The Zoo Road

I can’t stop walking. I walk around the neighborhood. I walk around the park. I walk when I am running errands in the neighborhood.

Thanks to gastric sleeve surgery and physical therapy for my “arthritic knee”, I have lost weight and can walk for a couple of miles at a time without any pain or discomfort. Please get out of my way and don’t slow me down.

The other day my Dear Friend and I went to the Houston Zoo. They open at 9:00 a.m. and we were there walking around by 9:30. It was cool and the sky was overcast. There was a nice breeze. What’s not to love?

Our first stop was the area that housed the elephants. There were no elephants. I am guessing that elephants are not morning critters. Bummer. I love elephants. DF and I kept walking.

We came upon the cougars. I love big cats. Let’s see the cougars! There were no cougars. Apparently they were up late last night partying with the elephants. I wish I had been invited to that party!

Finally we walked into a building that looked out on the gorilla section. Seems as though the gorillas were not invited to the elephant/cougar party either, because there were several gorillas looking wide awake and enjoying a leisurely breakfast. They didn’t seem to mind that we watched them and took pictures.

It was just DF and I and the gorillas. We could dawdle and slowly observe these magnificent creatures. They ate lettuce and drank from coconuts.

As we continued walking through the zoo we saw more and more animals. There were many flamingos. They had just finished their breakfast and were strolling around their area visiting with some ducks and other birds that came by for a visit.

I had never seen so many pink flamingos together in one place. Why yes, I did see a couple that stood on one leg. Did you know their knees fold backwards?

It was about this point when DF and I noticed that we were no longer strolling along without any other zoo visitors. Mothers were also strolling pushing baby strollers. There were parents with toddlers. Then there was one school group…and then another. Quickly the children were greatly outnumbering the adults.

One of our last stops was the giraffe area and these wonderful animals did not disappoint. There were several giraffes of various ages and sizes along with some ostriches and one zebra. I had never noticed before that both giraffes and ostriches have long necks. Who knew? Well, I guess I knew, but had never had cause to stop and think about this before. I had never seen them standing side by side for the comparison. The zoo is so full of all of these educational experiences. Unfortunately there was only one zebra. I wondered if there was another zebra who had partied with the elephants and cougars and was still asleep.

We weren’t able to visit with the sea lions, because several school groups were getting a private showing of the water creatures. Then the closer we got to the front there were groups and gaggles of students everywhere we looked. All ages and all sizes plus teachers and parental escorts. Adults were seriously outnumbered. Time to go.

After walking around for an hour, we had not seen all the animals we had hoped to see. Not a problem. This just meant that we get to go back for another zoo walk to visit the elephants and lions and tigers and bears! Oh My!

Until next week.….

A RoadBroad’s Meniscus

What’s the saying? Don’t you know? RoadBroads are like sharks. They must keep moving. That’s why we stay on the road. Whether we are traveling around the country or inside the 610 Loop in Houston. We walk a lot and look at everything. We are always on the move.

Except.……

I have been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in my right knee. Don’t know what the heck that is? I didn’t either before this week. All I knew was that I was in pain. I love to walk, but lately that has been a painful experience for me. 

Isn’t this a cute lil’ chubby knee? Adorable. Who would think anything this cute would cause so much pain?

I planned my entire retirement around writing and walking. Tuesdays are outing days for walking around parks, museums, neighborhoods, etc. Now I am temporarily side‐lined. I am still walking, but it can get very painful after short distances.

What causes this condition? When I checked Google, I found out that this is a very common ailment for athletes. Well, of course, that’s what happened. Marathons, tennis, rugby, I do it all. I am such an athlete, that I hurt my knee. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Okay, so you’re not even going to begin to believe that? I thought you were my friend. Won’t you allow me this one little phantasm?

A torn meniscus can also be a result of aging and wearing out parts. I could think that, but I do not see myself as old. I know I am not young, but I am definitely not “old”. Other people my age may be old, but that does not apply to me. Yes, my youthful delusions do help me sleep well at night.

When I went to the doctor, I was sent off to get x‐rays of my knee. Then what was really cute was that the doctor’s assistant showed me the x‐rays. He would point at things as if I could see what he saw. As he spoke, I nodded politely. I understood what he said. Yes, there is a treatment for this. Good.

When I returned home from the medical appointment, I wondered what a writer could do with a torn meniscus. Should I write out a dialogue with my knee? Write poetry? What the heck rhymes with “meniscus”?

Here we go:

Hello Meniscus,

You make me feel like such a nimscus,

You impede my sunny dispositicus.

Let’s try this:

Oh my meniscus,

Why can’t you be more viscous? 

Yet, you are torniscus.

Maybe this?

Ouch, Ouch my torn meniscus,

Maybe I’ll just sit and drink a tea of hibiscus.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. Yes, I’ll stick with prose.

Until next week.….