In March 2022 I returned to Florida from my two-month winter adventure in Maine, and started checking off items on my catch-up list.
But three weeks after my return, while innocently crossing the parking lot at the grocery store, I felt something pop at the back of my “good” knee. My orthopedist gave me the bad news: I had torn loose my medial meniscus root. My only guess is that it had just been hanging on by a thread. If I didn’t have it repaired, I would need a new knee inside of a year. He scheduled surgery to repair it. Argh! What a shock to my charmed life! I have run into obstacles before, but being non-weight-bearing turned out to be Full Stop for me. (Picture me bumping around backwards seated on a rolling walker for 6 weeks.) Stuck in my second-floor apartment, and having to stand on only one leg to do anything made a chore of everything and it made Joan quite the dull girl. Following that adventure, rehabilitation has felt like an eternity. I am out of the brace and have finished my work with the physical therapist, and am now working on strength and endurance, and slowly rebuilding cardio by swimming, because I am not yet walking very fast. Hopefully I soon will have a more even gait and able to stand for longer periods of time so that I can return to painting outdoors.
This drama delayed my plans. Instead of early summer, my move to Downeast Maine now will be in mid-October. I never really adapted to being laid up, staying disgruntled most of the time. I kept my dream alive by reviewing my hundreds of photos, and drooling over other artists’ rocky shoreline paintings on Instagram. Now finally, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, able to stand for short periods, and I have started boxing things up. The first things to be packed, and happily, were my crutches, cane, walker, compression wraps, and my elevated toilet seat! Those will go in the far back corner of the basement in the duplex apartment I will be renting. And as of yesterday, except for what is actually on my walls, all of my loose paintings are carefully packed and ready for the movers, including my collection of other artists’ work. This week I hope to get started on my storage unit.
I thought I would post photos of a few studies I painted a year ago at an artists retreat hosted by Mary Erickson in Port Clyde, Maine. I have these hanging in my “visioning corner” in my dining nook along with the works in my last blog post.