Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal
Special to Village News 

Kicking It in a review of 2020

 

Last updated 1/14/2021 at 11:15am



My household made lots of personal adjustments during the last year when we were ordered to stay-at-home. Some situations turned out better than others. For instance, one good thing that happened is we have learned to give each other haircuts.

But that adjustment did not happen without incident. Our big row came when my husband wanted a Flowbee, and I did not wish to get my haircut sitting next to the Hoover. After much discussion, we settled the dispute by letting him purchase an upgraded set of hair clippers. As it turns out, we are now both giving pretty good haircuts, which no longer require either of us to wear a hat when we leave the house.

Other changes have occurred due to our isolation and combined boredom. The most obvious one is how we make the bed. My husband's former military experience, coupled with the exacting standards of a ship's steward, insists on tucking the bed linens so tightly a coin will bounce 2 feet in the air. And there lies the rub, because the last one up makes the bed. That would be me. My not-caring-so-much approach doesn't create a trampoline top which will often spur a remaking of said bed.

Other quirks are appearing as well. For instance, he now places the silverware in their dividers. You see, all of the forks are now laid on their sides, snuggled closely, while the spoons are spooned upside down – unlike days of old when utensils were just dropped into the appropriate slots.

Here is another new quirk. We are developing menu choices to allow multiple nights of left-overs. Odd, when we have extra time to do meal prep, we are finding ways to do just the opposite resulting in less cleanup and fewer dishes to wash. He by hand and I in the dishwasher. That appliance, too, has become a note of contention.

Naturally, staying at home has increased our sitting time along with our waistlines. Although my husband's sitting time has improved his ukulele playing dramatically, mine has caused a negative result with continuous neuropathy in both my feet and lower legs.

It is my belief that this pain is the result of wearing 4-inch heels for more than 30 years. The arches in my feet are no doubt rebelling after all of the years of abuse as I preened on tippy-toe sporting narrow skirts to highlight my spectacular looking legs. It must be payback.

The last time I discussed this pain with my doctor was during my annual health checkup in 2019. He suggested one way to control the unexplainable discomfort of neuropathy was with a pain pill. Even while the discomfort is ongoing, I didn't want another script if avoidable. I called my daughter who is a physician assistant and asked her if there might be an alternative.

It's funny how a simple solution can often be the answer to what seemed a complicated issue. She suggested I try an exercise before submitting to a new prescription. Following her advice, I filled a 12-ounce soda bottle with water and froze it. Now when I am watching television, I roll my socked feet over the iced bottle. The simple solution has worked amazingly well. While perhaps not a cure, it certainly has provided a huge relief from the constant ache in my feet.

I have more good news. During the shutdown, my husband finished building a beautiful fence with sunburst panels. It restores our mountain view from the kitchen window while providing our neighbors an attractive sightline as well. Additionally, he marked the earth's rotation on the fence's rays just as the Druids once did at Stonehenge to embrace the changing of the seasons. This act prompts me to imagine him emerging in a monk's shroud as he perpetuates the ritual sacrificing of gophers on the first day of spring.

Like most everyone else, I have saved some money by not traveling or driving, currently getting about six weeks to a tank of gas. Oh, and of course, I haven't worn lipstick in almost a year now. So, there is that savings too.

As we venture forward into the unknown of 2021, I am still at war with my credit card company for not refunding travel expenses incurred by the international pandemic.

And along with said pandemic, I have acquired my 10 extra pounds of COVID-19 weight. On the happier side, today I received the $600 stimulus check. Hopefully, citizens will get more than the proposed foreign governments. Let us all take a deep breath as we pray for justice.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].

 

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