Le Tour de Rehab

"They won't do things for me, " my dad reports from the rehabilitation center where he's recovering from a broken femur. "I'm very busy!"

In the high speed, high stakes world of senior citizen recuperation the competition is cutthroat. While I'm chatting with my dad on the phone, his roommate sneaks out to get an early start on their wheelchair race to the dining hall. "He wants to win again," Dad says, and keep the yellow jersey, no doubt. I don't think either of them are taking steroids or performance enhancing drugs, but they do get a chocolate Ensure every afternoon.

On the weekend there's no physical therapy, and no occupational therapy. Dad has to think up his own challenges, so he spent the day experimenting with his new pick-stuff-up tool. He's testing what he can accomplish on his own, and surprised at his success. He can snag items from shelves and closet. Better, he can reel in the electrical power strip to plug in his razor and shave. Way to go! It's amazing. This is only Day Eight since his injury, and he is making great progress toward independence.

Reminds me of Marion Holland's beginning reader, A Big Ball of String, in which a young boy devises ways of amusing himself on a sick day. It's one of those Cat in the Hat "I Can Read It All By Myself" books, copyright 1958. You remember:

I can look at my book!
I can shoot with my gun!
I make my bell ring!
I can make my train run!

"Look, Mother!
Look, Mother!
I said.
"Come and look,
Come and look,
How I stay in my bed,
With my strings,
And my things,
And my cold in the head!"

They may want to change the logo to The Old Fart In the Hat--I Can Reach It All By Myself. After all, it was the good Dr. Seuss who wrote about the places we go! I've got feisty hummingbirds battling for territory and the yellow jersey around the red cannas on my patio. Thank heaven cannas are so drought resistant and Dad is so up to the challenge!

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