February 5, 1998

A Lot of Turkey and Some Exercise

The small tour of Turkey was even better than advertised. Milly was energetic, enthusiastic, and extraordinarily detailed in her descriptions of the various cities, suburbs, and wilderness areas that made up her beloved country. Most of her talk consisted of various sections from the Bible, following the travels of various personages as they were documented in Scripture or local folk tales. Mt. Ararat is really, really impressive for many reasons. The evidence of its volcanic origins all about the fringes of its cone, the faint outline of what could be the Ark, and its 20,000 ft. height are all reasons to be impressed by both its physical aspects as well as the history that it may have overlooked.

The true evidence of her love came in all the details that she gave, details that covered everything from the rain forests in the North to the cities carved from the rock in the central areas, from the wealthy ports by the seas to the beehive huts that still house the people in areas too hot for other architectures, from the black tents of the nomads to the mosque's of the faithful she told stories, showed pictures, and connected it all with her own love of the people that lived and thrived in those places. She also had a good grasp of the extent of history within her own lands. There were quite a number of structures which were more than three millennium old, and she conveyed the sense of antiquity well. One story that I remember well was that of a prince writing of his mother saying that she was more beautiful than iron, and it was meaningful because he lived during the bronze age.

There were many excellent pictures of great Roman ruins. Everything from temples to aqueducts from amphitheaters to graves carved within the face of a cliff, it all contained the history that spans more time then I'd ever thought of before. The myths that were engrained in both society and architecture was astonishing in its depth.

We hung around afterwards to talk with people and get caught up with some folks that we haven't seen for a while. There were snacks and some punch, as well as the usual coffee and tea. So we munched a little before going home. It was very odd to be a nearly six foot Chinese woman with green hair, Doc Martin boots, and a khaki trenchcoat before a woman so steeped in history and tradition, who was tiny, beautiful in her own way and just a little bit disconcerted by me. Then she said I had a beautiful smile and that worked to get more toward me than my appearance. That, along with a mention of the tour she was starting to put together specifically for weavers helped bridge any gaps.

It was fairly late, so I debated whether or not actually exercise. It had been two days already and I really didn't want to do another day without getting on the bike, so I climbed on and started peddling. Just like the first time the right knee refused to bend enough to complete the arc, and just like the first time after about 50 strokes it began to bend enough for me to put the foot on the pedal. It remained pretty painful and somewhat awkward the next hundred, but I was able to gradually inch my right foot closer to a straight alignment.

Unlike the first time it never really felt good. I pretty much remained stiff to some degree until about 15 minutes into the period I had set for myself to go. The last ten minutes were fairly free flowing, but I was tired enough to just feel exhausted rather than energized. Afterwards I chose to just go to sleep, and shower in the morning as John didn't object too much.

The shower took less time than any other since the accident. The leg had loosened up enough from the exercise for me to be able to balance easily and do the normal shower things without faltering. I also weighed myself and found that I'd pretty much remained the same, which was reassuring as I didn't want to be losing muscle mass. I am at a point where I can walk straight if I concentrate on it and don't try to hold my knee stiff. The muscles are working fairly well, but the joint is still rather unhappy with me.

My hands are also really unhappy with me. So I'm doing this entry nearly entirely through dictation. Anita said that it would be interesting to have a tiny icon in the corner of the entries that I do by dictation, so that people know. Perhaps it's just curiosity as to what technology brings an entry into being, or it might be just to see how well a particular technology can work for a real person. Either way I'll probably just mention when I am using dictation in the entries that I am doing so.

Anita also mentioned, during the dinner, that I ought to put an AVI of my voice and I laughed. Uhm... I don't think I will. The reason for that I'll likely put on my own list of random facts about me that won't normally show up in this journal.

Today has gone pretty well. Testing has been very straightforward and I made a lot of progress as well as finding a few things that needed to be found. My body is far more limber with even the little to exercise I got yesterday, so I shall probably ride the bike tonight as well. Raven has said he will visit tonight, as I will be gone for most of next week. I'll probably make macaroni and cheese for the three of us as John has a soccer game and will eat after he gets back. Also, Raven has no idea how to make homemade macaroni and cheese and it's about time he learned.

My parents have called twice in the last two days, expecting to reach me at home. Sometimes they seem somewhat baffled by how busy I am, or frustrated. I guess I'm supposed to be hurt right now and not quite as active as I have been.

I pro-actively called the orthopedic doctors office to find out when the MRI report would come back. The nurse in charge of handling the files told me that she hadn't even gotten the voice recording from the radiologist yet. So she would call me each day with status as to where the report was. I told her that I was flying out Tuesday, so she knows my time limit. She replied that it was 99% probable that the report would be in before I left, so at least I'll know

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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