Monday, April 26, 2010

life crutches

Cobblestones and sand.

Perhaps a good recipe for building a garden wall.  But a lousy foundation for cruising Mexican streets on crutches.

After I broke my ankle, several friends volunteered to to ensure my daily needs were met.  Shopping.  Commuting.  Trips to Manzanillo.

But sometimes a guy has to do what a guy has to do.  There is a certain joy in independence.

On the Saturday before I left Melaque, I ran out of onions and limes.  Rather than bother my friends for such a trivial task, I decided to hobble to the local abarrotes.

An abarrotes embodies some of he best aspects of Mexico.   Small grocery store.  Conveniently located (in the case of Melaque, almost every other block).  With limited (but practical) merchandise.

When I was growing up in northern Oregon, there was a similar store on my walk home from grade school.  We would stop by every day to buy a licorice stick or two.

My local abarrotes -- La Nueva Vida -- is about a two block walk from my house.  With two normal feet, a walk to and from the store would be five minutes.

The crutches added a bit of a handicap.  Mexican sidewalks are not sidewalk-friendly.  Cracks.  Holes.  Precipitous height changes.

The best course is to to resort to the street.  And that is where I found the interesting combination of sand and cobblestones.

What should have been five minutes, turned out to be a tiring one hour trek.

These crutches are teaching me humility and patience.  What I can do, takes more time.  What I cannot do, I must rely on others to do.

Later today, I see my doctor.  To see how long this humility and patience stuff is going to last.


Darrel said...

“Humility and Patience” are not terms often used in describing one's attorney or brother. Don’t let anyone at the office know that neo-retirement and injury have transformed you into a more well rounded person. Eating a Rock-n-Rogers every day will also make you more well rounded but won’t be as easy to disguise.
It will be interesting to hear what the NOB doctor has to say about your foot and the way that you have followed “doctor’s orders” to rest and stay off of it.

Gloria said...

Well at least you made it to the store. I do hope you made it back and I gather you did because you are on your computer. We do what we have to do and you are doing it. I hope your healing time goes by fast. Onions and limes. Hope you were able to use them when you got back. I bet you were pretty tired by then. Have a great week! ::sending healing thoughts to you.::

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Agree, crutches suck. You're right tho, it is a good lesson in patience and humility. Everyone should have to spend a week on crutches and a week blindfolded. Maybe then people would be more empathetic and respectful of each other.
But, aren't you in the US now? The land of flat, straight, perfect sidewalks and roads? You must be getting sick of the crutches by now.

Anonymous said...

Are patience and humility goods in themselves? Or are they instrumental goods, dependent upon circumstance for their utilitarian value?

Francis of Assisi had both, but when you are working with birds, it pays to have both.

On the other hand, if I'm standing in front of the judge with a rabid New York attorney in the other chair, I don't want ornithological Francis. I want the aggressive, impatient Francis, who has done his homework and knows where the facts lie.

I will dare to make a prediction: in two more weeks, you will probably eat your crutches like some avenging T-Rex of the legal world, leaving the splinters of their wooden skeleton spread about your legal lair as warning to those who dare approach.


carol said...

I had exactly the same break in 1998 when I turned 50. It was the pits and I was in the US then. It was Sept until Dec before I was off crutches and out of boots and over a year before I walked without a limp. Hope it goes more quickly for you. Now, 12 years out my ankle will do most anything without complaint but it will never be the same. A bad break is a bad break. I am trying never to do it again.

Love your blog. I am a sometime resident of La Manzanilla since 2000.

Laurie said...

Do you use the term "pulperia' for a small store? I think that's only in Central America but I can't be sure.

Anonymous said...

pulperìa is the place to buy octopus

Steve Cotton said...

Darrel -- I didn't bother to tell Rick how well I have been following doctor's orders. I suspect he knew.

Gloria -- Those limes and onions were like gold to me.

Mexican Trailrunner -- You should see me on the electric scooters at Safeway and Costco. There is a post in there somewhere.

ANM -- 20 years has given you enough time to peer through the window in my soul.

Carol -- Thanks for the information. I will see a spoecialist soon to get the good news.

Laurie -- I don't think so. See below.

Anonymous -- My dictionary says "small grocery store," but I have never heard it used that way.