The summer of my 13th year, my girlfriends and I discovered that there had once been a swimming pool in the front yard of a neighbors’ house. We immediately decided to clear it out and make it into a swimming pool again.
We collected whatever digging implements we could find and the five of us went forward to commence the project. We tried the various shovels, most of which were really spades designed for garden work and eventually decided to try the bigger shovels to see if we could make more progress that way.
Bigger shovels were in short supply, so I decided to use the big pickax. I think this is when my back problems began because scrawny little me swung the pick backward and I heard a snap accompanied by a sharp pain in my back. Probably that was the first of several vertebrae to bite the big one.
I immediately abandoned the project of building our own swimming hole and hobbled home. I said I’d hurt my back.
No one paid me much attention to it. We were always getting banged up doing something. Also, my mother was of the “old world” opinion that no one calls a doctor (much less goes to the hospital) unless they are near death. Even though I was walking bent over and couldn’t stand up? It would get better. Just another childhood bump.
It did get a little better, but it never got all the way better, so I took up riding horses next. This also didn’t fix the problem and when I fell off, it made the problem worse.
Eventually, when I was 19, surgery was required. I had begun to lose all the sensation in my right leg and most in my left leg. Also, for the first time in years, my back didn’t hurt. It was numb.
Most youngsters damage themselves — often for a lifetime — while playing sports. I’m pretty sure I’m the only girl who did it with a pickax.
Do you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?
I think I’m a skeptic, which means I need information before I can be for or against anything. Information may be just “getting to know someone” before deciding I like (or don’t like) them — or getting facts before deciding on something where facts are at issue.
I’m more upbeat than some people, not as much as others.
Somehow, I’m more convinced we are not going the way of the Axis in World War II and I believe if we can just hang on, things will get better. I’m convinced we’ll pull out of this mess we are in.
I also get that I could be entirely and horribly wrong about that!
Can War ever be just?
War is never good, but sometimes, one’s world must be defended. But our last “just” war — World War II — would never have been necessary if we had settled the ashes of WW I with more concern for the human beings who would have to live with that settlement.
Greed, land, hatred, bad leaders — they make war happen. So I’m not sure there’s ever an entirely “just” war because if you look at the context, it should never have happened at all.
War leads to more war, so this war may be just, but it wouldn’t be necessary if we hadn’t had a previous war. I don’t think we’ll ever stop fighting and for one side of the other, it’s always a just war and God is always on everyone’s side. Pity God has never had anything to say about that.
Think about the people you love most in your life, what do you do for them?
I try to keep them in mind and keep in touch. When we can be together, that makes me happy.
Are you health conscious?
Painfully, on many levels.
We eat decently, avoid most of the really bad stuff. It gets harder as prices keep going up. Good thing we don’t eat much.
Gratitude, Thankfulness, Wonder, Awe, and Joy!
It was great seeing boys being boys and enjoying a swim in the river with no hovering parents, no cell phones.
Solomon’s Seal is not merely a wildflower that has been tamed for gardens. It’s one of the few flowers that will bloom in full shade. It is architectural too. The arches of the plants rise multiple feet into the air with perfectly tidy little bells of flowers hanging beneath them.