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Life Returns to Normal or Close to Normal

I am one month from my left knee replacement and life is returning to normal. Once off the powerful medication, I began driving when I returned to the rehab facility. I'm slow getting in and out of the car but once there, completely comfortable driving. Rehab is progressing from stretching and improving range of motion to building strength. The pain level in the knee is decreasing and I'm able to sleep better at night. My surgeon has me on extra strength Tylenol now. I thought I would see if I really needed the medicine a few nights ago. I was sleeping well and woke up about time to take the next dose of medicine but decided just to go back to sleep. The next morning it was obvious to me that I wasn't ready to give up the medicine just yet.

I've made several outings lately. There have been several shopping trips, just a store or two. Wal-Mart is a long walk by the time you get to the back of the store! I've been to the bank and the office supply store. My first real excursion was Friday afternoon. Louise and I joined my daughter and her family for a trip to Herman, Missouri. Herman has a great German heritage from the early 1800's. Early immigrants brought wine making skills to the area and it remains the pioneer wine making area of Missouri. I had received an e-newsletter advertising a BOGO sale at the Stone Hill Winery so we planned a trip.

The car trip through the back roads of central Missouri was a delight. My daughter and family and ridden the KATY Trail State Park from near their home to Herman a year ago and this trip was a chance to refresh all those memories. "Look kids, here is the bridge where dads bicycle broke down." We saw plenty of high water as we neared the Missouri River but it isn't flooding seriously in the Central Missouri.

At the Stone Hill winery we tasted a flight of wines and picked out a few to take home. Then we had a late lunch in the Vintage Restaurant at the winery. The kids enjoyed eating lunch in a horse stall in the old barn building. The food was excellent and we even had dessert. We followed that with a trip back via another route. There were more memories of the bicycle ride and some close looks at the bank full Missouri River.

Saturday night my daughter had snagged VIP tickets for the fireworks display at Innsbrook, a local recreational community. Her employer had contributed to the fireworks and then gotten a bad case of poison ivy so wasn't going to attend. We arrived at 7:00 p.m. to take advantage of the picnic lunch before the fireworks. This was a fine show, plenty of music playing during the picnic. Kids swimming in the lake. Boats gathering near the fireworks display. It was a very warm summer evening. They used periodic salutes to mark the time. As dark neared the music changed to marches and the fight songs of the branches of service. This ended with the fireworks accompanying our National Anthem. The fireworks were spectacular and we were watching from directly across the lake from where they were being fired. I had to walk to and from the car on grass on a hillside but managed that without any problem.

The last visit to my surgeon we scheduled the replacement of my right knee for the end of July. I have four weeks to turn my left leg into my strong leg so I can support my right leg when that knee is replaced. Despite my summer of surgery we're getting in a few interesting events. Our plans now are to be here in Missouri through September before hitting the road again.

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