Thursday, November 30, 2023

November 30--You are More!

Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  --A. A. Milne

    These are words uttered by the ever-so-wise Winnie the Pooh, a fitting close to November and the theme of strength. And these words are true about every single one of us. Life can surely be challenging, and we humans are superb at "rising to the occasion." 
    I had my "audition" for simulated patient (SP) at the Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine on Tuesday. I didn't actually have to perform. It was a tour of the facility (amazing, beautiful, high-tech) and learning about the program and watching videos of previous SP sessions. It was a fascinating learning experience. I can hardly wait to give it a go. I signed up for all open January and February encounters, which is the name for the actual SP/student interaction. There is a training session and a dry run before each encounter. This is all quite "outside my box," so I shall have to remember that I am braver, stronger and smarter!
     Adventure always awaits!

This will be my view tomorrow evening...

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

November 29--Broken and Stronger

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. 
--Ernest Hemingway

    I know what it is like to lose a loved one. I have lost several. I have known big disappointment. I understand grief. I am seeing as I age that grief is simply a companion. It does break us, but also strengthens us. It is a weird paradox. 
    A broken bone healed properly is stronger at the break than it was originally. Any successful joint replacement breaks the patient temporarily, but strengthens him or her in the long term. 
    The breaks aren't so bad if we use them to strengthen us. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

November 28--Feeling Strong

I read somewhere how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong . . . but to feel strong.  --Jon Krakauer

    Here are some insights I gained from my recent two-week visit with my brother who lives in the care home. I feel strong--I'm healthy, active, and I don't even remotely feel my age of 68, though there may have been folks living there who are younger than me. I'm not "old"! But yes, in fact, I am. I have gray hair and wrinkles just like the residents.
    It takes huge strength to be the primary person responsible for the affairs of a resident. My niece is that person for her father, and it is a heavy load. She is a strong badass, though I know there are times when she does not feel strong. 
    There is a certain level of tension involved in taking my brother on an adventure, because I surely wouldn't want him falling "on my watch." The relief of having him back safely in his room is visceral. Having several successful trips away from the home gives me strength for the next one. 
    I am super-motivated to keep moving. My brother's decline began in earnest when he was no longer able to walk longer distances. To keep moving makes me feel strong. 
Christmas beauty at the 
Stan Hywet Manor House, Ohio

Monday, November 27, 2023

November 27--Home Again

To hurt is as human as to breathe.  --J. K. Rowling

    Many thanks go out to my in-laws for giving me a bed and a lovely visit on my way home. The only difficulty on my final driving stretch was a scary 50 miles on the Kansas Turnpike. I saw at least a dozen cars and four semis in the ditch. I drove 55 mph with my flashers on, and of course, there were plenty of folks zooming by me. I'm home, safe and sound and happy to be here. 
    My sweet husband could hardly wait to show me:
  1. He put up outside Christmas lights and decorations. I was planning to do that this week, but could not have done it very easily because we have 7" of snow here. 
  2. He set up and trimmed our fake Christmas tree. I'm not fond of an artificial tree, so I was not going to do that job. 
  3. He hung up my "Unparalled" painting over the mantle, truly a wonderful surprise.
    Home, sweet home!

The creation of "Unparalled"

Sunday, November 26, 2023

November 26--Over Half Way Home!

There are two ways of exerting one's strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.  --Booker T. Washington

    I made it to Wentzville with a long but fairly easy drive in wonderfully clear weather.
    On my last night in Ohio, my niece treated me to a tour of the Stan Hywet House and Garden Christmas light extravaganza. The gardens were beautifully decorated with thousands of lights. There was a large field of lights in various configurations where the lights danced to music--ultra-cool. The manor house was open for touring parts of the ground and second floor, and all the rooms were decorated with Christmas trees and elegant lighting. It was a spectacular treat for this Christmas-light-lover. 
    Today I'll finish the drive home. 

Yes, a Santa made of Legos!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

November 25--Kind Travels

It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.  --J. R. R. Tolkien

    Today I start the long drive home. I fully intend to be kind to everyone I encounter along the way. It makes the trip much smoother. 
    I had a lovely last visit with my brother yesterday afternoon. I'm hoping that I get to do another one of these two-week-stays soon so that I can spend more time with him. 
    Time to get moving. I'll write more about my visit in the coming days. 

Last night's fun

Friday, November 24, 2023

November 24--Many Thanks

Those who hope, by retiring from the world, to earn a holiday from human frailty, in themselves and others, are usually disappointed.  --Iris Murdoch

    We had a lovely Thanksgiving. My niece wisely bought the whole Thanksgiving feast from Bob Evans Restaurant. The work was much less and the food was quite good. The key thing was having most of my brother's family celebrating together. We played Uno till 11:00 pm. The competition was fierce and quite funny. 
    We are so blessed! No Black Friday shopping for this female; I'm headed to the lap pool instead.

Most of the gang