Friday, July 11, 2014

Rainy Days and Physical Therapy Make Me Happy

Last night, lightning lit up the coast and thunder kept bedtime restless well after midnight. Today the cloudiness lingered and continued to yield off-and-on showers.

No doubt some folks who paid for a week of sun and fun at the beach were miffed; however, as a long-time leader of family excursions to North Carolina's Outer Banks, I remember a rainy day or even intermittent rain showers throughout the week as a blessing. Rain offered a needed break from catching rays on the sand as well as a splendid opportunity to take the children to indoor venues that were fun and sometimes educational. The aquarium near Manteo was outstanding, and it was also nice being able to take a little extra time to browse some old-reliable OBX shops like The Trading Post, where I got my coffee and paper every morning. And my son Bobby was always up for a visit to Cap't Franks, the local slice of hot dog heaven.

For those of us who are now coastal dwellers, a good soaking rain is welcome because we like to see our crepe mytles and other flowering plants prosper and shine. And the birds must appreciate a break from the relentless heat as well. They sing even more sweetly after a refreshing downpour.

Now the media are hyping a report that next week will feature a summertime version of the so-called Polar Vortex, with high temperatures possibly plunging from the 80s into the 50s in some locations in the Midwest and North. It is unclear how far south this Jet Stream-driven system will dip but if we get a 10-degree break here from our usual temperatures in the 90s with stifling humidity to match, Superdawg and I will call that blessed relief. We have soldiered on for a daily walk in the heat, but it hasn't been easy.

Adding to our burdens has been the worsening of the lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) I have been battling over the past decade. When walking or standing, I get a stabbing pain in my lower back that is only relieved by sitting down or to some degree by bending over and stretching. Early this rainy morning, I began a new round of physical therapy in an attempt to strengthen my back and avoid injections or surgery. I consider it a good omen that six weeks of PT began on an easy-going, stress-relieving rainy morning. PT sessions for my heart, back, and both knees have played a big role in enabling me to stay mobile in my senior years and accomplish goals like completing the 3-mile Heart Walk.

Rainy days and physical therapy make me happy.

                                                     © Robert G. Holland  2014

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