Lawn Chair


Warm today, at least in the afternoon. It is almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so I decide I need to be outside and enjoy the (relative) warmth and bright sunshine. I am unabashedly afraid of falling on the ice again, so I am not going anywhere near the road. I use strap on grippy cleats to walk down the stairs to the snow covered yard. There I set up a lawn chair, and sit in it facing the sun as it slowly descends toward the western horizon (the hilltop across the hollow). I breath deeply, slowly, methodically, trying to loose myself in the breath. Close my eyes and feel the week radiant heat of the sinking yellow sun, listen to the birds, the creek, the dripping water, smell the wet earth with each inhalation. Peaceful. I sit there, half in and half out of reality, until a chill wind stirs the branches and breaks the spell. I head back inside as the silver sun silently slips out of sight. Sitting in a lawn chair in the snow is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.


Snow Flurries


Cold again. I am unable to work because of the cast. My job at the ski slope children’s center is too chaotic and carries too much risk or injuring myself more at this point in time. Ugh! Oh well, more time for coloring! I see many mandalas and audio books in my near future. Knitting is out of the question right now, as it beading, or egg painting.

The fire in the wood-stove is glowing warm orange and friendly, I am curled on the sofa, arm propped up on pillows, everything I could want or need within easy reach. Every once and I while I look up and glance out the kitchen window. There are big fluffy soft snow flakes dancing merrily around outside. They drift and blow, land, and fade into the background. Sometimes the sun is shining through the clouds illuminating the snowflakes into glittering ice fairies dancing in the gentle breezes. Other times, the sunlight is muted and grey, and the snowflakes look cold, blue, and somber as the fall to the bare winter earth. Every glance reveals a different winter world as the snow flurries sprinkle the tree branches and let us know it is indeed still winter out there.

Icicles Dripping


Another thaw, warmer than freezing air, snow melting into the frozen ground. I sit on the porch bundled in a rocker, pink cast in a black sling, holding my wrist above the level of my heart. I am still in a state of mental shock and disbelief of what I did to myself. The broken bone radiates a constant feverish pain in my wrist, and the cast is an annoying irritation along my whole lower arm. And now I am worrying about all the radiation my I will be subject to in the next few weeks. Ugh!

I came outside to sit, breath the cold fresh air, clear my head, and try to relax; I am screaming and crying inside my head, heart pounding, pulse fast and throbbing. I wish this panic would dissipate, melt away like the snow. I notice the icicles along the porch roof, glistening in their winter wetness, shimmering in the blue grey half light of an overcast day, and dripping. The tiny water droplets sliding down the rippled icicle, growing at its point until gravity is stringer than cohesion and they fall away to join all the the other water molecules melting into slush on the ground. I zoom in, focus my attention onto the dripping icicles and space out on the rhythmic dripping as the drops hit the snow puddles below. I sit and rock and watch the ice melt for a long time, until I get cold. I think the sun is setting as the grey day has shifted to a darker grey and the temperature is starting to drop again. Calmer and cooler, I head back into the house to sit in front of the fire to warm up. All that water, dripping through my soul, washing the furies away.


Bald Eagle Sighting


So today we got to drive to Hudson, in a snow storm (thank you husband for driving), first appointment of the day was for a permanent cast (yes, I picked fluorescent pink) at the orthopedic surgeon’s office, second appointment was at my oncologist’s office where we made the final decision to do radiation therapy. I cried half the way home. The stress is… Ugh…

Near our house, a few days ago, a deer died in a field close to the road. I believe it may have been hit by a car, got that far from the road before collapsing, and probably froze to death. The carcass is far enough from the road that passing cars don’t disturb the wildlife that have been munching on it, but close enough to the road to get an up close unobstructed view of that wildlife. I’ve seen Crows, Ravens, and Bald Eagles (mature and immature) pecking and pulling on the frozen meat. When I saw the immature Bald Eagle, I wondered if it was from the family that had nested up the creek from the house. It’s only a couple of miles from this field and easily could be within their hunting range.

Today on the way home, as we passed by, my husband saw a Bald Eagle too. I could see individual feathers in its white tail, and the dangerously sharp curved yellow beak, on its large white feathered head. Some of its tail feathers looked bedraggled and dirt stained as well, it has been a rough cold winter for wild creatures. However, that deer’s death helped a Bald Eagle family, and several other creatures, live a little longer in their winter survival story. I’m glad my husband got to see the eagle!


Comfort Cats


So I had a consult with a radiation specialist today, in Albany, an hour and a half from home. Last night, the hospital did not give me pain killer medication, told me to take ibuprofen. Lets just say ibuprofen isn’t up to the task, and it is extremely difficult listen to, comprehend, process, and make informed (possible life altering) medical decisions when you are in that much pain. Thank you husband, for having a clear head and sound mind! When we got home, I took a good strong pain med left over from the lumpectomy surgery and climbed into bed. I couldn’t even eat because the pain was making my physically ill.

So I drifted in and out of sleep, left arm nestled in a pillow for protection. I had myself propped up on a wedge pillow and my knees draped over another pillow. Quite comfy actually, like floating on a cloud.

At one point, I realized that little Shadow Cat was curled up on my belly, nestled down in the bottom of the V shape of my body. I reached down and curled my fingers into her soft silky fur, rubbing her tummy, head, and ears. Loud purring followed as she snuggled closer. She never snuggles in bed, preferring either to stay near the bottom with an easy escape route, or to sleep in bed when she is the only one in it. Then I became aware of Tiger Cat. He always sleeps with his head on my feet, but now he was completely draped over my legs as if he was trying to make as much of his body contact as much of my body as possible. I gently wiggled my legs, Tiger squirmed around, flopped over, and started purring. I then felt four small feet pushing into my thigh as Lily Cat stretched and settled back to sleep. She was snuggled up against my side. I reached down to pet her as well, also eliciting a purr. Lily doesn’t sleep in bed with the humans very often either, she doesn’t like how much I thrash around when I sleep.

But this evening, they were all curled close, purring their healing comfort into my needy body, soothing my troubles away. Somehow they knew their Love Cat services were needed and cheerfully provided warmth, purring, comfort, and love to their human in need.


Beware The Ides Of January


Well, I have been slogging through a few days of mildly moderate depression, trying all the little tricks to keep it at bay. It was slow at the ski slope today, so I came home early and spent most of the afternoon on the sofa knitting and listening to an e-book. I decided I needed to get outside and get some exercise and fresh air. Had to talk myself into it, as inertia is a hard force to overcome.

Well, the walk itself was nice, the sun was setting, the temperature dropping, I was carefully avoiding ice patches in the road and generally trying to soak in the winter woods vibe. I made it all the way up the hollow on the one lane dirt road and then back down to the bridge, when, (as you have probably guessed by now) I slipped and fell on the ice, breaking my left wrist.

The forest echoed with my anguished curses as I lay in the snow curled in the fetal position, in an unbelieving state of mental shock, . How could I have done this to myself!!!!???? I don’t know how long I stayed there in my self inflicted tortuous misery. At some point I realized that I was cold, that I did have a real threat of medical shock and hypothermia, and that my husband probably wouldn’t come looking for for at least another hour or so, after it got completely dark. I couldn’t afford to give in to self pity, so I carefully dragged myself to an upright standing position and gingerly navigated the last half mile back home, cradling my broken wrist against my stomach with my other arm. I felt like a wounded feral animal trying to claw my way to a safe place.

We spent the evening in the ER. This wrist fracture is the most intense prolonged pain I have ever encountered. This is my first broken bone, and if I could go another 47 (or even more) years without breaking another one, that would be fine with me. I would like this to be my last broken bone!

Is there a magic moment in this? Maybe…

I’m thankful I didn’t hit my head when I fell, or injure myself worse than I did or to a point where I was unable to evacuate myself. I’m grateful that my husband is an amazingly strong man who loves me unconditionally, who has taken on the emotional and psychological strain of taking care of me through my neuroses, anxieties, depression, cancer, and now broken bones. WTF! Big sigh.

So love shines through. It may be messy, bumpy, turbulent, murky, blurred, and confused, but Love shines through. Love of Life, keeps us going through the darkest depths, Love of Self gives us the strength to persevere through the painful, scary, and tough situations, Love of Others bestows light and hope upon all who love and are loved.


Stray Cat Strut


I am sitting in the parking area of my ski slope employer, getting ready to go into the spa where they offer a yoga class one night a week to employees. The Stray Cat Strut comes on the radio and (of course) I stay in my car to listen to the whole song. Loudly singing along, bouncing in my seat, and bobbing my head to the beat of the music. In my mind’s eye I can see that stray cat slinking through an ally and wooing the lady cats by moonlight. It’s an awesome song and full of energy. Oh yeah! I’m ready for yoga now!