We had to postpone our Golden Friendiversary this week, of course.
Mother Nature’s fury was manifest in the hurricane named Irma.
Our friends and vacation-mates the Eddlemons live in Plant City, Fla., 30 miles inland from Irma’s targeted city of Tampa. And regardless of pleadings from us in Tennessee, Jerry and Susan hunkered down with their dog and cats. Actually, Susan wanted to evacuate, too, but …
“What would (the cats and dog) do if we weren’t here?” Jerry asked. Then he answered, “Probably the same thing they’ll do when we are here: get scared and run around like crazy.”
Initially, Jerry wasn’t even gonna tack up the plywood, which had been saved from previous hurricanes. “I wouldn’t be able to lift it,” he said.
Being 30 miles from Tampa Bay, he wasn’t worried about storm surge, but he was concerned about the wind.
Jerry finally relented and hung the plywood over the windows.
We were praying for the Eddlemons.
By Monday, Irma was downgraded to “merely” a dangerous tropical storm, treacherous because of both the winds it brought and the tornadoes it could spawn.
And I still couldn’t raise the Eddlemons on the phone. Land line was out. Cell phone went straight to voicemail.
Finally, Jerry called Newt, in Jackson, Tenn., to both catch up on Newt and update us on how they fared with Irma.
“It was a harrowing experience,” Jerry said. “We were in the eye. It was a remarkable calm.”
Jerry said they lost only one piece of vinyl siding.
So, Jerry, now that you know how harrowing it is, will you evacuate when Hurricane Jose comes a-calling?
“We’re praying Jose will go somewhere else.”
But even without Irma, we still would not have been able to observe our 50 years of friendship. Father Time made sure of that.
Well, Father Time and a sizeable lack of understanding about his effect on our bodies.
You see, Newt, 68, was having trouble with his hip and decided to have it replaced in plenty of time for the Golden Friendiversary. But “plenty of time” at age 68 isn’t the same as age 21.
Newt’s surgery was July 25, leaving 47 days for rehab before the trip. Piece of cake, right? Yeah, if you’re 21.
Add those 47 days to age 21 and you get 68 years. Don’t ask me about the math; it’s in there somewhere. And so is the moral of the story.
The older we are, the slower our bodies recover when the good doctor cuts on us.
But in Newt’s defense, he was doing fine until a week ago when he discovered a couple of little blood blisters at one end of the incision. Well, he couldn’t see it around the corner on the back side of his hip, but wife Dale could, and she showed him with pictures.
They called the surgeon, who said he’d meet them at the ER. Upon visual inspection, the surgeon decided to dive in again with a scalpel. Newt came out of surgery with yet another new femoral head – the ball at the end of the femur that lodges in the hip socket – and entered ICU for three days. All better now … or at least, headed that way. That second, temporary hip is loaded with antibiotics. After he gets out of the hospital, Newt will be on intravenous antibiotics for six weeks, orally for another six weeks. At some point, sawbones will go in a third time and replace the temporary femoral head.
We’re rescheduling the Golden Friendiversary for some time in March, still in the off season for good prices, plenty of time for rehab and way the heck out of hurricane season.
Not sure which is more powerful, Mother Nature or Father Time.
Either can mock your plans and bend you to their will.