Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fly-by Fall

So I suddenly realized that November is ending today and I have not written one post. The same thing happened in October. I had spent a lot of time dealing with itch mites from my pin oak tree and a broken foot. As a result I had nothing much to write about., not that my life is usually rife with exciting adventures.
The recent election has left me stunned and confused. I have, in past tears been greatly disappointed in the past with presidential election outcomes, but not feeling horrified, a much mote profound emotion. I read the opinion pieces in the newspapers every day. Rarely watch TV News, except for Friday night's Wahington Week. I have no "friends" on Facebook  or in real life who are Trump people. Many Conservative pundits in print seem as horrified as I am. I do live in a bubble here in this university community.
I hear about the many hard working  mostly white, mostly male blue collar folks who feel left out of the mainstream, but that doesn't seem to me to account for the outcome. It won't be the first time that people have voted against their own self interest.
Oldest daughter Polly was home for Thanksgiving which brightened up our lives here. She, too, lives in a bubble, in a New England town noted for its artists, poets, writers, actors and playwrights, and others who make their livings in the creative community. We had a lit of discussions about the election and one conclusion is that as a nation, we are a people with a serious lack of critical thinking skills. We claim to care about education, but we don't really. We call educated people the 'elite," a word formerly used to describe the wealthy and aristocratic. I'm not sure what the opposite label is - knuckle-drag gears? - but somehow "elite" doesn't have the right ring to it. I remember when the word "intellectual" was used to describe educated people, usually used by pres

Monday, October 31, 2016

Free At Last

The last time I posted, I had just broken my foot and had to wear an orthopedic shoe thing and keep my weight off it by using a walker. My house is not built for that appliance, but I managed to  clomp around.
On top of the break I also had been dealing with a Job-like affliction of itchy bumps from a plague of
itch mites from the large pin oak tree in my front yard. For some reason this year has been  a big  year
for these microscopic insects which can blow through screens. There is nothing you can do about them, and it is recommended that you shower frequently, wash your clothing every day and use anti- itch cream, pop Benadryl and NOT SCRATCH.
When the broken foot happened I could not do the shower and clothes because I was not able to manage the maneuvers necessary to accomplish those tasks. At about the same time as the foot injury, that same foot developed a nasty looking scratching induced wound on the instep.
So then I started a sojourn at the Wound Care Center in Streetsboro, up the road.  I was not supposed to get that foot wet, and told to insert it into a plastic bag if I could take a shower somehow.  Well, I found out that I was eligible, through your tax dollars at work, to have a home health care worker AND physical AND occupational therapiss come to my home and do some helpful things, like give me a shower and other needed things.
So I had to get nekkid in front of strangers, but I was clean, finally. ( Until that happened I had been showerless  for over two weeks.) The physical therapy was similar to stuff I had learned at the fall prevention program I went through last year. (So why did I fall? No idea.) I didn't need the OT.
Today I had my last visit with the orthopedic doc and was pronounced  healed, bone wise. In the afternoon, at the wound care place, I was pronounced healed of the wound on my instep, and got to ring this bell they have when you are whole again. No more walker. I can now take my own shower. I can sleep without having to wear the orthopedic Birkenstock which has all this Velcro on it so that you end up with your sheets twisted around you if you move your foot.
I can now fix my own coffee and carry it into the living room. I do not have to clump around the house with the walker, sounding like someone in a horror movie.
John does not have to fix my breakfast, leave a sandwich in the refrigerator and come home and fix dinner after a day's hard work. Sally does not have to haul me to various docs.
Life is better for now.
I also had better watch my step, dammit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Left Foot

I broke my damn left foot. I broke it while falling in a graceful sort of spiral, my foot being the pivot point. I fell for no reason, other than geezerhood. My friend Carol had just pulled up in front of my house to take me to a poetry reading. Once John had hauled me to my feet, I limped out to her car, using my cane to counter the pain in my foot.
Once at The Last Exit Book Store, the site of the monthly gathering of local poets, I found a place with an extra chair on which to place my leg, thus elevating the foot. At this point I figured that I had merely twist d it. It didn't hurt. I had taken my poem about Dupree, which had won the grand prize
(of dog gear) in the WCLV Pet Poetry contest  several years ago, figuring that a prize winning piece would save me from the possible scorn of the other poets present, mostly., mostly Ernest young depressives. Actually this group is very accepting of all who attend.
I left at half time, figuring I had better come home and use an ice pack. Carol was willing to leave anyway, having read a number of her poems. Walking to the car was extremely painful. John helped me into the house, and I applied ice. It did not throb or hurt when I went to bed.
In the morning, when I got up it hurt like hell, so I decided I had better go to the ER and get an Xeay.
Our local hospital has been swallowed up by one of the mega-hospitals in Cleveland, and now goes by the awkward title of University Hospital Portage. County Medical Center.. They have instituted an ER service called InQuicker, which allows you, in non-life threatening medical cases, to book an appointment before you go so you won't sit in the waiting room for hours. It worked very well but there was nothing going on there anyway. I was in and out in an hour and a half. The radiologist even showed me the Xeay. That spiral fall fractured my third, fourth and fifth meta tarsals. A n
urse practitioner splinted the foot, and I was told to see an perhopedists as soon as possible.
I was told not to use any weight bearing activity on that foot. Hah! I am using my broken hip  walker and it is almost impossible not to use two feet to get to where I need To be, I could not get an
appointment until this coming Thursday, so I am staying off my feet as much as possible, except for staggering and dragging the walker to the bathroom. .
The NP said not to get the splint wet, and that I should keep my left leg out of the tub when I take a shower. Now, when you have an 89 year old person who lost  her balance for no reason, does it make sense that that person could manage to take a shower with one leg outside of the tub? Not gonna even try it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


This  is my original tribe, the parents and siblings. The parents,  May and Sid , lived into their ninety first years and died two years apart. She had been one of the first female draftsmen during World War I, being hired right out of high school. There she met Sid, an intern engineer, right out of college. He was from Alabama, and she from Masachusetts, where they met. They were married over 65 years.
 There were five siblings,  born from 1923 to 1936. Three of them, the boys, were born in Atlanta, Georgia and two of them, the girls, were born in New Jersey. The girls are older than two of the boys. There was a bit of moving between these births. They all ended up in Ohio in 1940 and hated it for quite a while. The younger boys considered it their home first. Only one of the girls now lives in Ohio. The other girl lives in Nrw York state.  One if the boys lives in Oklahoma. Two if the boys have passed a way and are sorely missed. One had lived in Montana, the other in Ohio. Both of these boys were doctors, one a cardiologist, the other an orthopedic surgeon. The boy in Oklahoma is a retired public relations/advertising professional. One of the girls is a singer/songwriter who has taken her music to many countries around the world and can be heard often on WCL Weekend  Radio syndicated  program. One if the girls is a retired prevention specialist for a mental health agency and an illustrator.
The five siblings have, between them,  produced twenty-six children. All of them have become grandparents, and two were great -grandparents, and one is about to become a great-grandparent soon.
The surviving siblings keep in touch through the Internet and telephone. Travel is not so easy as it once was, and FaceTime is a poor substitute. We've been scattered for many years, but always are able to connect through our shared past. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Visitors From Abroad

We just enjoyed a little over two weeks of having daughter Emily and granddaughter Elena (Ellie)  visiting from Germany. I had not seen Ellie for five years, and she is now an adult. Of course I've kept up with her on  FaceTime/book, but that's not the same as having her here in person. She's both lovely in appearance and bright, kind and thoughtful in personality. She is a certified Montessori teaching assistant in Munich, and hopes to get a degree in early childhood education. I think she knows more about children than I ever di even while bringing you all up. She wants to come to Kent State, and they spent some time there investigating options.
When Emily is home, so are half the people in Ohio. Well, not exactly, but it seems that way. David C. Barnett, who is Ellie's godfather and my son from another mother, was here several times, and Rich Warren, another son from another mother was here once, and they visited hum in Columbus, while also visiting a passel of Harper cousins.
There was also a day in Cleveland with a group of folks known as the Kaffe Klutsch, some former WCPN personnel, which puts together every year a Christmas CD. This CD has in the past included the Burnell Family Singers, the Petrou sisters, and presently, cousin Wille Walker, and the Corsini Brothers Trio. It is a not ready for  prime time effort, enjoyed mostly by its participants.
The weather was disgustingly dog breath, so not much cooking occurred. One of the first things Emily wanted to do was to go to Ray's Place, our favorite pub, with good eats. Emily and Ellie are vegetarians, who eat healthily back home, but had no problem downing Ray's great French fries and onion rings with their garden burgers. There were a couple of breakfasts out as well.
Since this is the corn on the cob season, we did brave the hot kitchen here at home to indulge in Ohio's finest golden treasure, along with Ohio ripe tomatoes.
We did end up once in a while with people sitting and staring at devices, clicking away texting. I don't text,  but I do get caught up in the FB vortex.
They left Thursday morning and we hated to see them go. As it does when you are with people you love, the time zipped by. The house is empty. However, as I write this post, Emily and I are having a conversation via messaging, something rather miraculous to one for whom long distance phone calls were so rare when I was a child with faraway grandparents whom I never really got to know. And they even lived in the same country as I did.