"Hope and Promise" Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, March 23, 2015

“Hope and Promise” Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, March 23, 2015


the day breaks into song unfolding before us

the moments shared are beyond measure


the ice leaves the shore

the water flows, refreshing our view


the tiny bulbs in the ground

bring daffodils into Spring


the crayon drawing of your purple hair and golden teeth

speak of love unspoken


rainbow colored in your pocket

laced with hope, flowered with petals of compassion



Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (I claim to be Irish every year –LOL)

For all of my readers and blogging friends~


“May God give you…

    For every storm, a rainbow…

    for every tear, a smile…

    for every care, a promise…

    and an answer for each prayer.”

–An Irish Prayer

Youthful Enthusiasm

Each Spring, the inevitable “lake” forms  in the center of my driveway, as time has passed, wear and tear have caused the foundation to sink into the ground.  I do not have the means to repair the driveway, and each year I wonder  if I will be able to take the car out of the garage and navigate across the lake without submerging my vehicle.

This year my concerns regarding the lake shifted to my grandchildren, who have to leave the school bus on the road opposite my driveway, and somehow, circumnavigate the lake, with only a muddy lawn as an alternate route.

Pondering this dilemma, I remarked to Ayden, my “almost 8”  year old grandson, “Ayden, what are you going to do when you get off the bus tomorrow and see that huge lake in our driveway!?”  For me, it was more an expression of exasperation than a question.

He replied enthusiastically, “Look out puddle, here I come!”              IMAG5112 (1)

Part Three: Dislocated Toe and Adulthood 2


Photo Credit;  Jane H. Johann,  Dec. 2014 "Moving On"

Photo Credit; Jane H. Johann, Dec. 2014 “Moving On”


OR…The Saga of the Metatarsal and HOPE and PROMISE…

My second metatarsal has just been diagnosed by three different professionals, who each have their own opinion that differs from the other two.  Alas, my toe is in limbo!

The third diagnosis is from an Orthopedic Surgeon and he said something to the effect that the toe is NOT dislocated and that perhaps I damaged some sort of cap on the toe joint, and he could do surgery and go in and clean it up or I could try orthotics. He suggested I purchase a customized orthotic, unlike the manufactured one that I purchased at the suggestion of the Podiatrist.

As a result of three different consultations, I am choosing the customized orthotic and hobbling on through life. I have had several surgeries on both my right and left hands, and I am not readily choosing to have my foot as damaged as they now are.

I think underlying the entire toe issue, is my inability to have a VOICE in life to the extent that I did previous to my “retirement”–I dislike the word, “retirement” immensely. I cannot seem to dig myself out of my present circumstances. When I do venture out into the world, I am very sensitive to the reactions of those around me and those who respond to me or to those who choose not to respond to me. I read what is happening in the world–the disregard for human life, the destruction of civilizations, the killing of cultures, the disregard for compassion–I am so incredibly saddened and dismayed.  I am trying with all of my might to hold on to hope and promise!

Human beings matter! Children matter! Each person matters! and I feel so helpless.

I argue with myself about what to post on my blog—should I expose more of the struggles we all seem to be facing these days? Or, should I post happy things and poems of hope and promise. On the one hand, I feel people need to be aware of what is happening and hope that my words may cause a small ripple of change; on the other hand, I am sure everyone is aware of all the horror we experience in our lives these days.  So then I think, I should offer some  lightness and hope…and another day of promise!  Thus, when I write happy, funny poems or things distant from reality, it is because I want to put my mind and the minds of others into an arena of hope and promise.  That is all I can offer at this point and I am sorry to all of my readers for failing to see this earlier as what I need to do on this blog. That being said, forgive me if I fall back and lament every once in awhile!


Part Two: Dislocated Toe and Adulthood Two!

Continuation…from Part One: Dislocated Toe and Adulthood Two

Sitting in the comfort of my living room, the steam began to build within. Then I thought to myself, “Why did I go to that Foot Doctor in the first place? Oh yes, my physician referred him to me, after I told her about my toe.”

Thus, I sent a letter off to her and explained that I was not yet dead and very perturbed that the Podiatrist did nothing more for me than I already had done and WHY wasn’t the dislocated toe addressed and WHY did she send me to a podiatrist and not an orthopedic surgeon for footcare?  In addition to that, I expressed my utter dismay that just because I had gray hair and was 65, there were no healthier expectations for me!

I was so annoyed with the health system and more so, with myself, that once again I did not stand up for myself! I had to take my concerns on paper to someone and now I was waiting for the reply.

Within five minutes, I had a referral to a orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow, I will have my appointment.

Meanwhile, my dear friend had her hip replaced a week ago. The surgery has been very successful so far. The incision was made on the anterior side, with the hope of a more successful outcome, not having to cut muscle tissue. The ball and stem replacement is made of an improved material, in which the bone actually grows to the metal implant. Whereas my 69 year old friend is not engaging in doing the splits, she was walking within three hours post surgery!

However, (you did know that was coming?!)–we did have to go to physical therapy. Again the GREY HAIRED STIGMA arose!

We entered the room, and a six foot tall, middle-aged man greeted her.  He was impressed with her walking already so well . Then he said, “Well, I do not imagine you are planning on traveling, or hiking.”

To which my friend responded, “Well, I have hiked in the past.”

He brushed past that statement and went on to emphasize again, “Then you do not plan on hiking now or any time soon. And obviously, no big travel plans.”

My interior adrenalin was rising!

At this point I interjected, “Well, yes, we plan to walk Europe!” (Though I have no idea where I would get the funds to do it, I felt it appropriate!)

Having said that, my antennae were on high alert!  How dare he presume anything about her goals?

The thought that occurred to me was that because she had gray hairs, he presumed he did not have much work to do with her.

Finally, my friend said, “Well, I want to be able to walk for exercise. I love walking!”

At this point, the physical therapist became more engaged in her goals and began outlining activities and exercises to do and the remainder of the visit went well.

Nevertheless, it left me with the impression that because we are 65 and older, have gray hairs, all of a sudden, the bare minimum is offered to us, the bare minimum is expected of us, and the bare necessities of life will be shared with us!  If we accept this, we will evaporate with the air!  I realized in this experience, and in my podiatrist experience, that we do need to advocate for ourselves and for one another. If we don’t, we will be left in the dust.

I recall what my eldest daughter said upon my retirement three years ago, “Mom, maybe we should look into an apartment for you, maybe assisted living?”


I am not unproductive or useless because I am now 65 and retired.  In fact, I no longer say I am retired. I say I am a writer. Anything to avoid the WORD “retired!”

I am sure most of you are familiar with Clanmother, Rebecca Budd, the wonderful writer and photographer from Vancourver, British Colombia, Canada. (Her daily magnificent photographs and wonderful quotes are so inspiring! (  She suggested that I read, Composing a Further Life by Catherine Bateson. I readily admit I did borrow the term “Adulthood Two” from her book. It is an interesting read and I am a fourth of the way through it. As my Second Adulthood continues, I will share my experiences. If you read the book, let me know what your thoughts are!

And, if there are good results tomorrow with my Orthopedic Surgeon, I will let you know!



Part ONE: Dislocated Toe and Adulthood Two!

This is just me, rambling on about my sensitivity to recent happenings in my life and the life of my friend.  You are forewarned, this is going to be a three part expose. For various reasons, I have found myself in a state of suspended animation regarding my life. I no longer am a teacher–after being an educator for 36 years. Yes, I love children and I miss the exchange I had with the middle school students during my last seven years as their Language Arts instructor. Now I am caring for my two grandchildren–which is giving me great joy.  In between times when they are off with one parent or the other, I attempt to write my thoughts and meanderings.

Last August, while the children were in the backyard, playing on the swing set, I was on a mission to curtail the invasion of the lilac roots, that seem as gargantuan and worrisome, albeit beautiful in the Spring, as the baobab trees on the planet of the Little Prince! I labored arduously on the roots—and with such intensity with the shovel that I managed to dislocate the second toe on my right foot!

However, having been born into the stubborn heritage that I was, post two months of icing and home care, with unsatisfactory results, I traveled to the doctor in October. An x-ray was taken. The physician on call said it was NOT broken –just bruised–and suggested ICING! Of course, feeling vindicated, I left the health service.

However, several months passed, and I was still limping along, although not quite as bad as Chester in the 1950’s Matt Dillon cowboy show. Finally, I had another x-ray in February. The Foot Doc told me unequivocally, “It is quite obvious your second toe is dislocated.”

Yikes! Then the worry set in. I have many steps to walk before I am finished on Mother Earth!

He suggested I return home and ice it for two weeks and then return to see him.  I thought to myself, “I have iced it for over five months already!” Regardless, my better sense was buried, the inborn elevation of the status of doctor in my brain kicked in,  and I did what he said.  Of course, now knowing it was dislocated, only added to my limp!

I returned to the Doctor two weeks later, and he said to me, “Well, your BIG toe has arthritis. You should wear orthotics.”

I thought to myself, “What about my dislocated toe?”

The doctor continued on, speaking about WHY the foot inserts in their office were superior to Wally World’s (my name for Wal-mart, and a sign of my great displeasure at having to shop there occasionally, when I have to decide whether to drive 50 miles more, consume more gas from our already beleaguered Mother Earth, to find what I want at another store or cater to the greedy establishment that underpays its workers!)—(pardon the digression).

Meanwhile, I am thinking to myself, “What ABOUT my toe?”

Very soon the disruption that I was feeling inside of my body, exploded out of my mouth in a torrent of words: “What about my dislocated toe? I may be 65 but I am NOT dead! I intend to run the Boston Marathon next year. I have two grandchildren I am running after 24 x 7! The last time I visited you, you said my second toe was dislocated.”

His response, “Well, many of the folks who come in here are sedentary and I didn’t know if you planned to lead a sedentary life.You know, sit back and read.”

Then my boiling temper went off, “No, I don’t know! (In response to his, “You know…”) I may be 65 but I am NOT dead! I intend to live to 121! and I am a very active person and not about to roll over and die!” To say, I was peeved, is to put it mildly.

Then he interjected, “Well, I can give you an injection that will reduce the swelling.”

I am thinking in my head, “MY toe is DISLOCATED! So what will an injection do to move the second metatarsal back to its proper location?”

Again, I was sidetracked. I succumbed to the injection, which was as painful as hell, and then I bought the orthotics, and left his office dismayed with my dislocated toe!

Part II –continuation of the sorry toe saga…and my irritation at society’s response that gray hair equals DEATH!