Do you remember when embroidery was "in" back in the sixties and seventies? Recently, while going through some old things I've stored in boxes for far too long, I came upon this shirt that a good friend in high school embroidered for me. I still appreciate the time and thoughtfulness that went into her work. And guess what? The shirt still fits!
Dogs have always played an important role in my life, and looking though some old photos recently, I found this one of a dog and me in my godmother's "luncheonette" in Brooklyn. I'm guessing that the year was about 1962, and the dog belonged to a friend of my father's. I don't know what was going on that day, but I look very suspicious about that dog! I wasn't getting a good feeling. Maybe I was worried it was going to fall. I can't imagine how the grownups expected the dog to rest there on that stool!
I also don't know why I was dressed that way! It had to be a Sunday, and I remember afterwards walking around the corner to my grandparent's house where I played with their dog Queenie all day. There's got to be a story connected to the photo. I just wish I could remember what it was!
Now that my new leg and I have become good friends, I feel ready to get back to storytelling and singing some songs I wrote many years ago. (Even though I can't sing, I wrote them, so I guess that makes it okay.) Because I overthink things, I didn't feel ready to be on stage again. For me it all has to come together, physically and mentally. But now I'm ready, so I'm going to start booking dates. So stay tuned, my friends . . .
Recently, as Brie and I were casually walking the aisles of CVS, picking up some needed items, a man stopped me. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" he asked.
I didn't know what was coming, but the man added, "I've been watching you and your little dog, and how you casually go about your business without giving it much thought."
Probably sensing that I didn't get what he meant, he said, "You two are such an inspiration."
With that he smiled down at Brie which caused her to light up. She rushed right over as he bent down to pet her. "What a delight!" he said.
"Yes," I said. "She's my love, and we've been together so long, I think we both forget that we're are missing a leg.
Brie was so happy that the man paid attention to her, and I was so happy to just be in her presence. People always ask how we met, and I tell them it was purely by accident - an accidental meeting that changed my life.
One of my wife's friends once said to me, "Tony, I think you love that damn dog more than you love Pat."
"Well," I responded, "of course I love Pat, but Brie has gotten under my skin."
Besides being my beloved canine companion, Brie is a constant inspiration, helping me with my challenges as an amputee. And every time she and I take one our casual walks, I witness the power she has to uplift others, simply with an excited wag of her tail as she rushes to greet them on her three legs.
It's taken several weeks, but my new leg and I are getting to know one another, and I seem to be in a groove. Some people have to try out new shoes; well, I have to try out new legs! Now that I'm my groove, I'm walking and moving smoothly again. It would be great if I could run, but as they say, "One step at a time."
Now that I've invited people to come an visit my blog again, I figured that I'll make a fresh start. When you get a new leg as an amputee, it's serious business. You hope and pray that the person who measured you got it right. Now that I've had my new leg for several weeks. I'm starting to get in the groove. Every leg has to have a "groove" that you fit into, and it doesn't happen immediately. The scary part is when you first get your new leg, you think you're never going to walk so smoothly again. You think, oh, my God, am I ever going to get my groove back? An added issue is that as I've gotten older, my bones are starting to shift and have taken on a new form; I used to have more of a "buffer" around my bones. But, as I'm going to keep up with writing my blogs, I'm going to keep up with adjusting to my new leg. Summer may be drawing to a close, but a new season of fresh starts awaits us all. And as always, I appreciate your comments.
I've got my guitar out and starting to practice again! Brie, even while sleeping, is giving me inspiration to re-learn an old skill and passion. Since I was a teenager I've loved playing the guitar, composing songs, and performing them in front of an audience. Lately I've been composing songs in my head from my "older" point of view, and hope to have a couple ready to perform at my next storytelling event at River House Books in Carmel on June 25th. Wish me luck!
I am honored that Nansea Townsend, the local freelance writer who helps me with my website, has begun writing a children's book about how Brie came into my life and the adventures we've had. I never thought that I'd be involved with a children's book, but Nansea thought our story is worthy of one. So I'm giving her material and she's crafting it into a story that we hope will be enjoyable, and will help children understand about people and dogs with disabilities.
Once again, I meet the most interesting people at IL Fornaio where I work. I asked this priest to say a prayer for me because of a medical issue. It must have worked. Everything came out clear and I have a new friend!
Just last week my wonderful manager at Il Fornaio called me a turkey. I haven't heard that word in many, many years. This morning I looked out my patio door and there he was . . . so maybe I am a turkey!