October 30, 2007
Parts is Parts
Catalina Island jigsaw. 2007.
As the schools open, the fire departments begin to gain the upper hand over the fires, and the world here turns back to normal, I begin teetering through my days feeling slightly better over all. My knee, where I stretched a tendon while sitting cross-legged, now lets me walk in comfort almost to the end of the day. My broken finger is almost normal again. My stretched-tendon ankle is almost pain free tho swollen, and my bad leg looks like a leg on the bottom tho the top continues looking like a stuffed sausage. I’m not coughing my days away, and most of my sinuses are pain free. I still have a tooth ache….tho x-rays show nothing, and my neck, damaged in an accident in the 80’s, is acting up again. Serves me right for shaking my head in a snapping motion, flipping my hair back as if I were a 1930’s movie star.
I rarely write about how I am wearing out. Perhaps you too are wearing out and don’t want to know about my bad parts. Right now, I’ve been sitting still for too long, and I’m more aware of what’s worn-out than usual. But I need to note these things for later. Some day, some doc is going to ask when I crunched my neck. Someone will want to know when my stretched parts stopped stretching. Truly getting old isn’t for sissy’s and requires a sense of humor.
Usually I find elder/senior journals and blogs just bypass the wearing out until it becomes a crisis. Many of us just write of our happy times, the past, or where we are traveling next while leaving out the fact that one knee no longer works, a foot can’t be walked on, or puffing while climbing is now the norm. I love a blog writer that includes these bits of reality in their writing.
Fat Old Artist is traveling right now in Japan. Her Japan Travel Blog, and yes she’s started a blog just for this trip, is a delight in more ways than one. In Japan, she’s carts her laptop from wi-fi cafe to wi-fi lobby, found adding photos a problem in the beginning, and struggles with balance and stairs in ways I consider heroic. All by herself with her grey hair like a banner, that’s her.
Like others, I’m guilty of not complaining. Never wanting to devolve into my aches and pains, tho they are always with me, I bypass them as I rush through my days. They are more apparent these days as my sedentary lifestyle high lights the un-working parts when I try to get moving again. Today I’m carting suitcases up two flights so they can begin to air out. It’s just two weeks till our train trip.
I’ll cart laundry down when I go. No, I don’t just grab the basket any more. I put on my right arm brace….after I grab it out of the laundry basket, and I back down the stairs. Why? I can’t see where I am going around that basket. I don’t have time to fall. Counting the stairs doesn’t work because it’s a number. I don’t seem to remember numbers well any more…or ever did actually. I put the basket down in the kitchen, run down the stairs to the garage and prop the door open and walk back up. I run down because gravity is pulling the larger more generous me down at a faster pace, and I walk up because gravity is pulling the larger me downward. Did I say that.
The newspapers say we shouldn’t exercise outdoors yet. I have a case of I-wanna-walk-itis….which is doing me no good at all as the particulate matter keeps falling out of the skies. I’d clean up my decks, but again there’s that particulate matter. Don’t hose things down, they tell us. Wear masks, but not dust masks as the particulate matter, note that we all have added that phrase to our vocabularies, is too fine to make those masks functional. We are supposed to wear those expensive, double filter, K-something face masks. I have one. Have you smelled one of those?
So I’m working on a fire poem. I’m working on a fire essay for my writing workshop. I’m resolutely letting my grey be my flag as I sedentarily consider my particulate matter. It’s sure better than considering my parts is parts.
Me: Worked at the Library shelving and going over the sale books. Book sale coming up while we are on our trip. Still have to cancel working the next Charger game as we will be on a train to Portland the next morning and it is a night game. Pork something for dinner. Chow mien? Frustrated too in that I shrank all my photos, and something is still too big here and forcing the sidebar to the bottom.
G: Is really enjoying his job. I am delighted. He’s getting rounder again. I probably am too.
Duck: We found his slightly dingy room had taken another leap into improvement. They had removed both residents, stripped, waxed, and buffed the floors to a fare-thee-well, and put the residents back in with all the doors and windows open. In the main section of the halls, they are enclosing the asbestos early popcorn ceiling in plaster and edging it with moldings. Cable is now in all the rooms. We do have a call in to the Derm doc again.
Fires: The fires wind down at last. Containment expected this week. There might be a new Santa Ana later this week which will push the winds out of the desert toward the beaches again. Fire crews are massing and hope to be in the right spots when needed. The biggest fire is 80 percent contained, and the other fires surrounding the city are over 50% contained. While those of us here in the inner city begin to live again, the firefighters are still working the fires. Thousands are still evacuated. Air Quality is moderate. Those of us who can’t breathe are encouraged not to exercise. I am getting fatter again. Guilty too because I cannot help more because of my asthma.
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