For the first time in 34 years, we actually bought our Christmas tree this year! Over the years, we've always been able to cut one down on our property .... or from one of our friendly neighbor's property. It usually has stood 9-10 feet tall tucked into the SouthEast corner of our living room. This year we opted for a 3 foot tall potted Deodar Cedar that will be planted out in the garden, or grace one of our decks later in the year. The reason?... my husband, Fred, had his left knee replaced on Dec 13th, and we knew that he would have trouble taking a big tree down! I do miss our usual big tree, but it sure was a snap to decorate the small one ... and I love the new pot! The emphasis is now on all the smaller ornaments that are usually overshadowed by the bigger ones.
Fred is quite an active guy and rather inpatient to have this recovery process get moving! A few times a day he needs to be hooked up to a motion machine that continually bends and unbends his knee, and must learn to get around for the first few weeks using a walker and then a cane. Pain meds help, but make him sleepy...and sleeping makes the joint stiff! This is mighty hard for someone who goes out and bikes 50-100 miles at a time whenever he feels like it. So we are adjusting a bit this month.
Activities Christmas day will revolve around some new schedules as well. We actually have two 'new knees' in the family ! Saskia Rosemary Engstrom was born on November 18th ( one of the reasons I've been less focused on the internet, my blog and work in general!) Saskia is the first child of my oldest son, Eric, and his wife Becca, who live in Portland. We look forward to seeing them, as well as our younger son Brent, his wife, Jenn, and their 9 year old son, Brayden, here on Christmas day. How lucky we are to have them living so close !
New knees are wonderful! Saskia's are the tiniest, and the softest that I've ever felt! Fred's is man-made and a modern miracle! After three arthroscopic surgeries and not much left of the knee joint, he decided that if he wanted to continue being active, he needed to have a new one. By Spring he should be back on his bike, as well as more comfortable walking, and hopefully skiing ( in moderation?)
So 'Merry Christmas' and a 'happy New Year'....and we hope that, in 2011, we can be as content as little Saskia appears!