I’d been home from Haiti for about two days, it was 92 degrees when I departed Port-au-Prince and 17 degrees when I landed at my final destination in the States, actually the temperature was the least of the extremes I felt. The next day I was driving for the first time in months and repeatedly heard this jingle on the radio for a jewelry store advertising the fulfillment of the NEED for the perfect Christmas gift, a diamond. Even though it’s been a while since I’ve returned from Haiti every year at this time I try to recall how ridiculous that commercial sounded to my ears. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, the temptation that the perfect gift is just around the corner. THE thing to make someone happy is within our grasp. that we actually NEED stuff, beyond air, water, shelter, food and love.
How does a couple of verses of the right holiday tune transport me into a shopping machine, on a mission to purchase happiness in a store. It’s just so easy to get caught up, or to cave in, to be so tired I just grab anything because I must have something wrapped for that someone I’ll exchange a gift with that neither of us will ever NEED or probably use. Every year I feel the same way and every year I vow to not catch the bug that makes me feel like Scrooge if I don’t spend money on stuff. I left the community of Turgeau at dawn that December morning watching children carry five gallons of water on their heads and within 10 hours was nestled in the land of plenty with hot water endlessly flowing. Years later it pretty much only takes a Bing Crosby tune within ear shot to make me feel melancholy enough to open my wallet for the umpteenth time to buy something, anything to complete the list. My wish is that this year I’ll remember what is truly valuable when I’m a tired and desperate shopper. None of it, none of it is what it’s all about and once again I’m hoping this season to not forget that I have all that I’ll ever need.
I know friends still living in tents in Haiti months after the earthquake. Folks whose lives were devastated by the earthquake and that didn’t have many material possessions to start with. There is true need out there this Christmas and let me not confuse the difference.
There is no holiday for traction and here we are on Turkey day. Thinking about all there is to do today and how much I need these fingers to keep working, hence, traction on Turkey day. I’ve come a long way with my attitude about this gizmo I’m sitting in and that alone is certainly something to be thankful for. I now accept it as part of my life and whether it’s Thanksgiving or the Easter bunny’s hopping down the bunny trail I’ll be working traction into my holiday schedules. I’ve often thought if I amount to nothing else in this life at least I want to be a person who has a sense of gratitude. Much of “my” life plans at this age and stage have been altered by the circumstances of my health but I have been given and received so much. I have such a good and wonderful life, I’ve been enormously blessed. I’ve experienced a truly miserable day as well as an extraordinarily wonderful one. I can appreciate the difference and respect both. I’m beyond a lucky girl and as I sit here today I certainly know it and if I could do a turkey dance I would. Have a happy, grateful day celebrating whatever circumstances you find yourself in today. Gobble, gobble!
I’ve been thinking about all the hoopla over the TSA’s full body scans. I wonder what they can actually see, I mean is it sort of like a free CT or MRI? You know if the TSA agents were medically trained as well you could save such time and money! Just have them pass you a note when you’re in the seated area putting your shoes back on, “might want to get that spine looked at, looks like L5 is slipping a little.” Really, how convenient is that! Once you’ve seen your films up on the big screen at the doctor’s office there’s nothing to be shy about, actually it’s always nice to have a second opinion.
I’ve always felt the technicians know if there’s a problem but aren’t allowed to tell you what they see as soon as they pop you in the oven to bake, kind of like when they are extra nice you start to think, wow, I must be glowing inside there. I’ve always been so fortunate with all my technicians, so professional and kind. (here’s a little shout out to a great tech, Linda)
Well, posts don’t get much sillier than this, but think about it, the full body scan isn’t so bad, not only are you making sure the dude next to you isn’t packing a lead pipe it’s another opportunity for a liberating medical experience to see if all your parts are where they’re supposed to be. What’s not to love about that?
Just happened to catch a bit on Jay Leno last night about the ‘neck trac,’ it was included in a segment he does called “news headlines.” The photo Leno showed was an inexpensive model of the more sophisticated gizmo called Neck Trac but still supposedly achieves a similar result. It’s a portable, “on the go” traction verse the kind that I’m sitting here doing, which is ultimately “hanging” from a doorway.
From the photo he showed there’s about four or five rubber tubes around your neck and it comes with a pump that you squeeze to obtain the optimum pressure. When the audience laughed at how silly it looked it was validation that at times this whole neck traction thing is a bit ridiculous and if it didn’t work I’d be laughing too.
Jay introduced the “news” clipping by saying “this is what you can do when your neck is sore or stiff, which we’ve all felt.” True enough, but I really don’t think your average pains in the neck would find their solution in traction.
Anyway, it felt like a celebrity sighting.
Thought In Traction has had a busy week. I’ve been doing traction just haven’t had anything much to say, not that I ever have startling things to say. I’ve been thinking but haven’t felt anything worthy of posting. Thanks for reading no matter what rambles I type, you are the reason I’m able to stick with this thing called traction. I’m starting not to hate it and I think that’s in part due to this place I can come and say whatever is on my mind at that moment. I try not to hate anything but I have definitely hated traction and now I’ve moved into a new phase of quiet discontent.
You’ll hear from me again, next week.
There’s a new store that opened today in my neighborhood. It’s kind of funny how much people seem to enjoy checking out something new, like they’re going to find something exciting or different. I’m not sure why that is. It’s a chain store so to me that makes it all the more funny, you can drive about two miles down the road and find the identical store. Yet that doesn’t stop folks from pulling up in droves. I guess we like new, and we are a nosey bunch. I mean if we weren’t would there ever be a followup accident after the first because of gawking or rubbernecking. We just like to get a good look at things. Curiosity is a fine thing to have plenty of I guess, but noseyness is one of my greatest pet peeves. I ran into a woman yesterday that I haven’t seen in probably fifteen years. I would have never recognized her and I’m still not sure I remember any details of working with her but she fired off three rather personal questions within 30 seconds of saying hello. I just never dream of asking people anything other than how are you doing? I care how you are doing, I don’t care what you are doing or who you are doing it with unless you’d like to tell me or any anything else for that matter, otherwise it’s NONE of my business. I once stayed at a retreat house in Canada that had retreatants from all over the world. The one rule at meal time was you were not permitted to ask any questions of each other. I loved the place. It’s amazing what you can talk about when you can’t ask questions. You were free to volunteer any information you’d like, but no questions. The point was you came there to reflect and be alone, you only had to offer what you felt like offering. I’m not sure how my rambles led me here today but on this cold and first taste of winter kind of day I’m sitting here almost finished with traction and I think I have a case of the grumps cause my skin still feels itchy.
The music is coming to an end so that’s my cue that time’s up, it took me three tries to get strapped in today, my unfocused thoughts even led me to not being able to easily set up something as routine as traction. Thanks for helping me pass the time once again.
I’ve heard of fishy voting results but never itchy voting. Today when I went to my polling place I was just coming off a doctor’s visit where I received a shot to try to ease the itchest skin of my life. I know “itchest” isn’t a word but it is today in my world. (Update, apparently itchy skin causes other conditions, itchiest is a word, but misspelled “itchest” is not) Some weird allergy attack, yeah, I needed something else to do with my time. Anyway, for my entire voting career my polling places have always been electronic, but today mine was paper. So Miss Numb Fingers did her best to thoroughly fill in the little rectangle shaped boxes but I must confess, at one point I used the eraser end of my pencil to itch between my shoulder blades. I did successfully cast my ballot and then came home to sit in traction. It’s been a banner day! I’m very excited I have a week’s worth of drugs to help stop this itch and hopefully by then not only will this allergy attack be gone but so will all the election talk.
Three cheers for traction, who knew there’d be something to so easily beat it on the stinko meter today, any thing feels better than scratching myself to death.