My Winter of Discontent

dressWith apologies to John Steinbeck for my subject title, this has been exactly that. I have crawled out of bed every morning to the snow and the cold and the pain. Oh, yes, the pain which started last year in this month when I hit the ice face first by my front steps.  Months of knee and ankle pain ensued along with a quick disappearance of my patience.  I am not a good patient. I don’t want to have any thing deter me from whatever it is that I want to do or places I want to go. So when the snow started falling and the mercury started dropping out of sight, I became a bit more closed in.

Each morning I reached for a cane to get out of bed and do my first few moments of wandering to avoid falling into my bowl of oatmeal.  By January arthritis from an old foot injury ( thank you, Rowe Hill farm) set in and every word my mother or grandmother ever uttered about arthritis came back to me and bounced off every segment of my brain. At the same time, the ankle spoke to the injured knee and said, “Why don’t you join in? It’s fun making her so miserable.” The knee replied, “I think I will” and so the two joined forces. While this seemed to be a good team and was really right up there on the pain scale, the two of them remembered that once upon a time, I had sciatica visit me, and so it issued an invitation to join the team. “Why not?” said Sciatica. “I have nothing else to do this winter except watch the mercury go down.” “That’s when we have the most fun,” replied the Arthritic Duo in unison.

And so it went. Arthritis in my right foot, arthritis in my right knee, sciatica attacking from the rear ( literally) and down the leg…this was a very, very good winter. I managed to find one sunny day without too much pain on the scale to visit my hairdresser. At that point, I looked like someone living in a ditch for six months and think I even scared her.

Well I kept reminding myself, I have friends and there are millions who are suffering such horrible afflictions. I reminded myself of the blessings I have…even tho the two flights of stairs from the split level are hard to manage some days, I can walk, I can see, I can hear and on it went. That did help. Meanwhile, I gulped numerous drinks and fish oil supplements trying to hasten along the healing process . I find that both arthritis and sciatica have minds of their own and there’s no point in trying to hurry either.

So this leads me to the photo of the dress. I got up this morning, noted the -9 on the thermometer and shook my fist at winter. I was a female Henry Fonda in “Golden Pond” when he was determined to catch that elusive fish. I said the same thing..”You old S.O.B. you are not beating me.” I will create something. I marched to my fabric pieces, searched for the brightest, most outlandish colors and designs I could find, threw them on the sewing machine, stitched and threw caution to the winds. I have come to the “I don’t care” mode. I sewed a pocket on upside down. I still continued singing “Galway Bay”. Winter was not going to beat me. This is March. How long can it last? I don’t know…but when I got through sewing my frustration out, I had a dress so loud, so ugly, that not even winter could stand to look at it.

There, you old S.O.B., you can’t beat me down. I have a cane and I fight nasty.


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