Welcome to Normal

We spent New Year’s Eve at home quietly and went to bed early. It was a long day as I had laundry to do, 3 loads, and worked with Dale.  Since we hadn’t worked the week before, there was a great deal to catch up on and deal with.  Bills, one last contribution, poetry submissions, answering mail, deal with a closed credit card that won’t quit months after I cancelled it.

New Year’s day, we took the way too big tree down and put away our hundreds of ornaments in five boxes. Then we moved the furniture around, getting the livingroom back. Woody requested my black bean soup that I used to make for New Year’s, but hadn’t in recent years.  It took five and a half hours but was delicious.  Still by that evening, my ankle was extremely painful from being on my feet so many hours both days.  I tried to stay off it as much as possible Wednesday and the pain settled down.

Last Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year, I always have a dinner with friends that begins with a ritual I have developed.  Norma Simon, a wonderful children’s book writer and perhaps my only friend older than me, made two honey cakes this year, I’m not sure why.  She makes a great honey cake, which is traditional for the New Year. We ate one at dinner and then froze the other. Norma died about a month ago.  Since then, Woody has an occasional piece of her cake.  When friends die, it’s often strange what remains to remind you of them.  Norma’s honey cake is a good example.  We have a little sculpture of metal butterflies hanging in the livingroom and a metal cat sculpture in the flower garden that remind me of my dear friend Elise who died of pancreatic cancer three years ago.  A jade necklace my father gave her and a couple of pins are among the many things that make me think of my mother. A jar of berry preserves sits in the refrigerator that Dan gave me before he died suddenly last May.  I can’t bring myself to open it.

My doctor said Thursday that I could take off the boot sometimes and leave it off for a while so long as my ankle doesn’t hurt.  As I type this, I am not wearing it.  It feels very liberating to be able to take it off during the day, at least for a few hours now and then.  That’s the lace up boot I wear so that my ankle I sprained in Detroit and then resprained doing balance exercises might eventually heal.

So far no snow, which is great for me.  With the boot on, I can only wear a old pair of sandals.  They are faded black, stained, ugly.  And not suitable for snow.  I can’t get any of my regular boots on over the medical boot. It’s a race between my ankle healing and the coming of snow. 

I’m still reading manuscripts for my juried intensive poetry workshop in June.  Also a novel for a blurb. I’ll be glad when we close the workshop very soon so that I can read something more than manuscripts.  I also read a manuscript of NIGHT TRAIN TO OAXACA by Elaine Cohen that I blurbed.  It was excellent.  Very fine poems on a fine variety of subjects from Mexico, where she has spent much time, to growing up Jewish in Gloversville New York, to unrequited love in Chicago.

After the RICE protocol for my ankle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION) I have lost some strength.  I’ve just started exercising again but carefully.  No balance exercises for a while.  Mostly weights I can do sitting down, so as not to put more strain on my ankle.  But hip, back and very light ankle exercises. I’ve been doing a lot of straightening and decluttering and am still at it. It’s amazing in how short a time I can cover my desk five inches high in papers and how much stuff in my bedroom gets shoved onto dressers instead of into them or into my closet.  Since I injured my ankle originally in late October, I couldn’t do much with my closet.  Now it’s all straight again and the last of the summer dresses stowed away till spring. Woody helped me and that made is possible.

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