Growing Older

Bonnie, November 2013<
On November 17, 2013, a storm hit the Detroit area and has since been billed by Detroit Edison as the biggest in ten years. It started as a thunder-storm with heavy rain. I could hear the wind blowing and I learned later that it reached gusts of over 70 miles per hour. About and hour into the storm, my house lost power. I have electric baseboard heat so I also lost heat. At the time, it was about 40 degrees F. Losing power is not commonplace here, so I got my battery operated lantern and sat down to wait. I reported the outage To Detroit Edison. It was dark and looking out the window, I could see that my neighbors had no power. I had just finished dinner so at least I wasn’t hungry.

I got out a book to read and read by torchlight until I was tired. I went to sleep early and woke up cold. I fed my dog and I had a cold breakfast. I checked the mobile outage map on my iPhone and saw that we were supposed to get power right before midnight that same night. I decided I could tough it out. The house got colder and colder. Bonnie, my dog, and I went to the car to warm up. I started charging my electronic stuff.

By mid afternoon. The car wasn’t cutting it. Bonnie was shivering in the house. Bonnie will be fourteen next month and I have seen signs of her age. I can see that the hair on her muzzle is turning white. When I come home she recognizes me first by voice. At night when she goes out, she sometimes has trouble seeing and navigating the stairs. She doesn’t get up on the bed as easily. Unlike people though she is not plucking her grey hairs or complaining about pain in her joints. the sight of her shivering was a reminder that she is more fragile than she used to be. We went riding in the car. We both got warm. I finally stopped in a coffee shop which turned out to be and ad hoc warming center. While drinking the coffee, I checked the outage map. More were out of service and I was now scheduled for return of power in two days. I began to call kennels and got Bonnie a warm place for the duration. When I went home to pick up her food, it was colder and the temp was supposed to fall below freezing that night.

I delivered Bonnie to a kennel and stopped by a motel and booked myself a room. I was lucky. While I was there, another motel called to see if they had any rooms left. I got a cheaper room. It was clean and warm.
I went home to pack and go to the motel. I had offers from a couple of acquaintances to stay at their home. I did not know them well enough to stay at their homes.

I had to eat out. One was the “American BLT”. I thought it would be a normal BLT. Imagine my horror when I found a slice of the processed cheese product some call American cheese melted on the sandwich. I was able to scrape it off so I could eat it.

I stayed only one night. My power was restored early. Bonnie was two nights in the kennel. With my kind of heat it takes about 6 hours to warm.

The next couple of days, I had to go through my food. I had to throw out a lot. I had put some in the freezer which didn’t work. I had packed some in ice and it didn’t work.

Finally, by Saturday I was through the clean up and by yesterday I was back to normal.

A Trip to the Farmers Market

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After my weekly trip ti the butcher and the bakery, I stopped by the local Farmers Market. This one is so very small compared to Detroit’s Eastern Market but it is so very local. I also knew I could get the tomatoes, peppers and squash I wanted. As a bonus, I got a great Tuscan Bruschetta.

As I wandered around to check it all out, I heard a duo playing some of the sound track of my life a long time ago. there was no sign on the stage saying who they were. As they announced songs,they did not say who they were. They did songs like “Sweet Home, Alabama”, “Tennessee Whiskey”, “Night Moves”, “On the Road Again” and “Drivin’ My Life Away.

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I sat in a chair right next to a pile of snow and tossed a couple of snowballs. I watched kids play with the snow. It was so enjoyable to see the toddlers discover snow for the first time.

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My Bothersome Rotator Cuff

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I know how many people out there have far more serious health problems than a strained rotator cuff or tendinitis whichever it is. This is my own rant because it has almost been a year and I am tired of being in pain. It has improved so much over this year that it hardly seems worth complaining about. But, I choose to complain.

By complaining, I hope to turn around how I feel about this. When this first happened, I could hardly drive a car. I couldn’t make turns easily in the car. Just putting my arm through a sleeve to get dressed almost brought me to tears. Combing my hair was a nightmare. I woke up very couple of hours when I tried to sleep.

Now, driving still causes a little pain but it is manageable. Getting dressed is easier. I have a new hairstyle which is easier and looks better. I can now use my left hand for more than ever before. I am getting some full nights of sleep. I can do my exercises more easily.

Remembering that my shoulder is so much better.