I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Where did that hour go?

Crocus flowers in a random yard

Boy, do I love those pretty crocus flowers! I saw these on my way back from a recent coffee shop excursion, and I could hardly believe my eyes. They are so gorgeous; the next day, however, was cold and rainy and these same beauties were all closed up without any color showing at all.

Although the clock tells me what time it is, I know it's wrong, because this morning I got up and it's still dark outside. Not supposed to be, since just yesterday at this time it was already getting light outside. You know what I'm talking about: it is our annual attempt to change daylight and give ourselves more of it. But snipping that hour from the Quilt of Time and sewing it onto the other end doesn't seem to be working out quite right. There's a possibility that we might not have to keep changing our clocks, if the Congress passes the pending resolution to keep us permanently on DST (Daylight Saving Time). I personally would prefer standard time, if we're going to keep one time year-round, but I'm in the minority, it seems. It would be very lovely not to have to keep switching the clocks, however.
How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? —Dr. Seuss

 Interestingly, I actually overslept by one hour on Friday night. A full hour, I never do that (well, almost never). Was my internal clock beginning to worry about adjusting to the time change? I guess I'll never know the answer to that one, but I slept my regular hours last night and woke up at the normal time, even though the time wasn't the same as the night before. It's so confusing...

Spring, however, is springing along at a faster and faster rate as we get closer to the vernal equinox in just over a week. A week from tomorrow, in fact. I remember hearing the myth that you can balance an egg on its end during the equinox, but it turns out you can do that any time you've got some persistence and time on your hands. The equinox makes no difference. Plus, the equinox is simply the moment in time when the sun passes over the equator, marking the moment when the days and nights are of equal length. Hence "equinox." The days following it will continue to lengthen until we get to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is).

It's been an interesting week with my hearing aids. I found that I had been inserting them incorrectly (actually, not inserting them all the way in) and that is why one kept falling out. Once I learned the right way to put them in, the sound got lots better and I have been enjoying them even more. I already had one hearing aid stop working, so I went to the Rainier Hearing Office during their daily one-hour walk-in period, and in a jiffy it was unclogged and I once again was back in business. I've got to find some way to deal with my earwax, which seems to be more voluminous than most people produce. But all in all, I am very happy I took the step to become better at hearing the world around me. I am thrilled with all the birdsong and realize now I had stopped hearing music from the small songbirds, chickadees, and sparrows.

This week I decided to take up knitting again. I've made plenty of sweaters and vests, scarves and hats, but it's been so long I've forgotten much of what I once knew. My mother was a knitter and crocheter and taught some of her children how to do it. I asked Melanie to pick out a pattern and some yarn, and I'd make her a hat. Of course she picked one with cable stitching, but I did learn to accomplish it a couple of times many years ago. I think it will be good for my brain health to bring that skill back. 

I've still got lots of needles and stitch markers, but the technique of casting on has been forgotten. I looked at YouTube and decided to try a way that I've never done before, where you use a crochet hook and some "scrap yarn" in a different color than your "product" yarn. I spent most of the day Friday messing up and watching the video dozens of times, and I actually got it finished, but I had somehow lost three crucial stitches, so I started over again. The project is sitting there staring at me now. 

Yesterday was such a lovely day here in the Pacific Northwest. Although we had a little rain at the beginning of our usual Saturday walk, in no time it had stopped and the sun came out to brighten the day. There were plenty of other people out on the trail, and lots of dogs walking their owners as well. I don't know if it's the increasing sunlight that is helping my mood, or the incredible sounds I'm hearing once again, but I've been feeling very lucky and pleased with life at the moment. It always helps me to get outdoors to feel better about life, especially when I'm not needing to wrestle with rain gear and trying to stay dry. 

My morning routine was a little disrupted when I first got my hearing aids, trying to figure out a good time to get them in. I decided that it works best once I get my tea water started, then come back to bed with my laptop and insert them at that time in order to hear the teapot's whistle sooner than I did before. I am finding that the world doesn't seem quite as interesting when I am without my improved hearing, and it's only been a bit over a week! I feel very lucky to be living during a time when ordinary people like me can get new eyes (glasses and cataract surgery), new ears (hearing aids), as well as new hips and knees (not yet needed for me). My blogging friend Linda who lives in Seattle just had a hip replacement yesterday, and I am hoping it all went well and that she will be recovering in no time at all.

Since I have made it all the way to eighty without needing major joint replacements, I don't think it will be necessary in the future. When I was around fifty, I had an ACL replacement in my left knee, which was not fun but essential if I wanted to keep using the knee without a brace. It took me some time to find a doctor who would perform it, because most doctors felt the recovery would be too strenuous for someone of my advanced age (!). I have to admit that the recovery period was not fun, but my knee was once again stable and has served me well for the past thirty years. I guess the doctors have decided that old people could indeed manage the recovery period, if their motivation was sufficiently strong. 

Years ago, major joint replacement wasn't very common, but times change, and I do think that sometimes it's because a person can afford it and that the doctors make a pretty penny with the procedures. It's also good to know that if you really need it, a new knee or hip can improve one's quality of life. We only get one of these short lives to enjoy, so it's good to make it as wonderful as possible. When I wake up in the morning, get out of bed and stretch, there are a few aches and pains, but that is to be expected. Nothing out of the ordinary and as I continue my journey into elderhood, I am feeling quite blessed that I am well enough that I can continue my brisk daily walks. When I count my blessings, my continued good health is at the top of the list.

And of course, there is my sweet companion, who sleeps quietly next to me as I write this, who continues to give me plenty of chances to smile (he is always making puns), and he makes sure I have what I need to keep myself in good shape. He's the one who does most of the grocery shopping and always remembers to buy stuff that I like. He's the best, and I am grateful for his continued presence in my life. And there are my friends, both actual and virtual, who continue to brighten my days. I am a very lucky person indeed.

So, with that counting of my blessings, I will wrap up this post and get ready for the rest of the day. Yes, it's still dark outside, but the days will continue to lengthen and soon I will be going to bed when there's still light in the sky. I don't mind a bit; another wonderful season of flowers lies ahead. I wish you, my dear friends, all the best for the coming week, and hope that you will find a moment to appreciate and count your own blessings. Until we meet again next week, be well.


Friko said...

Thank you for your good wishes and this gloriously happy post. Your happiness springs out in every line.

But, balancing eggs? What's that?

Marcia LaRue said...

I am hoping the bill is passed that keeps us from having to keep changing the clocks! I don't care which option they choose, I just hope they choose one and stick with it!!

Rian said...

It's strange but I don't really care about the time change. Fine either way with me. But I do like to wake up with the sun shining - don't especially like waking up in the dark.

As for glasses, hearing aids, and knee and hip replacements - they bring a better quality of life so I'm thankful for them. So far, I only have the glasses, but the hearing aid isn't far off (good to know that you are happy with yours). And hopefully I won't need the 'replacements' either.

And I too have wanted to start knitting or crocheting again. I'm not terribly skilled, but used to know cable and popcorn stitch. Maybe this week? Kids are coming back through here on their way back from Spring Break in Hot Springs so that may take up my time. We'll see.

Enjoy the spring weather! You never know how long it will last.

Gigi said...

At the beginning of lockdown, I considered teaching myself how to knit - but then I picked up cross stitch again instead. I would love to see the finished project - maybe it will inspire me to try after I get finished with my current, seemingly never-ending project.

We have been having beautiful spring like weather...until this morning when we woke up to a dusting of snow and cold rain. If that's all the "winter weather" we get this winter, I will be a very happy bunny.

I am so glad to hear that your new ears are working so well for you.

Have a wonderful week!

Rita said...

I am always thrown off by the time change and wouldn't care what they chose if they would just stick to it. Standard seems to make more sense, though.
The flowers are wonderful to see. Especially since we had another blizzard last night and this morning--lol!

Marie Smith said...

The extended daylight in the evening is nice but I would be glad to stop this time change too. You are having lovely spring weather by the sound of it. Enjoy!

Linda Reeder said...

Thanks for the mention. I am doing well and recovery should progress smoothly. With all the schedules for pills and icing and this and that we almost forgot about the time change, but our iPhones set us straight. On to spring!

Red said...

I put my hearing aids in as soon as I get up. You will notice few different things. I forgot my hearing aids when I went to drive downtown. I signaled and thought my signals were not working. It was only because I couldn't hear the clicking that made me think they weren't working.

Anvilcloud said...

Sue has used YT to learn to do her complicated crochet stitches. I have learned a lot about photography and editing there. There is so much there, and we can keep on learning informally at our own pace.

Linda Myers said...

I envy you the walks. I hope I'll be able to get back to walking for exercise after I get my left knee replaced this summer. A bad knee is quite limiting.

gigi-hawaii said...

Perhaps, you should have your ears flushed out by a nurse at your clinic. It will make a huge difference. I have had mine flushed twice so far during the pandemic.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good for you taking up knitting! Have fun! I hate the time change too, I don't care which one they choose...Standard time would work for me too...just hope they pick one!!

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, Wow, you said it perfectly: “…snipping that hour from the Quilt of Time and sewing it onto the other end doesn't seem to be working out quite right.” And, I’m with you completely on let’s keep it Standard Time all year. Why do humans have to tinker with the clock. Many health experts have pointed out that Standard Time aligns with our natural body rhythms. Daylight time makes no sense here in northern latitudes where it won’t get dark for a good night’s sleep until after 10PM. Go figure. I haven’t heard the myth about balancing an egg, but it does sound like some typical misinformation. 😊 Now, speaking of ear wax, if you find any solutions, do let me know! I have way too much of that stuff! Congrats on getting back into stitching. One thing I have learned for sure, in this “middle old age” is how important hobbies are. I don’t think anyone ever emphasized that to me back when I was “young”. Thank you for another great Eye on the Edge. A happy week ahead to you and SG! John

William Kendall said...

I hate DST.

Glenda Beall said...

I don't like the time change either. I have fibromyalgia and the time change is hard on folks like me. We are told to start changing our routines by fifteen minutes at the time two weeks before the time change. I never remember and my sleep schedule is a mess right now.
You make me anxious to get hearing aids. I need some help. Good post and like you, I feel so blessed to have such love in my life. Just wish I still had my guy with me.