Long Overdue Update

Today I am going to re-enter the blog world with this update.  I have not posted since February and it has been a very eventful, and not wholly comfortable few months.

In my last post, I explained that I was in a physical rehab facility after a fairly traumatic injury. I apologized for uploading my manuscript under the influence of pain meds and leaving a few things out.  That was corrected and my energy was engaged in healing.  Here is the story of the past year:

A friend from my high-school days some 50 years past, was attempting to sell her house in Sacramento CA.  She was running into problems with realtors, and with a beautiful deck that had become a liability. People seeing the house loved it, but it was in need of repair that they did not want to assume.  During a conversation, I said, “I can do slow sloppy work. How about if I come tear down the deck and build a smaller replacement?”  After many tries, she agreed to accept my help.  I figured it would take a few days to tear down, then another week to build the new structure, so I piled tools in my Mustang (try doing that sometime) and headed south.

The first day, we tore the walls out of a 30×8 ft shed that had seen better days.  The wood was dry rotted and, to my surprise, the shed contained a population of Black Widow spiders. We eliminated about a dozen or more of the little beggars.  On day two, we brought down the roof structure, that consisted of full framing, 2×4 construction, double OSB sheathing, and asphalt shingles – no little tin roof there.  I managed to drop the entire 30×8 structure on my shoulders and back, pinning me to a metal-and-wood kindling box about 2×3 and 2 ft high.  I was compressed in that 2 ft area, resulting in two breaks in my sternum and a very dislocated hip.  My friend was strong enough to grab that 800 lbs of roof and keep enough pressure off me so I could breathe. Without her strength, I would not have lived through it.

After about nine hours… OK, 15 minutes, someone finally came over to see what the yelling was about and called 911.  A trip to the Trauma Center, x-rays, a procedure to un-dislocate the hip, and I was trundled up to a room in the hospital.  My right leg was dead to the world, and we figured that I would need some time in a rehab center.  After three weeks, I could get around with a walker, but the sciatic nerve was damaged to the extent that I had no feeling or movement from the knee down. Without the muscle tension, I had drop foot, meaning as soon as I lifted my leg, the foot pointed straight down and I would trip on it.

After the three week stay, I migrated back to my friend’s house where we set up a hospital-type room in her living room.  Remember now, she is trying to sell the house! Great addition facing anyone who came to view the house.  I was able to walk with the walker a few yards at first, then I got so I could walk up to about 50 yards. I was not able to drive because the right foot was uncontrollable.

Skip ahead awhile: I gained strength and then found a very nifty device that allowed me to drive just using my left foot. I learned how to use that pretty quickly, felling much more human.  Then came the day when she closed on her house – finally!  Same day she was diagnosed with cancer.

The next week, she went through surgery, and two days later we drove to Oregon to see the condo she had put earnest money on, so she could see if it suited her needs.  Two weeks later, we moved her to Oregon.

By now it was February, and I had not been to my house in Idaho since November.  I suggested that we take a break from all the stress and go spend a few days or a week in the “mountain house” that sits at the base of the Clearwater mountains.  We arrived on a Saturday about 7:30 in the evening, opened the door, and water poured out.  The faucet behind the washing machine had split in two and shot water into the house for weeks – must have been that since my water bill was close to $3000.  We got the abatement team started, and the process of sucking out the water, and removing all the possessions began. While opening the walls to dry out, vermiculite oozed out of the wall – asbestos.

So, the house remains gutted, contractor is about ready to start renovations, and snow is in the forecast.  Still have the drop foot, unable to feel bottom of it, and prognosis is – another year… if I’m lucky.

I have not written much on the third John book. Concentration has been worthless and sitting at computer very uncomfortable.  BUT – I am back writing, cranking out 1000-4000 words per day. I am closing in on 20% of the rough draft completed. Things are looking up.

So, how has your year been?

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