David dropped me off at church before heading out to the fairgrounds to work on the Bee Barn in preparation for the fair next week, and Kailyn met me at the car to walk into church with me. (She teaches preschool at the first service.) I enjoyed the service and seeing friends and former students who attend, as I've been gone for a few weeks during my recovery. Three people volunteered to help me set up my classroom, so that was an added bonus!
After church I asked Kailyn what she wanted to do, and she said, "What do you want to do?" I wanted to go for a drive out to Lucia and Moulton Falls, and take a short "hike". As David wasn't home to tell me not to, we packed up some ice bags in a cooler, a few snacks and water bottles, my walker, and headed out of town.
Oh, the drive was gorgeous! The sun was shining, and traffic was fairly light. We both love the drive out along the Lewis River, and have spent many hours hiking the various trails and visiting the many falls in the area, but the last time we'd been out there together was New Years Day. Finally, we have something that looks and feels like summer around here and we were loving the warm breeze through the open windows as we puttered along.
We drove past Lucia Falls and turned off on Hantwick Road, as there is a wheelchair assessable trail leading from the parking lot that we remembered from previous trips. After parking, Kailyn brought me the walker and we set off toward the trail. As we started down the paved pathway, my eyes filled with tears and turning to Kailyn, I told her, "Thank you for bringing me out here. I appreciate you so much." She snapped a picture of me "walker hiking" when we got a bit further down the path.
By the time we returned to the car, I was more than ready to slap an ice pack on my knee, but thoroughly thrilled at having my little adventure. We drove back toward Lucia Falls and parked. Kailyn wanted to walk over to look at the falls, and I thought I'd take the wider upper path for a short walk, but quickly decided I had done enough, as it was not paved and pretty bumpy. I returned to the car and kept the ice on, and people watched while I waited for Kailyn to get her fill of the falls.
Stopping for sandwiches and shakes at Dollar's Corner, we talked about our "hike" and Kailyn told me she was proud of me for not insisting on going farther. I even took a couple of short rests on my handy walker seat! I thought about what a change I've gone through, forced by the recovery journey, to pay attention to my body, and really listen for how I should be caring for this new knee. I desperately wanted to go on a real hike, however, that's just not reasonable just yet. Kailyn, in her willingness to drive me in the van, (which she doesn't care for!) allowed me to experience my love of nature, and a mini hike, which soothed my soul as not much else has the past few weeks.
This week I feel confident that full recovery is near enough to taste. I'm experiencing little pain, except after "strenuous exercise" (the hike pain actually didn't last . . . but after physical therapy, as they are adding new exercises every time now, I do feel the pain!) I'm making sure and steady progress on my range of motion (now 115 degrees, goal 120!) and I can stand longer periods of time.
I am eternally grateful for the continued support and encouragement I've received from friends, family and my blogging friends. I am looking forward to future topics other than my recovery journey, yet acknowledge the "rightness" of being here today. I am grateful for my walker, but can't wait to trade it for a cane, and eventually be free of both. However, for now, "Have Walker Will Travel" is my mantra and my ticket out the front door!
|My driver and hiking pal, Kailyn, and me!|