Lum: Let it snow, let it snow
December 23, 2015
One of the joys of retirement is that — except for pesky medical appointments — I don't have to go anywhere at all if I don't want to. I could lie in two weeks' worth of provisions and miss the entire fuster cluck of the holidays, not stepping over the sill into the great cold or getting stuck in the snow or stranded in the lines at City Market or breaking a hip on the ice.
Between the good snow and Christmas and New Year's Day both falling on Fridays, the town is filling up fast and will soon be packed. Steer clear of drivers unfamiliar with our roads and conditions and beware of black-suited pedestrians in the crosswalks.
I'll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my daughter Skye's house along with my daughter Hillery and her husband, Bruce, far from the madding crowd.
I could while away the short, dark days of January listening to audible books, watching Netflix movies, playing hidden-object computer games or dozing to "Judge Judy" and "The Price Is Right" on TV.
I used to have to make out the list for our monthly supplies on the homestead in Alaska, always forgetting something vital, such as salt. I could do that for January, and if I forget something, I hear Clark's makes deliveries.
On Feb. 9, I get my throat cut in Denver for the insertion of a transtracheal oxygen-delivery tube that will blow oxygen directly into my lungs. Dr. Michael Schwartz, whom I visited at National Jewish in early December, will do the inserting; Dr. Robert McDonald will do the slitting at Rose Medical Office; and Hillery and Skye are coming with me, so it was surgery scheduling by committee.
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Feb. 9 is good because it gives me plenty of time to contemplate worst-case scenarios and to go on the Internet and scare myself. There is a long, positive YouTube video about it by Lyn Cole, a Colorado woman in her 70s who has had her transtracheal tube for nine years, loves it and runs half-marathons. My goals are a little lower; my hope is to be able to go out to the mailbox in front of my house without then having to sit down and recover or to go out to dinner without upheaving the entire restaurant by running out of oxygen despite taking all precautions or — best — that I won't have to move to the lowlands.
The transtracheal tube should take care of February. Although I've been told I'll be up and at 'em in just a couple of days, I expect that what with the dread factor, the actual surgery and then learning how to comfortably handle the twice- or thrice-daily cleaning of the device plus getting used to having that plastic tube just hanging in my throat, I will be so occupied and preoccupied with the whole thing that suddenly it will be March.
We all know that there can be huge storms in March, but once you step out of February, winter is really over. The days are warmer, daylight saving time begins March 13 and whatever comes down will quickly melt off the streets while keeping the skiers happy in the hills.
Today, as I write, is the shortest day of the year — by the time you read this, they are getting longer. My friend Hilary will be able to take our combined three dogs out walking; they are getting a bit stir-crazy and will be ecstatic.
Before we know it, it will be time to start those seedlings. Can the Saturday Market be far behind?
Su Lum is a longtime local who will be kicking butt by spring and is looking forward to it. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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