FROM THE HIP: Slow recovery and some healing help from 'the fountain of youth'

- I've been asked by my managers to share some thoughts and some stories you may not have heard in a daily column as I continue recuperating from a broken hip about a month ago. (Get it? "From the Hip"!)

I've been laid up for over a month now recovering from a broken hip and the effects of cabin fever can do a number on you, but only if you let them. My approach has always been, it could always be worse. Trust me.  After covering the news as long as I have and delivering stories about people who have been dealt a bad hand or extremely difficult personal challenge, this hip thing is nothing in comparison.

People have asked me, "What are the toughest stories you have covered?" The answer for me is a "no-brainer" - anything that has to do with kids being caught in the cross hairs of a terrible twist of fate. Those who have had their innocence interrupted by things they fall victim to. So again, this hip thing is nothing compared to that.

Yesterday, my recovery was boosted by a couple of young boys who met us for lunch: my grandsons Rog (three, but he'll tell you he's almost four) and Tucker (one going on two). My daughter and her husband blessed us with these two little guys and, like anybody in our position, we couldn't be prouder. To them, we're known as "Pops" and "Mimi." (Go ahead, tease us about fearing the Grandma-Grandpa thing!) And every time we're with them there is nothing but joy that creates memories. Rog is already a Wild fan. He'll tell you his favorite player is "Nino Need-a-why-doe!" Their dad, an avid golfer, has helped them get to know that game as well on TV.  Ask and the kids will tell you their favorite players their are "Jordan Speef" and "Wicky Fow-er!" The energy and entertainment abounds with every visit and it's contagious. 

More recently, my wife's daughter welcomed another grandchild. Little Aiden is about 3 weeks old. A big, beautiful baby boy. So, here we go again. We can't wait to watch this little guy grow and give us even more memories!

For a relatively active guy, like myself, recovery has been at times frustrating, monotonous and, quite frankly, boring. These columns have given me an intellectual (I hope) outlet and a chance to share a few stories and my insights. 

I also want to share a bit of advice. If you're feeling a little down and out (especially after a frustrating Gopher basketball loss) just look at our youngest and most innocent. Their unabashed joy for life hasn't been tainted by opinion or events or otherwise. They're just living and learning and it's a thing of beauty. Like Tucker deciding "Pops" needed help out to the car with his cane! Maybe we could all use a little taste of "the fountain of youth?"

And in comparison to their awe-inspiring adorable ways, like I said, this hip thing is nothing!


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