As I write this morning, I feel a definite hush in the air, and I KNOW it's not just me. A few short years ago around this time, the United States was hit with the most horrible disaster that destroyed not only buildings and shattered peoples' lives, but also changed the way we will think about many things forever. The blessing I felt in spite of this disaster was the outpouring of love and concern I experienced as I continued my travels through Sicily. The handwritten signs in store windows and the quiet smiles from people when they found we were Americans. People DO care for others, it's too bad that we had to find it out this way!
As usual, I'm rushing around trying to get the laundry done and my camera gear packed for another trip, this time it's to take on the role of "Daddyma" since one of my granddaughters is turning 3. I really couldn't quite understand what she was saying to me on the phone, so I had to ask her dad for a translation. He explained that Sara couldn't figure out who I was so he explained that I was Daddy's Mom, hence my new name. Oh well, I've been called worse! My friend Arthur (aka osteoarthritis) has been visiting me with a vengeance. High temperatures and high humidity seem to be major enemies for me, so after a few more days of TRYING to ignore the problem (have you noticed THAT does NOT work!!!) I'm returning to my doctor for another evaluation and an attempt to discover something that will work---at least for now.
There seems to be an unwritten law---something about the more you have to do and the tighter the schedule---the more unexpected things occur that definitely must be dealt with? So yesterday morning, armed with one of my famous lists of "things I gotta do today" I emerged into the world, ready to tackle anything. Well, except for the one rear tire on my truck that seemed rather flat (but only on the bottom side)! Of course, I put in enough air to limp to the repair shop, only to discover the tire had to be replaced since the screw puncture was too close to the side. No problem, buy a new tire and put it on, but they couldn't find the right one. Three hours later, with a new tire (that was round on the bottom too) I was on my merry way. So, of course, I'm now a half day behind! I will admit that, at times (most of the time), I'm totally unrealistic about what I CAN do!! Good thing I live alone, at least my dog knows to hide and take a nap when I'm on a "tear". I had almost 200 photos to copy for my greeting card business and wanted to take advantage of a special coupon offer I had. The store felt sorry for me, I think, and let me do it all at once. Can you guess what perks that gave my arthritis? Yes, I'm definitely my own worst enemy! The next stop was my camera dealer who had called with a gift of "farm fresh eggs." If you've had them before, I really don't need to explain the difference!
I firmly believe that there's no such thing as "coincidence." For me, I think things usually happen for a reason. In Cody, Wyoming a few weeks ago, I stopped at a unique shop to photograph a cowboy I'd seen there. After a lengthy chat, I found that he designs exclusive ranch homes and had been interested in adding some African art to his designs. (Gee, maybe an outlet for my women's work in Tanzania). I also have a new friend at the local farmer's market who hired a teacher from Kenya to work on their farm for the summer. He's since returned home, but is beginning a business to promote African art. We're corresponding in hopes of working out a business partnership for Kenya. I find it amazing how much people can work together for a common goal. In my case, promoting a passion for Africa. It also fascinates me how very little my OA challenges hinder me with these goals.
A continued passion of course is my fascination with Mt. Kilimanjaro (also called Her Majesty). Sande, my new friend from Kenya, is one of my biggest cheerleaders for my projects, as well as my boss from Cross Cultural Solutions. I expressed my doubts and concerns about my ability to "do" Mt. Kili, due to my challenges with OA to both people. I find it fascinating that the NEXT DAY I ran into the personal trainer I used after my first two joint replacement surgeries. I hadn't seen her in three years, but she's returning to the original location and is more than willing to step up to the challenge of getting me ready. She admitted that the first time she met me, I had endured placement of a steel plate in my ankle and two months later had to have 6 joints removed from my toes as well as surgery to "re-do" my foot. When she asked me the first time what my ultimate goal was, she said I informed her that it was September and I needed to be ready to climb Machu Picchu in Peru in January. She later admitted she went home and prayed for me because she didn't think I was realistic. But I made it!!! I told her last week---hang on, now's the REAL challenge. Since we last worked together, I've received two artificial hips, and have arthritis in my neck, knees and, of course, my hands. But I'm not giving up, I continue to live in a CAN DO and WILL DO world. I don't have a handicap, I have a challenge. The pain's excruciating at times, as you're all aware, but I WON'T LET OSTEOARTHRITIS CONTROL MY LIFE!!!!! Hmm, it's the end of September again and I don't return to Africa until early June. Plenty of time!
Published On: October 01, 2007