One Year Later

It’s been just over a year since the cow. I’m still working through post concussion symptoms (PCS) (now with a neuro-optometrist and vision therapist), but I can easily look back and see how far I’ve come. There are many things that I still can’t do (drive for more than 30 min) or don’t want to do (read a magazine) because of my symptoms. But most days I’m able to look ahead with hope and be content with where I am. Most days. 

Some days I still wake in a funk, realize that there really is a pandemic, that my brain still isn’t back to normal and that whatever day it is is going to be just about like the day before. And that sameness of days has been the ugly silver lining of Covid-19 for me. Stores with aisles of items that shout out in colors and words as you walk by are horrible for post concussion brains. Groups of friends all talking and laughing are terribly difficult to navigate. Long car trips make me sick and it’s easier to take my afternoon nap in my own home than elsewhere. I, like the rest of the world, am sick to death of this virus and everything that goes with it, but there is no denying that it has made navigating PCS somewhat easier these last months. I don’t have to feel the blame of canceled vacations fall solely on my shoulders as I would have, we can blame it on the virus. I no longer feel like I’m avoiding friends and parties, blame it on the virus. It’s not just that I can’t go to the store because it will exhaust me, it’s better to order online now anyway. On it goes and the mental burden of PCS becomes easier to bear. The one thing that remains a constant nagging source of regret and frustration is writing.

I used to have this well of words and phrases bubbling over inside me. Paragraphs oozing together in my brain before I could even sit down and write them out. The well is still there but it no longer bubbles over. I can feel the words way down there, but the bucket leaks and the rope is frayed, the crank needs grease and the effort to haul the words to the top and keep them there is immense. Even then, sometimes all that makes it to the surface is half a phrase that flits away the minute I take my eye off it. And so I don’t blog, and I don’t write. 

One day I’ll be able to patch my bucket, replace the rope and grease the mechanisms and it will work smoothly again. One day the words will rise back to the top. I’ll go back to writing stories and I’ll go back to regular blogging. It’s frustrating but it’s going to be okay. Until then my regret is that during this completely insane time of a world pandemic and all that comes with it, I haven’t been writing about it. My memory has always been more like a sieve than a steel trap. I love looking back at years of blog posts and finding one that makes me laugh because I genuinely forgot not only the subject of the post but writing the post itself. PCS has turned my memory into a butterfly net with a hole in it being wielded by a toddler who recently ate an entire bag of M&M’s. I worry that I will forget this year and all that came with it. And maybe that’s a little bit okay. I’m not sure I really want to remember all the details of virtual schooling and days spent hiding in my room like a vampire to keep symptoms at bay.  

But there are things, like the Fourth of July parade the Clara organized for the neighborhood around our family cabin when the giant parade we normally attend was canceled, that I don’t want to lose. It was a wild success and I’ve lost the words of the day already, but I’ve sprinkled the pictures in this post of reflections so that maybe one day, looking back, it jogs a memory that manged to snag on that torn butterfly net along the way.

Edit: I sat down and wrote this just after the year anniversary of the accident -that was well over a month ago. But slow progress is still progress so I’ll take it.

 I have manged to be much more regularly active on my Instagram account behindthewillows come say hello if you are an Instagram user!  

Conversations With Myself

On Sunday we got back from a week long vacation and I am swimming in pictures and stories.

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So many pictures and stories that most of them will get lost in the shuffle and hardly any will make it on here.

Which is why I thought about doing more blogging while we were gone.

But I didn’t because when we leave town I have an internal conversation that goes something like this:

Me: I should blog about this.

Myself: Yes, but then everyone would know you aren’t at home.

Me: So?

Myself: Well… you know they say bad people will figure out you are gone, where you live and go ransack your house while you are away.

Me: Those people have got to have something more lucrative to do than ransack our house! That would be a waste of time!

Myself: Well, they don’t know that there is nothing worth ransacking until they start ransacking.

Me: But seriously Myself, we have the shotguns with us, not to mention the camera and computer, what could they possible take?

Myself: Nothing, but they don’t know that we don’t have a T.V. or a stereo from this decade with a working power button or any other fun gadgets.

Me: Exactly, what are they going to do, steal the chickens??

Myself: You never know!

Me: I would be sad if my chickens were stolen.

Myself: See!

Me: I suppose then if it does happen all the people who told me never to blog when I’m gone will wag fingers and “I told you so” me – and I hate that.

Myself: As do I.

Me: So we shouldn’t blog.

Myself: Right.

Me: Even though it’s a paranoid, silly reason that we don’t believe in.

Myself: Right, because now we’ve had this discussion so that makes it more real.

Me: It does?

Myself: Yes.

Me: Oh…. Ok, no blogging.

Myself: Hmmm but if there is NO blogging then people could figure out we are gone because we normally blog and it’s a holiday and…

Me: Myself?

Myself: Yes?

Me: Shut up.

Myself: Sorry.

Last Week

Last week I was without internet all week, it made me feel like this:

But the reason we were sans-internet was because of the excellent time we were having on vacation, which was a feeling much more like this:Now we are back home and all my stories of fly-fishing……swimming…… grilling…


…and Fourth of July fun are fading faster than I can write them as the realities of home life take back over.

So, thank goodness for pictures, I hope they told at least a thousand words a piece for you!

Now you’ll have to excuse me –

The laundry is taking over the house.

The road project is hijacking my brain.

And we all have a severe case of it’s-Monday-and-I’m-no-longer-on-vacation-itis.

I’ll be back to my regular scheduled blogging just as soon as we finish recovering!

Only In Wisconsin…

Yesterday we headed into Tomahawk  for Fourth of July festivities. The rain started just as the first firetrucks in the parade went by, fortunatly we had come prepared with umbrellas,

and rainjackets.

Even with the rain the parade was a success, Ivy collected a huge bag of candy and we got to see this:

We suspect it is only in a northern Wisconsin parade that you can see men riding barstools in cheese-head cowboy hats, carrying an American Flag.