Forget resolutions. I made plans. Starting in the fall. I already had appointments set up for January. I had activities mapped out. Places to go. People to meet. Perhaps a new job. Then life threw me another curve ball that I didn’t see coming: a broken knee.
This screws up all the plans. It will put me behind a year. I won’t be walking like a normal person for six months. And when winter turns to spring and weeds start sprouting, I will still be looking at my Christmas tree. I have already decided I wont’ be putting up a big tree next year — well, later this year that is.
I even had plans if it snowed: a snowman around the mailbox, an upside down snowman near the curb for DPW in hopes they would stop piling so much snow in front of my driveway, the snow castles I would build if we had a decent snowfall…
We got a blizzard — well, maybe not technically. It’s still being debated. Snow accumulations varied by town. Wind speeds varied. I could only watch the snow piling up while I stood on one leg.
And since I have the neighbors from hell, I had to pay landscapers to clear the snow for me. Good Samaritans don’t live on my street.
All my winter and spring projects were laid out. And being an El Nino year, meant a milder winter (excepting the surprise blizzard) wherein I could complete everything with foolish ease. Weather would not prevent me from getting supplies…
I will even miss the spring planting season since I’ll barely be able to walk.
And while you can order most anything on the internet, after the Christmas season there’s very little free shipping. Our local grocery store now has home delivery. It’s free — if you order at least $250 worth of groceries. Have you ever tried cooking while standing on one leg — holding crutches? How about while holding onto a walker? I challenge all Top Chef competitors, past and present, and all the judges to complete the feat of making a nutritious, well-balanced meal — in less than 1 hour while standing on one leg and either holding onto crutches or a walker.. In fact, I challenge every chef at Food Network and 5 star restaurant. And then let’s see if they have the energy to eat the dinner they’ve just cooked. I’m not going to be doing much cooking while standing on one leg, so a $15 delivery charge is just not practical for $10 worth of weekly groceries. Fresh produce and dairy go bad quickly. Who needs to buy $250 worth of junk food every week?
Then there’s the issue of transportation. Obviously I can’t drive. The town service for elderly and disabled is limited by the town boundaries and scheduled stops, so you can wait 2 hours before pickup. The county service requires at least two weeks’ notice to maybe get on their schedule, and there’s a monthly charge. While there are volunteer organizations that help with grocery shopping and transportation to doctors’ appointments, it’s for seniors only. I’m not a senior.
That leaves taxis — which aren’t cheap.
Basically, if you’re not a child (under 18) or a senior (at least 60), you’re screwed. There are no social services set up for adults who are not seniors.
And did I mention that I have to wear what is called an ‘immobilizer’ which extends from my ankle to 3″ below my groin for two months? It’s to keep the knee straight while not putting weight on the leg. And that it doesn’t always stay in place with the knee peeking out where it should, because I have short legs and this frigging thing covers almost all of it which makes it very tricky in the bathroo?
Then, there’s the cabin fever that sets in. You start seeing Jack Torrance in the mirror spending the winter at the Overlook Hotel ..and you start chanting ‘redrum’…
The difference, however, is that the Overlook Hotel was fully stocked with six months of food, beverages and other items because Jack and his family intended to be housebound for six months…
Within weeks I ran out of stamps, checks, envelopes, printer ink. toilet paper, tissues, garlic, fresh fruit, dairy items, wine, Kahlua and bourbon…overdue library books and can’t get any new ones to read.
I have rug burns from butt-walking up and down the stairs. I have blisters on my hands from crutches, wheelchairs and walkers. I’ve worn out my winter slippers and winter isn’t even half over.
By the time I’m walking again, the tourists will be back.