Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Sandy's Surgeries Are Done, But I Have Dishpan Hands

 At Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, Willis, Texas...

It has been a week since Sandy's shoulder replacement surgery, and she is doing remarkably well. We had been expecting a painful healing process, but she only needed moderate pain medication for a few days, then she reduced to Advil, and now--none at all! Physical therapy won't begin for a couple more weeks, though, and that's going to be crucial in her use of her new shoulder. After my shoulder surgery two years ago, I had PT for months, continuing with home therapy for about a year afterward. But it paid off; I have about 95% use of that arm now.

I now have a greater appreciation for the chores she normally does that have now fallen to me. I have no capacity, of course, to do them to her satisfaction, but I figure her fixing what I mess up will keep her from getting bored when she regains the use of her arm.
  
I even had to do some laundry the other day--for the first time in 44 years!  She was barking complicated instructions over my shoulder, and I think I handled the clothes and the chemicals correctly, but I told her I couldn't possibly figure out the undecipherable controls of the laundry equipment; she would just have to do that with her good hand.

She had the nerve to counter that pronouncement with, "So you're telling me that you, who somehow managed for years to fly jet airliners with more than a hundred passengers aboard, are mystified by a few buttons on a washing machine?"
 
I really didn't have a good answer for that, but Sandy and daughter Mindy got on the phone later and had the best time defaming me about my supposed incompetence. (Those two could easily become terrorists, I thought to myself.) 

Mindy said, "Tyler is exactly the same way; it's conjured-up helplessness!  I told him that anyone who can build a football stadium can probably handle a load of laundry." It was pretty easy to see that Tyler and I were in a no-win situation here, but when I started fumbling with the washing machine controls, I got my hands brushed away (she still has one good arm) and admonished that I "wasn't doing it right." The bottom line? I still don't know how to operate the laundry machine--could that have been my goal all along? 

However, I will tell you that I have learned to wash dishes to her satisfaction. And I have dishpan hands to prove it! What humiliation to have to put lotion on my dried-out hands! I shudder to think how far I have fallen. Yesterday I even cleaned the bathroom! That was pretty disgusting, but I got high marks for that one. Making the bed, I suppose, is beyond my capability, according to her. For some reason, she prefers a bed to be made up all prim and properly, looking smooth and finished. My way is to get covers generally on the bed without much of the sheets showing. I mean, really, we're just going to get in it again in a few hours. I never understood all the fussiness.

I can hear you asking just exactly what kind of help I am to her and, besides helping her into and out of the bed and chair and helping her get dressed, I am a pretty decent cook and do all of it...always have.  This has given me a good deal of credit over the years, and I am making use of it these days. 

If you know us personally, you will know that most of the above is exaggeration--something I am prone to do from time to time. There's not anything Sandy and I wouldn't do for each other.

Monday will be our last day at Thousand Trails--for good. We are selling our membership, for several reasons. During the last couple of years, we have had the opportunity to visit several TT campgrounds, and at some of them, we just turned around and left.  There are a few very nice parks, like here at Conroe, but many of them are way below our standards. We are not really campers but glampers, I'm afraid. We don't' really care about communing with nature up close and personal and, for us, "roughing it" would be a place where we couldn't receive cell service or satellite TV. We're also highly averse to being parked on anything but pavement of some kind. That will bring a few sneers, but it's amazing how little we care about what others think now that we're getting old. 

There's also the fact that we now have our own little place at Escapees in Hondo. That will cut down on our overnight costs. Besides being unimpressed with most of the accommodations, we just didn't get our money's worth with TT, because we didn't use it enough.

We will be in the Conroe area for about another month--maybe longer--as Sandy's PT gets under way. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with another favorite photo from our travels:


Sunset at Bryce Canyon National Park



 Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood


14 comments:

  1. Congrats on being able body to type/write the "exaggeration--something" blog to give us all a few good laughs. It's interesting how "men" come to realize the "chores" they have had their wife doing for many years, is not so easy... I think you and Tyler might count your blessings, and wine and dine those two terrorists you have. Remember, they both know where the two of you sleep and shower...

    You're not the only ones ditching TT. I know of half-dozen or so couples who have told me this year that it is their last as well. Many of them for the same reasons you have mentioned, and a few who are simply put out for the way of their COVID handling ways. One guy told me just the other day, he can get a cleaner site and wonderful service behind Cracker Barrel then many of the TT parks. So, the money you save from the TT Membership could be put back into SSA (Sandy's Shopping Account).

    Ivory dish soap is much easier on the hands - just so you know. Remember to keep the ICE supply going.

    Glad to hear Sandy is on the mend, I can't wait to hear when she busts out and hits the malls. Poor gal has been confined for over a year and that has got to be hard on her soul. So, I will say a few prayers for her to heal fast.

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    1. Well, you were doing pretty well until you mentioned Sandy's busting out and hitting the malls. But thank you for the good advice. Thousand Trails is much appreciated by some folks, but we're just a bit too fussy, I guess. I would rather spend a little more and get a lot more. Always enjoy your comments.

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  2. Happy to hear Sandy is healing nicely. I'm sure she is more frustrated with not being able to do stuff than she is with you doing it all wrong. 😁 we never invested in TT and I've always been glad we didn't. However we have a time share in Vegas I would love to get rid of.

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    1. Thank you for your kind sentiment. Yes, she is pretty frustrated that her left arm is confined, but she already feels relief from her former shoulder pain. I keep reminding her that this, too, shall pass. Happy trails to you guys.

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  3. I am also happy to hear that Sandy is coming along nicely. The PT will be tough, as you know better than I, but she seems strong enough (we haven't met yet!) to with stand what it takes for the big picture at the end. ;)
    As for you and your 'helplessness', good laugh and story, however exaggerated. I can't jump on the bandwagon as far as saying all men are like that. I know many who are but mine is more anal than I in some 'house-chores' until it comes to cooking. :) He'd live on peanut butter, cheese and french fries if not for me.
    We also never joined TT and those are good reviews, thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Patsy. She's been down the PT road before, having had both knees replaced, but we both know how important it is. I'm glad you enjoyed my little bit of humor. I really enjoy writing to give people a laugh or a smile and, sometimes, I admit hyping things a little to accomplish that. I'm always grateful for your comments. It would be great to meet up sometime.

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  4. There comes a time in life when you decide that the only thing that matters is living life to it's fullest on your own terms. Love your decision.

    As you know, we are "campers". . .love nature, doesn't matter how far we needed to hike if we could see a waterfall. . .all that. Loved every minute of our TT Membership, saved us major $$$$$ for the way we traveled, and lived life.

    I will, however, agree with the concept that the last handful of years were difficult being "in the system."

    We squeezed every single dollars worth and more out of our membership from 2013 to 2019. We know many folks who keep theirs after selling their RV, saying it is worth it to be able to use the cabins. We personally chose to "let ours go," with no regrets whatsoever.

    So glad my friend is doing well, and that she is keeping you under control. Keep us posted as to where you land in the interim. Love you guys!

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    1. Oh yes, I admire you guys for, well, most everything, but certainly for recognizing a value and taking advantage of it. If we were traveling as you did, TT couldn't be beaten for saving money. But, like you, we really don't need it any longer. Sandy may be a little restrained at the moment, but she is still the queen. Hope to see you guys before long. Love ya bunches!

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  5. Glad to read of Sandy's recovery progress.
    Since Kathy likes to be the primary cook I've been doing the Laundry for the last Ten Years and have actually demonstrated to younger women how it's done.
    We were happy to never buy into the TT Membership. The one we initially stayed at in Hersey Pa turned us off. With your Escapees Membership you can stay at their parks at lower rates then surrounding campgrounds.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your move to Hondo.

    It's about time.

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    1. Thank you for your kind remarks; we're both pleased at Sandy's progress. Of course, in terms of housework, all of us have our own likes and abilities. Our place would probably be a pig sty if it weren't for Sandy. I'm just not very good (maybe on purpose) at some of the things she does. What saves me is being the cook. She doesn't care for it at all, so we make a good team. Thousand Trails seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was always put off by their parent company's neglect of their properties. I suppose many folks will put up with anything if the price is right, but that's just not us. Thanks for following us; we always appreciate your comments.

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  6. I was in San Antonio Texas Feb 2011 and it snowed a skiff, just a skiff and they closed all overpasses, shut off the water in the RV park! It was crazy! But this was much, much worse...
    Also, in my readings i am sure Santa Ana and his soldiers got caught in a snow storm during the Alamo and it devastated the soldiers as they more or less were barefoot and in pajamas!!

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    1. Hmmm. I never heard that in Texas history, but I suppose anything is possible. As for cold weather, we aren't very good at it down here. We think it should stay up north where it belongs. Thanks for your comment!

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  7. What is it with you guys?! Alan thinks the clothes dryer is simply a shelf for his work gloves and hearing protectors. While I was at a conference when the kids were young, Mr. Mom was cooking supper one evening and opened a bag of white chocolate chips from the freezer thinking it was a bag of corn. I guess to his way of thinking a yellow bag meant yellow corn. The kids have never let him forget it, and they still remind him about The Night of the Inedible Rice, too. Honestly, how can you make rice inedible?! Of course, you and I are both talking with our tongues tucked firmly in our cheeks and I'm so happy to know that Sandy's recent medical challenges haven't derailed your sense of humor or hers. Best wishes to Sandy for continued improvement throughout her recovery!

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    1. What in the world are you doing up at 5:40 AM (our time)? Did the northern lights wake you up? Loved the story about Alan. It seems almost all us guys are plagued with some sort of mental block when it comes to chores that are outside our usual roles—or, dare I say, interest level? Luckily, we have married smart girls to help us—in ways sometimes not exactly ego-enhancing! Thanks for your concern about Sandy. Her recovery is going really well, and we are looking forward to a meetup with you guys in Colorado this summer. Okay, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but it sounds good. I hope things are going better for you now. Best wishes from both of us.

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