Close to normal

My office has a new layout. After a cursory cleanout Sita judged it was good enough to start moving furniture. We got rid of my desk which was just a horizontal surface and collected stuff. The only desk I have now is little kidney shaped table that is set to its highest level so it is a stand-up desk with a barstool in case I want to sit down. It is tucked in a corner between the Afghan cupboard and the old family chest I inherited from my mother. The furniture that divided the room in half has been pushed to the side and there is a feeling of space again and also an opportunity for the extra or unexpected guest to blow up a mattress and sleep on the ground.

With the house empty I was able to do some work again in between more doctors’ visits. They are relentless, more next week, giving me a taste of what it is like to grow old and creaky. Axel calls it the fight against decrepitude. But, I’m also getting quite handy living with new handicaps.  In spite of my orthopedic boot, today I drove, walked in the snow, picked winter vegetables from the garden and let the dogs out. Although it may seem like a pain in the neck, I am quite happy with the boot. For the first time in months I am forgetting about my left ankle because there is no pain. It’s a little clunky and I’m sure my gait change will affect other muscles and probably create new problems but that is something to worry about later.

I am also getting quite adept at doing ordinary things in spite of my splinted right hand. I prepared a dish from a Norwegian cookbook, Kitchen of Light. It called for mashed rutabaga. It is a vegetable that I did not have when I grew up because for my mother it was too much associated with the war, or more precisely, the hunger winter of 1944. Mashed, with the seeds of half a vanilla bean, and a considerable amount of butter, it was delicious; probably quite different from how it was prepared during those war years. The baked cod that was supposed to be put on top of it was replaced by cold salmon, one of an slowly diminishing stash of leftovers in our fridge.

I am getting a little better at using the voice activated software but sometimes Axel can hear me shouting, no! Not that! Open the darn website I asked for! That’s when I use my hands again. It is a little faster than figuring out what commands to make. I should be more patient – this dictating business is quite nice.

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