Greetings from Seattle



Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Sunday Walk and Some Healing

While our cities are in turmoil with demonstrations of righteous rage, tainted by the violence of those whose only cause is chaos, and joined by those who are disconnected, naive, and just looking for an excuse for wilding, we decided to seek peace for ourselves. 

My Sunday started out hard, with pain that got me out of bed and only as far as my computer chair. There I caught up with your blog posts, Facebook, and a bit of the awful news, before gaining enough stability to hit the shower. A nice hot shower helped, as did a few stretches. After breakfast I worked down the list of physical therapy exercises I had rebuilt for myself the day before, returning to those that have helped to keep me mobile for years, eliminating those obviously hard on my back, and doing others tentatively to see how they would feel. I have about a 35 minute routine that I can now go back to, and doing these exercises really helped. 

Then I sat back down at the computer and composed and sent my email to my primary care doctor asking for help in getting a complete orthopedic evaluation. I was matter of fact about that PT therapist too. 

Tom and I spent about an hour in the garage working on a project that I will share in a future post. I still had an hour to sit in my recliner with the heating pad and read the Sunday paper before our 1:00 lunch time. 

My goal had been to get to the point where I could manage a walk, and I did. At about 2:30 drove over to the Des Moines Marina where we walked the length of the Marina, since the park itself was closed but there was parking at the closed restaurant on the other end. 
After two days of heavy rain, the sky was beginning to clear. Other people were out too, but we all kept a safe distance. 
We walked out to the end of the fishing pier,
Then we walked over to the beach at Des Moines Creek Park. 
 Families were enjoying themselves here, including a family of geese. 
Parents and kids were playing together without crowding. The sound of happy children was quite pleasing. 
We stopped and talked to a friend we met while walking back to the car. We covered about 1.7 miles in an hour's time, what with visiting and resting on benches in the sunshine. 

When we returned home we wiped the rain water off the patio table and I sat there for an hour, reading my book and enjoying the warm sun on my back. I felt completely at peace. My body seemed to be at peace too, at least for the rest of this day. Nothing is hurting for the moment. I am happy. 

I am ready to start all over tomorrow, hoping each day will be better. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

I'm Too Broken

It wasn't good news when I arranged and then went to an actual, in person appointment with the physical therapist on Wednesday afternoon. 


I had seen Kathy, the PT, in years past. She is not my favorite. She took a look at the way I was walking and made a comment/sound that seems to say, "Oh brother". I told her what exercises I had been doing and she told me they weren't working. I told her about some more intense yard work that had set me back, and she scolded me. She checked out my knee and said, "No wonder your leg hurts. Your knee is shot." Then she checked my hip flexibility and said, "Oh, your hip is worse than your knee, and that can give you back trouble".
 Well, I assured her that I knew about my hip and knee, had had them x-rayed before, and had been doing exercises for years to keep them working. I didn't argue with her that they were the cause of my back problems, because I learned long ago that there is no point in debating her. She has certitude. Of course that doesn't make her right.

 Since she decided that the exercises she had prescribed for me in a phone visit weren't working, the only thing left to try was traction. I was strapped up in two harnesses which I guess pulled in different directions, sort of a modern version of the rack, I guess. It was weird, but there was no pain. I also never really felt my back stretching. Well, OK.
After 20 minutes of that I was set free, and immediately got the familiar twinge in my back and the burning in my shin. Well, that didn't work either. 
 Kathy said she couldn't fix me, that I needed a hip replacement. Well, fine, I'm done here. 
I will email my primary care doctor, refer to the PT experience, which she will see the record of, and ask for a complete orthopedic evaluation: hips, knees, and spine. I don't know what that will involve, but I certainly need to know more before surgery is involved.
If anything, the "rack"  just made things worse. I have been struggling today. Needless to say I am discouraged. 

We took a little ride today (Thursday) since we needed to recharge the dead battery in our little used van, and that felt good, like a little escape. Then I spent some time in my garden, sitting in several special spots. Buddha and I had a little contemplation time. 

Until I know what's next, I'll just keep on keeping on. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Getting Away

We decided to follow up on our need to wander, so after our Zoom meeting with friends Tuesday morning, we set out south to Olympia, an hour's drive, stopped at a Safeway store to use the rest room, since you never know where you'll find another when away from home these days, and to buy a bunch of red roses. 

Our first stop was the Masonic Cemetery, where Tom's parents, grand parents, and great grand parents are buried. 

 It was shocking to me to realize that Tom's parents have been gone for 35 years! But then I did the math. We are old now too, older than they were when they passed. 
 Great grandfather Seneca Reeder has a Civil War marker. 
 We checked in on Tom's cousin Syd and her son Joe too, gone much to soon, and Syd's parents,Uncle Bob and Aunt Wanda. They were all part of the Whidbey Island bunch and are certainly missed at those Phosie Gertie picnics. 

 Then we were off back north to Tacoma, to the old Tacoma Cemetery and a visit with Tom's maternal grandparents. 

 This is such a beautiful cemetery, especially when the stately old rhododendrons are in bloom. 



We had planned to go from here to the rhododendron garden at Point Defiance Park, but alas, the gates were closed. We are all still in Phase 1 here.   So we checked out a nearby nursery that we had driven by many times before but where we had never stopped. Jungle Fever specializes in tropical plants.




 Tom bought a Spanish moss, which is a Tillandsia, an air plant. I'm not sure what he has planned for it. 
 Well, now it was time for our Starbucks treat. We had brought our lunch from home and we ate it in the car while still in the Tacoma Cemetery enjoying the beautiful and peaceful setting. Now we located a Starbucks near Commencement Bay in Tacoma, bought our beverages, and drove over to the Chinese Reconciliation Park on the bay.
 There were people about but no crowds and we sat in the sunshine enjoying our coffee and another beautiful setting. Then we walked about a bit in the park. 



 The Rugosa roses are so fragrant. 


 It's Peony time and there were some beauties in bloom. 



It was such a restful day that when I got home sometime after 4:00 I baked a rhubarb cake before fixing salads for dinner.

Getting away was refreshing as well as meaningful. It was a very good day. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Green Glow

It rained here on Memorial Day, a light, steady, gentle rain. As I looked out my windows, everything just seemed to glow, a green glow.

From the patio:

 We spent most of Sunday working in the garden. The edges are all crisp and tidy again. 
The spring growth is so exuberant. 


From the family room window and the front porch:


From the dining room window:
A garden is a thing of beauty, and  job forever, but also a joy forever.