three, no-stress days to work on household projects and enjoy island life. However, for Rich and I, it was the continuation of our entrapment in wheelchairs with no ability to garden, properly clean the house, easily cook, or even take a walk around the block, let alone hike, bike, kayak, attend a festival or other outdoor activity that requires two functioning legs.
Labor Day is a bookend, sandwiching the busy summer months, starting with Memorial Day in late May and ending with Labor Day in early September. The start of the weekend reinforced the disappointment that everything we’d planned to do during the summer would have to wait.
Prior to our accident, I was looking forward to sanding and spray painting the treadle of an old sewing machine then buying a piece of marble for the top. My snazzy table would replace the dated stand we’d been using for our TV electronics.
I also looked forward to painting two pieces of statuary we’d purchased in April, a 3-foot high pelican, and an ornate bird bath. Rich was going to complete the greenhouse during the summer, adding a ventilation fan, heater, and shade cloth. Together, we’d plant the blueberry plants we’d purchased earlier in the year, along with create a row of raspberries and thornless blackberries, transplanted from our Mount Vernon house.
Rich also welcomed the opportunity to sift through all the “stuff” in the garage, get rid of what he didn’t need, reorganize and consolidate the rest.
Hanging from our garage ceiling is our bikes and double Hobie Cat kayak. We looked forward to using the kayak during the summer, possibly negotiating around Deception Pass, and most likely Cranberry Lake and Pass Lake, and the calmer waters of Skagit Bay and Saratoga Passage.
Earlier in the year, I’d filled in our calendar with possible activities from the midget car races at Skagit Speedway to Shipwreck Festival in Anacortes, Island Shakespeare Festival in Langley, Oak Harbor Roller Girls, a friend’s annual Canada Day party, Whidbey Island Fair, and my employer’s annual picnic at the Woodland Park Zoo. We also looked forward to riding Gatsby to Oyster Run in late September.
The extent of our summer was wheeling up to the mailbox and back, watching our neighbors harvest our vegetables, going grocery shopping (using the store’s scooters), and delighting in being able to order fast food from the comfort of our car. A couple of times, with the help of Stacey and Chris, we were able to be more adventurous, eating at a restaurant and back-seat sightseeing.
After watching Jodhaa Akbar (a fabulous Bollywood extravaganza), and getting a good night’s sleep, I felt better this morning. Rich took this as a sign to remind me we had a coupon for Denny’s in Mount Vernon, and afterwards could venture to Fred Meyer, an addiction if you live in the Pacific Northwest.
On the way to breakfast, traffic slowed to a stand-still. Earlier in the morning, a car had flipped over, east of the Deception Pass Bridge. As we passed the badly damaged, up-side down car,* I couldn’t help thinking one or both of us could have died or been paralyzed from our accident. Instead, we were in good spirits, heading to Denny’s, and looking forward to next week when Rich gets his prosthetic, and I’ll probably be cleared to start standing on my leg.
Next year, when Memorial Day rolls around, we can look forward to a summer filled with activities. And hopefully, we’re so worn out by everything we’ve done, by the time Labor Day weekend arrives, we’ll be happy just to sit and enjoy each other’s company.
*We later learned the occupants were fine.