One Boot, Two Boots

Three months ago, I started having pain in my left foot. It did not go away but instead got worse. After a visit to the doctor and an MRI, I found I had a stress fracture in my left metatarsal.

I wish I could tell you it was a sports injury, but alas, I simply stepped out of my car and wham! Stress fracture!

Ah, one of those joys of elderliness – fragile bones. On went the big black boot to keep my left foot from bending when I walked and keep my weight off the tiny bone that was partially fractured.

The boot solved the pain issue but brought some problems with it – like, it was heavy and hot and big and very black. And a little itchy, which meant I had to wear a sock with it – which made it, you guessed it, even hotter!

I was lucky though, that it was my left foot. Because I could still drive and more importantly, still sew with my right foot. I had to wear the boot for six weeks for “every step” I took, according to the doctor. ( Like that is even possible!)

And if I couldn’t use my sewing machine for six weeks, I believe I would have . . . . . well, I can’t even imagine that!!! That would be beyond anything I could wrap my brain around!!!!!! It just better not happen, that’s all!

So lucky me! But really, six weeks dragging that big ball and chain around was pretty grim. Can’t tell you how happy I was when I could finally take it off for the last time.

But at first, I was a little timid to put any weight on my foot. I favored that foot for quite awhile.

It’s been six weeks since the boot came off and it is so nice. My left foot aches a little in the evening if I have used it a lot during the day. But I am healed!

Okay, so a week ago, guess who starts complaining about pain in his left foot? Yup, Gramps!

He went to the doctor, got X-rays and sure enough – he has an inflamed tendon in his left foot. The treatment?

A big black boot for six weeks!!!!!

Of course, mine is too small for him. He was “hangin five” as they say in surfing parlance. He ordered his own on Amazon, got delivery in two days and is currently sufficiently wrapped and strapped.

No more pain, but hot and heavy. His foot is stinky from sweating in his sock because it is now summer temperatures here in Texas.

When asked by everyone we know, why he now has a boot just like mine, his answer is “I was having such sympathy pains for her!”

Isn’t he a sweet Gramps?!!!

If I Won The Lottery

The other day, my 16 year old grandson Mac and I were daydreaming together about what we would each do if we happened to win our local lottery. I don’t even know how much money it is but we were assuming at least $20 million would be coming our way, after taxes, etc.

(I mean, if you are daydreaming, you can make up any number want, right? So, $20 million it was!)

Okay, so we were in dreamland, completely. I say that because I am NEVER going to win the lottery! I know that because I NEVER buy lottery tickets!!

Mac already had plans for his money. He had a long list of parts he wanted to get for his computer. And he is a new driver, so a flashy car would be at the top of his list. Maybe an apartment too, when he turns 18 of course.

But in the long run, he had a little trouble spending all his money. Even after taking all his friends out to dinner numerous times and going to every movie he could think of.

It is actually hard to buy enough things to spend $20 million, he discovered. Who knew?!!!

Now my list was completely different. (And here we discover the difference between a person at the beginning of their life and a person at the end of their life) I wasn’t so much interested in getting “things”. I find they don’t last very long or they lose their charm after time.

I was interested in experiences. I decided I would take all the grandchildren on trips, to places they had never been. I wanted them to see new views, taste new foods, hear new languages, experience new cultures and realize that people all over the world are different in many ways and yet the same in basic ways.

Things are forgotten. Experiences are lifetime treasures. They can change us forever and provide us with wisdom and profound understanding.

Things can become boring and broken. Experiences can be indescribable and remain intact in our memories for a lifetime.

Things can be replaced easily. Experiences are irreplaceable. They are gifts of time, energy and love.

Next I decided I would give each child a gift of education unique to that child. One child would go to art school. One child would go a computer school. One child I know, wants to get a Real Estate license, etc.

I hope they each appreciate this gift because anything you learn, you have in your head. No one can take that from you. You don’t have to rely on anyone else. You own that knowledge forever! It’s yours!

Education is a gift like nothing else. I would spend whatever it takes to get all my grandchildren educated and independent. What would that cost?

But how happy would I be? To have six well educated, well travelled, maybe multilingual, tolerant, active grandchildren with possibly multi-ethnic friends and acquaintences, who wouldn’t be happy?!!!

And it would only cost $20 million!!!!!!

All The Courage In The World

What would you do if you had all the courage in the world? I can’t even imagine my world with no fear, no worry, no “what ifs”. I’m fairly bold but still . . . . .

I think my granddaughter Katie is a really brave girl. She faced bullies and mean kids every day at school and yet she kept going . . . . . every day!!! I think that is remarkably courageous.

She had low self esteem, anxiety attacks and depression, and yet she faced those bullies again and again and again. I can’t imagine where she got the strength as a twelve year old to do that. I’m still amazed by her. She is my hero!

She is now fifteen, in high school, is an amazing actress and has many close friends. She likes herself, is happy and the anxiety attacks are few. Life is good for her.

Now if I had no fear of anything . . . . . I might open a quilt store. But do I have the physical energy to run It?! I guess I could hire people to do all that for me. But it is a dream I’ve had.

I might also open a quilt museum. That way I could display all the quilts I long to own. I would really love to do that! Think how much I would learn about all those quilts. Mmmmmmmmm! Oh give me a minute here . . . . . I’m in my dream world.

Let me see . . . . . I think I would write a book. I think there is one in me but I’m too fearful to let it out or maybe it’s I think I’m not smart enough to write a really good enough book. I’m not sure what is stopping me. Lots of different fears all together, I guess.

Then I think I would become a life coach or a lecturer, of sorts. I have wisdom and advice to give. If I were braver, I would be more bold about it.

One other thing – I would have liked to have been an interior decorator, just because I love color and putting furnishings together. I really love filling up an empty room or house. And I adore living in a well decorated space.

Of course, to do all these things I should have started thirty or forty years ago. But at my age of almost seventy-five, with not all the courage in the world, I have only lived portions of my dreams.

I quilt in my sewing room almost everyday. I display quilts in my home and share them with friends and family.

I write a blog and newsletters for organizations I belong to. I love to write letters to family and friends that are long and meaningful.

I have lots of advice to share with friends and family whenever they ask.

I have decorated several homes in my life with great joy.

What a great life I’ve had, even being fearful, not so courageous and a bit meek.

How much grander it will be as I become braver and braver!

I can’t wait!!!!

First Job

When I was about sixteen years old I got my first real job. In other words, it wasn’t babysitting or doing extra chores for 50 cents an hour. This was a real clock-in, clock-out, have responsibilities, learn some skills, maybe get a raise, job. I was a waitress at the diner in our local Walgreens store!!!

I filled out an application, passed an interview, got a uniform and was trained in a matter of days. (I think maybe two!) I felt more grown up than ever. Now all I had to do was learn how to balance six malted milks on a 2 1/2 foot round metal tray with one hand while calling out a full dinner order for four while passing the kitchen window and picking up my tip with the other hand. What?!

Well, it looked easy! And I frequently manned the counter, which meant I was the cashier. Which meant I had to balance the cash register at the end of the day. That’s how I learned to give change the correct way, not in a pile like they do nowadays. Who says you aren’t going to use math in the real world?

And did you know that you have to learn a new language to work in a diner? Well, it’s true. It’s a kind of shorthand for telling the cooks what you want without using all the words of the menu. Like “short stack” means three pancakes and “tall stack” means six pancakes.

I learned more than just shorthand talk and carrying a tray, I can still carry five plates of food in one hand and two in the other and not drop a bite. It really impresses the grandchildren!!!!

More importantly, I learned to finish what I started and I learned to always give a bit more than was asked. The waitresses were my teachers and the diner was my classroom. The customers were my tests and their tips were my grades. Sometimes I did well and sometimes not so well.

One time that whole tray of six malted milks ended up in a customer’s lap. That’s how I learned to accept my shortcomings, face my mistakes, and make them right. I cleaned him up as best I could, offered to pay for cleaning his suit, paid for his meal, apologized over and over, and took another tray of malted milks to the other tables. Then I had a small breakdown in the stockroom. Remember, I was 16.

But again, the older waitresses taught me. Some taught me just by being there. They were working to support their families, I was working for spending money. Big difference! Being mindful of that difference helped keep me in school for several years–through High School and college. They never knew the many positive effects they had on me. Thank you, ladies!

First jobs are powerful. They can teach you a lot of the work ethics you will carry with you the rest of your life, if you pay attention. Even though you are usually at the bottom of the heap, so to speak, there are knowledge and skills to be gained, relationships to be formed, and habits to be honed.

First jobs? Choose wisely and enjoy!