Robb has been pushing himself a little harder in terms of stamina. He still doesn't have loads of energy but things are much improved from where they were a month or two ago. A couple of days ago he walked down to the lake and walked around looking for an un-occupied shady bench. He was out for a couple of hours and probably walked a mile and a quarter.
We are fortunate to be living where we do. We have shops, grocery stores, our bank, the post office, the pharmacy, restaurants, and an artisanal bakery within walking distance for Robb. He can't carry anything more than fits in his backpack, but it is nice to think that if Robb needs something, he doesn't have to wait for me to get home from work.
Robb has reached a point where he is more comfortable out of his brace than in it. He goes brace-less around the house, but does wear it whenever he goes out. He still has many spinal precautions that limit his rage of activity, but being without the brace must be very liberating for him.
He takes the bus to therapy and I generally pick him up afterwards. Lately the weather has been quite warm by Bay Area standards. When things get hot and potentially smoggy, the local transit authorities have "Spare the Air" days. On these days all the buses and subways are free of charge. However, the bus drivers adapt to the increase in ridership by driving like the proverbial bat out of hell. They don't even wait for nice gentlemen with canes to get seated before they go roaring into traffic.
We need a dumb waiter. No, we need several. I can't seem to keep up with all the things that I have to lug up and down the stairs. Robb has started dragging our trash out onto the back stairs, but I don't always realize this, and sometimes the trash sits around for a little while. I think our neighbors are going to lose patience with us very soon.
It has been almost a year since the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's scene shop burned to the ground. We have been working in a converted pet food store this season, and are getting ready to move into a beautiful new work space. This has been such an unlucky year for so many people. I'm hoping that we'll hit the one year anniversary of the fire and the streak of bad fortune will be finished.
I have been repairing and priming the walls at our new scenic studios and, to keep myself from going insane from boredom and isolation, I have been listening to a lot of public radio. I'm the only woman on the jobsite and the contractors all listen to what I call Carpenter Rock. With the addition of some Pearl Jam and Nirvana, this stuff hasn't changed format in decades. So weird. I never really think about this type of music, but am amazed that I am wasting valuable brain storage with the lyrics to bombastic rock of the seventies and eighties. I'm also amazed that Robb, apparently, has no knowledge of Guns N Roses. Not I. Guns N Roses was the soundtrack to welding at the Glimmerglass Opera.
I've become even more of an emotional marshmallow than I used to be. I was listening to the report on the scientists at Johns Hopkins University who have been using embryonic stem cells to regrow nerve pathways in paralyzed rats (these rats have regained as much as 40% usage of their previously paralyzed rat feet) as I was painting the walls. I was up on a ladder, and noticed huge droplets of water falling into my bucket. Plop! Plop! Plop! went the tears into the white paint. The tears formed perfect tiny pools in the paint.
I don't like to think of this as a political blog, but I have to say that I was terribly dismayed by the comments president Bush made in Hungary recently. He compared Hungary's failed 1956 uprising against the Russians to the situation in Iraq. As far as I'm concerned, the one thing that they have in common is that years from now, the United States will have plenty to regret about the way they handled both of these situations.
For the first time since the accident, Robb is able to clench the muscles of his butt. I asked him if he can feel these muscles when he clenches them , and he said "Not normally. Not entirely. Not very much. I'm better at it when I lie down." Still, this shows that recovery is ongoing.
He still can't feel it when I pat him on the behind.