Skip to main content

Here Comes Fall

As the summer began with a flourish of outside activity and appreciation for the climate where I live, so it exits and in its place comes fall.

Recently I attended a pool party at a faculty member's house, and as though aware that I would likely not go in a pool for many more months, I remained submerged in the pool and later the hot tub for nearly five hours, floundering in the weightlessness of the water. The truer reason I remained in the pool was because three big friendly dogs occupied the inside of the house and even the outside patio, and I was only safe from them in the water. As typically occurs, the dogs pounced on me as soon as I entered the house, somehow sensing that I was allergic to them, and after about fifteen minutes after my arrival and two attempted tongue baths therein, I made for the protection of the water, hoping the dogs could not swim.

I suppose it is fair to say that I also stayed in for so long out of fear of making an exit. As the only adult in the pool with all other adults gathered around it in their dry, flesh-concealing clothing, I would have felt a spectacle getting out of the pool in a drenched and clingy, probably shifted bathing suit. I mapped out possible scenarios in my head that might allow me to get to the safe covering of my towel, but too many people were between it and me, so I sank back down into the water and floated around on a giant foam noodle.

At the night's end I emerged from the pool with shriveled up skin and scraped feet from dog-pedaling intermittently to stay afloat.


Although I live in a region that is notoriously "seasonless," I find that the longer I live here in Tampa the more I am able to appreciate the subtle nuances of the changing weather patterns. This past week, however, the cool air and gusty winds were anything but subtle as they whipped around, announcing the approaching autumn splendor.


People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…

Irma: A (Mostly) Photo Essay

For nearly three weeks I've struggled to find the right words to write about Hurricane Irma, which destroyed islands in the Caribbean, then hit South Florida, eventually coming up the center of the state. The Tampa Bay region got really lucky in the end, as it avoided a direct hit and the storm had diminished to a category 2 by the time it arrived. And now Puerto Rico is experiencing a humanitarian crisis after being pummeled by Hurricane Maria. My heart goes out to those people.

My plan when severe weather is forecast to for Tampa is always to go to my sister's house, as the area I live in is highly flood prone and she is on higher ground. This time was no exception; however, her plan was different. She wanted to leave, head north, get out of the state, and she wanted me to go with her and the rest of the family. But I was not in a place to pack up and leave. I had real concerns about my foot recovery; I was about eight weeks post-surgery and very newly out of the boot and in…

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…