A short update on the stair walking - 17 out of 19 days, and off to climb when I've finished typing. A day of fatigue after the show on Sept. 28 and one day of 103 degree temperature caused me to allow myself a little slack. I cannot say if it was my best idea, but it was what I could manage and I am back.
What I have found - there is a precedent, so I shouldn't be surprised - as I wobble down and up the stairs, probably creating an alarming image of unsteadiness, which is not really true for while there is wobble there is also steadiness, is the number of neighbors who have asked if they could help me, did I need a hand. In each case I've said that this is practice I have to do but so appreciated their kindness, the fact that they asked. On that first day, one neighbor was just waiting at the top of the steps and helped me manage that last increment.
Nearly two years ago my son was acutely ill and his recovery took months, during which time our building manager and many of our neighbors helped carry packages up the stairs (it was Christmas), helped me bring groceries from the car - my mobility was greater in those days - and took trash to the bin. Our apartment is built around a courtyard and kindness poured from both floors, every door. Younger tenants simply came and took the grocery bags, and our manager told me just to leave anything that needed to be trown out on the balcony where he would see it as he made his evening rounds. I thanked each for every act of kindness and eventually posted a collective letter of appreciation by the mailboxes. I don't know what I would have done without them.
Today I received e-mail which spoke of our currently uncertain times and how we have strength we may have forgotten, the strength of being there for each other. I am grateful to live among people who notice, who pay attention, who act, who care. While none of them may ever read this, it gives me the opportunity to say thank you all over again and to re-examine the difference that can be made by a single hand extended in kindness and support.