Lost in Time

Where does one begin to pick up the threads that have unraveled since 2020?  Who wants to revisit these past two years anyway?  Can you bear with me as I try to get my writing groove back?  

It is tea time two days before Valentine’s Day, 2022 in Klamath Falls. I have consumed tiny chocolates from a box of French chocolates gifted by my daughter!  Time out from packing for a seven week stay in Tucson, Arizona. Half of my family still lives in Tucson and time with them is important. Maybe because it’s time to travel again I dug out Brightly and powered up.  In late autumn of 2020 I emptied my nest in Sahuarita, Arizona and moved to a home that sits beside a creek at the Running Y Ranch Resort on the outskirts of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The house has been renovated downstairs, and there are plumbers, cabinet and closet makers lined up to make some changes upstairs later in 2022. The toing and froing and managing two homes began to chafe.  Parked on hold from 2020 was a long-anticipated lengthy stay in France plus a culinary adventure to Marrakech, Morocco with a San Francisco based chef. Also postponed was a knee replacement that was impeding the ‘goes’ part of Brightly. And my 80th birthday celebration. I’ll just power forward towards ninety to have that celebration and begin to pick up the wandering that was put on hold for COVID.  Paris is still parked until another year.  Morocco is on for mid-April—not exactly footsteps in the sand, rather cooking in the gardens of a Moroccan Riad. Hence the new masthead.  

In early February I counted out masks and hand sanitizer, heavy duty compression stockings, a new Oregon driver’s license, walking sticks and a cane. A titanium knee device is not happy in its slot between tibia and femur despite seven months of intensive therapy, to be continued in Arizona.  For you readers who may be new to this blog, I have been recovering from a knee replacement that went awry in July, was off my right leg for three months while a cracked tibia healed and then started a long journey of retraining damaged and dormant muscles and nerves to regain balance and strength and stride. It has proven about sixty-five percent successful, so many more physical therapy sessions are to follow. As one physical therapist has repeatedly reminded me, your body has not figured out how to accommodate that piece of metal. It’s complicated. The long-lived determined part of me says ‘it’s time to go again, and you will figure out a way to do it’. 

Learning balance. Balance of place in a community where the majority eschewed masks and vaccinations.  Balance as a senior for whom ‘senior’ has a very different meaning than it did when I transitioned from being a senior in high school. Balancing multiple tasks at a time—always one of my high functioning skills, seems to have evaporated. That was put to the test during packing and closing my house for a few weeks, and it did not work so well.  I’ve always loved the dance of multitasking and will feel a certain sorrow if I cannot get that skill set back into its old rhythm.  And balance on my own two legs when one leg feels quite disembodied from the rest of me. 

Tuesday morning after Valentine’s Day, a friend picked me up and drove me to Medford, the closest town with an airport to where I live. It’s an hour and a half drive over a mountain pass. After a so-so lunch in a trendy grocery store, she deposited me at an airport hotel, where I remained until 3:45 the next morning—and caught a 5:30 AM flight to Seattle, changed planes and boarded the 8:30 AM flight to Tucson. Along the way people were ever-so-kind to help this white-haired lady with two suitcases, a tote bag, walking sticks and a cane, and a large sack containing sun hats for Arizona. Following the lead of another person with a quantity of luggage, I inserted my credit card for a cart to load everything up as it came along the conveyor belt and pushed my belongings outside to the rental car kiosks. Someone warned me that car rentals were difficult to come by as a result of the pandemic. I can attest to that and to the price—more to rent a car for seven weeks than to pay for an Airbnb for the same amount of time. And then the price of gas skyrocketed. I tootled around in a small SUV that held eight gallons of gas and got good mileage. 

Weather in Arizona was on the chilly side for Tucson this time of year, so I could have packed warmer sweaters—as in wool. And Arizona never was as hot this year as I remember it being yet it was as chilly as February can be there —some nights the temps got down to freezing.    

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