gratitude-a-thon day 2066: the knee bone’s connected to the friendship

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Jake and Sophie. Sophie and Jake. These two were inseparable as kids. They grew up together. Here they are walking down “the aisle” in Menemsha on the the Vineyard, a place we vacationed together for many years. This weekend Sophie gets married. And despite knee surgery, Jake will be there, We all will be.

My son is no stranger to knee surgery. He had a meniscal repair (they go in and stitch up the torn meniscus) and then you’re in pain for a week and a brace for 6 weeks and physical therapy and no sports ensue for three months. He had two on one knee and one on the other, in 5th, 6th and 8th grades. And two days ago he had another, making a total of three on that left leg. Although this time, no repair, just a big snip of meniscus.

He was goofing around while visiting San Diego friends from LA and his knee locked, as in couldn’t straighten it. He was lucky that he already had an appt. with an ortho doc my husband knew for a day later (because his other knee was bugging him, yup, uh huh). Anyway, his meniscus was stuck in his joint space and surgery was the only way to get it out. So, for a week, he couldn’t walk, or straighten his knee.

To complicate matters, the wedding of one of his closest childhood friends is this Saturday. He refused to hear of not being there (despite not being able to destroy the dance floor)! So, our goal has been to get him on a plane, because FRIENDSHIP.

I flew to San Diego for his surgery and he had it two days ago. He’s doing ok, although uncomfortable in bed, watching bad movies and ESPN, hooked up to an hourly ice machine, eating snacks from Trader Joe’s and room service (who must think we are two reclusive weirdos).

It’s beautiful here, but I’ve pretty much just seen the inside of a hotel room.  An old Boston friend had us to a wonderful dinner at her house the night before surgery and I got to meet her husband and kids, so that was the fun part. Today we have to move to another hotel because we didn’t think we’d be here this long, and the hotel has no rooms (his post-op got postponed until tomorrow).

My gratitude: that my son is ok. Resilient and resting his knee, he will be just fine in a week or two and will embark on a killer quad building workout program. I am grateful for my husband’s old friend/doctor coming in on his day off, the incredibly nice nurses at the surgery center. So grateful for my hysterical friend Cheryl opening her home to us, and all the well wishes from friends near and far (that really helps when the chips are down, I’ll tell you).

We will be on that plane Friday morning and see our adorable friend Sophie walk down the aisle. Because friendship matters. In fact, it’s everything in my book and apparently my son’s too.

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gratitude-a-thon day 2065: gratitude, oh gratitude, where are you

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I’ve had a lousy week. I won’t even go into it, but there has been a bug bite allergy the size of a small country on my leg that itches like someone is tickling me with a feather (Is it Jeffrey Epstein–what, too soon?) a knee injury for both my son and husband and a few other absolutely shit things. I was in a foul, read MISERABLE mood yesterday, feeling overwhelmed and angry and frustrated. Gratitude was missing, a droopy plant beaten down by the summer sun, in desperate need of resuscitation.

But this morning I woke up and slapped myself across the face after trying not to touch my bite, which I WANT TO SCRATCH LIKE I WANT TO EAT A BAG OF POTATO CHIPS, and gratitude came rising up in me, like a fiery fire. “Stop,” it said, “Pull yourself together, girl.” Sassy, that gratitude. “Time and modern medicine will heal you all. Get some gratitude on for that, wouldja please.”

And this is true. One hundred years ago, my bite and the knees could have meant death or a life of impairment. Now we have RX remedies and surgery. Now we have Netflix.

And so, with that, I once again bow to the intelligence and power of gratitude. A little goes a long way. If you get off course, just get back on. Gratitude, will open its arms to you and welcome you home (even if it gets a little snitty in the process).

gratitude-a-thon day : let’s go

Every fucking chance I get.

I have been doing a lot of traveling. Part of it is that I got some amazing events and trips as gifts for my birthday, and part of it is, that it’s just time to go. What I mean is, I don’t want to wait for anything anymore. I just want to go, do, see. Because we all know that rarely do things go as planned.  I mean, life is about as dependable as a 14-year-old with a curfew.

Elton John was, as the Brits would say, brilliant. At 72, he played three hours STRAIGHT with only one costume change! I am fairly sure I sang every song with a permanent smile pasted on my face.
This concert was part of my gift from this guy for my 60th. I will never get a gift (seven events connected to my life, that lasted all year, in all parts of the world) as good, or as thoughtful as this.
This was my first trip to London and I fell madly in love with it. It’s hip, it’s huge and it’s absolutely beautiful.
This is London’s answer to the Hancock Building, but way cooler. The Shard.
I am a sucker for a flower display. This one was on Portobello Road.

 

This is the street in Notting Hill that Kiera Knightly lives on in one of my fave movies ever, Love, Actually.
This dude just sits on his horse and doesn’t move. No matter what. I love that the “Beware” sign is crooked. Someone didn’t!
If you go to London, you are required to take this picture! Doesn’t get more touristy than this. Westminister Cathedral is behind me.
This is the Castle Leslie Estate in Ireland. It is stunningly gorgeous. I expected Lady Mary to come out of the shadows and have a drink or a spot of tea with me.
The gorgeous couple, Jess and Adam. You guys know how to plan a wedding!

I have met some extremely interesting and funny people in my travels. I have had some experiences that will help me survive another New England winter (bah, humbug). Not to mention the inevitable bumps that will occur along the unpredictable path of living.

On my most recent trip, I had the spectacularly good fortune of going to an Irish wedding in Ireland. If you ever get a chance to do this, do not pass go, do not collect $200, just get on a plane and vamos. And if you don’t, stay in touch because I am thinking of starting a business where I find Irish weddings and sell tickets to Americans. Big hit! First of all, Ireland is stunning. Second of all, the Irish people are so friendly, they invite you to into their pubs, their towns, their homes. Third of all, they know how to throw back a drink (or two, or 27). Put it on your bucket list–Irish Wedding. You’re welcome.

I went to see my son’s house and office. This isn’t either of those, it’s where I stayed in Santa Monica.
Seeing my cousin in L.A. was just great.
This guy! My husband couldn’t come to San Francisco, on one of his gifts–to see jim Gaffigan–so this one flew up! Here we are at China Live. Best chinese food I’ve ever eaten in my whole life.

Along the way, I have felt deep gratitude. I haven’t written about it, but I have laid in silence in my bed in the late night or early morning first thing, letting my thanks pour over me. I have thought about how every time I get home safely from a trip that the experience is mine, something nobody can ever take from me. I can pull out the moments of decadent meals and awe-inspiring art, architecture, culture and food whenever I want. I can bask in every impossibly beautiful sliver of time my travels took up until I can’t remember them anymore. I will see a picture of a place and think, yes, I have been there and I have a little piece of you right here in my brain (left side, upper right-hand corner).

Signs, actual signs in L.A. reminding me to be grateful!

We stack up the experiences in the present and then we get to run the footage in our heads for as long as we want. For this, a plane-ful of gratitude (extra leg room, please).