I suppose updates are in order. Much has happened since last month and I know the interest in my world is sky-high, so I won’t keep you wondering.

How is my hand? After a slow and unpleasant restart, my left hand and thumb are useful again. I don’t recommend a trapeziectomy unless you are a committed single-interest person who absolutely requires the full and pain-free use of both hands, like a competitive knitter or a brain surgeon.

I didn’t think removing a little, albeit troublesome, bone from a hand-wrist assembly would be a big deal and it isn’t. For the surgeon. A half-hour after surgery he was already on his way back to his remote, romantic paradise tucked away in secluded Skowhegan, where their claim to fame is that the murder rate is way lower than that of Lewiston. The hand disagrees and thinks the surgery was, in fact, a big deal.

I was instructed to do diddly squat for two weeks, come back for a cast and continue doing diddly squat for four more weeks. Conveniently, the cast was removeable for bathing. Though not an approved activity, it was also helpful for trying out my new hand assembly on a guitar. I discovered that with the help of modern chemical potions, I was able to use it four weeks post-surgery thanks to the removeable cast.

At six weeks, the cast was sent to the recycling center and now, at eight weeks, for playing purposes, my hand is nearly good as new, although with an odd shape that should be great for freaking out the grandkids. There remains an occasional, very painful hissy fit in the area of the missing bone, but I notice improvement every day.

On my six-week post-op checkup, the doctor, seeing the calluses on the fingers of my left hand from playing my instruments, mumbled something under his masked breath about how musicians never follow directions. We agreed that there was no need for physical therapy and I was not likely to go if it were scheduled anyway. Case closed.

About my broken recliner, this, too, is fixed. The old, broken recliner, the cat’s favorite perch, has been shipped to the basement to serve as my emergency nap station during times of lively business activities upstairs. The new chair is of sturdy build and firmly holds whatever position the user chooses with the gear shifter on the right side.

The cat is unimpressed with the replacement as it is not covered in a warm, plush fabric providing familiar scents and feline-friendly traction assistance as did the other. Rather, the new recliner is clad in what appears to be tactical brontosaurus hide with a smell that evokes warm memories of my grandfathers’ dens, both of which were rich with the scents of leather and gun oil.  Neither gentleman tolerated cats. The one in our house has located more friendly nesting in my wife’s lap. I’m happy, she is happy, and the poker-faced cat, with practiced indifference, is apathetic as usual.

Elsewhere around town, spring is in the air in the form of pollen. The Kleenex people are making a fortune on me. Mud season was mostly a nonevent for us this year, so the potholes in the dirt roads are nice and break-an-axle deep. I think I prefer mud to dust. Mud stays where you splatter it, while dust goes everywhere. I prefer both to pavement, especially during the season of our guests from away when there is less pavement available to motorists.

After years of doctors and acupuncturists nagging me to see a massage therapist for whatever it is they do, I did. I experienced my first full-body pummeling. I have gotten through barroom fights with less pain. I now can say I know what it feels like to have a stranger half my size and half my age beat the crap out of me for an hour while I lie naked on a table covered only in my self-consciousness, bits of sheet and prayers that I not die in that condition.

I didn’t die, of course, and was required to actually pay for the assault. I was going to sue for the abuse and may still, but money is tight and right now I’m saving up for another massage appointment.

Have a safe and blessed spring.

Butch Lawson is an observer of life. He lives on Bailey Island.