Monday, August 13, 2018

Knees and Rainbows ~ my column from Sunday's paper

August is a slow month for Jilda and me. That’s why I chose it to do something I’ve never done before.

It will be the first time I’ve ever been in the hospital. I’ve visited people in the hospital more times than I care to remember, but I’ve never been in myself. I’m excited. (Could you feel the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence?)

Today, I had an appointment for pre-admission testing. Soon, I’ll be going into the hospital to get a new knee. I’m fond of my old knee, but in the last few years, it has become about as useful as a cassette player. During the visit, I had knee school. It talked about all the things I can expect after the installation of my new knee. Many of the things I had already thought about. Some I had not. 

My niece Samantha is giddy with anticipation. She is a physical therapy assistant. She will be doing my therapy when I come home. I thought of all the fun I’ve had through the years giving her a hard time. I have a feeling that payback will be hellish. I’m a big boy. Not only can I dish it out, but I can also take it. I will have to put my big-boy-panties on, as they say.

Today, while driving back from the appointment, the August sky was spectacular. Even smoke and smog couldn’t dampen the deep blue sky. At one point, the sky looked like a zoo. I saw a walrus, a whale, and a bear the size of Rhode Island. A few miles down the road the zoo was gone, and it looked like piles of cotton sheets scattered around a dorm room.

When we got home, Jilda had to get ready for work. By the time she’d changed and had a glass of water, our rescue collie Caillou tried to get in her lap. He can hear thunder in Mississippi, but this time it was much closer. I took him to his safe place before stepping out on the screen porch for an analog weather report. The clouds to the west no longer looked as playful as they had an hour before. 

A moment later, the whisper of raindrops in the leaves got louder.  Then came a downpour so hard I could barely see my truck which was less than 30 feet away. 

I had unwritten stories to work on for the paper and now seemed like a perfect time. Fetching my laptop, I flipped it open, clicked on my writing playlist on Spotify. 

The rain began to ease up, and to the west, the sun poked through the rainclouds. Then synchronicity happened. My playlist served up Israel Kamakawiwo’s cover version of the iconic song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." On a whim, I stood and walked to the screen and scanned the sky to the east. Sure enough, I saw a rainbow for a brief moment before the sun ducked behind the clouds.

I took the synchronicity of the song and sky as a good luck sign.

I shot this pictures 10 years ago this month.


  1. You will do great and having a good physical therapist is a must! That's the most important part of the recovery. If you want that knee to work, you have to work it! Even though I've assisted with a gazillion knee surgeries in my career, when I had mine I was grateful for the knee classes to prepare me for what I would expect being on the other side of the table. (I prefer being the helper instead of the one being helped!) You'll be up and walking the same day and sometimes patients go home the same day..but for sure the next day if all is well. I'll keep you in my prayers and send lots of good luck rainbows down south!

  2. Serendipity at its best. I hope that your physical therapist works you hard, and you follow all of her directions. My youngest brother was religious about following his therapy and his new knee has his skiing with gusto. And no pain.

  3. Enjoyed the column, The Knee WILL go good and Sam will smile a mile.
    What a picture, nice!

  4. Rainbows are definitely a symbol. I do hope all goes well for you and soon you'll be walking around on a new knee. There are days I wish I had new knees, but still biting the bullet to do something about it, is somewhere over the rainbow for me. Take care and keep positive !

  5. Great title! I'm guessing your years of yoga will go a long way in easing the recovery process. That song and simultaneous rainbow gave me chills!

    PS - Love your phrasing today. In particular the clouds looking like piles of cotton sheets around a dorm room. :)

  6. Lots of good omens for you.

  7. You have never been in the hospital?? You are one lucky guy! I'm glad you have someone you know who is a physical therapist and, since you have good health, you will triumph and will have a new knee to boot! I love that picture and am trying to see the pot of gold:)

  8. Looking close, I actually see a double rainbow. Your knee surgery will be over before you know it and you will feel so much better. Prayers for quick healing.

  9. Anonymous2:04 AM

    Good luck with your surgery!!

  10. Anonymous7:26 AM

    This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Check it out here:


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required