Lazing and Lolling

Despite the end of winter coming in just over a week, there are very few signs of spring, though generally by this time the snow drops are coming up and the tulips are poking through the soil. There are no snow drops yet, but a couple of tulip tips were visible before this latest round of snow and single digit temperatures. (Last night, it got down to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.) From what I can see, those brave tulips are still green beneath the snow, but the sort of up and down weather we’ve been having is hard on spring blooms.

I suppose this kamikaze weather — warm spells interrupted every week by winter storms blowing through — doesn’t give the bulbs much impetus to wake up and be perky. Come to think of it, this weather doesn’t give me much impetus to wake up and be perky, either, but ever since I moved here, I can’t sleep past first light so, perky or not, I do get up. I’m hoping the bulbs will eventually do the same, though there’s not much I can do about it if the drought exacerbated by this peculiar weather pattern has killed their interest in waking up.

Surprisingly, the ground isn’t frozen. I went out in the mid-morning chill to loosen the ground around my newly planted trees, and I was able to get down pretty far. The person who planted them for me dug post holes rather than a big bowl, and I needed to loosen the dirt to give the roots an easier time of spreading when growing season starts. I might not have gotten down far enough to make any difference to the roots, but at least the loose dirt will help soak up moisture, which will then loosen the deeper soil. At least, that’s my surmise. It might not make any difference at all, but I worried about the trees, so I needed to make the effort to my quiet my mind.

That bit of digging made me look forward to gardening weather. The last frost here generally comes around the fifth of May, so I can’t do any planting until then, but there will certainly be plenty to do once the weather is consistently warmer. If nothing else, I can water my grass and my bulbs. The lilies (which may or may not come up depending on whether I planted them deep enough), like a lot of water in spring, and not so much later in the summer. I also still have a few patches of weeds to dig up. I wanted to wait until after the trees were planted, thinking the weeds would be dug up when the holes were dug, but that didn’t happen. Still, it’s a small area, and I got started on that today.

I’ve been rather lazy this winter, lolling about, reading and doing as little as possible (though come to think of it, I’ve been working a lot more hours at my job the past few months, so that cut into my lolling time). It makes me wonder how I will cope with having a lot to do when gardening season rolls around. I suppose I’ll do what I always do — do what I can when I can. Of course, I won’t know what all I’ll have to do until May when I see what comes up and what I need to replace or replant. Until then, I’ll continue my winter ways, lazing and lolling.

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Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Lies I Tell Myself

I’ve been lolling around all day, reading and playing a game on the computer. I pretend my being lazy has to do with resting my knees, but the truth is . . . well, the truth is I really do need to rest them. I overdid on the digging, and I irritated my iliotibial band, a tendon that runs on the outside of the leg from the hip to below the knee.

Although I blame the digging for the problem, it actually stemmed from bending the knees over and over to pick up the clumps of grass roots and shake out the dirt. You’d think all that bending of the knees would make the muscles and hence the tendon stronger, but apparently not. Sitting at the computer doesn’t help, either, but instead exacerbates the problem with the iliotibial band.

I have been feeling elderly the past couple of weeks, as if I were ninety years old and barely able to walk or rise to my feet from a sitting position. I had worn a knee brace the last few times I was out working in the yard, as well as when I wasn’t, and that helped to a certain extent. But what really helps is being lazy and resting the leg.

When I look out the window, I see all that I still have to do, but I am so lazy even the itch to pull more weeds doesn’t get me out the door. To be honest, it’s better to wait until we get some rain to make it easier to dig, so that’s what I am waiting for — rain.

Or so I tell myself.

As you can see, I tell myself a lot of lies that are not really lies.

I do need to rest my knees, though. I am too young to be so old. (But also too old to even use the word “young” in any description of myself.)

I also need to add iliotibial band strengthening exercises to my knee exercise regime since both the joint and the tendon work together. Luckily, I won’t have to add too many new exercises. Some of the knee exercises I am doing are also good for the iliotibial band.

Now I just have to do the exercises. Some days I am lackadaisical (lazy) about doing the knee therapy even though I know it helps. Because of those exercises, the bad knee (the left knee) is now the good knee, while the good knee is the one that keeps buckling when the iliotibial band lets go. To make matters even more confusing, the right knee started out as the bad knee, but when the left knee went bad (not because of overdoing, you understand, but because I slept wrong), the right knee became the good knee.

I do think I’m young enough (there’s that “y” word again) that if I continue with my physical therapy, my knees — joints and tendons — should be able to recover.

I sure hope that’s the truth and not another lie I’m telling myself.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.