This has been a busy, yet productive weekend. My muscles are sore and my stump hurts, but I can look back on the tasks which were completed with a sense of satisfaction that only comes after hard work. I am amazed with how physically strong I have become during the past few years. I know that just two years ago I would not have been able to do half of what I accomplished with relative ease.
My mom is in the process of building a mini playground for the grandchildren. I find it ironic that she purchased a swinging and twisting tire swing, a few regular swings, a sandbox (filled with green sand of course) and a trapeze for her grandchildren's amusement. When we were growing up, my siblings and I had a rusted swing set that would thump precariously whenever we were swinging too high and an old truck tire for a sandbox. We had a scoop by the sandbox where we would remove the droppings from the stray cats that visited our "sand tire" in the evenings.
In order to build a proper play area, she wanted her brick patio to be removed so that 6 inches of fluffy playground mulch could be laid. Upon initial inspection, the job looked relatively easy. I figured that it would be a good calorie burning activity, and I would be able to help my mom at the same time. I agreed to help.
I spent several hours over two days hunched over with a crowbar and a wheelbarrow, pulling up bricks and stacking them several yards away. I learned two important things while I was cursing the brick patio: First, there were a lot more bricks than I realized when I offered my help with the job. I made ten trips with a full wheelbarrow and made only a small dent in the patio. Second, bricks are heavy. Picked up in isolation the weight is not significant. Piled full into a wheelbarrow and constantly picking them up to move them makes the weight more noticeable. My arms are tired!
In addition to dismantling and relocating a brick patio, I helped my cousin clean out his grandma's house. My Aunt Ethel is now residing in an assisted living facility in Ohio and the house is going to be put up for sale. In order for the house to be readied for sale, the clutter and personal items needed to be removed.
My mom watched Robby Rotten and Abbi, our newborn cousin, on Saturday (no easy task) while I helped my cousin and his girlfriend pack, move furniture and clean. After working for 10 hours, all three of us were ready to drop. We were sent to the house with a lengthy and detailed to do list. I kept cracking the whip and we were able to accomplish most of the tasks.
As I was driving home to Virginia from Pennsylvania I thought about everything that was accomplished in two short days. Do you know what I realized? My amputation did not interfere with my ability to move piles of bricks, nor did my limb loss affect my ability to help my cousin move.
As a matter of fact, I am the perfect furniture moving partner. If the furniture becomes too awkward or heavy and needs to be put down quickly, I don't have to worry about my toes getting pinched. I also discovered that, in a pinch, my socket makes an excellent tool to unhinge the bed frame from the headboard if a hammer isn't handy. I suppose that now I can no longer use my amputation as an excuse to avoid helping others move!
I'd say this was a good weekend!