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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Maybe ..

Anyone that has known me very long knows my knees are pretty worn out from playing too hard!  In less than a month the right knee is to be totally replaced.  The last year has seen an ever decreasing ability for walking, standing and some nights sleeping.  Today I went to St. John's Hospital for pre-surgery tests and pre-admission paperwork.  I left a little sample of different bodily fluids for testing, had an x-ray of my lungs and picked up an end of life directive.  Along with 3 other future patients I had training for the surgery and recovery.  A video took us through the steps of surgery and recovery.  A "nice young lady" then restated the process stopping to answer questions along the way.  Doesn't sound too exciting except when thinking about the pain and the ice packs from Siberia.  "This can give you frostbite".

One year after moving in we had grass!  Spring 1994
We moved to this house almost 19 years ago, Feb. of 1993.  The yard was little more than mud and rocks with grass seed under a coat of mulch.  Every morning and evening for the first several months after we moved I walked Sam, our son's dog that stayed when he left for college, a mile carrying a poop bag.  Could not let her just run in the muddy back yard.

The first few years Gene worked 12 hour days on the weekends. Saturdays I would clean the house, mow the very small lawn and maybe do laundry or clean all the windows.  There would be time to make curtains or other crafty projects.  And Sundays were my day to "work on the garden".  Within a couple of years we had grass, shrubs in the front yard and "the plan" for the backyard garden.

Prep for "dry river bed" walk way.  1995
And with the plan I started digging. Our neighbor, Mik, dubbed me Rocks r Us due to all the rocks I dug out of the ground, loaded and carried to rock fill areas.  And a few pretty good sized "flat rocks" brought back to build bed edges and walkways.

Sam kept me company as I dug, sifted and moved dirt to one pile and rocks to other piles.  Dig, sift and haul away.  This continued for 3 or 4 years.  Finally Gene moved to a Monday-Friday schedule and we bought a tiller to help with the digging.

Sam smiling for her picture or laughing about all the rocks! 1995

Walkway plantings, wall and base rock installed by us in 1999.

Completed walk with plants outnumbering rocks in 2003 summer.
I loved working in the yard, expanding, moving and managing to make more than I ever dreamt possible. Unfortunately all the manual digging took a toll on my body, especially my knees.  Four years ago I was advised to have surgery on my right knee.  Insurance riders would not allow the insurance to cover the surgery.  

The last few years work in my beloved garden, the place I dug out not just rocks but worked on hard spots in my life, lay almost neglected at times.  Each year found me less able to do the thing I enjoyed so much.  I had convinced myself that it just would never be possible to work in my garden again.  That I would never walk the mile circuit that long departed Sam and I walked so many times.  I was certain I had nothing.....   But after the class today I came away with a glimmer of hope that just maybe ......
Walkway garden in early spring, 2007.

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