Saturday, July 17, 2010


Dear Sister,

I did mention didn’t I that they are doing therapy on my shoulder and knee injured in that run-a-way shopping cart attack in May?

I was pretty nervous about it but found the first session very reassuring. The therapist was just the cutest thing. After being tenderly analyzed and gently led into the least painful manipulations possible by this really cute therapist, I decided therapy wasn’t so bad. Except for his being married and the 40-year age difference I think we could have developed a relationship but I decided against it.

During the process Chris, (the really cute therapist) chatted away about me and my torn rotator cuff and me and my tendons and me and my pain and suffering and (well, you can see why it was of such interest to ME). And like I said, he was very cute.

I soon took my cue from the other therapy recipients sprinkled in among the mechanical contraptions that crowded the room and learned not to shriek and by the end of the first session had the pitiful face contortions and mumbly groans down pat. Chris said I was “great” and “doing very well” and it was perfectly obvious that no other patient had EVER been so great or done so well.

So far so good.

The second session was disappointing at first in that Chris had abandoned me and put me in the care of Barbara, a plump, friendly person who was very good to talk to. We continued the conversation about me and my torn rotator cuff and me and my tendons and me and my pain and suffering and (well, you can see why it was so interesting).

Over the next three weeks two more therapists continued to monitor my walk toward total rotator cuff health and kept up the chit chat guessed it.. me and my torn rotator cuff and me and my tendons and me and my pain and suffering and by now I am sick and tired of my torn rotator cuff and tired of not being able to do what I want to do and totally tired of therapy eating up all that was taking entirely too much changed my appointments to 8:00 am instead of the original 10:30 that seemed to just eat up a whole morning.

Thursday was my first 8:00 am and I felt unwell. I remembered why the original 10:30 was decided upon. Although I am still at my best early in the day, my best is not what it used to be and early in the day is not as early as it used to be. 10 a.m. seems to be the high-water mark anymore.

On top of that I had a totally new therapist and she was very brisk, studied my chart, held the little right angle yard stick up to my shoulder and announced that I “was not doing well” and that I “had not improved much at all bilaterally” etc. I was filled with dismay. I was stunned. She never mentioned a thing about how great I was or how well I was doing.

She kept talking about Dr. Lingenfelter, the bone and joint man who ordered the therapy, and how he was “not going to be happy” . Didn’t she know we weren’t supposed to be talking about Dr. Lingenfelter and whether he was happy or not? Didn’t she know we were supposed to be talking about me and my torn rotator cuff and me and my tendons and…well you remember..

Anyway, she wound up devising this torture exercize that was supposed to make up for my earlier dereliction and while I was laying on their little hard couch doing my best to get my left hand behind my head and back ten times, my peripheral vision caught a glimpse of some very nice man legs, smooth and tanned, just hairy enough to be interesting with a medical boot on one foot.

I rested from my behind-the-head thing long enough to check out this really slim guy with beautiful white hair. Except for the medical boot he looked perfectly healthy and mighty fine. It was his first therapy session so Chris took him through the same procedure he had with me. That Traitor. He asked him all about his stupid foot injury and talked about how well he had done and so on. It sounded very familiar if you know what I mean.

I listened to the guy’s story and how he had been injured and what his life style was. A retired Geography professor, he had a place at Lake Viking and a place at Orlando and a small farm somewhere. He had almost fell off the roof of his place in Orlando two months ago while trying to fix some kind of communication device up there.

The only thing that saved him was catching his foot on a rung of the ladder and although this was hard on the cartussel bone in his foot, (I’m not too good at medical terms) it did spare his head and I thought he should have been grateful enough to leave it at that but here he was, eating up my therapists time.

Chris asked him how active he was and he talked far too long about his swimming pool and his boat at the lake and scuba diving at Orlando and his golf game and the small business he ran to “keep busy”.. I hated his guts.

Yes, I hated his guts. How in the world could anyone compete with a tale like that? Getting run down by a shopping cart is in no way comparable to dangling dangerously from the roof of an Orlando mansion. The closest thing I get to scuba diving is when I can’t get the shower to turn off. My version of golf is the stray rocks that careen off the mower blade.

Yes, I hated his guts and therapy is not going well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

All My Relatives

All My Relatives Are Crazy So How Did I Escape?

It was a close call, let me tell you, but being the youngest of the family gave me tremendous advantages. No matter what trouble I was in they had already been there.

If I came down with a disease they had already had it. Winning a prize, getting a concussion, losing my virginity… all had been done by some member of the family and was therefore, of no consequence. If this sounds discouraging it was not. It was a constant declaration of the fact that I too would likely survive. I learned most of what I know from their experiences.

One of my brothers, discouraged I guess by the chaos of our full-to-bursting house, “swore and be damned” (that was a common utterance in our family) that he would never have a houseful of kids and he had eight!

Even though they all grew up to be very nice people and reasonably sane I took the lesson to heart and learned never to say “never”!

Another brother, experimenting one day with the new shotgun, blew a hole in the boys’ dresser. I learned that day that guns, in a small space, could be very loud and that I did not like them! This lesson was a freebie also as I was not the one that had to meet with Mother regarding the hole in the dresser.

And my older sister! She actually married a man that refused to eat pickles out of a jar someone else had stuck there fingers in! What kind of husband material is that?

What if you were in a hurry for a pickle? What if you were on a picnic and forgot the fork? What if you just needed the jar and had to get the last two pickles out and every time you stabbed them they scooted over to the other side of the jar like little green twin torpedoes and you were getting mad and.. well you see what I mean. She probably spent a lot of time guarding the pickle jar just to make sure no one stuck their fingers in it.

So I stored that away in my mind and determined that I would never marry a man who objected to fingers in the pickle jar.

The people in my circle of friends, one of whom told me once that having supper at my house always made her sweat, found the members of my family downright awe inspiring. And so do I.

I would never have made it without them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lib Watching..My Favorite Sport

I have to admit, one of the reasons for my remaining a staunch Liberal over the years is the entertainment value of it all. This is not the top reason on my list but it is a significant one.

Short of any fashion sense or political correctness myself, I have a strong affinity for those who do not ponder questions of stylish dress and an inherent sympathy for those found in compromising situations. In these matters my fellow Liberals have generally furnished all the entertainment necessary to keep me interested enough in politics to actually go vote.

But alas, in this last decade, conservatives have challenged my chosen political bias with their own flamboyant versions of idiocy and general bizarreness and the occasional glimpse of Conservatives in green plaid trousers and comb-overs in the halls of the Senate has totally disrupted my Liberal loyalties.

However, if the BP spill has done nothing else it brings back to the limelight those lovable Liberals who have been wasting their lives on stuff like saving the planet and all that.

While Conservatives fill the air with cries of "Doom to All Liberals", Liberals have stayed pretty busy shooting at Japanese whaling ships, demanding that oil spill workers have protective gear, pointing out that as far as the ocean and air goes, poison in and poison out is a given and mentioning that most people do not make $250,00 a year nor do they have the $1.3 million that would put their estates at risk of having to pay a dreaded "Death Tax" so derided by Conservatives.

Unfortunately, this last ten years has strained my loyalty in this regard. In the face of all the Bushisms, Palinisms, Bachmanisms, Beckisms and the bouncing, sputtering and wildly gesticulating Limbaughisms it was beginning to look like my Liberals were being outgunned!

However, in the matter of dress and style sense, my lovable Libs still have no equal. Largely due to the urgency of the disastrous BP spill a parade of weirdly dressed and wildly coiffed individuals, easily recognizable as Liberals by their left wing associations, are once again making their presence known.

We haven’t seen much of these people lately. They who wantonly spend their lives trying to preserve the oceans, conserve the species and reserve our resources for us don’t get much press anymore.

Yet, once again they are in the news because of their efforts to convince us to demand policies that preserve, conserve and reserve.

Liberals are so easy to spot it has become a game at our house.

First let me say that I have a deep admiration for the solidarity of Conservatives in all things. As a personal slob myself I am in awe of their well groomed and well coiffed appearance any time, anywhere the cameras run them down. (Or they run down the cameras.) I can only assume they are always like that and I respect them for it.

But Liberals, by their very diversity, stick out in any crowd. If you see an intense little woman, 30 pounds overweight whose wildly mismanaged hair looks like the round bristly brush of a chimney sweep, speaking awkwardly and urgently on behalf of masks and protective gear for clean-up crews, you can bet your next credit card reward that she is a Liberal.

That lanky balding guy in the wrinkled vest with a long New England nose that barely hold his glasses up ?? Speaking almost in a whisper before a Congressional Committee? No tie..plaid shirt..looks like he slept under the mattress instead of on it?? A 4-sure Lib.

If you see two people running for the school board, one a loan officer at the bank with his cell phone tucked into a pocket of his L.L. Bean cargo pants and the other a retired school teacher in stretch knit pants carrying what looks like a beach bag for a purse,..guess which one is the Lib.

Oh, I know there are some very well decked out Liberals and I even know some who get their haircut on a regular basis and buy new clothes twice a year. But I can’t help regarding them with a certain amount of suspicion. In an emergency, how in the world would they find time to scrub down an oil-soaked turtle if they had to stop to comb their hair every half hour or so? And what would it do to their nails I ask you?

Just how long do you think they would last on a Whaling Ship Bombing Mission? What do you think would happen then to their carefully color-treated hair, Designer Speedo pants and Gucchi shoulder bag?

And all those hours spent collecting foodstuff for the poor and clothes for the could they do it without good old tennis shoes? If I know anything about style, (and I don’t) you should NEVER wear tennis shoes with nice clothes like one would naturally wear while collecting foodstuff for the poor and clothes for the homeless.

At any rate, I love Lib watching. It is one of my favorite sports.