The Dog Ate My Blog.
Don't believe that?
Okay ... um ... my little brother flushed the blog down the toilet?
Okay ... I set the blog on top of the car while I unlocked it, and I was in a big hurry so I forgot it was there, and I drove off with the blog sliding around on top of the car, and now the blog is smashed up on the dotted line somewhere along the Interstate ...?
That last? It's not too far from the truth.
The further away you get from a thing, the longer it takes to get back. And the longer you stay away from the blog, the harder it is to start writing again. It's not for a lack of something to say. It's the lack of energy to write it down -- that's what does you in.
And that's why I've been away from the blog. Huge thanks to Lisa Louie for keeping everyone posted on the reason for my absence. Now I need to get behind the wheel again and fill in the blanks.
At the end of June, my mother's brother, Armand Steger, died after a long battle with prostate cancer, leaving my mother as the last survivor of her siblings. The maternal side of my family is very close, and Uncle Armand was more of an Emergency Backup Dad than an uncle to me. He was also the father of my cousin Pam, who we lost to lung cancer last summer, and he left this world almost exactly a year after his daughter. I know Pam was waiting patiently for her dad -- and probably knitting something spectacular to pass the time.
That in itself -- losing a beloved relative, planning and attending a funeral -- is reason enough to leave anyone too dispirited to blog for a week or two, but the kicker is that as we all turned away from the graveside after the funeral service and headed back toward the cars, picking our way through the jumbled maze of ancient tombs one finds in a typical New Orleans cemetery ... my mother fell and broke her hip.
In retrospect, the fall surprised me more than the broken hip. My mother, although an octogenarian, is anything but frail. She is spry, active and sure footed. She walks every day, runs her own errands and tends her garden. She's also a very careful person, as cautious as a cat -- she watches her step, holds handrails, and pays attention to trip hazards. We still don't know exactly how she fell, but down she went, just like that, faster than I could blink. I simply couldn't turn around fast enough to catch her. And, in fact, she didn't realize that something was seriously wrong until she tried to stand up.
Fortunately, we have lots of nurses and other first-responder people in my family, so we quickly decided that in light of the fact that the actual temperature that day was a hundred and two and the ambulance attendants would have a piece of work wiggling between the tombs, it would be better for Mom if we stabilized and transported her ourselves, rather than risk shock and heatstroke while she waited in the blaring sun for an ambulance. Two of my younger cousins are former military medics, so she was expertly whooshed out of there faster than you can say, "go to the hospital."
Fortunately, it turned out that Mom has remarkably good bone density, so her hip didn't shatter. The break was nice and clean and only required four screws to set it in place. The doctor also found a hairline fracture on her kneecap, and said that she landed on her knee first, so that probably took some of the force out of the fall and spared her a worse break.
So, Mom spent the end of June and the Fourth of July weekend in the hospital after her hip repair surgery. Believe it or not, it was the first time she'd ever had anesthesia, and the only other broken bone she had ever experienced was a broken finger from a teenaged volleyball incident.
Her room, on an upper floor, faced downtown, so she had a wonderful view of the Fourth of July fireworks display. Physical therapy started 48 hours after surgery, and my mom didn't blink once, setting her jaw to get through it every day, even if she was squeezing out tears. She was determined to get better, and improved quickly enough to be moved to an inpatient rehab hospital to complete her recovery.
In the meantime, of course, I have been flying back and forth like a badminton shuttlecock, bopping back and forth between the yarn shop, our own home, Mom's house and the hospital, so I've had very little time to do anything besides drive, mind the shop, drive some more, visit Mom, drive some more, do household chores, and drive some more. And when I am in that sort of situation, blogging is unfortunately the first thing to go.
But I'm back. My sincere thanks to everyone who responded to Lisa's posts with thoughts and prayers for my Mom, and thanks also to those of you who sent cards as well. My mother was quite touched that total strangers who read my knitting ramblings would send such warm wishes to someone they'd never even met, but she wasn't all that surprised.
You are knitters, after all. That's what knitters do, and she knows that.
Now that I can catch my breath, I can finally catch up with the blog a bit. There are new things at the shop, and finished objects to boast about, and as soon as I can get them all in the same room with a camera -- hopefully within the next few days -- I'll upload some photos so you have something to look at for a change.
Thanks for your patience. I do hope I can blog consistently this fall and beyond, and I fervently hope for a very boring fall and winter.
One more thing before I sign off: today is the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's double-whammy landfall in New Orleans and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Please hold in your thoughts those expatriated New Orleanians scattered far and wide who are still unable to return home, whether it's because their financial circumstances do not allow it yet, or because their insurance companies betrayed them, or because the infrastructure in their neighborhood isn't back yet. About 40% of the city's residents have yet to come home.
Hold also in your thoughts the more than 1500 people who died in the storm simply because they didn't have transportation to get out of harm's way.
See you all soon. Photos and good cheer to follow soon.