Tag Archives: retirement

LESSON #62 – KNEE DEEP

image.pngThe trouble with knees is that they can just plain hurt and eventually, if you are hard on the little darlings, wear out.  Not good.

Overuse from running, playing tennis like a maniac, being over optimal weight and having blasted arthritis just do your knees in. Oh my!

Like so many others I went under the knife. To say I almost canceled this wonderful experience is quite an understatement. In fact….in hospital an hour prior…I considered walking out. But, hey, in my sexy hospital gown with a nurse setting up to put me in a relaxed state…I said to myself….”Hey, me, I’m here so why not?”

Why not??? Ouch. Double ouch. I am here to say to those contemplating this ordeal….good luck!

I describe my experience in one word…it’s A BITCH! From beginning to end (which is not in sight) it has been a nightmare. I can give birth to children all day long, mind you, but this? Not fun.

I religiously did my pre-op exercises and did my post op exercises twice a day and welcomed my physical therapist to my home with open arms (well not really….my bad). Outside PT went well and I graduated with flying colors. Yay me!

So here I am and long story short...I am five-month post-op and I have a great deal of swelling inside the old knee and I still have pangs of pain occur so I am definitely having a pity party for the most part. Doesn’t feel anywhere close to ‘normal’. But, hey, my doc said the knee will take 6-12 months to bounce back…but who’s counting? I am a bit disappointed with my body not bouncing back as expected.

I was hoping I could report good news but, alas, not yet. I have learned that I am not patient with my own healing process and I don’t like to pamper myself except when I am watching a good movie and eating ice cream.

I’ll report back in a few months hopefully with good news. Until then I would LOVE to hear about your experiences with knee replacements….please???? I need you to commiserate.  I would like to know that my experiences are much like yours and that I am not alone!  How long did it take for you to be ‘normal’?

The Facts:

  • Half the patients now receiving knee replacements are younger than 65 years of age, and most of them are in the workforce.
  • By 2030, total knee replacement surgeries are projected to grow 673% to 3.5 million procedures per year1
  • Nearly 1/2 of American adults develop knee osteoarthritis in at least one knee in their lifetime2
  • More than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain3
      (* August 21 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery)

Thanks for reading!

Leigh

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LESSON #57 – MEMORIES

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I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

This was my home so long ago and yet it was just yesterday when I reached my 21st birthday here.  A milestone.

Someone asked me how I knew our home in Loveladies on Long Beach Island was available to rent.  For the life of me I just can’t remember. But learn I did that ‘our’ house was available to rent during the summers and into the Fall.

As it turns out here we are and just in time.  Our house from long ago is up for sale.

We have been here for two weeks and so many memories have been revisited. The smell of the Bay, the sights of the boats heading North, perhaps, to fish, or just to tour around Barnegat Bay.  Sailboats fluttering their wings as the seagulls glide by.  The water gently hitting the bulkhead as it lulls us to sleep each night.  The sky as blue as only a New Jersey shore sky can be in the Fall.  The stop lights all flashing yellow with the summer crowds no longer.  We used to say that LBI rose over two feet each year with them gone.  It was a happy time!

I am thankful for the visions of my family, especially of my Mother and Father, as they come back to me as if I am looking at a movie of my life.  My father sitting in the bar having a drink.  My mother in the kitchen preparing dinner.  My Aunt and Uncle waving to us as they come closer from across the Bay ready to moor their boat outside our house.  Clam bakes, the houseboat rocking outside, my sister catching crabs in her traps hanging into the Bay from the bulkhead.  The family parties that never seemed to end.

My 21st birthday dinner at the table in the same spot as this table.  The precious gift my Father presented me and my surprise when I saw friends driving up the Lane for my birthday party.  A wonderful surprise and a wonderful memory.

Christmas here with the tree beautifully decorated which could be seen by boaters.  Holiday cheer on the water.

Memories are beautiful and memories are good for the soul.  We need to remember from whence we come.  Memories are not all happy but my memories of this house are awe inspiring as I look across the Bay and watch this sunset.  I see my family everywhere here.  Memories that I thought I had forgotten.

My parents are still with me as we enjoy this house that my Father built so long ago.  I realize I appreciate the beauty and the calmness the Bay has always brought to me more today than yesterday.  Somehow I feel closer to my parents within its walls.  I have gone back in time.

I fear this house will be torn down for a new and improved version of a bayfront house.  If I return to Long Beach Island this house will truly be just a memory.  The realization makes me sad.  For now I am thankful I am here.  I am thankful for all the memories that are freshened in my heart.

Thanks Dad.  I see what you saw all those years ago.

Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LESSON #56 – THAT SWEET WHISTLE

Unknown-4.jpegUnsure why it is but I have a newfound love of trains.

My children still tell me that one of their best vacation memories was the trip we took on the Crescent from Atlanta to New York City so many years ago.

The sleeping quarters were cramped to be sure but we never hesitated to laugh over it…then and now.

Living in downtown Woodstock, Georgia, the train tracks were just about in our building’s front entrance. I came to just love when a train would slowly crawl down the tracks.

When I was lucky enough to be relaxing in the park-like atmosphere across the street and a train would blow its whistle, my spirits would rise and excitement grew.

I was like a child.  More to the point I became like my grandchildren when they, too, saw a train.  Eyes would light up and a broad smile would appear as they pointed to the train!  It was the highlight of their day.  Maybe, just mine.

The barricades would come down as if shouting “STOP” and “BEWARE”.  Bells would ring.  Be careful all train lovers.  Relax, enjoy, watch and listen.

Whistles would whistle and the conductor would look ahead but once in a great while he would do a bit of a wave to the children who congregated near the barricade.  The climax of the experience to be sure since every child would believe that the conductor waves a special hello to them only.  Most certainly the children believed this and, perhaps, many adults as well.

Today, the day after Irma sauntered through the Atlanta area, I hear train after train moving through Woodstock.  Whistle after whistle.  Six so far.  They were backed up I suspect in Atlanta and must make up for lost time.  The trains and their conductors rested yesterday due to weather conditions.

Exciting day and I wish my Grandchildren could be here listening with me.  I find I am the lucky one since we live close to the tracks.  There is no ‘wrong side of the tracks’ for me.  The closer the better.

For now, I will enjoy.  “I hear the train a coming’ round the bend…”*  Here comes another train!

I hear that sweet sounding whistle.

Leigh


 

*FOLSOM PRISON BLUES by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

The Crescent on the Amtrak line runs from Penn Station in New York City to New Orleans making about 33 stops across 13 States with daily departures both ways.  Relax…it takes about 30 hours in total.  I highly recommend the journey from Atlanta to New York City.

Train travel in Europe is customary.  It is sad to think that in the U.S. it is not.  Amtrak has been close to closing down many of their routes.  In fact, the budget proposal is worrisome.  Many routes may be eliminated making cross country passenger rail a thing of the past.

 

 

 

 

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LESSON #51 – “GEORGIA RAIN”

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Always have loved sleeping and waking up to the sound of rain.

Even as a child I remember the sweetness of a soft rain watering the grass and the flowers in the garden.  In summer months the rain cools off the world if only for a short time.

I suppose most children of yesterday and tomorrow don’t particularly like a rainy day.  Outside activity slows down to a halt.  My fond memories pop up though about galoshes, marching in puddles spraying the water everywhere, opening of mouths to catch rain drops while my face is refreshingly cleansed, running back inside when the rain drops become stinging with an energy that is unnerving.  All the time laughing.

But the summer is upon us in Georgia.  The thermometer shows these humid hot days as itching higher and closer to the 100 degree mark.  It’s only May but that’s life in Georgia.

Gone are the nights that the air allows us to sit outside and cool off from the oven of the day.

And so I welcome rain as if it is a saving grace.  A storm rolling in…even better.  Rain, wind and the windows being cleaned for at least a day.

Today, this particular Sunday, the rain is falling softly and sometimes in torrents.  The sun really wants ‘in’ but the storm clouds are fighting against it.  Rain is winning for at least a few more hours.  Alone with memories and private thoughts.

It’s great to be retired and have no guilt on this or any other rainy day!  Still in my pajamas, drinking coffee and watching a bit of television seems to be on the agenda.  Perhaps I will try, once again, to ‘get into’ that book sitting on the bedside table.

Thank you rain!  You gotta love it.

Leigh

“GEORGIA RAIN” written by Ed Hill and Karyn Rochelle.  Trisha Yearwood.

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LESSON #50 – SPECIAL MOM DAY

 

 

th.jpegMy brother-in-law just called (actually my brother…no in law about it) to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.  We joked around as we normally do.  My husband was busy cooking me breakfast. Yummy smells coming from the kitchen.

Today is for all Mothers in all forms, all colors, all everything.  A day to remember Mothers who have passed and are no longer here to hug and give us guidance.  Missed beyond words.  Mothers in name only, Mothers who are yet to be and Mothers in the thick of it.  Young and Old.

So, as we thank our Mothers one and all.  We don’t have to think long about all ‘we’ have done to deserve this special day.  Humbly I say.

As my brother reminded me…in my case, pushed a lot and without meds, and in return I have a nice homemade yummy breakfast once a year!  Pushing…..pushing,  b r e a t h i n g in and out, more pushing until insides come out along with a beautiful baby!  TMI?? Yes, perhaps.

Hmmmmmm……gut wrenching pushing = a breakfast.  Interesting to think about.  Thanks Bro for putting this in my mind.  Can’t shake it.  Unsure if the scales are balanced.

So, it all comes down to this special day all our own once a year.  A lifetime of love, pain, love, guidance, hospital runs, love, worry, tears, heartbreak, love and the best breakfast one can only dream of!

Bon Appetit!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!  Enjoy!!  I, personally, wouldn’t trade any of it… for anything.  Except, perhaps, for the best dinner in the world!

Love and Miss You Mom,

Leigh

 

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