Derailed By a Bad Knee

Not mine…my mom’s.

And really, if I’m being truthful, I could absolutely have written while I was there, but I didn’t.

My mom had knee replacement surgery on January 3. So, being the dutiful daughter I am, I went up to Wisconsin for two weeks to help her get through the early part of the recovery.  Yep, I broke my cardinal rule about never going back to Wisconsin in the dead of winter. And let me tell you, after the freak snow storm in Charleston and my flight being cancelled twice, and then having to sit in La Guardia for an hour waiting for the plane to be de-iced and then stepping out into the bitter cold Wisconsin air…well, I should have stayed home.  Oh, and did I mention I was sick?  Yep…it is the perfect time to get your annual winter cold, right before you’re about to fly to your mom’s when she has been instructed by her doctor NO germs in the house because of her surgery.

Welcome to my life.

I made sure Mom understands I will NEVER come up in the winter again. I was never built for cold and I’m for sure not able to handle it anymore, having been away from it for 6 years now. There are perfectly nice summer months for her to have the other knee done. I made sure my niece understood I would not be attending any winter weddings, so she better tell any future fiance with a dream of a Christmas wedding that it’s absolutely not gonna happen because Auntie Julie will miss it. Unless, of course, they come down to Charleston (or some other place warm) and have a winter wedding. that I could do. They both giggled, thinking I’m kidding.

I’m so not kidding.

In any event, I had a week vacation and I could work half days and spread out the vacation hours for the whole of the two weeks. I could write when I wasn’t working, because, certainly Mom wasn’t going to be feeling like doing much of anything.

That was my plan, anyway.

What actually ended up happening was that I got involved with her in TV shows I never watch at home. I saw more episodes of Tanked in one day than I’ve seen…well, ever. It’s a neat show, but not something I would normally take the time to search for and watch. But here’s the thing, when Chris Jericho gets a custom fish tank (for the WWE fans among us), you watch. And then you are hooked and you sit down for the next several hours watching other celebrity athletes (who you couldn’t pick out of a line up if your life depended on it) get their custom fish tanks.

It was all I could do to not get sucked into The Young and The Restless. I’m not a soap opera watcher, but when you are listening to it in the background for two weeks, it’s hard to not get a little bit involved in the story line. Thankfully, I escaped Y & R‘s clutches just in the nick of time.

So, maybe on the weekend, when I wasn’t doing my half day work shift. Maybe then I would have time to write.  Well, no.  Because the weekend I was there I had to go through the boxes from my grandparent’s house.  It took, literally, all weekend.

For real.

The boxes were full of old family photographs, albums and other memorabilia. And when I say old photographs, I mean, there are a few that are tin! So, I have photographs of family from sometime back in the 1800s!!  Now I just need to figure out who they are.

In addition to all the photos — many of which had some type of labeling (thanks, Grandma!) or Mom knew who people were and was able to tell me the stories — there is a journal that my grandma kept the year my mom was born. I have a recipe “journal” from my 2 times great grandma – in her own writing!  I have an autograph book for my great grandma who had all of her siblings sign it – we didn’t know all their names and mom had actually forgotten about one of great grandma’s brothers.

I could go on and on…there is so much unbelievable stuff!  I had to mail three boxes home full of pictures and other treasures.  The scrapbooks I had to carry back in my carry on bag, which prompted a bag search at the airport. Just imagine your underwear falling out of the suitcase for all the world to see because you had stuffed them around the edges to give the old scrapbooks a little protection. Oh, it was delightful.

But we all made it back safe and sound. Now my next project is finding a place for all of it to live. Right now, it’s piled up on my work table, waiting patiently for me to figure out what to do with it all.

Oh yeah…and I’m going to write.


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