I'm limited somewhat by a sore back. Last Thursday evening I was gathering cardboard boxes we've been collecting for our neighbors, so they can lay cardboard down in their blackberry-infested area and then cover the cardboard with wood chips, which will kill the weeds and let the area be restored to a more natural habitat. I tossed each box down the bank of our easement. As I was returning from the last load I tripped in a hole in our lawn. As I fell, I tried to favor my left ankle which was badly sprained a year ago last Christmas when I fell off a snow-covered curb. The ankle was fine and, I thought, so was the rest of me. But the next morning I woke up with a painful SI joint - also a weak area for me - and spasms in my piriformis. Two trips to the chiropractor later, I'm feeling some relief. But I'm again reminded that I need to be careful as I move about. The chiro tells me everyone has a part of their body that's the weakest part - an old injury of some kind - that goes out periodically. Oh, well. That would be my left ankle and my SI joint. I'm grateful I'm not sick. Even when I'm icing my back or doing the prescribed exercises, I remember that.
My twin granddaughters' visit, while jolting us out of our day-to-day routine, was sans parents and that is wonderful in spite of the hard work. We've decided to make it a semiannual tradition - three or four days between Christmas and New Years, and a week in the summer. I watch these little girls growing up in the midst of benign chaos and I marvel at the resiliency of children. For the week they're with us, they've got a quiet and relaxing environment, interspersed with walks to the library and the ice cream store, their uncle's softball games, and summer recreation activities (this year, golf and cartooning). They met the neighbor's daughter and, for a couple of afternoons, there was a lot of little girl shrieking going on.
We cook what we know they like - ribs and chicken and hot dogs and, usually, corn on the cob. With that menu, they are not picky eaters! And one night, we had a picnic with the neighbors on the lawn between our houses. The kids had hot dogs and corn on the cob and watermelon; the grownups had T-bone steaks and potato salad. And we had s'mores. It's been years, and those marshmallows are just as messy as I remembered.
This afternoon I harvested the rest of the peas in our little garden. The beans were coming up beneath them and now they'll have the full sun to do their own thing. And I harvested our first celery plant today! Our gardener tells us celery doesn't usually grow well in the Pacific Northwest. I guess our half dozen celeries didn't get the word.
I'm getting over the novelty of not working. I suspect when the first of the month arrives and I don't have a paycheck I'll freak a little, but hopefully not much. We've planned this out. Art has four pensions we'll be living on, mostly. But we're making deposits on travel for later this year and next spring, and it's a little scary to watch those dollars leave the checking account, even if they've been budgeted. I just have to trust the process.
I took time off my ESL class last week because I need blocks of time without distractions to do the assignments. I'd like to get two more modules done this week. It's funny that something so common as teaching is such a new deal for me. When I was a kid it was decided that I would be a teacher when I grew up. Instead, I got married right out of college and my husband became the teacher. I subbed some, but I didn't like it and got into the IT industry instead, which was much more to my liking. Now I've left that behind and am looking at teaching again. Go figure. The difference is, this time it's about being useful rather than about me and making a living. Plus, I'm 40 years older than I was the first time, and I have a lot more patience.
I've had two offers of ways to spend my time. They need volunteers at Friends of the Library and they need volunteers for Patty Murray's senatorial campaign. So far I have kept my mouth shut on both opportunities. I have enough to do right now.