For most people, GREEN is the color of spring. But if you're from Philly, you know it means late fall.
Mark and I kick off Mile 2270 at the Eagles game. The crowd is a sea of green and hundreds of fans thick.
As we near the security checkpoint, I whisper to Mark, "Do you think I should tell them about Genie?"
He shakes his head. "If they ask, just pull up your pant leg."
Incredibly, they don't ask. Metal detector in hand, a woman traces the outline of my entire body -- arms, legs, and torso -- without a beep or a second look. "Go ahead," she waves us through.
I raise my eyebrows at Mark, who's stifling a laugh.
"Not such a great metal detector," I say once we're a safe distance away.
"Maybe they only turn it on for certain people," he jokes. "Keeps the line moving."
It's a green light start to the day. The weather's perfect, prosthetically speaking. Mid 50's. Too warm for volume loss; too cool for sweating.
|... and our other team too.|
(Check out the blue ads!)
We even run into my friend Tammy!
Who says it's not easy bein' green?
|Thanks to Jodie for the invite!!|
A few days later, I'm off to explore another Philly tradition: Winterfest at Penns Landing.
My friend Jasmine and I follow a trail of WHITE LIGHTS into the winter wonderland.
I pick my way carefully over the yellow straw, only once launching into a full-fledged stumble. Luckily Jasmine grabs me before I go down!
|It's surprisingly comfortable!|
We round out the evening with a cup of Mexican hot cocoa by the firepits. By the time we head home, we smell like a campfire and feel like one too.
Cozy and light, with the promise of more winter fun to come.
A week later, Mom and I see RED.
At Target, we gather Hanukkah goodies from boots to toys to housewares. Pushing a shopping cart makes it easier to walk. It's like using a walker with wheels!
But the highlight of our trip comes in the check-out line.
|Sure, why not?!|
"Sisters?" she asks.
It makes Mom's day. And mine too. Today it feels like it might just be true.
Holiday cheer not from Santa, but from a woman in a red shirt!
I'm trying to walk every day, but some days are brighter than others.
The red marks on my leg tell a different story than the holiday lights. Each morning I adjust my socket, trying to relieve the newest pressure points.
Despite the colors elsewhere, the hazy GRAY of winter hangs over my head. Cold wind. Icy sidewalks. Snowbanks along the curbs. I know it's coming. Fear. Loss of independence. Being unable able to walk when I want, where I want. (You knew there was a catch, right?)
Walking itself is a GIFT.
So I've been trying to make the most of it.
When my leg hurts, I distract myself. Stop at stores along the way. Snap photos of the decorations. Inhale the chilly air.
I even bribe myself. Nine blocks for a latté. Hey, whatever works!
I'm out for one of these walks when I see friends Donna and Mike coming toward me. They're like a poster for the holidays -- toting a bright red shopping bag from our city's newest department store.
Donna suggests strolling through the lights on Jeweler's Row.
"Oh, wait," she says. "Is your leg ok for that?"
Surprisingly, it is. "It's a lot better with friends around," I tell her.
|You got this, dude!|
One store window catches my eye. It has tiny figures building snowmen and exchanging gifts. My favorite little guy is pushing his car out of a snowdrift.
|I call it shopping season!|
On our way home, the sun fades below the buildings. The sky turns blue, then lavender, then violet.
The colors change before our eyes.