The pause button. We have all had moments in which we "push pause." It might be because something more important than what we were listening to or watching has entered into the room or our lives. It can be an opportunity to rewind and reflect on the images or sounds we have just experienced. We are now "pushing pause" on our travels for both of those reasons.
Sally had been worried for the last several months that her rheumatoid arthritis was worsening. First came the pain in her left shoulder and wrist joints that she described in a previous posting "Carpe Diem." Then came the weakness, as each day she could do less with that arm and hand. We know that the RA is a degenerative, painful disease. It is a major reason we have chosen to travel now while we can still travel the harder days in public buses, cramped boats, and simple sleeping arrangements. But we were hoping for at least two years.
We are ecstatic to be pushing pause now because Sally has learned that, rather than the degenerative RA weakening her joints in her left arm, years of hard physical labor and a few falls have caused a couple of repairable issues. Few people hug their orthopaedic surgeon when told the tough news that they are facing a couple of surgeries. Sally gratefully gave Dr. Chamberland one! When one has a life long chronic disease good news comes in strange forms.
We are happy to be spending six months in the states as Sally undergoes the surgeries and the physical therapy she will need to prepare us for Nepal in March. We are also completely humbled at the response of our community and family in Gunnison and elsewhere. People have offered us rooms, houses, cars, trucks, bikes, clothing and places to watch the Broncos. When we left the Gunnison Basin fifteen months ago, we knew we would return to visit, but we were uncertain if it would ever be "home" again. As we crossed the Colorado border and were swept up in the hugs and warmth of our community, we knew that we were travelers who had returned home. We now look forward to exploring our community in the way we have tried to explore the world; learning with humility, and, where possible, giving with grace.
Images are of Sally massaging her shoulder and a hike in the Gunnison Basin. Posted from Gunnison, Colorado