Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epiphany: A Moment of Piercing Awareness.

Today is January 6th Epiphany. The day the church celebrates the Magi visitation.

Since I can remember I have always hand written a letter to the “3 Kings” and tucked it into my shoes which were left outside the door. They would sit there all night in anticipation of the gifts the 3 kings would leave me. Today the 3 kings are 86 years old and although they live next door to me their age has tethered them closer to home. This year, I didn't put out my shoes for the first time since I can remember. Time changes things.

The custom also spread to my children as they grew up. But now far away or all grown up, their shoes aren’t filled either. But my parents' laughter as they read their letters and appreciated the childish drawings are a reservoir of joy to me. 

This day, Epiphany and this part of the nativity history is chilling. Particularly when I had my own two year olds and now especially as Fred and I enjoy our own sweet grandchildren.
How is it possible that such an evil be contrived?

Herod, jealous and self absorbed, sets out to extinguish a threat to his throne. In his grasp for power he couldn’t understand that the baby’s kingdom was not of this world. But no matter- his gruesome clutch of what he perceived his own, drove him mad. His own life would be snuffed out for this wickedness.

Boys, aged two and under..

Lee is two and Rose is not even one.
They are in the throes of innocence and emerging personality mixed with awakening of will. To grandparents they are life-givers in the way they marvel at the commonplace and make us slow down, stop and appreciate God’s world.

When the Magi didn't return to Herod, and he figured out they had outwitted him, the scripture says he was furious. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem, to kill all boys age 2 and under. 
I wonder, would the soldiers have asked about age? What was given as verification that a boy was 2? Would they have really substantiated every boys age? Would they have been careful to leave the 29 month olds alive? Were any girls slaughtered by mistake? Would the soldiers have had to muster a frenzy to strike and in their frenzy have struck without authentication? 

"A cry was heard in Ramah-
 weeping and great mourning.  
 Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted 
 for they are dead."

Why didn't God intervene to save the innocent?
Children die every year of disease, accidents and even mortality in the womb, while the wicked seem to prosper in their plans. What comfort is given the mothers of these children?
Bereaved Bethlehem mothers holding limp little bodies. Empty places at the table, little things they played with stilled.. my heart collapses at imagining it.
Would we have said, "Well, Jesus was saved."
Life has difficult questions. Losses we don't understand.

The difficult questions compel us to search our own faith deeply. And thrust us into the arms of God. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis explores God's character like this:
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

I need an epiphany to take a hold of my own life.  I love the joys given me, but there is more than that. In life's difficulties I want to be an overcomer. Like those sited in Revelation who are faithful till the end because they know their king because they trust their king.  Because they have had an epiphany.

 From CS Lewis' The Horse and His Boy:
“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
Dear God:
When you sent your only son in the envelope of humanity it was not a safe plan. He was targeted for destruction from the beginning. His mission, his intent, his objective was not safety. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Thank you Jesus for your willingness to be susceptible to all that evil could hurl at you, so that I might live in your presence forever.
You are the lion that is
for me and
with me
and I want to trust you in all things. Help my shaky faith to grow, to remember that you are the King. May that be my Epiphany.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Resurrection Day Commemoration 2014

This year, Lois Thorpe is living with us and I was privileged to have her co-ordinate our get together. She baked for days before and I posted pics on fb. The trumpet shall sound and the BREAD shall be raised! Sunday we had Lois, Abs, Phil, Lee and 3 month old Rose, Terri, Jacob (who has blessed my soul by moving back in), and my folks for the noon meal. Mom Taylor popped in for a while.

The past year has been a debilitating one for the grand folks. My dad, although his hearing is now being assisted, has lost his leg strength, my mom has had different things take away her energetic self, but she still tries to maintain a positive attitude and rubs crazy plants on her body and eyes which cause us distress. Mom Taylor took a fall when retrieving her mail and her balance is off so she stays closer to home than before and has had a stair lift installed.
Coming to these inevitable years of decline has introduced me to a new world. A world where the body diminishes but the soul has unprecedented room to grow. All of our bodies are new to us year by year. Having limits put on our mobility opens areas of submission in our souls. Our attitude and mindset makes the difference. I am thankful that both sides of our compound are not stuck in complaining or woe is me-ing. They face their challenges with God as their comfort and source of strength.

I decorated the dining table with Ukrainian styled Easter eggs.

We had made these eggs on camping trips, at home, in Mammoth and they recall many memories of wax on wax off.
I have some favorites and one of them had a duck on one side and a chicken on the other. It represented about 6 hours of work. I showed it to Lee who asked to hold it.

Fred says maturity comes in 2 forms, what you can expect it and what you can't expect it. At age 12 if I hand one of these eggs to Lee and he crushes it, I will be disappointed because I would expect him to know better. But at the age of 2, I can't expect him to know how to gingerly hold an egg.
In my eagerness to share my chicken art, I didn't think of that.

It was crushed in the first 5 seconds.

Ten years ago my own spirit would have crushed simultaneously. 
But something has happened to my heart.
My love for Lee is greater than my love for a tediously crafted egg.
Has it taken this long to overcome some crazy loves?
Love of my own efforts has given way to love of adorable people instead. May it spread to all people, adorable or not.
This kind of maturity grows slower than I might have expected. Resurrection power seems slow in my heart.

After the meal we relished the oft-forgotten luxury of unhurried conversation. 
I made the "kids" play a squirt gun egg roll game that ended up showing me ALL of them were great sports.

Abigail tore this out of a magazine and brought it to me. She is now in the position of appreciating what a mom does. But as Thomas Jefferson said, "It is not a burden what we do willingly."

Oddly,  I don't remember all the diaper changing. According to this Hershey kiss ad: 6,203 x 4 would be 24,812 diapers over the course of four children. WOW that is plethora of diapers. However with them I am blessed to recall the joy of pattering footsteps, eager voices chiming out to one another, little hands attempting new skills, and the wonder of God's world through little eyes.

Terri achieved the monumental milestone of making Rose giggle.
Easter, Resurrection day.
My greatest blessings are love between family and growing maturity. Whether that be holding eggs or our own human frailness with care and consideration.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Gentler Thanksgiving: Men Being Men

We looked forward to this Thanksgiving weekend in Mammoth. There was just enough snow around the condo to introduce 20 month old Lee to it and watch his eager dad, pull him around in a red sled. Lois and Terri came up and Lois made the feast since I was a little under the weather. Fred and Phil ATV’ed while 8 month pregnant Abby and I stayed inside or toddled outside with Lee or Oreo. Three years ago I was in Denver Trauma Center with Fred and his broken pelvis courtesy of an ATV accident. This was a more gentle, tamer week.

Lois and Terri left Friday. Saturday Fred and Phil planned a big ATV trip to Coyote Flats  (10,500 elevation), a lovely place in the summer where we have camped with an off-road church group before.
They packed their lunches. Phil made an offhand suggestion that they should take an ax just in case they might need to chop wood, but Fred declined. Abby and I settled in to knit, read and snack. She was finishing the 3rd book of the Hunger Games series. We took Lee to the library and the skating rink to watch.

Fred had told me just the night before that if ever there was a mechanical breakdown or a situation where he couldn’t get back on an adventure, he would send a message on his spot tracker. (a device that my wise & considerate son bought him that beacons out his GPS co-ordinates so we can track him and be less likely to worry- it also has a button to push for emergencies that triggers the military to seek immediate help- that button was pushed 3 years ago) He would send the message out 3 times: “Everything is ok and going as planned.”
At 2:44 pm, my inbox got this message.
One time.
At 5 o’clock I checked the inbox, no message. Six o’clock, no message. It is dark and very cold outside. By 7pm, I am beginning to wonder, I see 3 more GPS co-ordinates that were beaconed out but they have no message and they are all very close to each other. I head over to the police dept. to get their opinion and to use their computer to get a better look at the co-ordinates. Since no one answers the door, I have no recourse but to use the RED 911 phone outside. I try and steady my voice in case this call goes viral IF this adventure ends unfavorably. “..Yes, my husband and my son in law, haven’t returned, Fred Taylor, Philip Stevens, we expected them back by nightfall, etc. Ok, I will wait here until an officer opens the door.”

Five minutes later an officer escorts me inside and I log into the spot finder site. Yup, he hasn’t moved much since 2:44. More questions: now my license is copied and we contact Search and Rescue. Outside temperatures where they are tonight will be in the teens.  But the good news is that there haven’t been any emergency messages sent, so they assume that the 2 are probably all right. As I go out the door, one officer quips, “This isn’t bad, its just men being men.” I raise my hand incredulously and say, “WHAT is up with that?!”

Back at the condo, I tell Abby. She is engrossed in her book, but we stop and pray. We are interrupted by a call from Search and Rescue. “Are the men experienced ATV’ers? “Yes, one of them is,” I answer and Abby energetically shakes her head that the other one isn’t.”  Search and Rescue asks, “ Are they prepared for cold? Are they familiar with the area?”  I answer affirmatively. I remember that Fred always has emergency provisions packed and he secretly hoped that he would get stuck out sometime so he could face that challenge. Later we find out that it was more Phil’s ambition that kept them out. I ask what the chances of survival in this weather are. The officer assures me, that the guys survival is very good, but they will suffer a “cold and miserable night.” I gave Search and Rescue the log in information so they can watch for any activity through the spot tracker.  The officer tells me he will call if they have any updates.

At 3:30 am after finally getting to sleep, he calls me. "Have I heard anything?"
"Ok, then they are going to get their volunteer Search & Rescue group together & position to head out.

Another call at 7 am. They are moving out. The officer informs me that unless they have an emergency call they don’t head out until daylight. So all this time I thought they were searching they were just on standby till the sun came up. I guess that is better to know on this side of night than on that side.
During the night I prayed. Among my prayers was: Dear God make Fred so miserable in this adventure that he won’t want to do these things again, and preserve Phil from being so miserable that he won’t go out with Fred again.

In the meantime, had I had the presence of mind to view the co-ordinates up very close on the Satellite view I would have seen this.

A meager but sheltering cabin, where adventurers could take emergency refuge.
Apparently, The guys realized when they drove out that the snow was softening and causing them to use more gas than usual just to make headway. Fred figured the only way to get them out on the gas that remained was to wait for the snow to ice up solid again. Only way to do that was to wait for nightfall. Phil was up for spending the whole night out and Fred remembering the old cabin’s location ATV’ed them to it.

Once there, they scrounged around to prepare for the night.
Phil thought he could use his knife to pry wood for burning, but upon exploring around found an ax in the attic area. Phil began to split wood.  Fred found a pile of snow next to the cabin and brushed off the top. Eureka! A wood pile. Phil was eager to get the fire going so at 3pm he started it. The wood burning stove warmed the place up to 88 degrees, but the cabin’s construction dissipated the heat quickly, requiring them to keep the fire stoked all night. Fred broke out his emergency food, and they settled in for the night of 13 degree weather. Granted, sleeping on a table top and a piece of wood in your clothes wasn’t the most satisfying but it was sure better than being in the elements outside.
 Here's the temperature reading
as they left in the morning.

Wish we had known they were so toasty. It was warmer in that cabin than in ours!

7:34 am my phone rings once again.
 Its Fred.
"WHERE are you?" I ask concernedly.
 “Didn’t you get my messages??” he asks.
 In the background, Phil mutters, “BUSTED.”

So Fred had tried to send us messages, but they failed.

Once they arrived Fred was apologetic and said the fact that we had been worried, cast a shadow on their ride home. But hey, that was 2 hours as opposed to the previous 12 we had to worry- so I say we women were the winners, or…
wait maybe that’s the losers?
So, all is well and the guys had a stellar adventure and it turned out "not to be bad but just men being men.."
I don’t understand that
men being men stuff but I know its a fact of life.
And I am glad this son-in-law-ATV-adventure was a milder one. 
Phil counted this as an adventure of epic proportions! 
I guess half of my prayer was answered.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rim to Rim

We planned and packed. I searched the internet for the best route and timing for a Grand Canyon rim to rim hike. My husband was ready to take on the challenge. Jonalyn also came with her friend Halee.
The four of us hiked out the first day, a steep descent to Cottonwood Camp.
6.8 miles hike with an elevation change of 4161 feet

 Fred took the lead
as he set his pace and us 3 women took some time getting into the groove of our hike.

One of the things I anticipated was our conversation together;
                                          it opened fluidly as did the vivid scenery before us.

About ½ way down I began to feel twinges in my left knee. Not good. Jonalyn and Halee slowed down for me and Jonalyn found me a perfect walking stick to steady myself.
Without it I don’t think I could have made it to the camp. It even had a fairy tale handle.

Happily when we got to Cottonwood, Fred had already scoped out and claimed a campsite near the water’s edge. I stiffly descended to the site moving like a poorly designed mechanical toy.  After a rest, I hobble to the river. The frigid water startles me, but I endure it for the sake of my ligaments; because for the last 3 hours, every bend has sent me an SOS message.

We enjoyed dinner together, but needling me is the thought that this left leg is resisting active duty, and I can’t imagine positively coaxing it in  to carry me out. How will I make it out of here? Mules? Airlift? There’s an emergency phone at the vacant Ranger hut. I call and they tell me Ranger Della will come by to check in on us the next morning.

I slept as long as I kept the knee still and straight.

In the morning Ranger Della says I have "Canyon Knee." Options from Della: "Stay here, rest and recover, then hike out the long way (following our original itinerary) or the shorter more difficult – retreat back the way we came. No mules are available."

With crushed hopes of our time together, I tell Jonalyn and Halee they must go on without us. I tearfully hug them goodbye.  Fred and I decide that its best if we start the hike back as soon as possible because I don’t know how long the knee will hold me up. We would hike the 1.4 miles to the pump house and if need be camp there. Ranger Della commandeered a young woman’s walking poles which would serve as my auxiliary legs.

Fred cheers me. “If our intent was to hike rim to rim, we might be disappointed but if our goal is to have an adventure, then we are still having it.” At the pump house we reconsider. Its 3.7 miles of steep ascent to the next water source.; then only 1.7 miles to the top. Mentally I decide to push myself to get to Supai tunnel/where the water can be had for our evening meal.
Fred again reassures me – we can climb slowly, at my pace. At least it will be movement forward.

So we climb. The IBProfin kicks in and though my steps are small, each one carries us a little closer toward the top. Fred calls out our rest stops. When we stop, I sprawl out on the trail and elevate my leg to ward off swelling. It still squawks when I attempt to bend it, so my right leg overcompensates and has been doing the heavy lifting of up-stepping. 
I thank God for my strong right leg and give it some audible cheering on. By now its quad muscles quiver if I let them relax. But they are obedient to their task. 
About 4 pm we arrive at our nights’ camp. We set up our tent in the mule tethering area.

The composting outhouses are situated on tall foundations, which necessitates stairs to access. Stairs: not a happy thought for a stiff leg. But what goes in must ___ well you know. So my walking poles and I awkwardly maneuvered up and down.

Several times, this day and at night I pondered “Was it the best decision to turn back? If I hiked out the hard way, couldn’t I have made it out the other longer but certainly easier way? I think the Ranger tricked us! Maybe she could see my resolve weakening with pain and did not want me to become the Park’s problem?”
Fred’s mindset doesn’t do this kind of mental circling. He is able to look over a situation, access it, make a decision and NOT wonder if it was the best decision to make. No second thoughts, he is committed to carry out the decision because it is the one he chose. But I tend to frequently re-think, and wonder if it could have been done differently.

The dark night amplified my pain. It began to pulse at my foot. It woke me and no position allayed the pain. Darkness is depressing and I rode the circles of second thoughts, wondering, “What will we do the next day if I can’t walk?”

Fred was awake. “Honey, I need a pep talk,” I said. Later he told me he wanted to quip, “Just go to sleep,” but instead he said, “What are you worried about?” He listened and then calmly and logically dispelled my worries. His calmness rewarmed me. Like when I put my heel on his leg while we are in bed and I feel his body temperature flow into my cold foot. Soon my whole leg and body warm through this point of contact. It’s like magic. Although I watched the night hour by hour on my illuminated wristwatch, my knee rested enough to hold me up the next morning.

We ate, we packed, we broke camp without discussion. We both knew we wanted to be out of the canyon and the only way was to walk up.

Fred shared with me that he too had pain to deal with. Unfortunately his boots were far too narrow for his foot. Each step downward had jammed his toes and toenails into the narrowness causing them pain and bruising. On the way out, his calf (which has scar tissue from an old injury) began to swell and wouldn’t let his toe lift. He had a serious conversation with his body, he knew it didn’t like it, he knew it hurt but he determined his mind was the boss over his body and although it might scream and complain it needed to do what he told it to do and there was no other option: so there was no other option. That point of decision made it easier.

Again Fred’s patience with my slow progress endeared him to me. He had referred to this trip as MY adventure. So he committed his time to it and the decisions were ones he deferred to me.

By 10:30 we were at the top. It wasn’t pretty getting up there but we made it.

The last dark night, while Fred was in the tent I ventured to the outhouse with my headlamp. As I made my way back down the steps, I saw my light shine on four moving reflective strips. It was a lone rim to rim to rim hiker/runner.
“Hello,” he called out. I answered and he told me he had lost his headlamp, but was going to the top. He was moving towards the mule area, instead of up the trail. 
I called out, “You’re off the trail.”  
The reflective strips ceased their motion. “Oh. Which way is it?” he asked. 
“Follow my light” I directed my lamp and shined him back onto the trail. He thanked me and was gone before I could process that I should’ve offered him my light.

I felt sad for him: Alone and without a light.
I had been blessed on my hike with companions who knew me, who encouraged me and anticipated my need for rest and need for realistic goals.
In the dark night Fred served as a light, to keep from circling downward into my fears and depression.
This was MY trip but the most memorable part of it was the gift of my companions. Both light and love to me.

Jonalyn and Halee made it ALL the way to the other side. You girls ROCK!

My knee?
Still a little stiff but glad to be free of my backpacks weight. The hot soaks in the tub at the South Rim lodge and Zion did them a world of good. And when its cold, that knee just wheedles over towards my warm companion.

Thursday, August 9, 2012



Fred is most happy when he is travelling an unfamiliar road. I asked him today if there was one place that he would like to see again. He answers that he prefers to see altogether new places. This is no surprise to me but keeps me poised for the unpaved, unfamiliar, and unsettled. Our trips often bring me more profound understanding of the way things work in the world.
At the tail end of our canoe reconnaissance trip we drove into Dixie National Forest off of Highway 14.
We camped at the edge of a burned forest.

It was barren, black, and ominous.

Twisted and naked tree branches
 reach for mercy. Others had snapped and landed pell-mell.

Tears of glistening sap bled and sat petrified on tree torsos. 

Tree bark had soaked up soot, and although the intricate puzzle texture was evident, 
the bark’s blackness
told of the feverish nightmare. 

The fire had completely obliterated some of the trees not only to the ground but voraciously followed the root structures, leaving telltale pits.

At all levels through the burned forest, no vegetation blocked the view. The black ground spread out as far as I could see.
 Birds, insects, and animal life had deserted the area. The trees stood in silence.

 I thought of my friend, and wondered if her life feels like a burned forest. Much of what she had dreamed and looked forward to is burning up. She will weep at what was lost. The ashen smell pushes in to haunt her every moment. I wonder if she feels naked, exposed, the brunt of the burn, snapped, soaking up soot. Blackness threatens to engulf her mind, her heart, her soul. Her little ones too will reach up for mercy as the burn touches them. It is so very hard to watch.
With hands upstretched I plead for mercy for her so that she will not die from the heat.

I am fairly confident that my friend’s root system will not yield to the fire. The fire may threaten her stability but it will not overtake it. There will be no gaping holes where her roots presently hold. As is true for many who have lived through fire, she will find in her blackened forest that she is vouchsafed by an underground spring. She will draw from that spring in ways mysterious to unscathed victims.

As we drive out from the campsite, white aspen and stately pine trees line the 2 lane highway. Water levels are down this summer, and ponds and lakes all have a fringe of barren sandy shore. Even here are a few burnt trees. Further along we come across moonscapes of lava, pocked rocks unfriendly to vegetation. Nothing grows in these volcanic zones. There is an indomitable difference between the desolation of this lava flow and the smoky burned site. For thousands of years, nothing has grown on the red lava. It has made the land infertile, barren. It remains barren still because cooled lava does not change.

But the burn site is different. It will look ugly for a long time, but it is not inhospitable. Snapping pictures of the dead trees blackens my sandaled feet with charcoal. Looking down I realized that the ground didn’t feel right; it was spongy. What is that? It felt like a children’s playground covered  in rubber. I bent down; and saw below my feet and atop the dark sponginess, new valiant life had begun.

 Little shoots of growth I didn’t recognize, had emerged courageously: a promise of renewed life. In what appears a graveyard, among the smoky smell and barrenness, new life dares to take hold and sprout as a promise for the future.
For my friend; things are looking ugly. It may feel like epoch ugliness. But it is a season.
It is a season of waiting on God. So I pray for my friend.
        May the hated firestorm that has destroyed what could have been, be the catalyst for germination, rooting and sprouting.
        May you know that God- our life source will with fury, work the destruction backwards.
        May you be fed by living water in the darkness of this season.
        May God be your balm in the blackness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am Going To Post Like My Daughter Does

I am overflowing with blessings.
December is ushered in with the vague memory that last year Fred was just coming home from Presbyterian, unable to walk or care for himself. We wheel-chaired him into our bedroom with hospital bed awaiting and hunkered down for the weeks it would take to recover from his 5-place pelvic break. My mom says that he experienced the breaks "...like a pruning, he was cut back but he came back stronger." Yup, today he is offroading at least once a month and sometimes two or three!

On the home front, Jessica will be turning 23 next week. She has had a full semester and two of her classes have afforded her a creative outlet: art and singing. When I saw the charcoals that she is doing I was rewarded that the artistic gene from the Latapie side lively expresses itself. Last night we went to her class recital. I didn't know what she would sing. Her number was sandwiched evenly by classmates before and after.
I recalled this type of recital from years gone by. Parents eager to hear their own children are unawaredly roped into hearing ALL of the participants. There were only about 13, and it was no sacrifice since I was moved to tears, at Jessica's song.
It was called, "Like My Mother Does"

People always say I have a laugh
Like my mother does
Guess that makes sense
She taught me how to smile when things get rough

I've got her spirit
And she's always got my back
When I look at her,
I think I wanna be just like that!

When I love, I give it all I got!
Like my mother does
When I'm scared, I bow my head and pray!
Like my mother does
When I feel weak, and un-pretty!
I know I'm beautiful and strong!
Because, I see my self
Like my mother does

I never met a stranger,
I can talk to anyone
Like my mother does
I let my temper fly
But she can walk away, when she's had enough

She sees everybody, for who they really are
I'm so thankful for her guidance,
She's helped me get this far

When I love, I give it all I got!
Like my mother does
And when I'm scared, I bow my head and pray!
Like my mother does
When I feel weak, and un-pretty!
I know I'm beautiful and strong!
Because, I see myself,
Like my mother does!

She's a rock!
She is grace!
She's an angel!
My heart and soul!
She does it all!

When I love! I give it all I got!
Like my mother does
And when I'm scared! I bow my head and pray!
Like my mother does
When I feel weak, and un-pretty!
I know I'm beautiful and strong!
Because, I see myself,
Like my mother does!

I hear people saying... I'm starting to look
Like my mother does...

As she came back to her seat I asked her, " And do you cry like your mother does?" We embraced and there came over me a wave of thankfulness to God. Times have been bumpy in the past with Jess and us.
but God is the Great Physician.
He heals broken bones.
He heals broken relationships.
May we be willing to be pruned in all areas that we may come back the stronger. video

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010 The celebration of family and friends at the Taylor home. Fred marathoned his sitting record up to a full 6 hours and only took a half hour nap. We were thankful he was here to join in another year. God preserved his life.
Last Thursday, Ryan and Matt came over and lit a fire under Fred by talking "jeep" talk. Here Fred has dressed himself to direct the efforts outside. Jeeps make him smell offroad adventure in the air. So here are some of Fred's thoughts today the 2nd of January.

Another word from Fred:

Welcome 2011!

With my last visit to the ortho doctor and a new set of x-rays I was given the OK to start putting some weight on my right side. I made it a point to do all my moving while in the doctors office without any assistance from anyone. What a difference from my last set of x-rays at Presbertian Hospital when I dreaded being moved around so they could get the right angle. I now am pretty much able to move myself around without much pain and have the ability to lay down, roll on my left side and get myself back up all on my own, I still haven't tried rolling unto my right side yet as prior partial rolls wither by design or accident have call up a warning light from that side of my pelvic region.

What they call putting 50% weight bearing is really nothing more than putting the weight of your own leg down. I would hardly call this 50%!

So now with January 13th only 10 days away I started using crutches instead of the walker (helps my ego a bit!) I actually stand up from my hospital bed, wheelchair or any other chair I was using without even the use of the crutches. Using a walking rotation with my legs as I move along with the crutches always trying to lead with my left leg as it my main weight bearing side. However, I have caught myself forgetting and leading with my right side, this causes me to put my full body weight down on the rights side. I immediately notice an awkwardness but no real pain which I take as a good sign.

Trying to emulate the walking motion and rhythm I think will greatly help me to shed the crutches as I try and mimic what it would actually be like to walk again after so long.

Yesterday, Mina started a fire in our bedroom fireplace and after it had died down I decided to see what I could do, so with the crutches I walked over to the fireplace and using the raised hearth for support, dropped to my knees and proceeded to stoke the fire and add a generous amount of new fire wood. My knees let me know that they didn't appreciate me kneeling on them but that's just from neglect of me kneeling on them and after a few days working on my Jeep they will toughen up again. When I sat on the raised hearth the seating part of my anatomy felt a bit less padded (I assume that much of the 30 lbs I lost was from this region, so with time this too will pass.)

Last night Phil and Abby came over and after I walked (with crutches) into the living room and sat down the conversation turned to how I was doing. I told them I worked on the fire, I could stand up by myself with out and assistance (including crutches) and could also crawl. Phil's eyebrows went up with surprise and he responded "you can crawl"? I actually hadn't yet but I figured with the moments earlier experience with working on the fire in the bedroom, it made sense to me that I could do the mechanics. So without any further delay I stood up on my own, then using the arms of the chair dropped to my knees and proceeded to crawl on my hands and knees across the room! Fortunately my theory was correct and I made it back to my chair without incident. One would think I was all better. but such activity brings on a slight sensation in my inner pelvic area that reminds me I am not. Here is a video of my current progress.

So with the New Year my progress will continue and with some effort, new activities, which to most of us seem trivial will be re-discovered as I venture into wholesome, active, wonderful life with full movement again!