Of bones and death

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Out the bedroom window this cool, overcast Monday.

I HAVEN’T issued a recent update on my child bride’s broken arm.

On Sept. 28, two days before a month had passed (the doctor initially said it would require four to six weeks), the cast came off. Since neither of us had ever suffered a broken bone before, we were clueless about the process.

While an X-ray indicates the arm is healing nicely, we did not anticipate the effects of one month of having an arm immobilized. Things happen to muscles and tendons, painful things. Well, mostly after the cast comes off.

But she’s doing exercises and soaks in warm water, and all is improving, but it’s not back to normal. Patience.

Worst of all for her is not being able to return to the gym. This has been the longest spell of no-gym in her 30 years of gym fanaticism. Again, patience.

But she’s driving her car again, and dealing with her own hair.

* * * *

Weather-wise

We’re approaching the middle of October, which means we’re nearing the end of the yearly, five-month-long, daily deluges. The Day of the Dead arrives Nov. 2, and sometimes we get a rain on that candlelit night, messing things up in the cemeteries, but then the rain is gone till the following June.

With luck, the Day of the Dead will be dry. I’m told the corpses prefer it that way.

Vista of a Mexican yogi

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View while sitting cross-legged on the faux Persian rug in the living room. Ommmmm.

LAST DECEMBER, I wrote here about throwing my back out, as they say, rendering myself a temporary cripple.

I’ve had that problem now and then for decades, far more before my last divorce,* but it usually cures itself in four or five days. Last December it lasted two weeks, which had only happened once before. It was a hard time.

But it woke me up. Though I’ve done somewhat light exercise on a regular basis for decades I had begun to get lazy about it, and that matters.

I have a gym set here at home, and my schedule had been thrice a week, and I cheated occasionally. I now do it five times a week. I still cheat some, but not often and not without good reason.

I also do a 20-minute, rapid walk around the neighborhood plaza. Again, I was known to cheat, but now I’m cheating far less.

A new element is some light stretching exercise. I call that yoga, but it’s not. It’s stretching. I do short stretching of my back in the morning before getting to the gym set, and in the late afternoon after returning from my usual café Americano negro on the main plaza downtown.

That afternoon session is longer and involves lying and sitting on the living room floor atop a faux Persian rug. Sometimes I even light incense. I’m invariably alone at that hour, between 6 and 7.

While sitting, I’m getting the view above. The lights are out, and the late afternoon sun is out thataway. Thought I’d share the view with you.

* * * *

* It’s an issue with a psychological element.

(Note 1: Aging is no fun though I appear to be holding up better than most geezers my age. Last September I wrote here about a crippling heel spur I had developed. There is no good solution to that except for surgery. I chose to do nothing because it only bothered me now and then. I thought it was permanent, but it lasted eight months and vanished. Just recently. How about that!)

(Note 2: Unrelated to anything written so far but included just to keep you up to date on Hacienda joys and sorrows, a lightning strike on Monday fried our Samsung 32-inch LED smart TV, our TV-cable box, and a wifi box. The surge entered via the TV cable, not the electric wires. I have a surge protector by the TV, but I only had the TV power cable connected to it. The surge protector also has the option of running the TV cable through it, but I had foolishly not done so, an expensive oversight. As for wifi, I have two services, which is how I am communicating with you right now.

(I’ve already purchased another TV and connected it to Netflix, which is all I watch anyway. Our TV cable provider is a company called Megacable. Its service is abysmal, so Lord knows when the second wifi will be restored. I really don’t care about the cable TV, but my child bride watches it while she irons.)

Challenges of an aging carcass

AT 73, I FIND myself faced with challenges.

bodyGetting older is an interesting process. I do not recommend it, but it is interesting. It only recently began to pummel me. That began at 73. It will, of course, vary with other individuals.

Up until 73, there were physical changes, but they were almost entirely a reduction in energy, nothing extreme but noticeable. I passed my 73rd in August, and that’s when things racheted up a few nasty notches.

First the foot problem, which I wrote about last September. That appears to be permanent. It’s only an issue for about a minute after I stand up after being seated a spell, but I’ll never again be able to flee from someone or something chasing me. With an ax or an appetite.

I am easily nabbed now.

Then there was the back issue, which I wrote about last month. Not the first time I’ve suffered that problem, but it’s never lasted so long, a tad over two weeks of Hell. Usually, it self-cures in four to five days. Big difference.

It was the back issue that knocked me upside the head.

I had been getting lazier by the day, and that needed to change.

For decades, I’ve done regular, moderate exercise, and I eat healthy. For these reasons I have been svelte for almost 40 years. But my regular, moderate exercise had been very gradually diminishing. I knew I had to change my habits.

Old routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday. I often cheated on the frequency. And I have a home gym set, a big fancy one I bought about decade ago. I was doing a 10-minute weight routine three mornings a week. Again, cheating was not unknown.

New routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday with no more cheating on the frequency. A second brisk walk around the big plaza downtown following my afternoon coffee. Weight routine on the gym set every weekday morning. No cheating allowed. Yoga. Well, that’s what I call it, but it’s actually two sets of stretching, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon. Weekends off.

I was losing my flexibility to a notable degree. Thus the stretching, which helps a lot.

I’ll close now with the following words from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The “good night” being, well, you know …

Wide, open spaces

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IF YOU STEP from our house out to the street, hang a right, walk about five blocks and look sharply over your left shoulder, this is what you’ll see.

Mountains, some humble homes, trees, wide open spaces and a railroad track that heads to the Pacific coast and the commercial shipping hub at Lázaro Cárdenas.

I took the shot during a 30-minute exercise walk I made yesterday morning with my child bride and our closest nephew, the one I once called the Little Vaquero, the Little Cowboy, but he’s bigger now and no cowboy. He’s a soccer goalie and nearly 15.

He had spent the night with us, which he does every now and then, but not nearly so often as he did when he was much younger.

I’m not sure why this scene caught my eye. Maybe it’s the new year, and this wide-open space represents possibilities to me. To me, a new year is like a clean slate.

And then we walked  home and ate waffles.