Friday, March 24, 2017

Belated Christmas Wishes

Christmas Letter 2017

Things go a little more slowly here. My trips out in the car last summer were two and one of those was to a doctor (no changes to report). That’s not to say I don’t go anywhere. When the weather is warm enough, which for me means anything over 80 degrees, I go out in my wheelchair for what my caregiver and I call motorized strolls. We explore the alleys and slow streets in this little town and amaze ourselves about what people do or not with their backyards. Best of all, it gives me that all-important impression that, what with rabbit hutches, brown grass, small gardens and various unfinished projects, I’m not so very far from the country after all. I continue to regret that I haven’t figured out a way to live outside town so I could see sunrises and sunsets and still be close enough for caregivers and deliveries. I regret this especially after two boil water notices last summer! We’d all rather have our own wells at this point, after boiling water to do dishes for a week each time and me now inundated with chlorine fumes with every bath in my therapy hot tub, but I was already drinking bottled water anyway.

I continue to live in the house where mother’s and now brother's tenants still come to pay rent. My caregiver comes in the evenings. She helps with me and with collections but when she has to be gone, I still get to wait at the door and write out receipts! I just need a little more lead time to get there these days. I use a tidy hydraulic multi-lift to get out of bed and into the power chair, and there’s organization required -- pillows, blankets, tables and technology to be moved out of the way without getting dropped -- before I move myself. The fact is that when I do get up there’s nothing to do (at least at this time of year) except look out the windows (or talk to the tenants, of course) because everything I need for writing, reading, television viewing and even my meals (and bedpan) throughout the day is neatly arranged around my bed. I get up for the bath which is where I get my exercise, since water aerobics continue to be less difficult or dangerous (after two broken legs) than anything on land or standing, and I can be content on my Rojo mattress in my adjustable hospital bed on my own for 20 hours a day.

This is probably not where I imagined I would be at this stage, at this age, but it’s not bad. I am, after all, still living, still thinking, still writing, texting and talking on the phone! With all that still available, I get along without walking.

This was St. Patrick’s Day, or I should say St. Patrick’s weekend, and it seems sad to even use the Saint’s name in connection with what passes for a good time on this day, but there it is. I keep track by way of the police scanner on one of the several tables here beside me and because of that I know they relocated as many jail residents as they could prior to the weekend, rightly knowing that the place would be full again soon.
But at least I’m not in it, nor is my brother! And he is still walking, talking, driving and traveling. True to form, he doesn’t tell me much about his destinations, but I have learned, as with so much else, to be fine with that.

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