Funny how you can be diligent with your daily back health exercises and stretches when you are traveling, but get too busy at the desk to do them when you get back home. Then suddenly the pain shows up. I do know what to do:
1. Get to bed earlier so rest can heal.
2. Walk every day, no matter what
3. Weight lifting and other core strengthening exercises are a must
4. Get back to the sugar and gluten-free diet
New York was a blast with Ellie. Here are some pictures.
Ellie and I hung out in Times Square’s hustle and bustle visiting the Disney store, Toy R Us where we rode the ferris wheel, the M&M store with irresistible branded items from coffee mugs to bed linens (she bought an M&M covered basket ball!). We sat on the bleachers and watched the flashing lights from every building and all the people speaking every language on Earth. She got herself on the big screen for a few seconds. Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is a history/pop culture lesson. For her, American giants from George Washington and Lincoln to the Obama’s came alive. For me, she introduced me to the TV stars, singers and comedians who perform today (and I never watch).
We went to see Annie on Broadway, her first such production. Fabulous.
A friend of mine who volunteers as a Big Apple Greeter toured us around China town, but the real thrill for this girl who has been exposed to Mandarin in her elementary school since she was in kindergarten, was recognizing the spoken language as we waited in line for the New York Harbor tour. In her extreme shyness, she managed to say a phrase in Mandarin to the young woman who just graduated from a US university and her parents who came from Shanghai to witness this big event. They were thrilled and I think she was, too.
Central Park and the Museum of Natural History were walking distance away from my friend’s Riverside Drive apartment and the weather was wonderful for strolling. Probably the most exciting thing Ellie did was make a Muppet at FAO Schwartz.
Our host, Mary Ann, has two lovely cats which Ellie befriended. One afternoon several writing friends came to “write with Ellie” whose teacher often had the 5th grade students write on topic, never lifting the pen until the time is up.
A highlight for me was our trip with Mary Ann and her friend Jan to Brooklyn for brunch in a funky restaurant that had been completely under water during the hurricane and served the best breakfast we’d ever eaten out. We also visited the Brooklyn Art Museum where we spent time with the extraordinary women depicted in Judy Chicago’s famous Dinner Party. On our last day there we went out to Saint John the Devine. Blue-gowned graduates of Columbia Teachers’ College were just leaving the Cathedral and their ceremony. Proud parents and grand parents took pictures as we sat on the steps. Later when I asked Ellie if she would ever come back to New York, she said maybe she’d go there to college.
Ellie is the next to the last child to take on a trip. Charles Grant Finney is 10 so it will be a couple of years. Perhaps her older sister will decide she’d like to take a trip with Grandma, but so far it hasn’t seemed like a good idea to her. What a glorious series of adventures it has been. Sixteen children altogether; 13 trips so far. I am one lucky grandma. For more pictures, click here.
My hope for you is that you, too, will be able to keep moving into your 70s. Don’t let your busy-ness distract you from those exercises that keep your core strong so your back and joints don’t have to do all the work. Our bones and joints get tired and worn out, but the capacity of our muscles depends on our diligence. We keep them supple and strong or let them get flabby.
Take a moment to leave a comment about travel and managing your arthritis when you are on the move. Or about anything else you care to share.
Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving
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