Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011


I see we live in an odd looking house.

January so cold, sun so bright, how can that be?  I've never felt warm in winter before. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Chico becomes increasingly mobile by the day.  I find it hard to keep up.  I used to find him reading when I got home.  One night last week though, he was sitting in the interior doorway of our mudroom in his wheelchair dressed in his coat, hat and gloves wearing a big grin.  He was waiting for me to go visiting neighbors.  I had other things in mind.  Frankly, flexibility isn't my strongest suit.  His insistence on what is only reasonable: a chance to get outside even if it is dark, cold and late, prevailed.  He righted his crutches and himself and out we went.  With the ice and snow adding an edge of risk, the crutches adding a component of challenge, we moved down the uneven sidewalk and smoother road.  Chico labored joyfully down the street.  Only one neighbor was home.  That one was encouraging.

According to Chico's Physical Therapist (who is a lifeline, by the way) he should be walking and wearing shoes on both feet now.  Shoes of the same pair.  Walking with his crutches is said to be as good for him-if he works on his form-as swimming.   It only lacks the resistance of the water.  He works his upper body, does a bunch of PT with bands and things each day and then he is eager to crutch around.  He says the best exercise for walking is walking.  Alrightie then.

Today Chico told me that on Monday he'll be going upstairs and downstairs alone.  Huh.  He also took a shower while I went into Bristol to find some shoes for him.  He needs those with good treads that he can actually put on his feet. When I got back he said it wasn't so fun to shower with me out of the house.  I found later going to Middlebury-which has become part of the Saturday routine-without him wasn't much fun either.  We wonder what we lose as we become more independent of each other.

In the late afternoon Chico walked to the market and back with me.  He wore sneakers on both feet.  I noticed the left one, the one below the brace, had a hole in the toe. 

"Hey, do you have another pair of running shoes?"
"Yeah.  I have my good ones...I think...Upstairs...I'm saving them because I want to be able to use them for running again."  [I flash on the plastic bag with running gear in the back seat of the wreck. I remember fishing them out.  Are they upstairs? Didn't he wear the right one the first time he transferred to the barka lounger?]
"Oh...What are your running goals?  Like short runs, long runs?" 
"I'm thinking I'll run in July. Run and walk.  See how it goes."

Gratitude, patience, fearlessness.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

26 Steps

Twenty-six steps without assistance today.  I saw six of them.  Painful and impressive...The muscles are relearning.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Night Round up

Here are some random photos in a new slide show  for your entertainment.  Some are sideways.  It isn't the most polished assortment but I feel I should offer something this weekend.  I especially like the shot of my three brothers with my four cousins at our cousin Callie Angel's memorial service.  Chico, Chester and I were in Albany at the time.

Actually, I just watched the show again.  Other favorites include Michael on guitar, my old teammates and I, Carter on his 60th birthday...Clarisse and Pamela on New Year's Eve...Many wonderful moments. Through it all Chico manages his radiant smile. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Sure Thing

Ok, so if you want an absolutely sure fire way to lift your spirits when you feel at a loss, frightened, depressed or simply plain old plain old, I recommend you listen to this album:

Breath of the Heart by Krishna Das. 

Actually, this album picks us up even when we don't need a it, like today.  I think it transcends any particular religious tradition.  Startling.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Feet on the Floor

Mark, Michael and Chico made a trip together to Albany on Thursday for a check up.  They were ecstatic upon their return. Dr. Hospodar had many great things to say and Chico was approved for increased weight bearing up to 75% and then full weight by February.  He hopes to be able to walk around the house with just a cane by the end of February. 

Actually, it seems like he hopes to be fully recovered today. 

Though he seldom goes upstairs, he manages the challenge with increasing ease.  One crutch is much easier than two. 

We're off to the pool for therapy. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shifting Sand

Charlie Mingus Band: Better Get it in Your Soul

Susan serves oatmeal to Chico. 
Chico, "Funny how it looks different every day."
Susan, "Do you like it to be firmer, less soupy it?"
"No, cooooooler."
"Oh, then take a shower first, Goldilocks."

Maybe we are out of the woods now. 

Chico, "It was STEAMING."