Sunday, May 18, 2014

Itching for Summer

It's getting to be that itchy time of the year when all I can think about is that day and moment when the ringing of a solitary bell will change my world and render me free for a few months.  Sadly, most adults don't seem to remember what it was like to have summer vacation from school.  If they did, I think there would be a  proletariat uprising unlike Marx ever imagined to make summer vacation a must for everybody.  Of course that would make buying groceries impossible and would largely increase the lengths of the lines at the Disney theme parks, not to mention inconveniencing many in ways quite impossible to count or fully imagine, but I can't even imagine working all year long without the blessed weeks I get to recuperate from going and going and going.  I know that I am envied and even despised to a degree by some because of the vacation to which I'm looking forward, but likewise I know that without it I'd have burned out of teaching a long time ago and I think that could be said of just about all of my colleagues who give it their all.

Summer is coming and I'm looking forward to the same small, but wonderful things that compel me every year to anticipate its arrival.  Scooter trips and car trips.  Writing here when I'm inspired.  Having lunch whenever I want.  Visiting the various places that really say SUMMER to me, like this gazebo in nearby Plains, Pennsylvania.

I'm not sure why I made this colorful gazebo a powerful symbol to myself, but I have.  When I pose for my first picture of the summer here I'm near bursting out of my skin with the excitement of being free.  When the weeks are spent, though, and it's near time to return to the classroom, another visit here sums up the heaviness of heart with which I give up the freedom of spending day after day however I want.


After years of walking with a limp and increasing pain in my right knee, I was finally bugged enough by those who love me to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.  I rebelled against that for a long time and my reasoning is this...  I feared that "Replacement surgery!" would be the first thing of the doctor's mouth.  I wouldn't want to take off that much time from school to go through the exercises and rehab to get back on my feet, but neither would I want to spend most of my summer doing that either and essentially not having a vacation at all.

The first thing they did at the doc's office was to take x-rays.  Here's the one of the bad knee.

After the film was taken I was ushered into the back room to await the crippling news that I had no doubt would be coming my way.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I was told that replacement surgery was some years in the future still!  He drained 190cc's of "water on the knee" from the joint and said that I'd broken the former office record.  I chuckled and would have danced with joy - well, except that I have this bad knee.

This will be an abrupt ending, but I'm out of practice and out of words.  Stay tuned for what I hope will be my usual round of summer posts!


Doug Klassen said...

Joe, I'm delighted to hear you knee problem isn't too bad. But don't fear the knee replacement too much when the time comes, I have several friends who have had TKR and none regret it. They do all offer the same advice: Never wimp out on the the therapy.

In the mean time, get out there and ride!

kz1000st said...

Don't lament too much about no freedom to ride. This winter has kept most of my bikes garaged for record lengths of time. Even now morning temps in the 30s have kept them still.

Deb said...

I used to be a high school teacher, many years ago, and I do know exactly how you feel about summer!

I sort of have a compromise now in that I am only working part-time in my health care profession and I plan to retire in about 6 years, which for me is just about the sweetest life I can imagine! Total freedom, yeah!

"How sweet it is to do nothing", as the Italians say!

Good to see you posting again! Looking forward to viewing your riding adventures!