Injury # 163

There’s a line in Hank Williams’s “Why Don’t You make Up Your mind,” where he says “The hide’s gettin’ scace” (pronounced “skayce”), meaning scarce. I don’t know why, but it’s stuck in my mind for years. In the song he’s moaning about difficulties with his girlfriend, but I’ve always thought of the phrase as having to do with the body getting hurt.

My latest was tearing some shoulder muscles last week. No, not again! My body feels so battered from a lifetime of activity. — sports, carpentry, adventures. Thank god I wasn’t the football star I wanted to be. Yet still — operations on both knees, right shoulder, right wrist (carpal tunnel) and the capper, a bad broken arm a year ago–all since turning 70.

OK so I’m whining here, but I’m on an up-note. After moping and gimping around for a week, dreading another operation, visiting the doc, dealing with pain, suddenly it turned a corner. Must have been the red wine in the evenings (plus big doses of Ibuprofen). But all of a sudden I could raise my arm halfway. Yeah! I’m gonna get better. Two things to convey here:

1. You always get better. Pretty much. So no matter how deeply depressed you are when injured, it’s gonna get better if you do the right stuff.

2. Don’t give up. Get right back out there on that bike, surfboard, trail, slope — maybe with more caution and care. Because you’re gonna lose it if you don’t use it.

I write this listening to Merle sing “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” in that rich resonant voice, the sun is shining after weeks of rain, the sky’s blue, I’ve had my first mota in a week, freshly-roasted coffee, and working on my upcoming tour for the new book and getting ready to take off tomorrow for Minneapolis/St Paul, thence Highway 61 to Grand Marais on Lake Superior. The glass is half-full today.

Well, Mack the Finger said to Louie the King

 “I got forty red-white-and-blue shoestrings

And a thousand telephones that don’t ring

Do you know where I can get rid of these things?” 

And Louie the King said, “Let me think for a minute, son”

Then he said, “Yes, I think it can be easily done

Just take everything down to Highway 61″

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Injury # 163

  1. oh Lloyd….so sorry to hear of your injury.

    Sounds like you are "mending".

    dare I suggest….sigh…please don't go and be stubborn and rush it too much. Give it time to heal.

    yrs back I had a terrible knee injury, and the physio guy treated it three times weekly with ultrasound and some other machines..Huge help.

  2. sorry to hear about the injury – but as usual i'm inspired by your adventuresome spirit. you are truly one of the raddest elders out there. see you in the ocean soon. respect!

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