I'm down in Spokane with my mom, who had cataract surgery on Monday. It's turned out to be a fun experience (for me, not my mom). I went back with my mom to the area where patients are prepped for surgery, and while the nurse was working with my mom I pulled out my travel sock to knit on. Within minutes another nurse walked by and asked if I was knitting a sock.
She told me she used to raise Icelandic and Blue-faced Leicester sheep, and still had bags of the fibre sitting in her basement. When I told her those were both great to knit with she asked me if I wanted it. She assured me she isn't a knitter or spinner, and the wool had been taking up space in her house for a long time. We've arranged for me to pick it up on my next trip down. I wonder what kind of response I'll get when I phone the Spokane Eye Clinic and ask to speak to a nurse about some fibre? They'll probably tell me I need to talk to a gastroenterologist, not an ophthalmologist!
Right after the fibre discussion another nurse walked by, and it turned out to be someone I knew when I was growing up. We reminisced about people and events from our shared small farming community roots. When she told me how much she used to love coming to our home for a visit, and how she especially loved the zip line in our backyard, the nurse working on my mom looked up in surprise and said, "You had a zip line in your backyard?"
I assured her it wasn't like modern zip lines. It was a rather modest affair that my dad had jerry-rigged. It started high up in the big old cottonwood tree at the back of our farmhouse. The actual ride down wasn't nearly as thrilling as getting on it. First you had to climb partway up the tree, then you had to somehow balance yourself as you manoeuvred onto the splinter laden seat. Then you had to be careful not to hang onto the rope in the wrong place as you pushed off or you would get horrible rope burns. Childhood used to be much more hazardous than it is now, but I think it also used to be way more fun!
I will be here for a couple more days, driving my mom to appointments and getting her cupboards and fridge stocked with things she will need in the next week or two. The idea is to keep her off the road while her eye adjusts after the surgery. I fear this may be a losing battle. She is already insisting she can drive herself to her doctor's appointment this afternoon. The vision out of the eye that just got repaired is quite blurry. When I pointed this out to her, and said it wouldn't be safe, she countered with the argument that the office she had to go to wasn't that far away.
When she had her previous cataract surgery I was horrified when I called her just a few days post-surgery and discovered she had driven several blocks to the local grocery store. I asked how it was even possible since she had just been complaining that she couldn't even read, and she said it wasn't a problem. She just drove with one eye closed. Given that my mom's driving is fairly sketchy with both eyes open, this was not something I wanted to hear.
I can assure the drivers of Spokane that the roads will be safe at least until Friday morning, which is when I head back north. My best advice after that is, if you see a squinting, grey-haired lady whose head barely shows above the steering wheel weaving her way down the road, steer clear.
The winner of a copy of Ting Ting (links now in side bar) will be announced this weekend. The Kindle edition is now available. The paperback version has now sold out at Amazon, but will be restocked within a few days. Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy of my book. It's all quite exciting!