Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eye of the Tiger

Here is something I bet you didn't know about needing a wheelchair: it brings out the crazy in your friends. In the six months or so that I used one, I lost count of the times when friends couldn't resist trying for warp speed while pushing me through a parking lot, or down a hotel hallway, or on a crowded sidewalk in Newport. There was even one night when, after making sure that I was securely on my barstool, a buddy popped wheelies in my chair until he flipped it over.

This past December, as I laced up ice skates for the first time since beginning my unwanted dance with chronic tendinitis, I realized it was almost exactly 2 years since I first needed the chair. The silliness of friends and family is what made that accursed chair bearable; without them, it would only remind me of the howling pain and fear of the unknown which I felt during many of those months. It took a long time, but my legs regained their strength.
The problem with tendons is, they aren't just in your legs. These past few years have been a long series of whanging my head on a proverbial garden rake that I had left carelessly lying around, saying to myself “jeez, I better move that rake,” and then whanging my head again. And again. And…

This time around, the recovering tendons are in one elbow and the other thumb. Poor Ben is doing all my jobs, plus all his usual jobs; thankfully, our homeschooling Village and amazing network of friends and family are helping with moral support and meals. Also thankfully, Luke and Owen enjoy cooking, and are learning great lessons in ability, disability, and home economics. (Luke and Owen, in my completely unbiased opinion, are two of the best kids on the planet. But I'll save my gushing for another post.)

 So, what's a girl to do when she can't use her hands for writing, typing, cooking, cleaning, card-playing, making music, knitting, or anything really, beyond holding a fork? Well, I've spent a lot of time in my own head, learning patience. Also, I have read some great books – again, another post – thunk thoughts both shallow and deep, and used my voice, sometimes for singing, sometimes for conversation and laughter, and sometimes, as now, for writing.

I have really missed blogging. I have missed having my own little corner of the Internet to share my opinions, and more importantly ask yours. I have missed documenting the boys' growth and development through the blog, where I can really highlight their joyful approach to life. Most, I have missed blogging as a space to discuss meta-learning, the learning that has gone on for me above (and because of) my children's learning.

In that last category, I include lessons they have taught me, like the time Luke rang the bell at the top of the climbing wall, things I have learned as the facilitator of their learning, and conversations I've had with others here in this blog about homeschooling, about learning, about teaching.

My hope is to blog again. Probably I will start off with fewer pics and hyperlinks, as both of those require hand power that I don't have.

Can I stave off the garden rake and bring the blog back to life at the same time? Well, we'll see.


Nicole Olson said...'re back!! I've missed your posts! Can't wait to read some more...

Melissa R said...

Karen, what a nice surprise to see your post in my in box this morning!

As I was reading I wondered if you had considered using Dragon software, it really does work. I believe there is a version for cell phones as well.

Jena said...

Hi Karen, so good to hear from you! But I'm sad to hear how hard life is for you right now. You have a great family and they are learning invaluable things from you right now. Hugs to you, my friend.

jugglingpaynes said...

Karen! I'm so glad to hear from your corner of the internet. I'm so sorry you've had a hard time, but happy you have your family and friends to keep you smiling. You know me, laughter is the most important thing. Our trials are just a way to discover new strengths.

I suggest asking a son to transcribe your thoughts, unless there is a reason you don't let them read your blog. My daughter always edited for me. I would have had so many more misspellings and skipped words without her checking my work.

Peace and Laughter!

Karen said...

My friends, you have no idea how heartening it is to find your comments here!

Nicole, isn't it funny how, even though we hang out together, virtual-world interaction is still a little different? But, I'm looking forward to when we can hang out together again soon :-)

Melissa, I love Dragon software, it is what I am using right now and have been using to interact online. While I do feel frustrated with its limitations – hyperlinking, pictures, anything that involves coding is beyond Dragon – it has made it so that I am able to participate in the larger world of ideas. We are still talking about your fantastic idea of pizza delivery, BTW!

Jena, for some reason I have been unable to even look at your blog for more than a year; it tells me that it's closed when I try to look at it! Anyway, your hugs and your thoughts from all the way out where you are make me feel so good. I hope everybody in your family is doing well, and I hope we can talk more often!

Cristina, so wonderful to hear from you! I hope you check back because I want to tell you how much your book has meant to us over the years – it's been amazing to read a graphic novel that relates so closely to what we experience, as homeschoolers, in our everyday lives. It's helped the kids, it's helped me, it's helped my husband – plus, it's fun and funny. Thank you so much!

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you Karen, I'm happy the book has been a help to you! It means a lot to me that it has helped you.

مصطفي القحطاني said...

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رجب البرنس said...

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التنظيفات المشهود لها عالميا
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالطائف
شركة تنظيف مجالس بجازان
شركة تنظيف مجالس بحائل
ونحن فى خماتكم 24 ساعة على مدار الشهر