A naked finger and a healthy back.

img_3657Even before I had left my neighborhood, the day before I was scheduled to fly out of San Francisco to Washington DC, I had “adventures.” In the morning, my back went out. After church traveling prayers were said for me, and I paid close attention to the request that my journey be healthful. Would God heal me overnight? That afternoon I took a walk in the neighborhood, because my chiropractor told me once that when you walk, every step is like a little adjustment; I know from experience that walking is healthful, and I hoped that the kinks would work themselves out, and the spasms cease.

While I was walking I admired the eucalyptus trees; they caught my attention by the loud hum overhead, the noise of hundreds of flies and bees of every sort working at the blooms. Blooms? Indeed, in November. Some of the species of this tree do bloom in the fall, as I found by first-hand observation, and when I got home and read about them online. The flowers were mostly too high up for me to get a good picture, and the leaves were prettier, anyway.

eucalyptus_calycogona_white_2-482x500
from the Internet

While walking I got a text message from daughter Kate, whom I was going to see at the end of my journey the next day. “My” bench was close by, so I sat down to type a message back to her. Yowie! A beast I never saw stung me on the finger, and it filled with biting pain. I cut my walk short and started back the way I had come, thinking I should hurry home and take my wedding ring off before swelling could tighten it and add to the discomfort. Then I realized that my flesh was already puffing up, and I managed to remove my ring with the help of some saliva.

My back was feeling a little better, but my finger was stabbing for several hours, anytime I took it out of the ice water, and that distracted me from my final preparations — but I guess I did at least pack what I needed, and I went to bed hoping for a better tomorrow.

I don’t think often about my wedding bands. I have one on each hand since my late husband and I bought new ones for our 40th anniversary four years ago; at that time I had the original band resized and I wear it on my right ring finger. When I became a widow I had no desire to take off my rings – I feel that in my heart and soul I am still married.

But before I set off for the airport the next morning, when I tried to put my newer ring back on, the finger was still too swollen, and I had to leave the ring behind and go naked on that finger for the first time in nearly 45 years. So that was the first new thing I experienced on my trip.

My back seemed to be fine when I woke. I was taking the usual NSAIDs, but it remained to be seen how I would do sitting in buses and airplanes and cars for the next nine hours. Sitting is typically the opposite of walking as far as back health goes.

When I was planning formidnightschildren2 this trip I was looking forward to uninterrupted reading time on the plane(s), ten hours or more, plus reading for a few minutes in bed each night before sleep. I wanted to read on a topic somehow connected to the people or sights I would see, and one obvious one was India. No, India was not on my itinerary, but one big reason I was making a trip to visit Kate right now is that she and her husband are moving to India next year for work. They will be there two years; since they are very important people to me I’d like to know something about this place that will be their home. Also, I hope to visit them there!

So as soon as I settled on to the airporter bus, I opened my Kindle and began to read Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie. I had brought along a fat fleece neck pillow, tied with a ribbon to my backpack, and I tucked that behind me for back support, and was good to go. For a while I talked with my seatmate, a woman much older than I who was traveling to a North Carolina wedding brave and cheerful in spite of having just recovered from a broken hand, and not quite recovered from the death of her foster son. She was encouraging just by being herself.

Nothing eventful happened on my flight east. My naked finger never stopped feeling odd; it was Something New the whole week. I had extra legroom on that nonstop flight, the seat next to me was empty, and I enjoyed the quiet and solitude. The book was good, and my back hurt not a bit, thanks be to God. I spent a few hours in India, and then my plane touched down in Washington, DC.

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”  – Roman Payne

9 thoughts on “A naked finger and a healthy back.

  1. Lovely beginning, save the sting! glad your back was well! I can imagine how odd it would be to not be wearing your ring! wow, India! St. Thomas is there, I believe; my brother-in-law and sister-in-law plus older kids went 2 years ago I think, already now; feel free to email me if you want to know more about what they did or travel trips (they are very seasoned travelers). God bless and so nice to read this post from you! 🙂 That older woman is brave, God bless her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my, I’m sorry you were stung by a bee. Glad you got your ring off in time, even though you had to go off on your trip without it.

    I feel like you when you said “When I became a widow I had no desire to take off my rings – I feel that in my heart and soul I am still married.”

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving week ~ FlowerLady

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you’re feeling better and had enjoyed your book. Midnight’s Children is fascinating and Rushdie’s writing most lively. I’d enjoyed it too a few years ago when I read it in a read-along with another blogger. All the best to you and your visit with your daughter. Enjoy your reading and travelling!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw the photos of the eucalyptus and felt a wave of nostalgia. There are some things about CA I really, really miss.

    The story of your naked finger touched me. I wish I knew how to better express it, but your thoughts mirror how I imagine I would respond in a similar situation.

    I’m sorry your back and sting gave you troubles, but so glad to hear the trip went well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad the back is improving. Boo hiss to the stinging insect! They can really hurt! Your walk yielded some beautiful sites- I love sharing them!

    I have to take my wedding ring off for Drumming Club (to encourage the children not to wear anything that might damage the drum skins) and one day I forgot to put it back on and had a dreadful shock at home when I realised I’d just left it balanced on the whiteboard at school!

    Enjoy the remainder of your trip!x

    P.S. Ooooh, yay, can’t wait to see the brooch!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have a safe and blessed journey and a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wore my wedding ring for years, and now am only wearing the signet ring Paul had made for me, long ago, with his family’s coat of arms on it. It always sort of overlapped the wedding ring and the gold was wearing away. I share your feeling that I am still married. I remember in one grief book that I was really shocked that they seemed to be saying a month after the death of your spouse you should stop wearing the wedding ring. Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

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