Tram courage, Traction courage

Traction has given me courage…….who knew…….Recently I was in a tram going up the side of a snow-covered mountain in the “last frontier” state of Alaska as I chatted with an older gentleman attempting to distract me when I realized I wasn’t afraid. I had a peace about me, it wasn’t new, I’ve felt it before, just not in the air…I’m not a big fan of heights. He seemed to sense this in me and chatted all the way, looking at me with his kind eyes and weathered face, almost saying, just keep looking at me and you won’t notice what is going on around you. Before I knew it we were tethering to the dock at our destination. The ride was fast and worth it. Beautiful snow-covered vistas, one after the other. A few years ago I would have never made the attempt, I probably would have never considered it.

Today when I was sitting in traction I realized it was one of my better days…the traction was easy, without much thought I had hooked myself up and was looking out at my pretty view….since I’ve moved I sit next to a window and I’m looking out near the treetops…it’s a sunny day and maybe the sun reminded me of Alaska…..although, Alaska isn’t known for its sun shine the views were filled with blue cloudless skies over the snowy mountain tops matching my color blue sky view today.

Traction has been a journey, to still be at it……and to still have the condition that leads to doing it…….for that not to change, for that to be my unforeseeable situation….it gives you courage over time…..you deal, you have pain, you feel ‘not good’ a lot of the time…..you struggle to find a place to be content and happy and when you find it you have survived. You have strength you didn’t have because you had to find it….you had to change, you had to make it better in a way that you could.

Traction, again,……I owe you.

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Something fishy

You might have noticed things look a little different around “Thoughts in Traction” these days……I’ve changed the format just a bit…..I like the fish swimming around in the background…..(my favorite part of the Dentist office experience is the aquarium, watching those fish swim around is relaxing despite the sound of the drill flowing from the back room.) Maybe I should think about installing an aquarium next to where I sit here to do traction, watch the fish swim while I’m hanging here……..well, that doesn’t sound relaxing but you get my point, I hope.

My two great nieces each have a fish and one day things were a little too quiet and sure enough a little hand up to its elbow was deep in the bowl trying to “see” the fish up close. Can’t say that I blame her, I always want a closer look, but not too close, I now have a shellfish allergy…….sounds too funny, except when it’s happening to you……all these years of living, eating clams and shrimp and now I have nearly bought the farm three times eating something too fishy…….life is crazy……..so I’ll be sticking to my little fish in this blog, they are calming and they don’t stop my breathing, so win, win!

Green Grandma

My Grandma wasn’t Irish, but her birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day and every year she’d wear her dress covered in shamrocks and any green pin or necklace any grandchild would give her. My Mom would buy her green and white carnations and her giant cake would be covered in white and green icing. I’m thinking about all those birthday parties today and all the fun. It was a great way to celebrate a Grandma kind of Grandmother. Her birthday and Christmas were the few exceptions you’d ever see her without her apron, and not a half apron, a full apron. The kind you could easily get lost in when you got a hug. She was the kind of Grandma that had a candy drawer and made your favorites when you came to her house. She was a Grandma out of a book on “How to be a Grandma.” She had the most beautiful hands. When my Mom got a new piano as a gift one year she finally convinced my Grandma to play for us. Prior to that she’d only sit at the dining room table moving her lovely fingers to the imaginary keys. I grew up hearing stories of Grandma’s beloved father giving her a piano when she was nine years old, yet I had never seen or heard her play the piano until that moment and I would never again.

Thinking of you today Grandma, I miss you and all that you were, but as long as I’m alive you’re alive in me.
Happy Birthday!

Mona Lisa smiled at me

When one is in Paris you pinch yourself, when one is in the Louvre you shake your head at your luck, when one is in line to see the Mona Lisa you think the day can’t get any better.

Only thing that might if you let it get in the way of full happiness is that I was in a wheel chair. It helps me get around as easily as possible and see as much as possible, but I don’t like how I feel in a chair with wheels and sometimes I don’t like how folks treat me in one, but on occasion it is a necessary part of my life and I must deal with it. On to more important things, the Mona Lisa! So just at the moment when you think the best view you will have of this lovely lady is the backside of the rows of people in front of you a very tall man dressed as a museum guard points at you. He begins to speak to you in a language you pretend to understand much better than you actually do and somehow you do understand and before you know it he’s opening a gate for you and you are in a cordoned off area two feet from Mona Lisa. The crowd of hundreds is many feet behind you as you feel their jealousy and you stop and connect with your new friend. She is protected behind glass but you realize you are as humanly close to her as anyone other than museum staff ever gets to her. You know that she on this special day in your life, has smiled at you. Because of this chair with wheels and the problems your body has that put you in it to make this day possible to even be here has all come to this moment when Mona Lisa smiled at little old me and made me not only first in line but as close as possible! Thank you, you made my day, made me feel very special and I will never forget meeting you! Paris, you are not always an easy place for me, as people talk and walk very fast and bump into you and never look back, but in that moment a most famous painting and I had our moment and all is good!

PS. I haven’t posted in a while, well, two months or more. I was busier than I wanted to be but still doing traction. I missed you guys, I missed connecting with the group of folks I’ve created in my mind that cheer me on, some of you are very real and some probably not, but anyhoo, I’ve missed you and it is nice to be back.

Olympic Traction

I had an entire post written about my thoughts to introduce Traction to the Olympic Committee and then I hit the wrong key and puff……it’s gone. Yet, I’m still here, sitting in traction, Olympics or not. The fingers are not full of energy today to attempt typing it again so I’ll just say, watch out four years…..only thing, is it a winter or summer event?

Did you ever leave early and regret it?

Did you ever notice the people who leave the baseball game in the top of the ninth or the basketball game with two minutes to go or leave church before the last prayer? Where do you think they are going? I know I’ve been tempted to leave things early because sometimes in a crowd folks don’t have a lot a patience for the chick walking with a limp. If I’m using a cane it’s amazing how many times it has been kicked out from under me or the back of my shoe has been stepped into causing it to come off, literally folks at my heels.

As I “celebrate” the second year of this blog, third year of traction, I think back about all the times I did want to quit. All the times I left traction early or cut out on some exercises, but just as many or more did I stick with it, I’m still here. Although I clearly understand my reasons for wanting to leave traction early, even leave it in the dust, I also know I’d be missing out on something. It’s so tempting to not finish something that is so not fun, so not entertaining, so not pretty, so not anything I’d ever wish on you or anyone. But it’s not a sporting event or chosen event and as a result, I won’t beat the traffic, I won’t get home in time for my favorite TV show, or make my dinner reservation. Life isn’t always a simple, neat little package you can plan and organize.

Sitting in traction and writing this blog is for me, I benefit most, I suffer most when I don’t do it, when I leave early, when I stop caring. Many of the subjects of these blogs have been about mind over matter. In these few years I’ve not found a trick or a secret or a magic wand, I’ve just hung in there, some days more gracefully than others, some days more painfully than others, some days wanting to scream or cry or laugh my self silly at this gizmo and the tediousness of it all.

Is that why people leave the game early, are they bored, are they in a hurry, or are they a control freak like me that wants to be in charge of everything? You will not find the answer here but you will have time to think about it. I’m taking what this experience is offering, sometimes that doesn’t feel like much but it is SOMETHING and when I forget that, I’m in trouble. So for now, I’m watching the last pitch, listening to the sound of the buzzer and saying Amen with the few stragglers left in the pew because I don’t want to miss a minute of this thing called my life.

(ps, I should run thru this entry again to make sure it makes sense but again, that’s not what this is about, I need this blog to be here for me just as it is, to ramble, to whine, to laugh, to be. To help me get thru and today I don’t feel like making sure it all makes sense, does that make sense 😉