One Year Later

Happy Hipaversary to me! Can you believe it is the one-year anniversary of my hip-replacement surgery? On this day last year, I was being wheeled into the operating room to be surgerically operated on with tools resembling those purchased at Lowes—and perhaps they were. I was so worried that when I would be knocked unconscious, I would never awaken again. My fears were similar to many going under the knife, and clearly, since I am writing these thoughts, I am a survivor.

While my four-inch scar is still a reminder of that day, I am happy to report that it is fading more and more each day. The pain is little to occasionally minimal, and I no longer fear going on long walks. Sometimes I am even told I am walking too fast. I can now squat, kneel, and get up from the floor with little effort beyond a slight push from the floor, so I feel that the operation was a success.

When going through security at the airports or in buildings with metal detectors, no one knows my secret because my bionic parts raise no alarms.

I often wonder why this happened to me. Having an aunt and a first cousin who beat me to the knife raises the possibility that my arthritic hip is a result of imperfect genes, or could it have been caused by my late-life decision to join a traveling tennis team? I will probably never know, but my children should be warned of the prospect that such a procedure could one day happen to them.

The one thing I avoided doing, but am now seriously entertaining the idea of doing, is to finally watch the YouTube video of the operation. The big question is: should I do it before or after I eat?



Cleaning Out the Excess

We are a family of collectors. When we would go on vacations or Dad would travel on business, shopping for key chains, postcards, and magnets were always at the top of the list. Dad’s office is filled with his collections: golf tees, golf balls from memorable courses he has played at, and baseball caps. Grandma has her wall of Irish sayings and I have my assortment of mugs, teapots, and Christmas ornaments.

As my eyes gaze up at my mugs sitting atop my kitchen cabinets, I realize how long ago that particular collection began. Two mugs in particular date the collection, because they are each from the two colleges I attended. Forty-three years is the magic number.

Next to my Rutgers University mug is a Boonton USA mug with a picture of the old Boonton railroad station, which had been made into a small shopping station back in the Seventies. Our trips to Hawaii, Bermuda, California, and Bryce Canyon are memorialized in my collection, reminding me of our carefree travel days before we became parents.

The Bermuda trip was a cruise back in the days when guests were permitted aboard the ship to celebrate with its passengers prior to setting sale. Since 9-11, those loose days of security are long gone.

When we cruised the Hawaiian Islands, we were so exhausted after the long back-to-back flights to San Francisco and then onward to Honolulu that we slept through the farewell party. The Bryce Canyon and California vacations were one of several trips we took piggybacked on top of one of Dad’s business trips.

Several of the mugs were gifts: The Cat on Skates and the Ed Asner mugs were from Grandma Rita, the Texas mug was from Aunt Linda, a mug from France was from my friend Karen when she lived in Italy, and a blue and white mug with a windmill is from our honeymoon.

Perhaps I should begin shedding these mugs from my life. Like the teapot which Grandma gave me years ago so I could enjoy them now and think of her each time I look at it, maybe all of my loved ones should choose one now for that very same reason.

I will mention that there are a few mystery mugs—interesting to look at, but with no clues about why or where I purchased them. I am thinking garage sale or the recycling bin. So long, farewell!

Ed Asner Mug