Friday, March 17, 2017

Tough Old Birds
My kids were upset with me yesterday, several hours after my carpal tunnel surgery and a nap, I dressed warmly and went outside to clear my driveway of the accumulated snow. But I come from a long line of tough, hard headed old birds on both sides of the family.
On my mother’s side, Granddad Raymond Miner worked a farm during the day and mined coal at night to support his wife and eight children, even to the point of him doing double the work so that my one uncle could sleep instead of loading coal.
My granddad Edson Beck once developed a toothache so bad that he heated the rat tail handle of a rasp file to red hot and burned the nerve out of a decayed tooth. It wasn’t easy to make the trip to visit a dentist. He would climb to the top of a ladder cleaning out gutters on his three story home until he was nearly 90. He was rescued from this task when my brother-in-law bought the house and took over the duties. He lived to the age of 94.
My dad, Edson Carl Beck often surprised me with his quiet strength. One example occurred when he was 80, climbing onto his rooftop and shoveling the heavy snow off the top of his two story home. Is it any wonder that my kids were upset with me? Mt dad lived until he was 90.
I read my discharge instructions after my surgery quite well. They told me not to drive for 24 hours and that I could return to work with the restrictions of not lifting greater than five pounds. I saw the snow in my driveway needed removed, so I did it. The plastic shovel and each scoop of snow was less than the five pound weight limit. I pushed the scattered snow onto the shovel using my unaffected hand and arm until I had a full scoop, then I’d use the crook of my wounded wing to hoist the snow out of my drive. A person doesn’t have to work hard to get things done. My arm didn’t fall off and other than the expected stiffness and soreness this morning, my wrist feels quite good. The shoveling yesterday helped to work off the after effects of the anesthesia more quickly.

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