Saturday, July 5, 2014

Appreciating a Glorious Fourth on the Fifth

What a glorious Fourth of July it was here along coastal South Carolina. A flyover of vintage airplanes with folks on the beaches waving their American flags; boat parades; golf-cart parades; a cupcake-eating contest, and yes fireworks everywhere starting about 8 and lasting until after midnight. The main downside for us is that Superdawg is terrified of firecrackers, but she has discovered her new bomb shelter in the utility room. If we turn on the washer or dryer, that helps muffle the sound for her. To get her to go out to tinkle at 1 a.m., however, I had to resort to the ruse of ringing the doorbell to rouse her from the fetal position and herd her out the door for a few minutes.

Anyway, we had a family cookout (hot dogs and hamburgers), which was wonderful, and basically just enjoyed our blessings of liberty in a quiet way, which can be the best way.

It now seems like weeks ago, instead of just one day, when Hurricane Arthur was passing by here just 50 miles or so offshore. Today, with a high pressure system taking charge and Arthur diminishing out in Atlantic waters off New England, we had a blessedly low-humidity morning for our dawg walk. I didn't have to go through the rigamarole of loading Sadie into the backseat of the car to drive us to a shaded area for our jaunt. We just walked right out the front door, and off we went.

In addition to my trusty sassafras cane, I used my orthopedic back brace today as an extra crutch. In truth, the lumbar spinal stenosis that I've been battling off and on for 10 years is making a comeback. That may be in part a weight issue because with a new diabetes medicine I am having trouble keeping caloric-intake low. That's because this med is so efficient at bringing my blood sugar low that I have to eat snacks to avoid a hypoglycemic crash. No doubt I need to re-educate myself on how to manage diabetes by smartly balancing diet and exercise. Maybe it would be a good idea also to go see a young orthopedist who comes highly recommended; perhaps he can set me up with a productive round of physical therapy and motivation at a local fitness center.

Since turning the Big 6-zero a dozen years ago, I have had to deal with spinal stenosis, replacement of an aortic root and valve, the onset of type 2 diabetes, laser repair of a meniscus repair (right knee), total knee replacement (left knee), a probable need to have laser eye surgery soon, and now back around with the stenosis. However, this is not meant as a whine. It has been a total blessing to be able to deal with these medical conditions and to stay mobile with the help of my Superdawg and my walking sticks. It is a joy to be able to take grandkids to their soccer matches (which sometimes entails a lot of walking) and to cheer them on.

I have no intention of surrendering. Let's hear it for the great outdoors, sports, and mobility. And God bless the USA!

                                                     © Robert G. Holland  2014

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