With many many thanks to those of you being patient about my lack of production
You might imagine, and you'd be right, that writing one-handed now takes three times the time. It does. And then some, for all the missed punctuation and typos.
That combined with being in sometimes kinda brutal pain, which was brought on in part by a cast that was a size too small. That and the fact that to so-called care team at my surgical center chose to be more concerned about my spicy language than WHY my language was spicy, after six increasingly desperate calls in one day and nobody's bothering to let my surgeon know I was in godawful pain.
This is American Healthcare. Well, he called me in after two days, we changed the cast, and it felt so much better.
I spent all week continuing to pack, for we are facing deadlines. The house goes up for sale very soon, and I need my stuff out of the way for the cleaning crew. All around me there are power washers for a deck I had no clue was so dirty, a landscaping crew whose owner was gifted my collection of maple saplings for his bonsai collection, and roofing crews and lots of folks whose fees I can no longer afford. My agent is fronting all this and she gets reimbursed from the sale. That is hugely helpful.
I'm sleeping on the couch. If I roll off, the fall is a lot less spectacular. If I have to stay on the floor for a while, at least I can reach the remote.
But there is also terrific news. I shared with you privately that my consignment shop showed up and hauled away some 85% of my furniture, leaving me with the basics. Their storage is crammed for now, and stuff is selling fast. All my holiday stuff is staged for delivery in late August just before I head to Bhutan, assuming that goes forward.
If not Bhutan, then Thailand, but with luck, both.
Then in that utterly lovely way that the Universe yells YES to your plans, my chiropractor and his girlfriend walked off with two carloads of sports clothing and gear. She fit all my clothing to a T; they have four kids between them and made off with about $15k worth of new to near new stuff for a third of that and were deliriously happy. So was I, for that cut my workload immensely.
But that's not all. Kevin, my chiro, is opening up a new gym at his facility, and wants all my gym and PT equipment, which again saves me time, saves him money and cuts my workload.
I have a LOT of gear.
But wait, there's more.
Kevin also just bought a lawnmower shop adjacent to his building. He now wants all my brand new garden tools to rent out along with his gardening gear.
So to help with all this, I have been making lists, doing pricing research and moving all that gear onto the steel shelves in my garage.
You guessed it. He wants those. too. If you can hear me grin as I type all this up, that would be accurate. It's ear to ear.
But wait... his girlfriend fell in love with my gorgeous four-poster. Great. One more huge item is likely to land where it will be loved.
But wait, there's more.
His mother is my masseuse, and she has offered to take me to the hospital when I get foot surgery. In fact, while this is still in discussion, I may rent a room at her house in nearby Creswell which will allow me to get all four surgeries done here as I had hoped. And be able to recover at or near the beach rather than baking in Denver.
While all this is going on, I have also been in touch with my new friend Erin Donaldson down in Colombia. We spoke at length yesterday, and we put together a very full agenda for my time there. Frankly the more I hear about that part of the world, the more excited I get about the prospects. Erin makes a living helping hopeful ex-pats settle in. As a fellow horsewoman, she and I made fast friends. She's been there a decade, and her style of fitting in fits my own. To that, I have my car radio tuned to a Spanish station part time to get used to being surrounded by the language.
Here is an example of why I chose to work with Erin:
This week I schlep all my old computers and small electronics up to see JC, my social media guru. We are consolidating some 300k photos, and are hiring a firm to clean them up, sort and tag what's worth keeping. This is a massive task but made possible by a very small but terribly helpful grant from the Colorado Gap Fund which wants me to keep my doors open.
When I was done each day with the big stuff of packing and moving, I sat down with box after box after box of my parents' considerable correspondence files. Most of it is shredded, not just because it is just too much (we are a prolific family of writers) but also because I had to face the sad fact that I can't make out my mother's dense, cramped, spidery writing.
That did not, however, keep me from being reintroduced to both my parents. As I slowly shredded seven decades' worth - but not all- of their material, I was deliciously reminded of my mother's raucous sense of humor, my father's rare but sincere affection, and much more.
Perhaps the best gift was that, as we age and memory starts to fade in the face of too many impressions, its far too easy to allow the most painful to dominate and sculpt the stories we tell about deeply complex and rich human beings.
My mother was something else again. I have kept my folks' resumes and their early work from the thirties, forties and fifties. In doing so I could see the hopes, lost dreams, adventures taken and much more.
Above all I experienced them as friends to folks whose names I heard but never met. Their detailed letters revealed a great deal not only about them as people before they were parents, but those letters held a thousand clues to where I get my sense of humor, my determination, my writing skills and much more.
I am now down to just a few boxes of their memories, curated from tens of thousands of my mother's carbon copies (remember those?). By week's end I felt lighter in a thousand ways, not the least because this process allowed me to fill in blanks in the canvasses that made up my parents' lives.
But that's another story.
I felt horrible about shredding carefully-written letters in an age where few of us write them any more. But I also knew that some needed to not be read.
Just as with choosing what to keep as belongings, choosing what to remember is perhaps just as critical for the road ahead.
Mine is widening. I get a custom cast on Friday, the house continues to empty, and the load I carry forth gets smaller every day.
What an amazing gift life is.
Dear Walkabout Saga Reader:
If my work appeals to you, may I kindly invite you to consider joining those Patreon supporters whose generosity keeps the gas in my tank as it were. There are many more of you reading, which I appreciate very much. However as with National Public Radio, many more read without supporting, and I am asking you to consider offering the cost of a coffee to help me do more than just keep the lights on. That said, if you find value in my writing, and are so inclined, I'd be grateful for what support you can give. If you know others who could benefit from what I produce here, please let them know.
My purpose is to Move People's Lives. I can do more of that with your help.
However you decide to partake of my writing, again, thank you.