My Winter ‘Vacation’ by Janine M. Donoho

Having been absent from BlogWorld for over two months, it’s time to ‘fess up. Not hard to do when your arm’s still in a sling for part of each day. You see, on December 29th, I went in for shoulder surgery. Of course, before that came the amazing, standing-room-only NIGHT AT THE CASBAH on the 19th. So December was seriously compromised by actually participating in life versus writing while thinking about it. Thank goodness for anti-inflammatories.

About the shoulder… No, the injury didn’t occur because of dance or during any of my usual actions, although I suppose gardening was peripherally involved. Last March, yes, March 2009, I was admiring my tiny seedlings beneath our hoop house that adds two months to our growing season. Then what to my wondering eyes should appear… Well, around here winds start as debris. Not like Gobi or Mohave or Sahara sandstorms, but rife with sand and duff from the sagebrush steppe far below us. As often happens, the wind moved up the mountain toward us, all the while picking up speed.

So I turned to my inestimable guy and mentioned that maybe we should move the hoop house, which is covered with heavy mil plastic, before the wind arrived and lofted it like a parachute. He was busy doing other things and would most certainly help me soon–very soon. By then the wind hit our level–about 3000 feet–and by the movement of Ponderosa limbs and needles, it looked to be about 30-40 mph. Again, I asked the guy for some help moving the hoop house off the raised garden. He waved that wave that says, “I’ll be there–soon.”

By the time he joined me, tree and shrub action proclaimed gusts of 60-70 mph. The hoop house slid across the brick top of the garden. I considered throwing myself on the top in a Kitty Hawk-type flight scenario. Instead, the guy hoisted one end and I the other. Then we began to move toward southerly leeward side of the house. What happened between there and the garden was why I needed shoulder surgery in December.

The wind gusted, caught the hoop house and lofted it much more gracefully than the Wright brothers’ contraption. In a fit of ridiculous arrogance, I tried to hold on to the frame. That’s when my supraspinatus tore away from my rotator cuff in a wrenching and high torque move. Ouch! From my mouth flew Bad Words, also wrenched away by the wind.

Supraspinatus sounds like a fabulous new salad ingredient, doesn’t it? High on antioxidants and other magical properties. It’s actually the muscle connecting the scapula to the rotator cuff. Mine refused to reattach on its own. Thus, my rotator cuff now sports a snazzy piton like screw and mountaineering style stitches to hold it in place. Ouch. The geek in me loves this stuff.

So I’m on the mend with stories bubbling from my subconscious in a lifting magma. As Arnold said, “I’ll be back”–most likely in time to begin my new spring garden. Yes, with hoop houses. Ah, hope springs eternal.

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Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
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