~ Celebrating Four Whopping Years Out Of Rehab ~
Today I’m celebrating four years of life.
I may be 40 years old, but these last four years are what today is all about.
May 11th is the anniversary of my discharge from Mayo Clinic’s Pain Rehabilitation Center - located in Jacksonville, Florida. Today... marking four years out. Four times three hundred and sixty five whopping days. Each and every single day being counted and tallied. All adding up to - four years strong - and four years of absolutely killing it at life.
You don’t get to that numerical tally by simply blinking and repeating. Or taking a breath in, and a breath out, over and over again. But then again… you actually, and really, do.
I would not be the happy, content, at-peace-with-the-world, and God loving person that I am right now and today, if it wasn’t for Mayo, and my time spent there. Because while God saved my life, Mayo Clinic helped give me the momentum to keep going after that.
And I’ve rambled on about Mayo in the past quite a few times, so you can go ahead and check all of that out below, if you’re interested in learning more about my experiences at the Clinic:
Christine’s Floridian Dreams: ABOUT
#34) Merry Christmas ~ And How To Buy For That Person On Your List Who Saved Your Life ~
#65) The Sea Life ~ Happy Easter
The above articles delve a little bit deeper on how I came to be a patient at Mayo Clinic, my experiences traveling from Chicago, Illinois up to Rochester, Minnesota for treatment, and all the way to my new and fabulous life in Jacksonville, Florida. Plus, why my long and challenging month at Pain Rehab changed my life, and continues to change me - to this day.
So today, I wanted to pull your attention to what I view and believe, very strongly, are the tools and virtues necessary for living a fruitful and rewarding life with chronic pain. Because, four years later, it’s not just a snap of the fingers and life is amazing - it requires work - constant work - every single day. And one needs tools in order to do this work. So - here are the most vital tools I deem imperative toward continued success and maintenance after leaving rehab:
[ Plan ]
I plan. And I plan for everything. I plan my day. I plan my week. I plan my next two weeks out, and I strategically and creatively title that plan - “My Two Week Plan.” I plan the month. I plan the year. And, most importantly, I also plan for all these things to NOT go according to this plan.
But, at the same time I do all of this plotting and planning and scheming and theorizing... I simply live for today. (And, if that sentence makes any sense to you, please let me know.)
[ Purpose ]
I live. And I live now. I don’t wait to live. And I don’t count on tomorrow (even though I plan for it).
I wear my favorite clothes today (and I don’t save them for a better outing). I burn my favorite candles (and I don’t save them for only when guests come over). I sign up for the class I’ve been aching to take. I paint on all my canvases. I purchase tickets to my favorite play. I buy my coffee on the outside (as Jerry Seinfeld once said). I go to museums. I try all the newest restaurants. I create every single day - and not merely when I have time. I read all the books - of all kinds. I travel. I explore. I look up at the sky - and not down at my phone. I drive with the windows down. And I say hello to strangers, all the time. I know exactly why I am here and exactly what I am supposed to do. And I do it. Now. And I don’t save any of it for the unknown future.
Ahhhh, the unknown future. The future on a distant horizon we cannot possibly yet imagine. That brings me straight on up to my next tool.
[ Perseverance ]
There’s a reason the Mars Rover of 2020 was named Perseverance. My goodness! Can you even imagine the amazing journey that darn little robotic thing went on to get where it is right now?
Mars!... Freaking Mars! Do you really even realize how far away Mars really is from us here on Earth? Enough ‘really’s’ already. Without perseverance, there would literally, and really, be zero evidence of humanity on Mars. Or should I say - evidence of Earthlings on Mars. And that’s because the road to Mars is not paved and narrow. There is no defined route to arriving on the Red Planet. We’re making this all up as we go. It’s all foreign territory. And it’s scary. But thrilling. This - this feat - never accomplished before - landing humans on Mars. Who on God's green Earth knows when this will happen? It could take a number of years - a tally of days - a number and amount of time beyond our comprehension right now. And - It will take determination. It will take struggle, and challenges we possibly cannot yet even imagine.. It will take sacrifice. It will take discipline. And it most certainly will take - perseverance.
To persevere, means to struggle. To persevere, means to keep going. To persevere, means to face adversity, challenge, pain, hardship, and loss... and to keep going away. To persevere means you know how far away the future is, and to continue onward anway. To persevere, means it’s ok to fail. To persevere, simply means to get back up and try again.
So, while I plan for the future... And I live life for today… And if at first I don’t succeed, I try, try, again. This fact brings me to my final bullet point of today’s discussion - Patience.
Yes, I live in the moment, while at the same time... I have to have the patience of a freaking saint.
[ Patience ]
The single most important factor to making it through one thousand four hundred and sixty days of life outside of rehab. Without patience, I wouldn’t be writing this today. Without patience, I would not be celebrating four years strong. Without patience, I would have zero creativity. Without patience, I would be suffering. I’d be pacing, and agonizing, and wondering when in the freaking heck is all of this pain ever really going to go away?... Really.
Without patience, I would not be alive.
There’s a real and solid reason why there is a saying on this Earth that goes a little something like this:
Patience Is A Virtue.
That’s because it really and truly is.
Patience is NOT the most popular kid in school. People tend to not like Patience. And actually, people tend to despise Patience. Patience is continuously, and unrelentlessly, teased and taunted and bullied. And sadly, Patience gets tortured every single gosh darn day, somewhere on this planet.
Yes, Patience is really hard to live with.
But Patience is Required for Success.
So if you really want to succeed at whatever your goal is, I’d say to simply suck it up, buttercup... And to welcome some good, old-fashioned Patience into your new and modern life. Become friends with Patience. Actually, I'd even go so far as to say to make Patience your very best friend in life... Yeah, Patience is really that important.
So while everyone else is beating up Patience in the back alley around the corner from the school yard… YOU - you there, you go ahead and save Patience from that beating. Drag Patience out of the alleyway. And usher Patience straight on into the nurse's office for a solid checkup and mending and a bag of ice to go home with.
Then, take Patience home with you. Serve Patience a plate of cookies and milk - almond milk - not cows milk. And ask your mother if Patience can sleep over. Watch your favorite movie with Patience. And then, go ahead and watch a film that Patience likes, that you happen to utterly and totally despise. But suck it up and have some darn patience already. Humor Patience, and watch the movie anyway. You’ll be best friends in no time. Gosh, and at that exact point - Patience will really and truly love you back, too.
If you can learn the value of patience, you can learn the secret to life. If you can learn the virtue of patience, you will be exactly where you are meant to be. If you can simply have patience, there is nothing that you cannot do in this world.
But gosh, golly, oh jeaz - there is most definitely a secret to being patient - and that is this. if you can accept patience, you can accept your pain. Your struggles, your misfortunes. Your annoyances. Your anger, temper, and all your irritations. Your mind - arguing with itself. Your heading - spinning. Your every breath you take. You can then handle the deck of cards you’ve been dealt. You will learn from this adversity. And that experience will build momentum, and carry you forward, through time. Yes, if you can accept and welcome patience into your life, you’ll be killing it at life too. Because, without patience, you’ll really never know or even possibly imagine where you will be... four years from now.~
*Editorial Note & Disclaimer:
All views, opinions, and statements herein are my own. I am not a doctor. I am not trying to save you, and I cannot make your pain go away. I am merely detailing to you my own personal opinions and experiences with the Mayo Clinic as a patient. Each person is unique, and what works for one, will not work for all. I share my story in hopes it will reach someone who may need to hear or see just these exact words at this exact time to push them to get the help they need… right freaking now. Because - sometimes saving yourself, is allowing others to help you save you. If you are in chronic pain, struggling, or severely depressed, I would highly recommend calling the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida to explore treatment options. Their phone number is 904.953.2000.
~Women In World War II - Film Review~
I had no idea what to expect when I popped this DVD into my little, black, spinning machine. But, I was delightfully surprised by what I had discovered within.
I’m a huge fan of old, classic films - especially from the 1940’s and into the 1950’s. Those years are, without a doubt, my favorite era of filmography. And having knowledge of, and already having viewed, countless movies from that time period, I was shocked that I had never run across this one.
I believe this film was recommended to me by Big Tech. You know - the guys who know more about you than you do about yourself.
One of the big sites told me I should check this out. And, either they really do know me better than I do, or a little birdie told them how completely and utterly patriotic I really am. A quick glimpse of the movie poster, imagery, and really, the title alone, and I immediately clicked. A simple skim of the plot, and I went straight over to the Jacksonville Public Library mobile app and requested to rent.
What a joy!
And what sorrow…
For anyone who is even a remote fan of World War II films, this one is a must-see. The title says it all, and the title does do it justice.
Based upon a true story, So Proudly We Hail tackles a plot involving a ‘small’ and somewhat forgotten and overlooked bullet point of WWII subject matter - WOMEN.
The Women of War… The Women of World Wars... The Women who also risked it all - for freedom.
While, of course, men did most of the fighting, and dying in WWII, women were also heavily involved, at home, and abroad. And contrary to popular belief, women were allowed on the front lines. It just wasn’t discussed, acknowledged, and brought to our attention as it should have been.
Yes - It should have been - so that we could honor the might and bravery and history of American women - in the world's biggest and mightiest war.
No - it wasn’t just Rosie the Riveter back on the homefront, representing the women of American wartime, in bomber plants and machine shops across the U.S. for the Defense industry.
While we remember and know Rosie pretty well - we cannot overlook Nancy the Nurse.
She was nursing on the warfront, and she tackled the death and destruction straight in evil’s path.
So, while Rosie riveted away on airplanes and war ships and other munitions, Nancy was also seaming and mending pieces together, with stitches and staples of a different sort, and working on a different sort of product.
Rosie handled the steel - and Nancy handled the blood and guts.
But they all gave it their all... and that’s all that really mattered at the time.
Starring Claudette Colbert and Paulette Goddard, two of the silver screen’s most extraordinary stars at the time, So Proudly We Hail, accurately, and with great detail, captures the role females in the Army had during some of the war's most challenging times.
And before going any further with this review, I want to highlight an aspect of the film which I deem one of the most important - its context - Time.
So Proudly We Hail was released in 1943 - during the height and depth of WWII. The context is imperative. This film was produced during the war - and not AFTER the war.
This context is of extreme importance, and is what makes this film quite different from WWII films released AFTER WWII was complete. When the war was literally over, extinguished, not of this Earth any longer.
Context is something that - we - society today - have all but forgotten. And context is essential to our understanding of the time period.
And why context is so crucial should be so very obvious, but increasingly isn’t. The war was RAGING while this film was viewed in theaters all over the United States. The war was being fought, the people were sacrificing, people were dying, and the people were afraid of their unknown futures.
American’s had no idea who was going to win the war while watching this film upon its release. Yet, American’s still sacrificed, and they still gave up so very much. All for a belief... a simple, true and noble belief - in hope.
For a better future.
For a free world.
For an end to slavery and tyranny, concentration camps, hate, imperialism - and against the destruction of faith - and for value of personal freedom.
So, while I do love watching these old classic films in the context of the world of today - seemingly and literally a million miles away from the values and context of a world that was alive less than a hundred years ago. I also equally enjoyed viewing So Proudly We Hail with the remembrance of the fact that all of this was made and written and said and sweated over while we were still fighting against the Third Reich and the Imperial Japanese.
No one at the time knew how this horrific world war would end, especially in 1942 and 1943. Only really in 1944 could some see a light at the end of the tunnel. Again, calling all of context into play here.
It all could have gone either way at that point in 1943. The world could have gone the way of the thousand year reign of a fascist dictator, or it could, and did, go in the direction of freedom. And that fact of their lack of knowledge of the future is what I enjoy the very most when I view these films of that time period.
Additionally, and of quite importance regarding the axis power of Japan during the time, no one knew we would someday become allies, and what I have always viewed as a special kinship and friendship between the United States and Japan - after the war.
I believe with all my heart that our relationship with Japan is of solid hope for the world to see - that enemies can become friends. That horrific atrocities on both sides can truly be forgiven. And pave the way toward a better future - for both nations, and others. And this is worth noting due to the scenes in the film where hatred toward the Japanese is discussed from the American point of view at the time.
A time - after - Pearl Harbor had been bombed.
A time - before - Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been bombed.
Of particular note is a scene where Veronica Lake’s character says she is going to ‘kill some Japs.’ She then has a realization - what good would that do? That is not her role. She is sent to the front lines as a nurse - to heal any and all - at a hospital, in the jungle. She does fulfill her role and duty, and does not kill her enemy instead at the time.
Ultimately, however, it is her character that ends up ironically sacrificing herself to save her fellow female soldiers from their enemy at the time - the Japanese. And in her final act, she ends up killing herself - to kill the enemy - to save her American comrades. This scene, showing that no matter how her personal beliefs evolved over the course of their wartime struggles, people still made the ultimate sacrifice. And some still were forced to kill, even if they truly did not want to, in the course of war and evil.
Throughout the entirety of this wonderful piece of film, we are treated to the display of American Army Nurses on patrol, on shift, and their struggles off shift as well. Love, duty, honor, and sacrifice abound the entire film. This movie sheds light on the role of nurses in war, and what tools they had - or did not have - to work with while caring for their patients.
Seemingly forgotten in the jungles, these brave nurses triaged patients under a canopy of palm trees. Their operating rooms were made of tin roofs and cloth sheets for walls. They ran out of what we call today - PPE - personal protective equipment. And they performed surgery without masks. Simply because they just didn’t have any around to use.
Gloves were in extremely short supply. And where today’s hospitals have entire sterile processing programs for surgical instruments, this film portrays how nurses had to wash and sanitize tools in basic garbage bins and barrels - in a futile struggle to remain germ-free for each and every, and endless, patient.
Medicine running out, and at times completely out of supply, patients had to be treated without pain killers, and no anesthesia. A basic - grit your teeth and bear it - sort of agony, for stitching and mending.
And post op - forget any special flower bouquets and treats and books and magazines to keep occupied. Patients by the hundreds and thousands, lay on makeshift stretchers, to suffer through their terrible recoveries in the hot, humid, and wet open air weather of the so-called hospital. All these patients - laying in that shared, open air, watching as our heroic nurses continued treatment on countless other patients seemingly all around them.
And in case one was starting to forget - the film does a solid job of not ever letting us forget that all their hospital work was under constant threat of destruction and actually bombing. Army staff and patients were constantly fleeing enemy soldiers, snipers, airplane attacks from the sky above, and there were constant forced evacuations onto safer land - that was, conspicuously, never found.
As the situation seemed to get worse, for allies in the vicinity, sadly, the war did eventually take a very bad turn for the allies. Bataan, and the Battle of the Philippines, being what many consider one of the American militaries worst failures in our history. In that, the United States, amidst the U.S. and Filipono forces’ inability to hold the line, they ultimately fell - to the Japanese. As the overwhelming and brutal forces of their imperial enemy in this area were too much for both nations to endure. And sadly, after the fall, there was further atrocity - when the Bataan Death March was played out on enemy territory.
Roughly 80,000 American and Filipino troops were contained as prisoners of war, and horrific treatment of these prisoners led to countless further wartime deaths. Post War, Japanese commanders were tried and convicted of war crimes for their knowledge and failure of oversight of subordinates and for allowing these war crimes to take place on their watch.
So, knowing all this, many tears were shed while watching this film. As pain, and suffering, and sacrifice, and hate, and love, were all on full display.
And yes, there was Love.
There was Love - that surrounded the entire film. Love, that gave many hope, I might think, at the time. Love was still happening. Love of all kinds. And this film - in the greatest of great horrors of war time - showed that people were not afraid to actually live while they were alive. Something - as I have said many times - many today have now conclusively forgotten.
We are an afraid people right now. And we are scared to live while we are alive. These people were not. And I am not afraid to live either. The love and life portrayed in this film is indeed something we all can take lessons from today.
During struggle and and sacrifice and the horrors of war, one still must live.
After all, when else is there to live, than when you are alive?
Amidst bombs exploding, one must still live as they watch the bombs fall. In the middle of a raging fire, one must search for water and various types of flame retardants. Surrounded by hate, one must spread good will. And with smoke attempting suffocation, one must still breathe. Life.
If we are not living - we are dying.
If we are not moving - we are receding.
If we are not learning - we are submitting.
If we are not struggling - we are not human.
If we are not risking it all - we are doomed to never know what could truly become.
If we do not know sacrifice - we do not know God’s ultimate glory for us.
If we are not loving - we are doubting God’s creation.
If we do not have Faith - what is our future?
Faith - this brings me to my favorite scene of the entire film.
Walter Abel, playing the role of Army Chaplain, gives a superb performance, and is my favorite actor in the film. He remains, to this day, one of my favorite character actors of the time. His on-screen presence is a joy to me, and a light to my heart. If I had been alive during his lifetime, I would have strived to have met him in real life. And I know I would have written letters to him, thanking him for the joy his characters brought to my heart.
The scene - was of course - Christmas. My favorite holiday. My favorite time of year. Our beloved characters were all onboard ship, and the Chaplain said a prayer. The script is poetic. And many ears today could benefit from hearing his special words. It’s as if God spoke onboard the mighty vessel. And God was there - glowing amidst the light of their special little makeshift Christmas tree.
And this remains my favorite scene - because…
What is war - without Christmas?
“You must forgive me for being sentimental...” Abel states, as personnel gathered around the silly, impromptu Christmas tree.
And he continues: “We’re a sentimental people…”
“Our enemies deride us for it…”
But - “It’s what makes us stronger.”
He asks the people standing around him to have Faith. To continue forward. Even as that very night the ship steered straight into the hellfire of the coming battle. And even as he knows - and they know - what is waiting for them when they reach shore.
But still - they prayed.
And they still - had Faith.~
~Saying Goodbye to The Most Destructive Social Media Platform on the Planet~
Today I finally deleted my Twitter accounts. Accounts - plural - because I had two accounts… a public Twitter, and a private Twitter.
But either way - they’re both gone as of today. So, goodbye - and good riddance - Twitter.
I have had an on again/off again sorta relationship with Twitter for a few years now. But today, we formally broke up. Forever.
Like - We are never, ever, ever getting back together babe.
The main and exact reason for my breakup with Twitter will always be private and, thus, I am not going to share that with you here today. But I am very happy, indeed, to share that the relationship is over. OVER! And if anything I have ever written is deserving of an exclamation point in my writings, it is the previously typed one word sentence.
We are divorced.
Our union - dissolved.
Irreconcilable differences - Checked.
But - THIS - is not bad news.
THIS is good news.
Very good news, in fact.
You see - I am now one less person on the vast, and seedy, and quite despicable platform. One less is a sea of millions. One less droplet of water in a vast ocean of destruction.
And gosh, the waves were strong.
Like hurricane force winds taking place. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. OF EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Don’t get me wrong, here. There is a whole lotta good taking place on Twitter. Like - oh, let’s just say - local weather reports. Or, maybe even announcements of the special flavor of the day at the local ice cream shop. And, maybe even a Tweet from your favorite author sharing with you the title of their next and upcoming book.
But the loudest voices in the room seem to be filled with hate in their hearts. And I just don’t have time for hate.
My private Twitter account was the one I really enjoyed the very best, and is, sadly, the one I will miss the most. It was there, behind lock and key, that I followed all my favorite people in the world. I read their daily musings and followed along as civilized society fell apart around us all. I considered it a private diary of sorts. Where I was brave enough to declare to my private little world who I really ‘had a crush on’ at the moment, and who I ‘loved’ deeply. Who would I go to the ends of the Earth for? Only my diary knows that. And the few people whom I allowed to view that sacred, private diary.
My public Twitter account, on the other hand, was very simple. And not very exciting. I had, oh, I would say, roughly about three followers, and I followed about seven public accounts - including a few bakeries. If I read an interesting piece of news, it was here that I would tweet out a link to said article. And it was here that I would find the donut of the day, and coffee of the moment. It was here that I would be informed of a 99 cent sale on medium iced coffees after 3pm at Dunkin. For goodness sake, if there isn’t anything more important in the world than to know about that sale, I don’t know what is.
But, while the public realm of Twitter can be filled with innocent coffee and donuts, and surveys about which drink is your favorite - the caramel macchiato or the peppermint latte - Twitter can also be filled with a lot of destruction. At the exact same time. There may even be a hate-filled answer to an innocent survey question about what your favorite drink happens to be. if there is any place in the world that can turn a simple comment (Tweet) into the end of the world - it is on Twitter. The Hate was real people. Real.
And I’m guessing that as long as you haven’t been living under a rock in recent history, then you know as much as well.
Somebody always misinterprets someone else. Somebody always hates what someone else has to say. I’m not even referring to myself or my own Tweets here. I’m just referring to what I have witnessed across the entire platform. And it seems Hate breeds Hate. And the loudest voice in the room gets louder, and bigger, while the smallest voice, or the most quiet voice, gets quieter.
My own footprint on Twitter was small. Very small.
And I’m sure not one person on Twitter will miss me there.
And guess the heck what? I certainly won’t miss that blue little bird either. Bless his little heart.
I don’t think there is one single thing I will miss by not being on Twitter - except, maybe - the weather reports.
It was Twitter that I have relied on during almost all previous hurricanes that have come through during the past few years. It was Twitter that stayed on strong, and kept going, if the internet service was bad to nearly non-existent. It was Twitter that I could pop on and see what the latest forecast was from a local or national meteorologist - up to the minute reports. What was the governor saying? What was the mayor’s latest press conference? Had the river flooded? Was 1st Street under water? Twitter would keep me updated. And help keep my mind at least a little bit at ease, as I watched a storm churn and whirl past us.
So, I guess I’ll just have to get my hurricane weather updates elsewhere. Of course all of this is easy to say right now - in March - when the ten day forecast ahead of me is ten glorious days of sun. Easy for me to say now, when the upcoming hurricane season is still a few months away.
Many people have survived many hurricane seasons without Twitter. I’ve been one of them before. And I guess in 2021 - I’ll be one of them yet again.
I said goodbye to Twitter for many reasons. Many, many reasons, in fact. And as I said already, I won’t name the reasons themselves here. And the reasons shall remain locked away in my very own private diary. But, I am overall ecstatic to share this news with you. The news of saying Goodbye. The news of hitting the DELETE button. And I’m happy to share this news with you right HERE. And NOT on social media.
Alrighty then - I’m gonna go eat some Munchkins. And drink my large Iced Latte from Dunkin. And I’m really gonna enjoy another blustery and wintry day on my barrier island. And I don’t need that little Blue Bird to tell me the weather forecast today either. Because I just looked up at the beacon of sunlight staring right down at me. Beckoning me to get my daily dose of naturally derived Vitamin D, as I sit down to read a good book - by my favorite author.
So, Goodbye Twitter.
Tweet Ya Later. ~
If you enjoyed my ramblings and babblings, you may also like:
71] My 69 Week Break From Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
~Finding Peace Amidst A Simple Morning Walk~
Thought I’d post my usual (daily) Instagram image right here today - instead of actually on the social media platform I just mentioned.
Because Christine’s Floridian Dreams lives in - well… Christine’s Floridian Dreams.
And while I do love Instagram, I also loathe all social media platforms.
So as I watch the world seemingly crumble - and desperately attempt to continue onward - around me...
That world cannot crumble me - and I continue onward as well.
And I remain optimistic.
As my focus goes inward.
And I go for a walk.
Sipping my steamy, hot, morning coffee.
And I hug my furry baby.
The world is at peace. Or so... it seems.
While I enjoy a blustery, winter day on the coast.
So today’s post - including the image, caption, and any relative hashtags - lives here, and here alone. On my website. And in MY dreams.
I’ll see you again tomorrow Instagram. But for today - you don’t get even a slice of my time.
~ Cheers ~
So we went for a walk this Sunday - as we normally do.
But there was one minor change to our morning routine.
And… yeahhhh… I’ve officially become - that person. You know, the one who pushes a doggy stroller around town...
Not ashamed. Not embarrassed. Not sad. Not mocking. And not making fun.
Quite the opposite in fact.
I’m soooooo happy. Very happy. Overjoyed.
I actually know quite a few people who have a doggie stroller in their life, and all who do are sincerely happy with their purchase. They are the ones who gave me the idea in the first place, long ago.
This amazing contraption and piece of complete and utter materialism was one of the best purchases I have ever made for the life and health and welfare of my precious little angel pooch...
My dog is - sadly - getting older.
Whether I like to admit it or not.
This purchase has been a long time coming. A very long time.
My little sugar plum fairy has had arthritis for many years. She limps, and tries, to keep going. Continually moving. Little things hurt her and if she jumps up a chair or down the stairs wrong she’s in a lot of pain for days. And then she limps more. Thus, her walks are increasingly shorter and shorter. But she loves her daily adventures and loves being outside. As is the life of a dog.
And really, this whole pandemic “thing” going on in the world is what made me decide to go ahead and just buy the darn thing already.
Cause there’s nothing like a pandemic surrounding a respiratory virus to prove how important fresh air really is.
And our walks must go on. So the first day of this whole crisis that our little creature started limping, once again... was the very day I went ahead and placed the order.
I refuse to have her “stuck” at home just because she couldn’t walk very far. Especially with her humans still out there exercising and walking and getting their fresh air - and the world in crisis… It just didn’t seem right to have to cut the walk short for her, or leave her at home altogether, just so we could go on a very long walk without her.
So I made the executive decision to visit Chewy.com. And I quickly bought what I’m calling her buggy - her new ride.
Now Miss Madeline can ride around town in style. And not miss out. On FRESH AIR. That we all need in this life. Plague - or no plague. Because fresh air can do wonders. For doggies too!
So I purchased the Paws & Pals Deluxe Folding Dog & Cat Stroller, in black. The cost was $129.99, plus $9.10 in tax, for a total of $139.09. And yes, you can zip a cat in the netting, allowing them to sit, safely, so they can’t escape! How cool!
Free shipping goes along with any purchase through Chewy costing $49.00 or more. And I set up a free Chewy account while I was at it - so now we can order dog food and medicine and other supplies if needed as well.
I don’t anticipate needing to buy much from the site, as most all of her purchases are made at Petsmart, in person, and not online. But then again, I’m always happy to try out new or different pet suppliers.
And mostly I’m just happy we finally made this purchase for our little angel.
Then the day came when our stroller “finally” arrived to us - with impressively fast shipping actually. And we went on a lovely Sunday morning stroll. And I’m so happy that Madeline absolutely loved her buggy! She walked shorter than her usual route - and slower - and I could tell she was done, tired, in pain. This was when we normally would have gone immediately home. But noooo - not today! Prepared for everything - we finally were!
We plopped our little ball of fluff into her new and comfy seat. We gave her some ice water. And then we continued onward. We walked for a much longer time period. Like - a lot longer. We walked a length that Madeline never would have been able to do and something I usually do all by myself. But this Sunday we were able to do it as a family of three! For the very first time.
So it was a very good Sunday indeed.
And we even made it to The Delicomb - once again. Enroute home on our walk, we just so happened to walk past the coffee shop, and quickly ordered two large lattes to go. You know I didn’t happen to plan things that way, right?
And then, as our lovely Sunday morning stroll was reaching its conclusion, we were headed toward home and sipping our coffee, I saw something blue on the ground. I can’t see for anything, and from a distance I thought it was a piece of trash. But we got closer and I let out a gasp.
If there is any reason to love Jax Beach that does not include the ocean - it is for all the little things. Yes, these little things. Like rocks! I found another scavenger hunt rock!
People all over town paint rocks in their spare time and hide them - some hidden very, very well - camouflaged and tucked away - and some hidden more so in plain site, sitting out front-and-center - so people like me can actually find them.
And I have never met a painted rock I didn’t like.
And today’s rock was no exception.
On the front is usually the artistic and painted design. And on the back is usually written who made the rock and/or how to tag it online to acknowledge the find. #jaxbeachrocks on Facebook is the usual group that I tend to find from. But I’ve found some from much farther away too. After you tag online you can then rehide it - so someone else who may just need a rock in their life at this very moment - can also get in on the fun.
And some rocks do not come with a tag and you can keep them for your rock collection if you like. I have a small rock collection going right now sitting in my art studio. They bring me joy every time I look at them. And that is exactly the whole gosh darn point.
There is joy in all the little things in life. And whether we like it or not, life is still going on. And we have to keep going. And we have to keep walking too.
I learned a long time ago a very simple equation:
MOVEMENT = LIFE
So even though my little doggie is getting older. I have found a way for her to keep moving. I’ve found a way for her to still get her fresh air. For her to see the world around her. As I breathed in the delicious and heavenly scent of all the flowers blooming around me. I have found a way for Madeline to do the very same. For her to still keep moving and breathing and living. And soaking up all that surrounds her.
And while this societal and economic crisis is affecting the pocketbook to the extreme right now, there isn’t a penny I wouldn’t spend on my little baby to help allow her to have her very best life possible while she is on this Earth. And if buying a doggie stroller allows her to have some more time with us during our day, seeing new things, and going farther on a walk than her four little paws could ever take her, then $139.09 is sincerely worth it to me right now… Plague or no plague.
Since this entire crisis began it has been food and rent. Food and rent. Nothing extra. Nothing extravagant.
But that doesn’t count for Madeline. I would happily even go into deep and severe credit card debt if it meant even the chance of saving her life somehow. So this cost was so worth it to me, and really not even a significant investment in comparison to the absolute joy it brought her - instantly.
If you have a dog. And your dog is older or hurting and in some sort of pain, or injured or disabled. And if you have been on the fence about buying a dog stroller. Or if you have a cat - and always dreamed of bringing them along on a walk. I am here to tell you to go ahead and make that silly and ridiculous and oh-so-funny of a purchase. Yes - it might just be the most comical purchase of your life.
And - It may make a lot of people laugh at you along your walking route while you’re on your Sunday morning stroll.
But guess what - they’re not actually laughing at you - they’re really just laughing with you.
Because it also may just bring your whole family together.
And it may even bring you rocks.
And mostly, it may just bring you some very needed JOY. ~
*Do you have a doggy stroller? Have you ever considered purchasing one but are on the fence? I’d so love to know your thoughts. Drop me a comment down below:
Also, if you’re enjoying my stories - straight and freshly squeezed from The Sunshine State, check out some more of my other adventures right here:
67] Delicious & Delightful Days @ The Delicomb
65] The Sea Life ~ Happy Easter
64] Stay-At-Home Sunday ~ Palm Sunday
63] Mercy & Comfort
62] PERSPECTIVE @ Seaside Sculpture Park
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
60] Welcome To Muffin Land ~ The Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry
55] The Shamrock
52] Keeping Cool - And Creamy ~ In Key West
51] Life Is Full Of Pasta-Bilities ~ Bean’s Red Sauce Recipe
50] Sundays Are For Diners ~ Super Diners
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
46] Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don’t We Go?
44] Nothing Finer Than Coffee In The Keys ~ The Coffee Plantation Cafe
42] Where Does The Chicken Cross The Road?
41] Minnie The Daschund Mouse & Her Birthday Wish
39] The Very Official & Quite Serious Donut Debate Of 2020
38] The Year Of The Sweater ~ Bean’s Minestrone Soup Recipe
32] Jolly Holiday In Jarboe Park ~ The Beaches Green Market
31] Tuesday’s On First Street ~ The Jax Beach Art Walk ~
22] Saturday On San Pablo Island
3] The Dog Days Of Endless Summer
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