Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finally Back

When Sally was here and we walked the dogs near Starbucks, she took this picture of me at one of my favorite places -- under the Orange Line tracks where there's always different graffiti. I look like a happy five-year-old, but a good looking, healthy one, for which I thank her very much!

So, here I am, back, almost turned back into a normally functioning person. Not quite, but almost. Recently in the Times, there was an article on "Keeping Old Bodies Strong," in which Andew Pollack said,

"In addition, geriatric specialists, in particular, are now trying to establish the age-related loss of muscles as a medical condition under the name of sarcopenia, from the Greek for loss of flesh. Simply put, sarcopeenia is to muscle what osteoporosis is to bone."

It's a very interesting article, more scientific and medically driven than what Jane Brody might have written about the need to exercise often, with stress on the aerobic along with weight bearing exercises that build muscle. It was a timely piece to read because, though I don't imagine my colon is entirely calm yet, I'm most aware that I'm physically much weaker than I was last summer when I could water buckets on the track. When I go out there now, and help Monica spread shavings in a stall and then rake the shedrow, I definitely feel it....and usually lie down afterwards. It's a matter of building up, not with the ferocity with which I tackled walking once I'd been warned about the drop off of energy after finishing the last bit of prednisone. But, never-the-less building up.

It's hard for me to accep the slow process of it all. I'm so type A, alas. But maybe I learned that lesson by the punishment my body inflicted after I walked too much, too soon, too up hill, after lying down for two months. The point of all this is to absorb an idea that's very hard for me -- exercise has to be part of daily life as does stretching. I just didn't get this early on, having decided that daily life was about thinking and perhaps doing a bit of something creative, taking pictures maybe. I ignored physical exercise as easily as I did doing the dishes, making the bed and vacuuming.

To my suprise, and to do a favor for a friend, I will be teaching one class this fall....I said yes instantly because I've been dreaming about how to get my job back. Now I don't have to dream that anymore and can go on trying to figure out where to buy the child Krissy clothes in my dreams...At night I worry terribly about that and when I wake up, I can't remember where I bought them when she was a real child.... I know my mother shopped in Macy's and Lord & Taylors, classy department stores that I could never afford. Where on earth did I shop? My dream self would certainly like to solve that problem.

The job offer came in nicely just after a downpour of expenses. One was the loss of my G-4, ten years old, just in its prime, I thought, but evidentally equivalent to an unhealthy geriatric state. Because my programs -- Finalcut Pro and Photoshop -- are old, and I have many, many files that depend on them, I am now using my laptop as the main computer and have bought a refurbished MacPro which I will eventually get up the courage to use. My goal was to finish printing eight months of daily 2008-2009 self-portraits before having to upgrade to a new Photoshop program. I doubted how much flexibility my learning curve has at this moment and preferred to put off finding out for a while.

And then there are the teeth, four of them, the most expensive of which will be $5,000 for a post implant, blah and blah. How is that possible?

It rained and the roof leaked. It's much harder to put that off than it is the teeth ... so on the three hottest days last week, three men worked on replacing it and finished before the hurricane. (Now I know how to pronounce that in Spanish.) A bit more has to be done, but it's slightly cooler.

A few weeks ago, Smith and Krissy drove me to Portland to visit Jeannie and another high school friend, Helen. Jeannie and her husband, Kilt, have a Schnauzer named Zeus. I was obsessed with getting a photograph of him because his face has such interesting coloring and texture. It looks like a mask. I didn't suceed, though I almost drove him nuts. Obviously seeing Jeannie and Hellen was far more important than the dog, but I was, never-the-less, fascinated by him.

To my astonishment, K. & C. also picked me up. On the way back, we stopped at Salisbury Beach, a tatty old place on the ocean which I've always liked. We shared a butterscotch soft ice cream sundae which was like heaven I thought. (My stomach thought not.) And I dragged them into one of the amusement/game spots where I could take lots of oddment photos.

Though I'm back at blogging, nothing is the same. My spot doesn't looke the same, my familiar blogs don't appear neatly on the side so that I can read them first. There's no listing for bold or italics and no yellow warning when I've mispelled a word. Oh, that's a big loss!

I'm hoping, after this initial plunge, that I'll find everyone who I lost and feel confident about blogging. My best wishes!


  1. Oh, Melissa, my dear, my dear, how you've been missed in this 'littler' while than before! And along with the bad news (the computer death, the teeth and the roof), you're teaching! Oh, I couldn't be happier for you--I know there weren't words for what the loss of teaching was for you. And it's a beautiful post-hurricane day--I think blogspot put in a new 'editor' which arranges for italics, and other things you can't find. It's on your blog behind the scenes somewhere--I've forgotten, but someone will weigh in!

  2. Hello, dear!

    How about cooking with cast iron pots--for weight-bearing? The hell with the gym for me .

    Love from Mim

  3. What a terrific photograph of you, Melissa - how well you look!

    I'm with Mim and the cast-iron pots...


  4. melissa, i had not seen this post--i guess it was while i was away in the woods/lakes communing with handsome frogs. and i love that photo of you that Sally took! it's kind of shocking, as tho a mischievous little melissa sneaked out world!