“One Fine Morning…” Lighthouse 1971

Welcome Back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Last week was so hot up here y’all! And from what I heard, it was hotter at the beach (not that I would know personally as I have not been able to go down there…YET!). But tomorrow is a new and wonderful day. The day I have been waiting for. My doctor’s appointment is in the morning and I hope to toss aside my partners for the last 6 weeks – my crutches and my brace. We became both friends and enemies. Luckily, they kept me upright, meaning (knock on wood), I have not fallen once. Tripped a time or two when I got going a bit too fast for my own good, but never fell. However, I have been very careful and have not taken many chances (not my normal character). Perfect example, last week I went to King Family Vineyards for Wine Wednesday and wanted to take a chair to sit out and enjoy the music. BUT… all of my chairs are in my basement with the tailgate supplies. Hmmm… should I go down the basement stairs on crutches to get a chair and lug it back upstairs? Uh…no! Not taking that chance. A month ago, my stubborn “I can do anything” self would have tried it. But my new “only one more week don’t screw it up” self said “nah, someone will surely find an extra chair for me.” Besides, it’s not like I could easily carry it. And as it turned out, my daughter set me up at a perfect table on the patio beside the musician. Such a fun night – even made some new friends and the musician gave me a CD of his music. Everyone is happy at a winery – wine does that to people! Good music, good wine, good weather… what a fun, carefree night!

However, that good mood took a dive south by the end of the week. Truly, I think being limited in what I can and cannot do, being on crutches, and everything taking me so much longer to do, finally reached the point of just… “getting old.” Not ME, but being on crutches. I had driven down Main Street towards UVA, my normal running route, and found myself envious of every runner and walker I passed. Gosh, if only I could trade places with them… I know, I know, I am so very close to tossing aside my crutches, but it will be quite a while before I hit the streets running, or even truly walking, and I do know it could be much worse, much worse. I just needed a day to wallow a bit. But still…

“When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of all the reasons to be Positive. There’s always someone who has it worse.”

Luckily, my younger daughter called and said, “Hey, do you have plans tonight? No? Ok, me either, wanna go to the movies?”  We have been talking about seeing Rocketman (the biopic Elton John movie) for months after seeing the trailer earlier in the year. “I’m on my way home and will swing by and pick you up – let’s go get a glass of wine beforehand.” Gosh I love my kids! And so we did. Sat at the bar, got a couple of appetizers and a glass of wine before the movie. And what a great movie it was – I learned a lot about Elton John’s childhood and even though I knew he was talented, I did not realize just how talented he was/is. If you like Elton and his music, you need to go see this movie. Next up for us is Yesterday – about a world without The Beatles. “Imagine” that! My younger daughter is a huge Beatles fan (just like her uncle!). She has coveted my older daughter’s Beatles doll collection, given to her when she was about 6 or 7 by, you guessed it, her Beatle-loving uncle!

The next evening dear friends had me over for dinner. Not only delicious, but lots of laughter and fun. Love my friends too! And just like that, my funk was gone. I always know that when things get me down, it will not last long, someone will be there to pick me back up. So thankful for all of these people in my life!

“A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen.”  Winnie the Pooh

This is Raymond y’all. Everyone loves Raymond…After having said goodbye to their own sweet dogs, my sister and brother-in-law fostered Raymond several years ago when the no-kill shelter that rescued him sent out pleas for temporary fostering due to the prediction of a big snowstorm. My brother-in-law happened to be in VA during that time and went by to help out by taking a dog home. He chose Raymond, a boxer mix who was rescued after being used as a bait dog for fighting. Talk about being in a low place – poor Raymond was a trembling mess, afraid of everyone and everything. Never barked. But that winter day when my brother-in-law put him in the back of his car in a soft warm bed was the luckiest day of sweet Raymond’s life! Needless to say, Raymond found his fur-ever home. Took some patience on both sides to establish a trusting environment, but they did. No one knows exactly how old Raymond is, but my sister and brother-in-law intend to make the rest of Raymond’s life, the best of his life. To say Raymond lucked up is putting it mildly – he landed in the perfect home, where he is treated like a king. With only a couple of teeth, he feasts on Costco oven-roasted chicken and canned “Paw Lickin’ Chicken” which is, after all, gluten free! Yep, Raymond is the envy of all the dogs back in his old “hood” and in the current neighborhood as well. I mean, look at Raymond, I don’t think anyone could have gotten much “lower” than him, but in one day, his life turned around and he became King of the Castle!

“So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which as been denied.”  Helen Keller

And in one day, tomorrow, I am thinking I will be alright once again. My poor doctor… I have a long list of questions for him. Last appointment, he made himself comfortable while answering the questions on my list, and this time, the list is much longer. I need direct answers as I take everything literally. If he says to me, “you might be able to run a mile in a month,” you can bet I’ll be out there on July 5th running that mile. Actually, I am a bit nervous about giving up my crutches cold turkey. Just walk out of his office carrying my crutches? Will I be able to trust my knee? Will it hurt? It will be nice standing in the shower again (thankful for the shower seat I borrowed), I mean I have not showered at the club since surgery – I can’t stand up for the shower, plus I can’t carry my athletic bag while on crutches. I can’t even carry my backpack in to work while on crutches. I am looking forward to getting back to that place of comfort and normalcy. One.More.Day!!!

Last night with crutches on my porch!

“Always keep your head up because if it’s down, you won’t be able to see the Blessings that have been placed in your life.”

We all have our struggles and those “down days.” Many times it is not evident how much someone is struggling. It’s ok to wallow a bit, but don’t let it control your days. Look at all the positives in your life. We are all blessed more than we can imagine. Remember that good times are always just around the corner. So hang on and make the most of every day, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS – Thank you for the kind notes about my sweet Momma. She is doing well and is rehabbing her hip with PT and OT. Heading down to see her this weekend! Plus another fun weekend in store – to be in the next blog!


3 thoughts on ““One Fine Morning…” Lighthouse 1971”

  1. Hi Leslie, love your blogs and so happy for Raymond…so lucky to find his furever owners. Will you be down in Winston this Saturday? We were at Michele’s to help her recover from her hip replacement surgery and she had a Christmas sweater that she was going to give away. I have washed it and would love to give it to you if you want. My telephone # is 336-408-4906. Call me if you are interested and would love to see you. Barbara


    1. Hey Barbara! I totally forgot about the Christmas Sweater! If by chance you still have it I would LOVE to get it! I’ll be back visiting mom in the next couple of weeks…Thank you and thanks Michele! Fondly, Leslie


  2. Leslie, drop the crutches and get you a light cane. That is what I use, and I find it adds dignity along with something to steady yourself walking. I am using my dad’s cane.


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