If you didn’t take advantage of the Ken Burns 16-hour special on Country Music through your local PBS station during the past three weeks, the title I stole today for my post (which is the title of one of my favorite Willie Nelson songs) may not grab you right off the bat. Thanks for hanging with me anyway, and as soon as you can, go somewhere to watch the Ken Burns special.
Awesome. The very soul of America is on display through the music of its people who rise up from Appalachian hollers, the Mississippi Delta, the Texas-Mexico borders, Bakersfield, California; the hills and mountains of East Tennessee and western Kentucky, New Orleans, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, the Oklahoma dust bowl; from the east coast to the west with every little town or urban area in between. Somewhere someone was writing our history in country music. Thank goodness.
Today is a special anniversary date for me. Five months ago on April 27th., I wrote a post I called Cowgirl Up. At the time I wrote, I was afraid of a knee replacement surgery set for the following week on May 1st. When I say afraid, I mean totally fearful. Both my knees were an arthritic nightmare of pain when I walked or wasn’t walking. The decision to do the surgery was made after several years of orthopedic pain pills, steroid shots, and a few other treatments I can’t spell. Nothing prevented the aging process of my joints. Losing weight could have helped, as any rational person should know. My life dieting habits of more than seven decades, however, has been characterized by poor food choices. No one to blame but me, and those eating choices caught up with me as my body parts began to wear out.
The final push to Cowgirl Up and go through with the surgery really boiled down to more than my fears: I had a vision of the quality of life Pretty would have to endure taking care of me as I became less mobile, and that was a sorrowful, sobering sight. Number Two reason, as Joe Biden likes to count everything, was the news of our son and his wife’s expecting their first child in October. I didn’t want my grandchild to know only the old woman who couldn’t get around very well.
Ain’t it funny how time slips away? In the past five months, I’ve had both knee replacements, put away the walker and almost ready to put away my cane. Pretty no longer has to worry with getting the walker in and out of the car every time we drive. That’s huge in my mind and easier on her back. Within a week, we will have our new granddaughter, Ella, to love and adore. Nothing good comes without complications and concessions in my rehab process for my second knee surgery on August 28th., but now the different battles associated with withdrawal from my pain medications of the past five months will shift the focus finally away from my knees.
During the past five months, I’ve chosen to live a solitary life – much like the life I lead as a writer. What is unusual for me, though, is that I haven’t been able to write. I’ve watched way too much TV, taken way too many naps, iced my knees religiously, and been faithful to my rehab exercises at home and with my therapists at the Lexington Medical Center two days a week. They have been gems.
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” —– Pearl S. Buck
I read this quote today from my collection of memorable quotes and it prompted me to try to write something. This is how it turned out.