29 January 2020
Adventures in the Great Valley
It is still hard for me to believe that I actually made a trip to the Willamette Valley all by myself. Prior to July of last year, I made this familiar journey once a month or darned close to it. My purpose was to see my mom and/or see a doctor and my mom. As part of this process, I also got to see my sisters, sometimes a cousin or two and those Geezer Tribe members who are card sharks.
Fallmageddon was the undoing of this familiar overland route. After the fall in July I was not able to drive because my neck and one wrist were broken and the hand on my not broken arm was jammed and useless. Aside from those insults I had to wear a cervical collar for two and a half months. But I digress... let's just say I couldn't drive for some pretty dumb reasons.
Eventually I could drive myself to therapy which is seven miles away. Baby steps. They dismissed me when I met the goals, none of which included driving by my onesies to the Great Valley. I didn't get excited, I just got more determined. Nobody likes therapy anyway but the therapists are really nice. I actually kind of missed them while I doubled my efforts to drive by exercising at home.
For the record, in order to drive my car you have to be able to really crank on that steering wheel. It has the most unautomatic steering I've ever encountered. The other thing is that you have to turn the key in order to start the car. I can't do this with just my hand so I have devised a clever plan using a wooden peg and my key chain. Bingo. Car starts. Remove peg and crank that wheel. Next issue is turning my head and since it is connected to my semi-useless neck that creates tooth-grinding pain. HOWEVER, this can be done when necessary if you are not an owl but a highly motivated senior citizen.
After Grover inspected each item I packed, Mr. S kindly loaded me up for the journey and then waved goodbye. Outfitted with hand braces, one wooden peg and great optimism I set out to the Great Valley with my rock and roll radio station blaring and feeling like I'd just been set free. It didn't take long for me to slow down and pay better attention to corners. Driving is kind of like riding a bike but the bike is one heck of a lot bigger and will go faster if you wear lead boots. We'll just say that I became a better driver as the miles went by.
I spent two nights with Mom and was able to see one of my sisters. This trip was unlike others because we didn't shop. I usually try to visit some GV stores (mostly Trader Joe's) on my trips out but I was weary after this trip. I did see my doctor who advised me that I had a lot of healing left to do after the events of July. His words were balm for the soul. For many reasons, this cheered me up. I have more hope now that I will eventually return to a normal person... or at least as normal as somebody like me can be.
While in Corvallis I learned that a woman had denied her husband a funeral because he cheated on her. I couldn't get further than the headline so am not sure what Anne Landers had to say but I laughed and laughed. Hardee har dude! I never thought of this method of getting even for a philandering spouse. I played cards with the sharks. At 72, I'm the baby of this bunch and they love money imported from the beautiful Oregon Coast. Face it, they love MY MOOK MONEY. I didn't win so much as one hand. Next time.
I spent two nights with my daughter Pam in Albany. Some or most of you will know her as Pookie. She's my redheaded girl and has spent a lifetime proving it. I'm a huge fan of redheads because I gave birth to one. They are unique human beings and I'm lucky to know several of them because this gene runs a river through my family. Lucky us. Like Mom, Pookie and her family are gracious hosts and make sure I am spoiled. She recruited Dawson, (my grandson) to help her move a recliner into the living room for me. Since this was CRAZY I was happy that their plan failed and the chair wouldn't be moved. Not sure about you but sometimes I am embarrassed by people who fuss over me... especially my own family. I still want to be strong and capable, even when I can't be.
I made it home. I win. Did my hands hurt like hell? Yup. Did my neck hurt on those sharp turns? Yup. Am I sorry I went? NOPE. I feel better now for having done this and am already making plans to do it again. It's the power of being a member of the Geezer Tribe... I just know it! We never give up.