Given the fact it’s a Saturday and most people want a calm and relaxing — well, maybe some activity — after a hectic week, the last thing a person needs to see is a knee with icebag. My apologies, readers, but here it is or rather up there is the knee.
I was chasing Sandhill cranes most of the day to photograph them. It was Wednesday and I divided my time between working on Blackboard (I teach five online classes of history) and going into the field of 53 acres of Flying Hat Ranch (FHR). As my posts indicate from Wednesday, I was hearing but not seeing the elusive, high-flying bird. It was a good day and I got work done, issues resolved on Blackboard and shot a number of photos for fieldwork.
I found and marked with an engineer’s flag several lithic tools in the field. But every time! I heard the Sandhills, the camera was either in the truck or at the house. Besides, until late afternoon, I didn’t see any.
Brenda comes home from work and I am walking back to the ranch house from the barn and I hear the Sandhills and look above me and what to my wondering eyes should appear but about 300 Sandhills, in at least two V-formations. Beautiful and they were calling.
So, I broke into a sprint. On my first or second spring up the lane, something popped or snapped in my leg. I skipped, not sprinted, to the house and got the camera, but the cranes had their throttles to the wall and I missed the shots with the camera. But I did see them.
My leg hurt and in the middle of the night, at two o’clock, I woke up in pain and by Thursday morning, I could barely walk. I went to Fort Worth to the clinic and they sent me to Harris Methodist hospital for x-rays. The P.A. told me I might be looking at an orthopedic surgeon! Or rather, he would be looking at me with a scalpel in hand.
As it turned out, Friday I learned (after icebags and pain pills) that nothing was broken or torn, but it was arthritis! Good news? Bad news? How in the dickens can arthritis bring me down to jumping on one leg from bed to bathroom, for crying out loud? I don’t know, but next Wednesday I have an appointment with my Primary Physician for a yearly checkup and in addition to him invading my body cavity without mercy, he will enlighten me on the knee.
Brenda is taking care of the dogs and Star. I’m looking at walking canes on the web. Ever Google “canes”? Well, live long enough, you will. There are all sorts of canes. Canes that fold, canes that have stupid heads on them, curved canes, canes with swords and even canes with risque girls painted along the stem and nose (there’s a whole glossary of cane nomenclature). I’ve not picked my cane. I have some nice looking cedar staves down along the barn I may craft upon and develop an Etsy Shop for homemade canes.
Lilly, the good old girl that we had to put down in January, had osteoarthritis too, and in the left knee really bad. But, you know what? She got up with a struggle and ate and walked and even pranced in the snow despite her knee. She’s taught me a lesson about arthritis among many I’ll eventually churn out on Sage to Meadow. I’m up and I’ll be in class Tuesday. Star will be fed — I’ll do it slowly. I’ll continue to contemplate canes. If my knee continues to be painful, I’ll have to hire a person to do some seasonal work. I’ll do a jig in the snow.
Frankly, if I had to hurt myself, I’m glad I was chasing Sandhills rather than tripping over the cat. And, if I had to learn a lesson about dealing with the pain, who better to be my teacher than Lilly? When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. She did and doesn’t even know it.
Enough of this! Now, where’s that pain killer I used to give Lilly? Oh, yes, it’s in the tack room next to the saddles.