Friday, November 11, 2016

November and Many New Things

It's the holiday season. Baubles and beads have appeared in the stores and everyone is gearing up to let loose a hail of pierces into those credit cards. It's the season of giving and guilt  followed by the season of regret, anger and amazement at the giving that they will be paying for in the remaining year. I have never played that game. My Christmas list is short and surrounds my immediate family. Years ago I released my siblings from gift giving. Coming from a large family that now lives scattered around the USA, the postage cost more then the gift that was given.

Now for a clinical update on that surgery on the left foot. The repair of the Achilles has been a long slow progress. I do not remember it being like this on the right foot when that Achilles was repaired. Maybe I have selective memory but I do not remember all the swelling; all the pain when walking and then the burning nerve pain. It is now about three months post op and finally the pains have noticeably decreased. There is still an occasional rif of pain, hot and intense but short in duration. In the past week I have been able to walk with it feeling as though a hot nail was imbedded in my foot. The pain in the foot centered around the incision site for the first month or two. Following that decrease in pain, the top part of my foot toward my toes became very painful. The following week the pain had moved to the mid part of my foot and the next week it was centered around my ankle topside of my foot. It's November the 11th and this surgery was performed around August 3rd. It seems as though my life has been disrupted for longer then this 3 month period.

Now on to the Trip. Carrie and I ran away this past weekend. We ran to New Orleans. It was an experience of many for Carrie. She has been to the city a few times before but she was a small child. This trip she was 11 yrs. old and able to note many of the strange things that are always going on in New Orleans.  Our first afternoon was spent parking the car and walking over 5 blocks back to the Butterfly and Insectitorium.. By the time we got back to that event, there was less then 45 minutes to view the exhibit. We decided to try the next day. We were on Canal Street and the trolleys were zipping by. Carrie's first trip on the trolley was about to begin. We found a bench in the center of Canal and waited. Soon a trolley arrived. We bought an all day pass for 6.00 (3.00 per person) and climbed aboard. Carrie wanted to sit on a bench alongside the wall and that's where we sat. She watched as different characters boarded. Many of the riders were people that had worked  in the many restaurants in the Quarters. Dressed in black pants and shirts, a name tag identified their place of employment. Tired from their shift, they sat with head bowed, eyes closed awaiting their stop to embark on their evening at home. Tomorrow they would board the trolley for another day of business.
An elderly man in soiled shirt and pants, face wrinkled and worn,  with lips that covered toothless gums, he held on to a crumpled paper bag. As the trolley moved down the tracks, he stood and walked to the door area. He was not planning on getting off but only to reach into that paper bag and bring out a half eaten hamburger. Eating on the trolley is not allowed. He stood in the stair well out of sight of the trolley conductor and munched on his sandwich.
A young couple sat across from us holding hands. A middle aged couple held a quiet conversation, pointing at various sights along the way.
Carrie watched out the window as we moved down Canal Street. She watched as the elderly man munched his sandwich and as the restaurant workers left the trolley at their stops. She learned she could pull on the cable above our heads that signaled the trolley conductor a wish to stop and alight.
We got off midway and grabbed a spot on another bench to wait for another trolley  heading back down Canal.

We headed back to the car, legs tired from all the walking and looking forward to a comfortable stay in a hotel. No reservations were made in advance so we headed to Metairie to look for a room. The Landmark Hotel provided a room for the night. We sat in the hotel cafĂ© too tired to venture out and look for a place to eat. A wedding reception was being held in the Mardi Gras room. Couples came in dressed in formal attire, beaded dresses and glittering shoes, the ladies walked by with their gentlemen dressed in tuxedos. Both man and woman wore masks that sported long black feathers and beads; the men without the feathers but masks that were encrusted with colored beads and baubles.
We watched as they paraded into the hotel and past our table. People watching is what New Orleans offers in abundance.
The city and it's climate make a liveable  arrangement for the homeless. As we walked the city the next day, people wrapped up cocoon like in their blankets dotted the city. One young man had a box sitting beside resting place for donations, three books rested at his head, one open to his last reading spot.
A man with a violin stood at one corner playing for pay. Carrie begged a dollar to put in his box. We stood for a few minutes to listen and then moved on.
Walking down Decatur, a wedding party was marching down the street. A band marched and played as the bride high stepped it along with her huge bridal party. Always something to see in New Orleans if you hang around long enough.
Our second day, we went to the Aquarium of the Americas. Eels, alligators and lots and lots of fish, penquins and frogs, sharks in tanks with scuba divers and mermaids made for an interesting afternoon. I had to take a few breaks to sit and rest my legs. I had aching leg muscles for the next three days.
Lunch was at the Riverwalk mall. I let Carrie select the type of food to eat; I chose the location. We sat inside and watched as the cruise ships loaded their passengers. More walking to get back to the car and we had had enough of New Orleans. Another 3 hrs on the road and we were back home in Lafayette. Carrie is very easy to travel with. She just goes with the flow but now she was tired and ready to get to bed. School again tomorrow. We enjoyed out little weekend getaway.

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