“I dunno, it’s just not the same,” I said to Roseann on my most recent visit to Orchard Creek.
“There’s no sense of community, living at home by oneself.”
She nodded. “Well, we miss you here,” she said. “Nobody else puts art all over the walls in the hallway.”
Now calling my coloring attempts and my beginning water colors “art” is a kindness that endears Roseann to me, and I count her as my new BFF. She’s always optimistic and supportive, gracious and kind. And she’s a good teacher, too!
But yes, I am home—just me and Twister, my Portuguese Water Dog, and Punkin, my aggressively loving cat. We are visited three times a week by My Pal Kal, the TortureMeister, who is helping me strengthen my legs and learn more about mobility. Kal brings rubber balls, therabands and five and ten pound ankle weights and counts leg raises while rubbing Punkin’s belly, which she has shamelessly exposed as she lies beside him on the couch.
I keep trying to convince Kal to take a quick pass around my yard on my riding mower, but he says that there’s no such thing as a ‘quick pass’ around my yard, and he’s right. Dandelion stems wave idly in the breeze, and the fluff floats lazily by the front deck, which is about as far as I can go with my cane or walker. I feel good, which is probably why I am so impatient with the @#$%^& dandelion farm surrounding my house—but thanks to Craig’s List, I think I’ve found a young man with a car and riding mower experience.
I’ve been painting—just working on technique: there’s a blue elephant, a very fat nuthatch, and a purple and red rooster on my fridge, along with a still intimidating list of medications. As far as the latter, though, the content has changed from antibiotics and pain killers to iron and calcium supplements, vitamins, and maintenance medications. QD has cleared me for driving, which I do a little of: I have found that the issue is not with the driving but with what to do when I get to where I am going. Grocery stores are a hassle (boy, are they big!), and farmers’ markets are not wheelchair friendly, for sure. Each day is a challenge…
The biggest issue, though, is the one I voiced to Roseann—I knew I would miss the laughter and friendship of OC. My dining companion is a book, and the midnight sounds are the soft snore of the dog by my bed. It’s good being here at home, but it’s just not the same.