Monday, October 18, 2010

thank goodness I love to read

Today is 3 weeks since my knee replacement and my world is completely new: I can move without pain! Wonderful medical personnel, excellent physical therapists and a lot of hard (i.e., painful) work and I can walk. It is an extraordinary experience.

In the hospital and at transition care, every moment is spent in therapy (physical and occupational), having your "vitals" checked, giving blood or having someone bang on your door when you have finally gone back to sleep. Reading is not an option.

Being at home has completely changed that. Six hours of each day has to be spent in a CPM machine (which bends and flexes by leg--the kind of exercise I like since I just lie there and let the machine do its job) so I had 3 2-hour stretches of time for reading. Lovely.

I read The raging quiet by Sherryl Jordan, the story of a young widow in 15th/16th century England (Ireland?) who befriends the village mad man. She soon discovers that his wild behavior is caused by deafness and sets out to teach him to speak by using hand signals/movements. The prejudices of the villagers (who think she is a witch) are countered by the support and care of the village priest (who also has a soft spot for the mad man). A good read but not a great one.

Then came Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson, the story of a clothing designer/seamstress living in pre-WWI Vienna. Susanna, a woman in her late 30s, decides to keep a diary of the one year's events in the neighborhood: the birth of yet another daughter to the family living across the square, the piano prodigy living in a dingy attic apartment waiting for someone to discover his talent, the eccentric old woman who gives her family treasure (meaning junk) to pay for new dresses, the military man who is Susanna's lover, Susanna's search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth by well-meaning nuns. Eva Ibbotson's writing has such an immediacy that you are right there in the midst of each event. I love her books! (She now writes children's fantasy which is also great fun.)

Now, I have given in and am reading what I wanted to read all along: Harry Potter! I am well into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and loving every minute of it. J.K. Rowling has created such a wonderful, interesting, fantastic, humorous, frightening world and I enjoy every minute I spend at Hogwarts, even the terrible moments. Great fun.