Tuesday, January 7, 2014


At an age where logic made sense to me, I remember hearing a quote attributed to Lewis Carroll:  "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get."  That's how 2013 felt to me.  Nothing was overwhelming, but there were very few times when I had time to be bored.  

My knees following surgery 18 months earlier were good to go, but I'd hurt a hip dancing at Bob's and Dawn's wedding reception in September 2012 and three months later I was still hobbled.  So I started the year making the decision to trim some of the bulk off my frame.  There was no New Years Resolution -- it was a statement of fact.  A change in life style:  eat healthy foods and exercise.  And so I did.

Then in early February I got a phone call from Michelle.  She was on her way to the hospital. Brett, riding his motorcycle home from work, had been in an accident.  The driver of a car in a left-turn lane changed his mind and moved into the through lane and into Brett's path. Brett hit the vehicle's right front fender and flew over the hood. Injuries: multiple ribs broken front and back on the left side, a punctured lung and broken collarbone.  He was released from the hospital four days later and I was on my way to play nursemaid and chauffeur while he recuperated.

It was a bitter-sweet visit.  I hadn't had an opportunity to spend that much time with Brett once he was a teen with a driver's license.  But he didn't take recuperation lying down.  First, he couldn't lie down and breathe, so he spent the next several months sitting up to sleep.  And while I was there he insisted on getting outdoors every day -- at least walking the dogs down the street to the dog park.  One day Michelle dropped him off two miles away where he met a friend at a cafe.  I waited for his phone call to go pick him up. It never came because he had decided to walk home.  Need I say he was hurting when, walking with great care, he came up the steps to the front door?  Near the end of my two-week visit, Brett went back to work and began working out again by pedaling his bike on a trainer.  His report in November was that he's almost 100%.  With the insurance settlement, Brett invested in a replacement motorcycle and fresh gear.  He has also just taken delivery of a second bike. Can't keep a good man down!

Back here, Dawn tabled her interior design business and took a job with Penneys in their custom window treatment department.  She's been successful, but that's not a surprise because she enjoys and is good at design and sales.  However, it's meant less time with Sophia and Brandon.  And more time with them for me.  When Dawn has early morning appointments I sometimes keep Sophia company until she gets on the school bus. This photo was taken the end of August on their first day of school.  Sophia is in the 5th grade; Brandon, 8th. 

Both Brandon and Sophia were signed up for fall sports, and practices started in August. Sophia cheered again this fall and enjoys it so much she's let her hair grow (like the high school cheerleaders do) and has just taken a class in tumbling. The goal was to learn to do a round off back handspring. She is making progress. Her teacher/coach said she is capable but the hard part for a student is overcoming the fear of not being able to see where he/she is landing.  

Early in football practices, before the season's games began, Brandon hurt his back. He visited a series of doctors:  the family doctor, our chiropractor and then an orthopedist who recommended physical therapy when a CT scan didn't show a structural problem that would cause the pain.  Visits to the therapist two or three times a week for about three months strengthened his back and increased his flexibility, but the discomfort remains.  A neurologist ordered an MRI and said the problem involves the muscles around the sciatic nerve.  They are too tight and irritating the nerve.  He prescribed continuing physical therapy.  And so it goes on.  This school year Brandon isn't participating in any sport involving physical contact.

Younger brother Jeff's daughter was married in August and we three siblings who are rarely together attended, as did Dawn and Bob.  The wedding was outdoors at a city park with the reception at a downtown restaurant.  I think we guests had every bit as much fun as the bride and groom.  Jeff, who we learned has hearing aids, demonstrated how he controls what he hears with a remote control.  When he left the table, remote left behind, he stopped to talk with a friend.  Dawn picked up the remote and we all laughed as we watched the expressions change on Jeff's face while she twisted the dial.

The newlyweds, Alexander and Brittany Negrette, as they prepared to leave the reception.

Dawn isn't a little girl anymore, but this is still her Uncle Jeff, also known on this day as father of the bride.

As we sat at the reception, I noticed a wedding band on Jeff's finger and asked Mimi about it.  She explained that they had been married "a few weeks ago".  WOW!  Two reasons to celebrate on this day.  I have a new sister!!

By July I had lost 30 pounds, and now, a year after starting the new, healthier way of living by eating more nutritiously and exercising regularly, I have kept those pounds off.  I dropped six clothing sizes and invested in summer wear that fit better, donating the no longer needed items to the Salvation Army. But I still have some things in those larger sizes that are so comfortable, even if less attractive with their unnecessary bulk, to wear while at home. 

And now on to 2014....

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