Sunday, February 26, 2012

Advice from a River

It took me a long time to even become willing to write a blog. My cousins kept trying to convince me to join the blogging world and I just kept saying, "What do I have to write about?" and "Why would anyone want to read it?"And I often still feel this way. But I decided to, at first, write it as just a journal for myself. I didn't share anything vastly personal, but I did try to document the small and big things that were going on in our lives. I think, and hope, that this is still what I do one year later.

But in the very beginning you have to decide on a name, and that, I found, was a lot of pressure. After deliberating for a while, I finally decided on RiverandShore because it's from one of my favorite songs and I feel most at home on a river. I know how to read the rapids and how to find the eddies, and I know the going can be slow, and that the outside of a curve will always be deeper, and there can be times when you have to get out and walk because it's just too shallow all of the way across. I've gained this knowledge from a lifetime of canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in different rivers.

Well, there's one river I know better than any other. It's the Clarion River in Pennsylvania. As a matter of fact, Jim's Aunt Sherri, a traveling ER nurse specializing in cardiac patients, told me that a great and calming technique is to imagine you are in a place you know very well. A place where you know the smells and the sounds, and you can feel the things around you. She said that I should try walking myself through a place like this and it can be quite relaxing and take your mind away from the pain. You can guess where I chose to take myself.... I went to the Clarion.

And, boy did it work!? It was incredible. I put myself on a bike and went for a ride down River Road. I biked and, all the while, looked at the road and the trees around me, and I waved at the neighbors at the familiar houses, and I nodded my head at each of the familiar boulders in the river, and the rapids, and the herons, kingfishers, and the bald eagle, since he was in his usual perch in the tall, dead tree.

I smelled the pines, and heard the eager canoers pass by, and at the end of the ride I even stopped and had an ice cream at the Pale Whale, before peddling back home. But I surprised myself by actually knowing each bend in the road and turn of the river. Never have I sat and actually taken myself on a prolonged journey in my memory. It's amazing what your mind can do and where it can take you, and how it can relax and comfort your body to do so.

My Aunt Beth sent me a shirt the day after I went to "visit" The Pinery and the Clarion River. This shirt could not be any better. She said, "I just saw that shirt and thought it was absolutely perfect for any time, but especially right now." She's hit the nail on the head!

The shirt says "Advice from a River:"

Go with the flow           Immerse yourself in nature                     Slow down and meander
             Go around the obstacles                    Be thoughtful of those downstream
                                                                                                                                Stay current                   
The beauty is in the journey!

Yes, it's backwards... that's what happens when
you are lazy and use Photo Booth!
Health Update: Yesterday I took it very slow and Jim built a fire. We had our friend, Maria, over late in the afternoon and it was really nice. She's amazing and positive and the hours flew by. By the end of our visit my neck was quite painful, so I had to lie down for the evening. Today my neck and head are hurting. We went on a short walk on the Huckleberry Trail, which my body was grateful for. I felt my pace quicken a few times and had to remind myself to be an "old lady." I'll have to get used to everyone passing me for a while. It was nice to have a change of setting, though.

Monday- Neuro Appt. @ 5 PM
Tuesday- GP Appt. @ 9:30 AM

We'll see what they say about my progress and going back to work. Let's hope my INR is between 2-3.

Thank you to Randy and family for meatloaf tonight! :)

Now I lie here on the couch deciding what next to do. I hope to find a way to stream the Academy Awards online tonight. Let me know if you have any leads or tips :)


  1. !!!!!!!emoclew er'ouy, lrig sdrawkcab.

    What a great journey down the river. Love you! A. Beth

  2. Hahaha! That took me a little while to figure out.... I'm still in SBSB, though. Right?

    Love you so much!

  3. Beautiful! I have often used River Road along the Clarion as an image when trying to to go to sleep, but never going on a whole bike ride in my memory. Lately, not surprisingly, I relax thinking of making bread in the earth oven!

  4. You brought tears to my eyes! I'm so glad that you blog, we both are SO much better at "public journaling" then calling or sending letters (I'm well aware that I am much worse!). I bet my mom had to write that out first :)

    1. Nope Julie. It helps to be left handed and slightly dyslexic :)

    2. Nope Julie. I call people often and write letters, when appropriate. But I do enjoy my blogging :)