Written last week -
These are odd days for this Senior Guy. The cold creeps in from the dropping temperatures as weather people warn of "The Thanksgiving snow storm" that is on its way across the country. I would love to be warmer, but in America just now, getting to one of those places is a daunting prospect. A car trip would be too much to handle, and a plane trip would offer coughs and colds I just don't want to contemplate.
Which means enduring "in place." Making do. Bundling up. I'd rather stand and shiver. What I know I must do is exercise. So today I drove myself back to the Flagship Athletic Club for my second round toward getting back to my nearly daily routine from before summer.
All summer I'd paddled my canoe several times a week. It was exhilarating and inspiring. I was on Pine River. I looked at flowers on riverbanks. I watched the water flow. I plied the beautiful, large sup paddle Molly found for me perhaps five years ago. I yodeled out a greeting to the two occupied houses along the shore. My friends there called back, even came to the water's edge to chat with me. It was always the highlight of my day.
I felt I was gaining strength. I came back in late September expecting a busy fall. I began to see people. I preached on one Sunday afternoon at Friendship Village.
But then - whammo! I wasn't well. I knew it. Molly got me to the hospital. The diagnosis: pseudomonas pneumonia with sepsis.
Not good. Seven days in hospital. Weak again. Three weeks of Home Care from occupational and physical therapists. A nurse to check my blood. My breathing still compromised.
How was I ever going to get "on the road again"? I could only do about one thing a day. I knew I had to be careful. I could do nothing but go slow.
Today I made my second trip to the Flagship. That "old gang of mine" found in the locker room. Art, the NW curbside baggage man. Jim, from a locker near mine. John, 89-year-old pal next to him. Greg, one of the founders of Flagship. The ebullient Dave with profuse Irish welcome.
Encouraged, I managed a walk of 50 to 60 steps. I did some breathing exercises. I rowed - 40 strokes. Then, to the shower. What a sense of accomplishment and exhilaration as I drove home.
Earlier in the day was my 1-1/2 hour meeting with my wonderful helper Laury, who types sermons, mails letters, sends emails, runs the website, and "Keeps me in touch with the real world."
So there! Two things done today. Some encouraging emails. A GOOD day.
So, how will I "live usefully"? There isn't yet the strength to DO much. I can't go into the streets. But, I find, people will come to me. We sit by the fire in the common at Covenant Living. We talk, and pray. It is mutual encouragement.
Molly has urged me to "Be" rather than "Do." And helps me to be a friend. A little group will meet with me for Advent Bible Study at the Hilltop Restaurant - 7:00 am to 8:30 am - on three Thursdays, in the dark.
I pray for Christian usefulness - "BEING THERE" for whomever will have me. Enough for now. Praise God.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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