It's been over three months since I sat here and did this and I suppose I feel a bit guilty about that though am not sure why I should. And I'm only doing this to type my way through a minor depression (I can't see my shrink until 3 Sept: I was absent from her for over a year and she got a bunch of other clients in the meantime). . .
ERIN just became a professional Christian for a United Methodist church about an hour away in Cullman. She loves the staff and the people and of course they all love her. I know for a fact that rotten college kids love you for three weeks and then find something to bitch about. That makes working with adults rewarding: they stay loyal and will do whatever the hell you want. This of course is offset on the negative side by the fact that the rotten kids are smarter, more energetic, better trained, and usually more talented than the loyal adults. But they will bring you vegetables from their garden, home made bread and other goodies ...
MY HEALTH is static: the heart has been stabilized beautifully by drugs, my formerly hyperactive thyroid is now fully under control. I'm down to only 12 pills a day and I haven't smoked since 5 November. I resumed lifting weights at the YMCA in March, but did so very gently, taking 20 lbs. off the weight of all 10 machines and upping reps from 8 to 10. Last week, after over five months of just cruising, I am back to where I was: all 20 lbs. are back on all machines and the reps are the same. I think I'll stay there for the foreseeable future in terms of weight, but will increase reps if I start to feel lazy. I'm back up to 16,000 lbs./session 3x/week = 48000 lbs/wk. I haven't been back to phys.therapy since, though I did recover what the heart incident lost. Here is where I am and where I think I will be from here on out: outside the house I use the Lofstrand crutches and I need both; it's a fantasy to think that I will ever get around with two canes; inside the house I use the walker because I can carry stuff better; for extended distances/times outside the house, I need the wheelchair and some one to push. I doubt that these conditions will ever change and I have to be ok with that. I think I am reconciled to it, but I need a bit of help from that shrink . . . Point is, I will never walk normally again, though this happens periodically in my dreams. No kidding . . .
TRAVEL has been extensive: a week in May with Erin's chorus and a band in London and Paris, followed by just us 6 adults in Paris, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. I hadn't been to the latter three since '92 and boy have they improved. They've almost retrieved their former glory, though I doubt that Dresden ever will. And Berlin: My, My. You couldn't look in any direction without seeing at least four cranes. (But cobblestones and wheelchairs don't go together too well. Poor Gene). In June, we went to LA for a week with my daughters (Meg over from the Big Island) and my grandsons, who have sprouted in the year and a half since I last saw them into big boys with all their teeth and way too much hair and energy. Whew! It was a wonderful time with my family, and I will be joining the boys and Libby and Lee (who are divorced, as you may or may not know) in Davis at Xmas. I may even grill a bird for them. It will be the first Christmas in a long time that I have not been to Green Bay, and I will miss New Year's Eve at Hinterland with Erin and her folks. Erin of course, will be in church . . .
TIME seems to be a fickle bitch who sneaks up and beats me about the ears. I turned 66 a couple months after arriving here and in a couple days I'll be 72. I occasionally receive extremely nice posts and messages on Facebook from former students or fans of my books and work, and these are very gratifying. Meanwhile, my former students and younger colleagues achieve, date, marry, and breed (or adopt). . .
And that's the way it should be. Y'all just go on ahead without me, now. I'll hang around here as long as I can.
Looking forward to my birthday coupon and a couple martinis in a couple of hours. I can't do it on my actual birthday (Wednesday) because Erin will be at church (this could get old). I may celebrate with Sam on Wednesday by pouring a little beer in his dish . . .
What the hell . . .