I am typically running behind on blog posts. I find it challenging to be a “real time blogger.” Like many areas of my life, I tend to procrastinate. Just like one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, “I’m always running behind the time…just like this train. Shakin’ into town with the brakes complaining.”
It’s even tougher to stay current when hiking with the Red Rocks Gang. Although I often “journal” a post in a timely manner, it takes me several days to do the photo downloading and selection. So when in a place like Zion where every single day offers a hike worthy of its own blog post, it’s really easy to fall behind in a hurry.
But not this blog post. It is coming to you “real time” from the Kindred Rehabilitation Center in Mansfield, Texas. My 93 year old Dad has been in the hospital with pneumonia. So I put the Winnie to bed for a long winter’s nap in the Phoenix area, and flew back to Texas to help my family get him transitioned from hospital care to rehabilitation care to…who knows what is next???
He is recuperating nicely. When I arrived for my daily visit today, I found him on the recumbent bicycle, pedaling like he was training for the Tour de France. He is committed, as he knows the only way he can come home is when he can walk and get around on his own.
But his mind is questionable. One minute, he is kind and compassionate, so everyone is pulling for him to come back home. The next minute, he is hissing insults and accusations through his teeth (what’s left of them!) and we grow less optimistic. Most would blame dementia or old age, except for the fact that this has been his M.O. all my life. So it’s always been an emotional roller coaster, just a little edgier now as he has lost some of his “filters.”
I still have a half a dozen Zion National Park posts to complete. I plan to finish them for many reasons. One, because I need some distraction amidst the mayhem in a center like this one, where shrunken, hollowed out people reach for you from their wheelchairs as you walk down the hallway. The pulsating oxygen machine. The roommate’s blaring TV that I can’t turn down, even though I can hear him snoring like a freight train on the other side of the privacy curtain. And my Dad’s endless negotiations to get out of this place. (Me: “Bye, Dad. Love you. See you tomorrow.” Him: “Okay, bring a hacksaw.”)
But also, because I saved the best of Zion for last. And I want to get them posted before the memories start to fade from a playground that seems so very far away…
“We write to taste life twice. In the moment, and in retrospection” ~Anais Nin