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Thursday, May 26, 2016

C-17 Day

     The paper gave us a heads-up that at 0700 this morning there were going to be thirteen C-17s taking off to go support a mass training jump at Fort Bragg. I got up hoping that the chosen runway this morning would be the one directly in line with our house. At 0650 as I was rounding up the camera, a lawn chair and a mug of coffee, the first four took off, and I missed them. Over the next twenty minutes the remaining nine took off, never close enough together to appear in the same picture. And they did not use the hoped for runway. Nonetheless, I got a few nice shots including one with an ibis in the foreground.

     While I was sitting there in my bathrobe waiting for the next aircraft, I snapped some other miscellaneous shots. Here's one of a daytime moon with a magnolia blossom in the foreground.

     Another ibis was making his way along the bank.

     And, there was an alligator lying in wait along the same bank.

     Progress reports on the back and the bus:
          Bus...some will recall that we almost had the Jeep come loose again on the way home last summer. The base plate has been checked and new attachment pins (pintles?) have been ordered for the Jeep. Instead of a new residential refrigerator, we decided to just spring for a new door for the Dometic. We are also replacing a non-functional radio. As we get closer to departure, the bus will be washed, waxed, and detailed inside. This is probably its last hurrah.
          Back...I'm wandering around without a cane for most of the time.  The only time I use the walker is when I climb out of the bed at night to go to the bathroom.  I feel like a bit more security is called for then. My gait is impacted by the neuropathy almost as much as by the back. I can stand, unassisted, for only a few minutes until back pain takes over. The back brace is some help. Driving does not seem to present any problems.
     We moved here in 2004 and have yet to spend a summer here. As we transition from spring to summer in Charleston, it's clear why we are longing for another Maine summer with great views, great food, and great friends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Six Weeks Post-Op

     Springtime in Charleston means flowers. In our case it means that the magnolia tree we planted ten years ago is maturing nicely. As beautiful as the individual blossoms are, they are very short-lived...just a couple of days. To make matters worse, they turn an unattractive shade of brown. You can see both stages of the blossoms in the pictures below.

     Yesterday I saw my back surgeon, Don Stovall, for a six weeks check. They took several X-rays. He's happy with the progress of the bone-knitting process. I still can't do much of anything in the way of bending, lifting, or twisting for two reasons: it is prohibited and it hurts. I was given the go ahead to drive. So, this morning we ran a couple of errands with me driving. Everything felt perfectly normal. This afternoon I will make a solo run to a doctor's appointment in the Corvette.
     The next check is a three month check on the 27th of June. At that time I can expect a release to go to Maine. Does that mean we leave on the morning of the 28th? I wish. We'd like to get to Maine before the 4th of July. Durelle would love to make a New Hampshire stop to see Madeleine who will be four months old. I saw her in February, but Durelle hasn't seen her yet. The itinerary is still being discussed as is our start date.
     I am getting by with just a cane most of the time. I do depend on the walker for getting out of the bed in the night and when my back is tired at the end of the day, especially if I have been active at all. To be honest, I spend most of my time in the recliner reading. I just finished a 1200 page volume that claims to be the complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of Sherlock Holmes. Durelle does a diligent job of getting me on my feet on a regular basis. I am back to doing some meal preparation, but I have to use a back brace and a stool. Bone growth at my age is not quick, I can't complain and we are both looking forward to a summer in Maine.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Solar Power

     As anticipated in my 15 Mar post, we are now on line and generating power. SCE&G installed the bi-directional meter yesterday.

     I will be paying a fixed amount each month to Vivint Solar, but the reduction in my electric utility bill should be greater than that amount. Anyway, that's the plan.
     Yesterday was a tough day on my back. I had two doctors' appointments: PCP in the morning and neurologist in the afternoon. That meant a lot more walking than usual plus climbing into the Jeep a few time and sitting in the straight chairs provided in the waiting rooms. Then I had go out back to take the pictures of the meters so that Vivint could remotely enable the system with my help on the mounted control panel. When I had finally collapsed in the recliner for what I hoped would be the last time for the day, Durelle said that the cloud formations were a good photo-op. They were late afternoon cumulus build ups whose cloud tops were illuminated by the already set sun.

     All's well in Charleston with daily alligator sightings on the bank to the retention pond in our back yard.