Naturally, one cannot play the ukulele with one hand. Or with a hand in a cast. Jim’s regular ukulele practice was a time of day we all looked forward to. The kitties knew they got to go outside and have “Hang Time” which is when we short-leash them and they lay down instead of exploring. HA! That is the premise anyway.
They are actually getting pretty good at learning commands. Carmella knows “Not Yet!” or “Not Now” when she is advocating to go outside. She used to get underfoot down at the bottom of the stairwell. Now when she hears that, she runs back up the steps. Tikita can be pretty much controlled with “It’s OK.” And Astrid gets leashed up but rarely comes out of the bus. She hates the leash and just watches from her chair.
The stairwell is dangerous enough already. We never really thought this but we have experienced enough people who have difficulty navigating steps period, never mind steep, curved bus steps with just a grab bar and a chair arm to stabilize a tenuous passage. We always remind people to watch their step. And we do too. Especially now. Ahem…
Anyway, the ukulele. Once Jim got the cast off August 27, he has worked on getting the swelling in his wrist and hand down so he could get some movement back. The Doc OKed finger picking but no strumming until the bones are healed in eight weeks after the surgery date. That will be October 11. While he was in no-ukulele mode, he took the baritone uke to Spencer’s Instrument Repair, right here in beautiful downtown Astoria. He’s been having trouble with a string that made a buzzing he couldn’t get rid of.
Since he was getting the cast off the next day, Spencer got ‘er done in one day and it sounds better than ever! Not only is it good to hear the notes wafting through the bus again, the sound is really much improved. And it was deep and rich and resonant before. He actually filed down the frets since the strings were wearing grooves into them that caused the buzzing. Amazing. And we found him right here in our new hometown!
The ukulele must be good physical therapy, along with his assigned exercises. He is already begun on rebuilding strength in his wrist and the therapist said he is doing really well. A model patient, he does his exercises and ices his wrist regularly.
He also got a bunch of music printed up and has been practicing lots of new songs. Oh, and he bought us both harmonicas.