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Archive for January, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Recently I came across a birthday card Paul had given me in 2004. It began saying, “News Flash! You’re still in your 50s!”

Well, yes. I was 59 that year, but that hasn’t been the case for eight years now! But I am still blessed to be getting older. And this year with my slowly healing knees as a new  piece of my life, and my wonderful family as a continuing part.

BTW, this picture of Stephen was taken by dd Alice and posted on facebook where she said, “Note to self: do not leave cases of beer on the floor! Crafty toddler will push to gate & attempt an escape…”  Someone else suggested she send it to Great Lakes Brewery…..Stephen is indeed a crafty toddler, and one who makes me rejoice and hear the song in my heart every time he sees me and beams his sweet Stephen smile.

I’ve certainly been posting things less often on this blog. I think it is to do with my recovery and rehab which moves along slowly, more slowly than I realized it would……..I now do two hours of PT at the wellness center three days a week and when I come home my knees need ICE and I am truly tired…..I’m allowed to drive now, and Alice is coming over soon to take me to a nearby church parking lot to practice my reactions. I’m glad to be getting this independence back! And I see improvements all the time. But I do realize it will take longer than I imagined, even though I knew the full rehab is a year, and a bit longer for two knees.  The process  takes over a lot of my life!

Today one sil and bil called and when I answered the phone I hear two dear voices singing Happy Birthday to You! And I’ve talked with dd Em who is living in Budapest for six months with her family, but just now is in the western city of Pecs with colleagues on her research project. I told her again of her family connections to Pecs and she was interested, and was talking to me about being excited to show me changes in Hungary since my last visit in 2005. I’m pretty excited to see them too, and am looking forward to this two week visit in May.

Alice and her family and Andy and I are going out to dinner for my birthday to a new restaurant just opened by a friend of the family. It’s called Spice Kitchen and is in the Gordon Square area of Cleveland, a new “hot spot” for places to go. I’m really looking forward to it!

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Reading for Recovery

Everyone has been telling me, over and over and over again, what a wonderful recovery I am having, and I think in many ways it is true. I am at a point where everyday there is some little improvement….I no longer need pain medication, which is a sort of miracle after 10 or 12 years of taking it every day for the arthritis pain….But the recovery feels slow in other ways and I need to cultivate that patience which has never ever been an outstanding virtue of mine!

I have no stamina, yet, and can  be suddenly overwhelmed with sleepiness! Still, I am taking this as a sign of recovery. And Tuesday it will be four weeks since surgery.

I am sorry for those who read my blog and have to hear about all this, but it is on my mind a lot lately!

Reading has always been a great pleasure in my life, and it is especially so now that I am rather more house bound, though I go out for therapy three days a week and Andy and I visit the grocery store every weekend! In a few weeks I will be driving again, God willing.  There are many places I hope to visit when I am not so tired.

But reading………Let’s talk about reading during recovery from major surgery.  I have a difficult time settling down even to mysteries which I normally enjoy greatly.  (And even netflix is difficult to watch. I become bored and tired a quarter of the way through things.) I can only hope this symptom will disappear as I get stronger.

What I find I can read with pleasure are books in the category of “old favorites”, which is to say, books I have been reading and rereading for 50 or 60 years………This may partly be the case because I know them so well that I can pick them up, read any short section, and be satisfied.

I can’t read non-fiction now, either. And I love biographies and various other sorts of non-fiction. But I just cannot seem to stick with it yet…

So I’ve been rereading a lot of D.E. Stevenson……..All the Miss Buncle books. Celia’s House, Listening Valley, Spring Magic, Music in the Hills…..

I also read Molly Clavering, Angela Thirkell, Elizabeth Goudge, and O. Douglas.  But principally, D.E. Stevenson……..

Her books do not fail me.  I know some people do not  think them especially great writing. They are gentle,  perhaps more domestic works (though not always) but the people in them seem real to me and I enjoy their company greatly, especially just now.

Some children’s books, especially Song of the Gargoyle by Zilpha Keatly Snyder have also been able to hold my attention these days too…..I have some gift books from dear friends who hope to amuse me during this time, but have not been able to make any headway in them as yet…….

Oh, yes, one new to me book which I read all the way through with enjoyment was Grace Lin’s Dumpling Days, a young adult novel about a Taiwanese American family’s visit to their relatives in Taiwan, This was delightful, the third book in a series about this family, especially the middle daughter.

Someday I will read the gift books………But meanwhile, I am counting as a great blessing that I have these wonderful “old favorites” to reread yet again.

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