From Our Editor:
Have we got a great issue for you this time! Our special guest is no stranger to CreakyJoints, as she is a featured blogger. Sandi Davis is a wonderful writer, as I really got to connect with her, when we were in an online writing course offered by CreakyJoints, taught by author Lynn Lauber, “Writing Your Life: Writing to Heal.”
I asked Sandi, if should would share one her wonderful stories and she graciously agreed.
The writing course was also a great opportunity to connect with so many people on different levels, not just writing about our illnesses, but really deep stuff that we have all endured, during our lifetime.
I would highly recommend it, as it is ten weeks, that will literally change your life.
This issue is going to be different from anything, we have ever done, but I hope you really enjoy it.
Again, if this is something you think you could really see yourself doing, and you live with a chronic illness, please feel free to contact me at:[email protected]
Here now is our issue, like no other. We hope it inspires you!
CJ Poetry Editor
In this issue:
Sandi Davis , in her own words:
Like the end of the University of Oklahoma fight song “Boomer Sooner,” “I’m Sooner born and Sooner Sooner bred, And when I die, I’ll be Sooner dead.”
I was born in Oklahoma City and it’s where I live now with my husband Kevin, dog Woody and cats Kneadle, Bobbin and Bogey. I freelance for The Oklahoman and other outlets and I have the best time writing my blog for CreakyJoints, “Sandi’s Ow!” (Originally I just wanted to
call the blog “Ow!”)
I was a sophomore at OU when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which at the time included an explanation to me that I really was sick, I was not crazy nor a hypochondriac. Years later, when it had a proper name, I learned I had Fibromyalgia. The rheumatologist told me I had probably developed RA when I went through puberty. As time passed, I was also diagnosed with Lupus, Reynaud’s Syndrome, and Chronic Fatigue.
I didn’t let that diagnosis slow me down (much). I have worked at newspapers, coordinated events at a convention center (free concerts!), worked at two Convention and Visitors Bureaus and opened a lake. I had a three decade career before my health won out and I had to stop working full time.
You can follow my adventures by reading my blog on the CreakyJoints website: Sandi’s Ow
by Sandi Davis
The red radio with a crack on its top was usually plugged into an electrical socket on a counter in the kitchen. I can see my mother standing in that tiny kitchen doing things that mothers did back then — washing and drying dishes, fixing breakfast, lunch and dinner — and always in the background was the radio, tuned to WKY, our Top 40 station.
Every morning I’d get up and go into the kitchen for breakfast, cereal with milk on schooldays and in the summer, maybe eggs and bacon and pancakes with butter and syrup on weekends when daddy was home.
That radio was my connection to music. I remember hearing The Everly Brothers’ “Wake Up Little Susie” when I awakened from a nap when I was very small.
When The Beatles hit, anytime I could, I snatched that radio from its place on the cabinet and carried it to my room to listen to the Beatle Blasts — 15 or 30 minutes of nothing but music by John, Paul, George and Ringo. I was only 8, but I loved Ringo with all my heart.
My family — mom, daddy, my two brothers (then, one came later) and I –were in a tornado when I was 5 and after that I was so afraid when the big storms came through that my mom would bring the radio into my room on stormy nights so I could hear the music and the weather reports. I remember hearing “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys and knowing even then that that song was something special.
I remember breakfasts with my brothers. We’d sit at the kitchen table and I remember making my brother JD crack up with my sing-along of The Beatles’ “P.S. I Love You.” It was the first of many times my brother JD and I would do that. When I was in the second grade, it seems the station played “Puff the Magic Dragon” every day at the same time. I loved the fantasy of that song and would not leave for school until I’d heard it. When I was in the 6th grade I would be sent to entertain younger classes when I’d finished all my work and I remember singing that song to them and drawing a dragon on the chalk board of the classroom.
I grew up with that radio. I knew the names of the all the DJs and what times their shows were on. When I was 10 I got brave and called the radio station for a contest. I won! I got a $10 gift certificate, which I spent on my first beach towel, which I used for a decade to lie on the hot concrete by the public swimming pools in landlocked Oklahoma.
We moved when I was 13 to a bigger house and with that move, that radio moved permanently into my room where it stayed and played rock music to my avid ears. I started playing the flute by then and learned the flute solo from the Association’s “Windy.” I was so proud.
The Christmas I was 14 my parents bought my older brothers and me clock radios and the red radio was replaced, and forgotten until now.
Stephanie Wood is an amateur photographer, who does not let her chronic illness get in the way of her creativity. Here, she shares another wonderful photo, with her new camera that she purchased recently.
If you would like to check out more of Stephanie’s photography: Stephanie on Flickr
Stephanie, or Stevi as she prefers to be called, describes the backstory behind this photo: Last week when I was at the lake (one of the many in the Whiteshell Provincial Park) I watched a pair of geese come by and eat – they would come by daily. I was a little concerned when the didn’t come by on Sunday. Then on Monday they appeared with 5 little goslings. Here is one of the cute little puff balls! I’m assuming they hatched either Saturday or Sunday.
We are back with another installment of Trevor’s Barks of Gold. Here, Trevor is encouraging all of us to be proactive, when it comes to fighting RA.