“Showing Up,” March 27, 2018

You know that old saying, “You are what you eat”? Maybe we’re also what we watch.

I grew up watching “I Love Lucy.” I loved Lucy, but could not fathom how any grown woman could make so many harebrained decisions. Then I grew up. And some days, just like Lucy, I’ve got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

Last week, my husband had hip replacement surgery. What that means is, they cut him open, took out his hip and put in a new one. I don’t even like to think about that. But lately I’ve found it hard to think about much of anything else.

His surgery happened to coincide with our decision to sell our home in Las Vegas, so we can move back to California, to be closer to our family. If that’s not a Lucy decision (having hip surgery while selling a house, not the part about being closer to family) I don’t know what is.

We won’t actually list the house until my husband is off his walker. He’ll need that contraption (it’s like a grocery cart without a cart) for at least a few weeks. Or months.

In the meantime, I’ll start clearing out and cleaning up this place to show it to strangers who we hope will buy it and not make fun of us on Facebook. Our realtor suggested that, before we show the house, we need to pack up personal effects such as medications and my husband’s musical instruments and several thousand framed photos of our grandkids. The photos alone will need their own moving truck.

Between meeting with the realtor and my husband having surgery, I broke a crown while flossing my teeth. (Yes, a totally Lucy move.) To repair it, I needed a dental implant.

But, as my kids like to say, “It’s all good.” The house, the tooth, the hip, they’re all doable and fixable.

Thank you, Lord.

I just need to show up. Step by step. Day by day. Showing up is often the best we can do. Lucy made some dumb moves, but sooner or later, she showed up.

We agreed to list the house next month. I got started on my implant. And my husband’s surgery went beautifully. I left him and his new hip in good hands at the hospital, promised to be back early the next day to take him home, then I left to get some sleep.

I tossed until 3 a.m. and woke at 7 when the phone rang. A telemarketer. Half an hour and two cups of coffee later, I was dressed, had done my makeup, defrizzed my hair and was ready to fetch my husband from the hospital.

But first, for some Lucy reason, I decided to refill the fountain in our front yard. I turned the hose on full blast, dropped it in the basin, then bent down to pull a few weeds.

Imagine my surprise when suddenly without warning, the hose went ballistic, reared up from the fountain like a cobra and fired a torrent of cold water at my unsuspecting backside.

When I whipped around to grab it, it shot me in the face, soaking my makeup, my hair and every stitch of my clothing, including my best shoes.

I wish you could’ve seen me.

Sometimes my brain takes a mini-vacation to some tropical island where it promptly falls asleep on a beach. An imaginary beach with no mosquitoes. Or jet skis. Or Komodo dragons. Or anything bad at all.

While my brain high-tailed it to that island, I shut off the hose and stood in a puddle, staring up to Heaven and dripping like a flea-dipped cat.

Pretty soon I began to laugh. Long and hard and loud. Then I went inside to call my husband.

“I’m running a bit late,” I said.

“No hurry,” he said. “I can’t go home until tomorrow.”

So I changed my clothes, dried my hair and re-did my makeup.

And, finally, I showed up.

Sometimes, showing up is the best that we can do.

Lucy would be proud.


  1. Barbara Stafford says

    I can definitely relate to the “do one more thing” aspect of your water experience! Your writing is just like sitting with you in the room over a coffee cup, and laughing at ourselves! I lost my husband to prostate cancer 16 months ago, although there were many other conditions that wore him down. Caring for someone who has been ill in some ways gives one time to “prepare” for the death, but it also leaves a big hole in regard to “what do I do with myself now?” I stay busy with volunteer work and babysitting a granddaughter, but the one thing that I have become very conscious is I am talking to myself a lot of the time! I talk under my breathe as I shop, and as I go about my chores! I have decided that the next time this happens that I’m just going to put the words to song! Maybe singing to myself will be be viewed in a less negative light! I always enjoy your column!

  2. Sharon, Read your column in the Redding Record Searchlight each Sunday – Love it ! This week you made me laugh out-loud. Bless You ! You see I needed that laugh – I have learned a thing or two about hip surgeries. I fell at the end of January and shattered my right hip in 7 pieces. After surgery I went to live in a rehab facility for the entire month of February. I came home in a wheelchair as I was non-weight baring – only toe touching with the right. After 2 weeks at home I have been able to advance to a walker. My recovery is proving to be challenging. I send my best to your hubby and hope his recovery goes well. Keep me laughing – I need more laughter right now.

  3. Linda V. says

    I love this column. Let me say I enjoy all of your columns, but this one struck me more hilarious and real. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life moments and wisdom, always the wisdom. Happy Easter!

  4. Sally Brown says

    I just love you to pieces…wish we lived closer…we’d be soul sisters. Every week, I say I’m going to write you, but I don’t. Last week, I just knew I would. Sometimes it’s as though you see right into my heart and then , put my feelings into words. But this week, I am dying laughing…I, too, love/ loved Lucy….and have more than my share of Lucy moments.
    Thinking of your hubby as he recovers…Blessings to you during your move. You make Saturday my favorite day of the week!

  5. Sharon Starns says

    Thank you for this…I really needed it right now! I’m sitting in my bedroom with the door closed to shut out the sound of three big machines in my kitchen…an air scrubber, a dehumidifier and a heater, to dry out the sub-floor and remove any traces of mold and/or asbestos. The cabinets are gone, the flooring is gone, the stove and sink and dishwasher are in the garage, and the refrigerator is residing in the dining room for the duration. All because of a leaking dishwasher hose that wasn’t discovered until way too late. But, it’s all good. All doable and fixable. All I have to do is show up. And sign the checks!

  6. Miriam Deluca says

    I had a hip replacement several years ago and it’s an easy recovery. Your husband will be up and moving very shortly. Just do lots of pt

  7. Sarah Christopher says

    Sharon, I can assure you that hip replacement is THE LEAST difficult to get over. Between my husband and me we had a hip, 4 knees, a shoulder and an ankle. Shoulders are the hardest. Mark will do fine, trust me! Now……about YOU…….
    Sending love and prayers.

  8. Painting the picture with words! Yes, you do that so perfectly!
    I love the “it’s all good” ! Doable and fixable….certainly puts everything into perspective.

    May you have a Blessed Easter…walker, filled fountain, redone makeup and all!

  9. Elaine Mccaffery says

    I loved this! Not that you’ve had so many problems, but you take it all in stride and I see myself in so many of your stories. I had to laugh. (Sorry). But I too love Lucy. So much so I have a few Lucy Barbies. They make me smile. Anyway, whenever I do something dumb; I always say to my boyfriend it was an accident, sorry ,I didn’t do it on purpose . And he says , I’m not sure how you ever got along so far in life. I’m 61, I say , I manage. Thanks for always making me smile. Hope your tooth is ok and your husband on the mend.

  10. I was laughing so hard! I’ll share this with my dear friend, Debbie, who also keeps showing up.

  11. Kate Sciacca says

    “Imagine my surprise when suddenly without warning, the hose went ballistic, reared up from the fountain like a cobra and fired a torrent of cold water at my unsuspecting backside.
    When I whipped around to grab it, it shot me in the face, soaking my makeup, my hair and every stitch of my clothing, including my best shoes.
    I wish you could’ve seen me.”

    Well madam, we DID see you! You painted a perfect picture with your words ?

    Doesn’t sound like it can get much worse…. oops…. probably shouldn’t have said that!

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