Baby boomers know about knees. Especially bad ones. Which is why, when Lucy Iscaro’s husband in White Plains, New York, was staring down knee surgery, the couple was prepared.
Just a few days ago, before a supermarket trip, I grabbed one of our eco-friendly bags from the bottom of a pile in the garage and yelped in surprise. Inside were two lovely bottles of wine.
I knew immediately how long they had been hidden there. Seven months, first stashed away a year into the pandemic. I was just healed at the time from a senior rite of passage, cataract surgery. My husband Jim was about to go through another rite, knee replacement.
The thought of him enduring that long surgery during the COVID era, and his subsequent painful recovery, had me in a state of anxiety. Medical procedures, never pleasant experiences, had become thorny with no-visitor policies and the underlying risk of viral contagion. Only semi-jokingly, I said that if I was going to be his designated nurse, we needed to buy a bottle of a good restorative wine.
Jim suggested that a case was the better buy.
“One bottle’s good, twelve are even better.” I heartily agreed.
As we drove home with our vineyard medicine it dawned on us too late that one of the reasons he needed the knee surgery was that climbing the steep stairs from the garage to the house was painful. Lugging up a case of wine wasn’t going to happen, and because I can barely lift a sack of dog food, I was no help.
So when we got home with the wine, Jim carefully limped in with only two bottles and left the rest at the bottom of the basement steps. “I’ll get them later,” he said.
But the next day was surgery day, and I reluctantly left my husband at the hospital and waited anxiously alone at home. Then in the evening I gratefully reclaimed him, bandaged, medicated, but relieved. The aide who had wheeled him out helped me fold him into the car and stowed a walker and cane next to the wine, which was still chilling in the trunk. The bottles clinked merrily as if they were toasting the returning patient.
By the time Jim could walk and drive himself, I had toted in all the bottles one at a time, cradling each carefully in my arm. All, it turned out, except two. These were the ones Jim had set down in their bag— the bag that got buried at the bottom of the pile— until his knee felt better.
“Come see what I found,” I called.
We happily indulged in a midday tipple to toast the wonders of buried treasure, good wine, and bionic knees.