Milestones in Missouri

Still catching up from Christmas and the holidays in general. “Dude,” I hear you say, “it’s past mid-January. What up wif dat?” And I reply, “that’s how I roll, dawg.”

Sometimes I’m so down with my bad self that it hurts. Really. Literally.

We took a trip to Missouri for Christmas, to visit some of my favorite people in the world – our “nephew” and “niece” and their respective (and even respectful, at times) spouses.

The quotes? Well, although these two aren’t technically related to us, as isn’t their brother who rode down with us, they are in fact as dear to us as any other of our nieces or nephew. Their mom is our dear sister, and we love them all bunches and bunches. So I guess the quotes are really unnecessary. Just ignore them when you read this again, ‘k?

I’ve been trying to be mindful to notice the little milestones in my journey as they whizz past – sometimes a blur, sometimes so shining and bright that they take my breath away. Which is alright – these days, I have a little extra breath to spare. And, when I remember (I really should remember more often!), I try and document the milestones – to raise another stone to look back and remember, so that I will always know that as God has been, so He shall be. A whole bunch of milestones came and went on this trip, and while I’ve probably forgotten some, I wanted to get a few written down while I was thinking of it.

Blogging. Random thoughts made visible for everyone to endure… um, I mean, enjoy. Yeah – enjoy. That’s what I meant. Or as despair.com puts it, “never have so many had so little to say to so few.” Carrying on, then…

1) Traveling – when we would stop for fuel, to let Ezri get out to stretch her legs and “hoist tail,” or to let ourselves stretch our legs and “hoist something,” I was able to just get out of the car and walk. No pain, no stiffness (other than what any normal person would feel after being in a car for a few hours) – just get out, walk in the rest area or gas station and that was that. Or even, *gasp*, actually fill the car myself while Vicki either goes inside to “hoist” or take Ezri for the aforementioned “hoisting.”

And, no shifting and squirming while riding in the car, trying to find a new position to ease my aching knees. All was cool and froody. (as it says in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy)

2) Staying with AndyBabes & ShantyBabes – (which are names that they NEVER go by, btw…) We slept on an air mattress. On the floor. Together.

Um… so?

Lemmie ‘splain, as I often quote.

Previously, to travel and stay someplace, I had to have the following: raised twin air bed, adjustable twin air mattress to go on top to elevate my head, pillows to go under my legs and elevate them, pillows to go under my arms to support them and my shoulders, pillow for my head, the CPAP and all of its parts, including clean or distilled water for the humidifier.

And that was just for ME – Vicki would usually just roll up in a sleeping bag on the floor, rather than have to carry more stuff.

This trip (and now on): Queen size air mattress, Mattress Genie (to elevate our heads slightly), pillows, sleeping bag to cover the mattress, 2 blankets to wrap up in. That’s it. If there’s a bed where we’re going, all we need are our pillows and the Mattress Genie.

Traveling just became fun again. I can’t WAIT to go to the Shack sometime and not take all that crap along just to try and sleep. And actually sleep in a beautiful log bed. *purrrrr*

3) First trip not only not using CPAP, but WE DIDN’T EVEN TAKE THE THING WITH US. Sorry to shout, but that still amazes me. As I’ve said in another post, I never ever even imagined that I’d ever be without CPAP. Not in my wildest dreams or deepest hopes. When God says, “your chains are gone,” He doesn’t mean just a few or a little – He means ALL of them, TOTALLY smashed and done with. I’m humbled, amazed, stunned, and thankful.

4) We did a bit of walking this trip – an outlet mall in Branson, as well as a Christmas shop / village there, all over Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, and the mall where ShantyBabes works. I knew that we were going to be walking, and so came prepared by NOT bringing my wheelchair. It remained in the basement where it’s been since a couple of months after surgery. Anywhere we went, it was on my own two feet. Did I get tired at times? Oh yeah. Was it amazing? Oh heck yeah!

5) The stunned look on the face of AndyBabes when I got out of the car was worth the trip. He’d seen pictures on FB, but if you haven’t seen me in person since the surgery, it really is a shock. The change is profound.

Side note: if you haven’t seen me in person since the surgery, no need to apologize and say, “I didn’t recognize you.” I totally understand – there have been days when I didn’t recognize myself.

Other side note: while I can bubble on for hours about this journey and the amazing things that God has done, I promise to be more mindful in conversations and not dominate them with tales of having my innards redecorated. Unless you really want to hear about it, of course. And feel free to say, “enough!”

6) Being light enough to take AndyBabe’s Catrike Speed for a spin was so totally SWEET. And yet so very, very bad since it created a lingering discontent and even a contemplation of disloyalty to my beloved TerraTrike – yea, even envisioning the possibility of jumping over to the Dark Side. That Catrike was AMAZING!

I THINK I’m using TOO MANY caps in this POSTING. Sorry ABOUT that.

As I said, there were more milestones I’m sure – not worrying if there were seats that would accommodate me, not being concerned that I might break a dining room chair, being able to fit in the shower and on the throne, not having to bring a shower stool, etc. The ease with which I move through life these days is astonishing.

Part of my purpose in setting January aside was to stop and notice things for a while – to see just how far I’ve come in 9 months, and to see just what amazing things lie ahead. I think I just summed up a big part of my path in that last sentence above – “the ease with which I move through life these days is astonishing.” Never put it into those words before, but it’s so true. Guess that’s another milestone, to the glory of God. He made this path, opened it before me, and grants the grace and strength to walk it each day. Thank You Father for a tiny, tiny glimpse of what You mean when you say “abundant.”

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