Traveling While Disabled: Part XVII, La la la la, Grab Your Hat
This is the seventeenth installment of the surprisingly rollicking adventures of a courageous disabled traveler going it alone. Here is a link to earlier installments in case you missed them: http://www.thirdage.com/travel/traveling-while-disabled-the-archive.
I woke up feeling like a wet wool sweater. When you have a debilitating condition such as my Transverse Myelitis, there is a morose ennui, a pall about it. I am quite sure it is how I will feel just moments before I die. In fact, when this surge of contemptuous bile comes upon me, it is all that I can do not to throw myself off a nearby cliff. The only reason I don’t is that I am quite sure I would survive and have to live like Ethan Frome at the mercy of my family. Now that is fate worse than death.
At last the rain in this corner of Ireland abated, not to blue sky, but at least to a bright shade of gray. I decided on a short walk. The road I choose wound up high along the lake. It was accompanied by a four-foot, moss-covered wall on the down side of the hill. The only gaps in the wall were for private gates to very twisted roads where, if you were lucky, you could see a slate roof down closer to the water.
I wanted to hop a gated fence, arrive unannounced, and declare that I was a famous painter and had gotten very lost in the underbrush looking for just the perfect position to paint the far hills. But since I didn't have my brushes with me, I figured it was not going to fly. Note to self: carry disguise as artist at all times.
Every turn was a delight: an interesting gate, a branch that looked like an elbow, a brook that meandered across a field, a long straight part of the road made into a tunnel by the tree canopy. I sang hymns and Pat Benatar (yeah, in my brain that works together). I sang loudly with conviction. “Hit me with your best shot, You’re a real tough cookie with a long history of la la la la la like the one in me.” “A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing la la la la la la la la blah blah blah la la la prevailing.”
This is why I travel alone. Two hours with half the words missing would make even the most patient traveler want to pop-me-whop-side-the-head. I sang, I skipped, I tripped, I fell splat into the mud. I got up and ate some chocolate. How can anyone be bored in the Irish countryside?
My walk, if not restful, was at least entertaining enough to keep the pain at bay. When the pain gets intense the problem for me is I am afraid it could be another attack. The thought of that is terrifying. Never mind I could be out on some country road and not discovered. My answer to this anxiety? More chocolate.
I came home to yet another scrumptious meal. Starters was a lovely crabmeat salad and for the main course a veal schnitzel with a cream sauce infused with lemon and lime. The mashed potatoes were tossed with freshly chopped basil. For dessert, which I vowed I would not have because no one with their right mind needs those calories, I had the Granny Smith pudding, which was actually just molded pie filling with a small scoop of Carmel ice cream with Carmel sauce swirled on the plate with crushed nuts on top of the sticky part. “Heaven, I’m in heaven and la la la la la la la la la speak, la la la blah la la happiness I seek la la la la la la la la something something something cheek to cheek.”
To be continued . . .
Sally Franz is a former stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, and radio host. She is a twice-divorced mother of two and a grandmother of three. Sally has a degree in gerontology and several awards for humor writing. She is the author of "Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey," and "The Baby Boomers Guide to Menopause."