted in aging, environment, Family, home, lifestyle, moving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BIG MOVE …continued

Boxes

My surgery has healed enough that I  am back to packing things up.  That means I’ve been busy, methodically going through each room, each closet, each drawer and deciding what gets put in a box headed for the new home, what goes to the garage sale, what is given away or what is destine for the dump.Cardboard boxes on white background

Despite that it is going on 23 years that we have lived in this house, the process of packing it all up and moving is as daunting a task as it was when we moved several times within the first five years of our marriage.  If anything, it’s even worse because we’ve had a lot more years to accumulate stuff.  What always amazes me is the number of  boxes we have.

One important thing I’ve learned is to label each box with its contents, preferably on top and on at least one side.  You will be glad you did when you arrive at your new home and you are desperate for a can opener.  There you stand, staring at 30-40 boxes stacked wall to wall and if they are not labeled, good luck finding the can opener.

Cardboard boxes on white backgroundMeanwhile, there is a great opportunity to witness a humbling experience and it comes just after the movers, or your friends who were good enough to help you move, have unloaded the final item from the truck and bid you an exhausting goodbye.  And you?  Well, there you are alone with your boxes…a gazillion of them.  It is now that you realize your entire life, everything from Scrubby your first bath buddy, to the award for being student of the year in fifth grade, to the first all-A’s report card (well, maybe not everyone has that) to dating souvenirs, to the set of china your parents-in-law bought you, to your kid’s artwork, etc. etc. etc.–it’s all here, your entire life’s collection of material goods, stacked several feet high and wide…in boxes.

The boxes, however, contain much more than just “things.”  They harbor all the references and memories that expose the links to your soul and everything you have done in your life.  Inside these walls of cardboard are items that represent all your most cherished accomplishments,  all your failures and all your in-betweens.  Each is a mini-warehouse of goods that trigger emotions  you’ve openly expressed or kept secretly tucked away.  If the boxes could come alive, they’d be a heap of pulsating pulp, Cardboard boxes on white backgroundinhaling and exhaling, sighing and smiling or seething with anger or frustration. All that you are, have been and will be are here before you in a mountain of brown fiber waiting to be reopened and let out again.

And that’s what moving is all about.  Enjoy!

*****

Check out my new shop…here’s the link:  https://etsy.com/shop/vintageradiosplus

EtsyBannerA

 

Posted in Family, home, moving | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUPERMARKETS ARE…WELL, SUPER!

 

supermarket

Rosemarie and I have some very specific divisions of labor that have evolved over the many years she and I have been co-everythingers.  One such divide is the ongong task of grocery shopping.   She hates going to the supermarket.  On the other hand, I love it.  So she stays home and does the laundry–a task I run from–while I schlep off to the supermarket.

Now I know it is a bit odd, but there is more than the raw food itself that motivates my looking forward to the trip.  I enjoy the gaming of it all.  By “gaming” I mean marketing.  My trained eye probably picks up more nuances of food marketing than 90% of the customers I maneuver my cart around as I go up and down the aisles.  I am especially alert to changes in packaging which can either be radical or more subtle than noticing your wife change in eyeliner.

Fact is, packaging is one of the most important areas of selling food when it  comes to manufacturers and producers wanting to fool you.  You may not notice that box of corn flakes is a full 1/4 to 1/2 inch narrower than it was last month.   That’s odd, the price hasn’t changed, just the box.  I keep watch on such things as ice cream containers too.  Some of them change monthly: the round ones get squattier or narrower in diameter and the oval ones subtly shrink as if you took a computer mouse to one corner of the breyerscontainer, clicked on it and then made the entire package shrink down a bit.  And watch those product names.  It can say “ice cream” only if the product contains a specific amount of butter fat cream.  Many Breyers products do not measure up so you will notice they are labeled as a “frozen dairy dessert.”  It may taste just as good…but it’s not pure ice cream.

And one other note about packaging:  if the size stays consistent, you may still be paying more…there is simply less product in the same-size package.  Plastic bottles can be deceptive too.  They may appear the same size as always, but that inverted dimple on the bottom sometimes grows in size, meaning there is more of it taking up space previously occupied by product.

Just as in real estate, location location location is a critical marketing ploy at the supermarket.  There is tremendous competition for shelf space, especially at eye-level.  Then too, it’s fascinating how marketing can influence the amount of shelf space assigned to a specific product. Just stroll by the milk section and you will see it has grown several feet longer this past year.  Regular old milk had it good for so many years and now it’s faced with heavy competition from almond milk, cashew milk and a bunch of other milk-like beverages.  I wonder how the cows are coping with all the new flavors they have to produce.

Meanwhile, here’s an easy quiz.  What product do you think is represented by all these variations:  organic, free range, pasture raised, blue and brown, nest fresh, pasture raised on over eight acres, tended by hand, ethically raised on family farms.  Yeah, you got it, these are the lines you can read on egg cartons as egg farmers try to appeal to health food enthusiasts. Remember when an egg was just an egg and the only variation was size.  Do you think those chickens on the 8 acres would notice if I moved the fence in a few feet?  Would we?

*****

HEY! Now that we are moving, I’ve decided to sell a few things, like my collection of old radios.  If you are interested in anything “vintage” check it out at etsy.com/shop/vintageradiosplus

EtsyBannerA

Posted in business, consumerism, diet, food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

INADEQUACY

HUMMMMIf you haven’t figured it out yet, I have.  For years I thought the answer was my wife, or maybe even women in general.  But I am past that now.  Then for a while, I thought it was fixing my car.  No, not a flat tire or changing the oil, but something more serious like installing a new transmission. But no, car problems didn’t fit the answer either.  There have been a few other daunting tasks but nowadays most of them are explained on YouTube.   No, I am convinced…“the computer” is the answer.  Oh, the question?  I guess you want to know that.  The question is, “What did God put on earth to remind me–make that constantly remind me–of my inadequacies. There is nothing, has never been and I doubt there ever will be, anything that frustrates me more, puzzles me more and exposes my stupidity more… than my computer(s).

What is odd is that if I had several dogs in my household over a period of time and most of them were anything but my best friend–guess what?  I wouldn’t have any more dogs.  Same goes for just about anything else that may constantly disturb you. So what do you do?  You stop using it or buying it or going to it.  That’s what you do.  But do you give up your computer?  Of course not…because you cannot ever, EVER, think of living without your computer.

Now I  have never been one to shy away from a technical task even though I am about as technically savvy  as a parakeet.  But I did install a new thingamajig in my washing machine that allowed it to spin dry.  And the blower behind the back wall in my freezer? Well, that was pretty easy to install a new one if you paid attention to the refrigerator repairman on YouTube.  But fix my computer? …not on my life, or yours either.

So why is this such a problem?  I’ve got that figured out too.  You see, the refrigerator repairmen talks like normal people.  He’ll tell you to put the short screw in the hole right above the blue blade on the fan.  Now I ask you, you can handle that, right? ….short screw, hole above blue blade. Piece of cake.  Now if it’s a computer that you are attempting to fix, the entire process changes.  Computers do not talk like normal people, neither do the geeks who fix them. Hear me out on this.

For about a month a little message has been flashing in the upper right-hand corner of my iMac.  It says that my hard drive is running out of space.  It says nothing else.  There is no additional help offered.  The refrigerator guy would have said I’m running out of freezer space and here are something things you can do to avoid the problem:  throw some food out, eat more frozen food or buy an additional freezer to add to your capacity.  See, we all understand capacity…except when it comes to a computer hard drive that is running out it.

So I did the only natural thing one would naturally do.  I went to YouTube and did a search on “hard drive running out of space.”  There now.  I was surprised to see so many geeks had made video tutorials dealing precisely with this very topic.  But remember what I said…computer repairers don’t talk like you and I do.  Video after video eventually took me down a different trail that had nothing to do with my problem or the thinking capacity of my brain.  Many times I was instructed to open some whozziefart window that suddenly appeared on the tutorial…but they never tell you how to find and open this window. Consequently, you are left wriggling in the dusty roadside as the geek continues his journey to computer oblivion.

Anyway, I figure I better purge some files from my hard drive, y’know free up some space.  That much I understand.  So I come across this folder with rows and rows and rows of icons, each for a specific day of the year, going back to 2016. They  appear to me as backup files, but do I need that many?  And they are all huge and they all contain the same files.  So I decide to shade a few rows and drag them all down the screen and dump them in that little trashcan at the bottom.  Yeah, that should free up a ton of space.  Well, to make a long long story short, two things resulted from my innocent little maneuver.  First, the same message continued to flash in the upper right-hand corner of my computer—the one telling me that I was running out of space.  But now, if I wanted to get rid of any more files to free up space on my hard drive, I couldn’t.  That’s because my computer tells me “Error 7210” has occurred and that the files in the trashcan may be tied to other programs still in use on my computer so I will not be able to erase all these files nor can I delete any other files since my trashcan is now maxed out.imacfrroge

Then, out of nowhere  I  had an epiphany.  Bam! The answer came to me like a bolt of lightning.  If I want my computer fixed all I need to do is call in the refrigerator repairman. Yeah, he’ll know what to do.

*****

 

etsyad

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Big Move, on again!

BOXES

Two months back, Rosemarie and I were in the process of packing up the house and preparing to sell it and move to a smaller place.  It’s a common exercise many of us our age go through when we realize the reason for such a large  house with all the bedrooms no longer applies.  The kids have gone, but the rooms decided to remain.  I thought for a split second what a great idea it would be to buy  a modular house, one constructed in sections easily removed from the others.  Then, when it was time for the children to go, you’d simply tell them to “get the hell out and take your room with you!”

Well, as many of you are aware, we had to put the move on hold while I took a time-out for a little spinal surgery.  I am, however, able to continue part of the moving process at this time.  I can fill boxes with stuff, but once full, somebody else has to lift them and  carry them to the “box staging area,” formerly known as the  dining room

Moving is always a daunting experience.  It’s basically an in-your-face personal review of your life. There are, of course, a good number of boxes that still remain sealed, never opened, from the last time I moved. These I am tempted to leave sealed and simply throw them out based on the rationale that if I’ve had no need for the stuff inside these boxes for the 20+ years they’ve been sitting on a closet shelf, why keep carrying them onto the next place?  But, of course I will. Many of these contain stacks and stacks of photos I took of the children when they were young.  Trash?  I think not.

While I am being particularly objective and focused this time around, I am still taking too much with us.  I  have really really tried to purge our collection of worldly goods.  I have three piles:  Garage Sale, Trash and Take with Us.  The goal is to have the smallest pile in the Take With Us group.  That’s not happening.  I keep telling myself it will all pan out in the end.  The problem is, packing involves too many variables, especially for  an undisciplined mine.  Every item you pick up is put through a decision as to which of the three piles it goes in.  It turns out becoming a parade of memories, nostalgia and emotional ties to almost every item you touch.  It is exhausting.

Our lives are one big collection of baggage, some containing fond memories and useful goods. Others are loaded with sadness, impracticalities and disappointments.  But if you are to continue on being who you are meant to be, then each bag, box and bundle gets wrapped and sealed and put on the truck.  It is what is is…a moving experience.

*****

AgainAd4

 

Posted in moving, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

SMARTS

smarts

I do not have a smart phone. Nor do I have a smart watch. I don’t drive a smart car and I don’t live in a smart house.  I don’t track how many paces or miles I go each day or the numer of times my heart pumps or my eyes blink.  And, come to think of it, I’d guess the amount of smarts I have occupying my brain is pretty much average

It is not so much that I am against smart things; it’s more a case that most of these new smart products simply don’t fit in with where I am in life right now.  Today, I took a seat in my old reliable thinking chair on the patio out back and came up with a list of smart items I could see myself using. Oh yeah, the first thing I did was change the name of my thinking chair to smart chair.  Smart thinking, huh? Here’s the list:

  1. Smart Body – Why not? This is the ultimate smart thing to have. Imagine, the minute something inside your body malfunctions, gets out of  sync, or its levels rise above or below where they are supposed to hover…well then, your smart body would be alert to any of these kinds of anomalies and immediately send out the fiirst responders to immediately fix them.
  2. Smart Appetite – Okay, this is sort of included with the smart body concept above. Here’s how a smart appetitide would fuction.  Once installed, you’d set the settings to things like how many calories you want to consume,  how heavy you want to be, your preferred waist size…stuff like that. Then, anytime you reach the imposed limit on any of these settings, your Smart Appetite would kick in and shut down all hunger and craving mechanisms.  You’d feel absolutely normal and be able to fuction in all capacities, except you simply would have no appetite, no hunger, no cravings. Then when your readings recycled back to their normal ranges, you would slowly, naturally start planning lunch.
  3. Smart Laundry – Attached to your washing machine would be a hamper with two bins, one for your colored clothes and one for whites. When your hamper bins reached a specified level, on would go the washer,  water and detergent would fill the tub, the hamper bin would empty into the water and later your clean clothes would be sent to the drying chamber, after which another part of the process would fold your dried clothes.  I’d really like one of these.
  4. Smart Maid – This little gadget would automatically read things like dust and clutter levels, spilled liquids and cookie crumbs. Once alerted, it’d turn itself on and go to whatever aisel or room need cleanup.
  5. Smart Blog – This was an afterthought I threw in for selfish reasons.  It’d be a blog that posted only things in which the majority of readers are interested. Each posting would be written perfectly with no mistakes, no typos or misspellings.  You’d be compelled to leave a like!

*****

 

Posted in computers, consumerism, home | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PAIN…it’s a matter of tolerance

painI think I’ve eaten more shredded wheat this past week than a farmer could plow wheat fields in one day with his John Deere.  It’s all part of the effort to get my plumbing back to normal operation after the back surgery I had last week.  Now there’s a topic you don’t see posted on many blogs.  But I’ve given you full coverage of The Great Surgery, so why start hiding things now.  Anyway, it’s been a struggle, but I am not complaining. Given the fact that the surgery immediately obliterated the four years of agony my back was giving me, I can put up with just about anything right now. But this posting has to do with anybody’s pain, not just mine.

The level of pain or discomfort one can tolerate varies from one individual to the next.  True, it does seem that the current pain you are experiencing always feels like “the worst I’ve ever had!”  But then, that planter’s wart on the bottom of you foot starts acting up, making your toothache seem a little nit-pick.

Now I realize there’s a good case to be made that pain is deliberate and that it has a meaningful purpose.  Pain, we’re told, is a gift.  It serves as a warning sign that something is wrong with our body and we need to  pay attention to it.  Boy, when I unwrapped my gift I was stupid enough to think it would be ice cream or a new car. But no, it was anything but.

What I do not understand is this:  if pain tells us something is wrong, why can’t it simply whisper once or twice to let us know.? I for one, would not need any more warning than that.  I do not need the message delivered in a ROAR.  Maybe that’s required to motivate some folks to go see the doctor. All I need is one good little yelp and I’d be in the car.  So maybe we need to get the pain gods to work on that.

My experience with the amount of pain I’ve had the past few years has had my brain wander off in all directions.  Think about what it must have been like two or three hundred years ago to have extreme chronic pain.  There were no pain pills of any merit to help ease the intensity.  You simply had to suffer with it.  And imagine this: what if your pain struck as you were halfway across the Oregon Trail, especially if you were a “walker” without the luxury of a wagon or horse!  Would you make it?  Would you have go back, or just stop, lie down on the trail and wait for starvation to set in?

What if it’s the 1700’s and you were Ben Franklin out flying a kite trying to prove lightning is electrical and along comes a kidney stone. Old Ben would have had no idea what the hell was happening to him. Think of it, we may have never learned to dance “It’s Electric” at weddings.

And what about the gunfight at the Ok Coral?  What if Wyatt Earp pulled a hamstring when he hopped over the coral fence?  He would have fallen and probably couldn’t get up.  He would have never survived! And Doc Holiday wouldn’t have been much help. He went to the coral that day while fighting tuberculosis.  He had to shoot twice, cough once through the whole ordeal.

What this says to me is that medical science is a worthy career to pursue, especially if you could come up with a cure, or a least a serious deterrent, that would all but eradicate pain…what a “Wow!” moment that’d be.

And don’t give me that silly line, no pain/no gain.  If that were true, after what I’ve been through, I’d be driving Miss Rosemarie to the Piggly Wiggly in a red Jag to stock up on supplies for our cruise around the world in our custom 70-foot yacht that’s tied up to the dock behind our waterside mansion on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  See, pain can make you a bit delusional too.

AgainAd3

 

Posted in aging, health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 4th Remembered…

hap4th

Bam!  Just like that, half the year is gone and it’s already July 4th.  I do not remember most July 4ths.  After all, they are reasonably redundant.  At many of them I am sure I attended a picnic or backyard BBQ of some sort. Numerous others involved going to see fireworks somewhere.  But most July 4ths are just a blank, except for a few.

Judging from where I was, the very first one I remember occurred sometime when I was around 4 or 5.  Temple University’s original football stadium was located about six blocks from my home.  Temple-University-Stadium-660x515That’s a picture of how it looked back then.  It’s where you went every year to watch the July 4th fireworks.  The stadium would fill in during the early evening while several local college and high school bands would march and perform on the field. Other forms of entertainment were also featured. The ground display fireworks began just as it was beginning to get dark, followed by the big boomers as night set in.  That was the routine I remember–pretty basic even at many July 4th celebrations today. The only reason I  remember this first 4th is because I was not familiar with a big fireworks display.  It scared the hell out of me.  I would up screaming through the entire performance, mostly from underneath the bench my family was seated on.  Well, I must have survived the bombs bursting in air because I do remember a few more 4ths at Temple Stadium when I sat on top of the bench..

One of the coolest fireworks displays I watched was back in the mid 1970s when Rosemarie and I were visiting some friends in Bradford, Pennsylvania.  Bradford is a little mountain town up in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, just down the road a piece from Erie. ZippoSign_1024x1024 Bradford is the home of the Zippo lighter company.  When smoking was “in” back over 50 years ago, just about every macho man smoked and he, of course, packed fire to keep the smoke going: a Zippo lighter. What is interesting is that Zippo lighters run a good $40 or more nowadays and the company has transitioned the lighter into an incredible art form. Check ’em out at zippo.com and you’ll feel inadequate using a bic to light the family grill this 4th.

Anyway, I digress. Bradford sits down in a valley and at the end of its main street is a pretty sizeable mountain.  On July 4th when I was there, everyone in town showed up at the end of that street as it got dark.  The fireworks were shot off from the mountain top and they showered down the side making a pretty impressive show.

paradeNext is Juneau, Alaska. We were on a cruise and we had all day July 4th to spend in Juneau.  We left long before the fireworks, but we did get to see the town’s annual home-brew July 4th parade.  It was one of the most remarkable parades I’ve ever watched. All the participating clubs, bands, groups, gaggles, whatever, went out of their way to do something creative, usually wacky crazy creative.  It’s the best reality parade in the country, no doubt.  It was like an episode out of the old TV show, Northern Exposure.

In this July 4, 2018, file photo, fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, along the National Mall in Washington, during the Fourth of July celebration. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)The most memorable July 4th for me was the Bicentennial 4th at the Washington Monument. At the time, I worked for a really popular radio station in D.C. and we were always doing innovative (translation: are you nuts?! kind of activities).  So at one of our weekly planning meetings it was announced that the July 4th fireworks for the Bicentennial would be like none other before:  bigger, longer, louder, etc.  But the big deal was the radio station had agreed to accompany the fireworks with a broadcast soundtrack of patriotic music.  The fireworks and the music would be performed perfectly in sync with each other. This had never been done before. The station had been given a descriptive, second-by-second rundown of the fireworks display.  It showed where all the little sizzles would be, when the big bangs would explode and so on.  All the station had to do was put the music together so that its “ups and downs” played along with those of the fireworks. So guess who was given the assignment to put this all together…..uh huh…me.  I worked day and night selecting music and timing it out to ride along–perfectly in sync, mind you–with the timed-out script the fireworks company had supplied.  I don’t have to tell you, I worked on this project full-time for the last half of June.  Meanwhile, the station promoted the event 24/7 for two weeks leading up the 4th, telling listeners to bring their radios to the fireworks display at the monument so they could listen as the music accompanied the fireworks.

It took me forever to get the music to match up with the script.  Of course, there was no rehearsal, no practice, no way at all to know in advance if what I worked out in the studio would actually time out live at the Monument.  Well, it did….for about the first ten minutes and then the two elements slowly began to wander further and further out of sync.  I think the music’s big finale came about a full minute early. Given how spectacular the fireworks’ grand finale was, I don’t think anyone noticed the music had run out long before….except me, of course.  It was one of the zanier assignments in my radio career and I am happy no one else–that I know of–has ever had to attempt it again.

Nowadays, I haven’t left the house on July 4th for many years.  In fact, the holiday has become a bit annoying because there are a few folks in my neighborhood who like loud fireworks and they begin setting them off just after dinner and continue them for the rest of the night–past midnight!  Every year as the 4th approaches, I begin hoping they have moved.   Then again,  I suppose it’s only once a year so I should learn to live with it.  I could attempt to be really nice about it…maybe even get them a zippo lighter.

*****

BuyaBook

 

 

 

Posted in entertainment, history, holiday, lifestyle, Recreation, travel, whimsy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE GREAT SURGERY…The Update That Was on Hold

ohkayCollagte“Someone to Watch Over Me”  was a song composed by Gerge and Ira Gershwin in 1926.  It appeared in the Broadway musical, Oh Kay!  It has become what is known in the music biz as a “standard,” meaning one of those favorites you’ll always hear at big band concerts or simply in the lyrical mumblings from old folks conjuring up some nostalgia.  It has been a very long-time favorite song of mine and certainly one that does not hide my age.

Meanwhile, over the past month I’ve had a partially fun time posting reports titled, “The Great Surgery Updates” dealing with some upcoming back surgery I was about to undergo. I treated it rather lightly, even made a few jokes about it.  My wife felt totally the opposite.

First of all, Rosemarie is a retired nurse and has a tendency to worry about all things medical because she has seen practically all things medical, many of them bad, not to mention I  am not a young man anymore.  So my back surgery, which was already made complicated by several serious “side” issues, was enough to turn her pale and give her the shakes as we entered the hospital at 5:30 last Monday morning.  I was concerned she would have a rough time making it through what we were told would be a 3-4 hour procedure, followed by at least one day in intensive care.  Intensive care?  Really?  That serious? I told Rosemarie I was just showing off, going 1st class all the way.  Then, while I was talking with the anesthesiologist in pre-op, I begged her to please immediately send someone to tell Rosemarie I was awake and okay the second the whole ordeal was over.

I confessed to my wife a few days later (Saturday), which was the really first good day I had since I left the ER, that I attempted to make light of the entire situation the past several weeks so as not to feed her worriment.  Truth is, I was as bottled up inside with bad thoughts as she was, but I was not going to admit it to her.  I  told her that last Monday night I even began writing her a letter in the event something did go horribly wrong.  But I had to abandon the effort. I was exhausted and my brain was oatmeal…and I hurt.  I knew I did not have to explain to her how I feel about her and all that she has meant to me. We silently exchange those kinds of sentiments everyday in the looks we give each other; the minor bickering over things like each other’s decaying driving skills and those quick goodbye and hello kisses we still render before and after being apart. I figured there was nothing I could really say to her if something actually did go wrong. Our hearts would know how to handle it.  We have been an ongong twosome since 1963–over that amount of time the communications between two people who really love each other is simply…organic.  Words cannot convey the subtleties.

Weddng vows are a funny thing. “In sickness and in health” is always passed by unceremoniously and everyone holds their peace.  I do not quite remember how that vow was emphasized at the time of our wedding ceremony, but it all worked out in the end and along with our marriage that particular vow has lasted 52 years.  Today it is considered an extraordinary accomplishment if a marriage and all its vows survive intact for that many years.  At the time Rosemarie and I did not consider our wedding vows to be challanges to be achieved. Instead, to us, they represented a solemn  commitment made and not to be broken.  Simple as that.

That is the culture in which we were raised.  The concept was clear. It was in the things we read, the movies we watched and the songs we sang. Indeed, all these carried the messages and artists like George and Ira made them real, very real.

SONG4

 

 

 

 

The song says it all. That is why Rosemarie is the last person I looked at before being rolled down the hall to the ER, and the first person I said “hi” to when I woke up.  It was the end of over three years of pain and torment.  As emotionally draining as this journey was, we each knew we got through it …because we each had someone watching over us.

*****

againwinner

Link to amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Again-Marc-Kuhn/dp/1729289479/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=again+kuhn&qid=1561932778&s=gateway&sr=8-5

Posted in aging, communication, death, Family, health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

THE GREAT SURGERY, Update #3

The saw hurt a little, the drill just a bit…

I went in the hospital early early Tuesday morning and I came home Friday midday. In-and-out, go home. I like it that way. I had some initial therapy and advisories about the normal things like no lifting, twisting or bending or else all my bones will fall apart and crash to the floor in a heap. I was reminded when going up and down stairs, it’s up with the good leg first and down with the bad one first. They taught me how to get in and out of the car, the shower and one of those booths where they swirl money all around you (just in case that really happened). The food was terrible, the nurses very good and the overall review 4 out of 5 stars.

So now I am home. A nurse will visit every day for a few days as will a therapist to work on my moving around the place. Whether or not I come down with my usual post-surgery infection has, so far, been negatory good buddy. Last time I had to wait six months to find out if I was home free (I wasn’t) so that means around Christmas time I will or won’t get a present.

Pretty good, huh? They wound up doing more than originally expected, once they got inside and got a good look around. That resulted in two additional pieces of hardware being inserted between my vertebrae in addition to the rods that help straighten me out. Rosemarie says I’m already a good inch taller! She prefers tall men so already I’m on her good side.

Do I hurt? Uh-huh. I have ten incisions: 8 little ones and 2 larger ones. But the pain seems the be a little less each day. Today, for example, getting myself situated in a comfortable position in bed took fewer and easier lifts with a lot less ouch.

Okay, there you have it. Now, let’s all move on and get back to normal. Thanks for your interest, and especially all the get well wishes I’ve received this past week. It’s nice to know people actually care whether or not you are feeling well! Okay, on with life!

*****

 

Posted in death, Family, health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment