The other day we road around the newly paved road that circles Mays Pond. It seemed for sometime that we were riding more then once a week. Life is so very HD for me at those moments. Crisp and bright as the change of season kicks into high gear. One of my huge crepe myrtles is changing from the thick dark green to reds and oranges leaves. I can't wait to see what color the bark will peal back to reveal.
And is anyone else getting tired of watching all the cancer commercials. I am sorry, I know that the more we talk about things the more money, research and progress you can make. But they are more numerous then feminine product commercials. Okay, I know that was small of me, and probably brought on by my situation and how uncomfortable and sad it makes my honey and other precious loved ones. I feel better pointing out that yes, you can turn the channel. But it is always hard for the care takers. There has to be away to get the information out to the masses with a little more consideration to those who are barely holding it together.
My right arm is much better. maybe. It is also possible that it isn't that much better but I am just growing accustomed to it. I have the jerks more prominent these days. I can tell when I have not taken the anti-anxiety drugs because it takes a lot of energy to control your body. It is an automatic reflex to tense up and try to keep the jerks down. I need to just let them go, and I am trying to learn to do it. It is best when I do not have a cup of tea or a glass of water in my hands when I am trying to just let go. Because it causes such a mess. But it also makes me laugh at times, so it is not all bad. There are much bigger issues to think about. Both arms are affected, but being right handed it is more noticeable. Hand writing something on paper is frustrating, uncomfortable more than painful and exhausting. The writing is legible, but that takes even longer to ensure that. Even just typing on the computer affects my arms. That is when it is most noticeable with my left arm. It is a basic fact that our bodies wear out. I have physically pushed my body, running and then jogging when I was young. I started walking as I got older, but now I do not do that as much as I would love. But the drugs, all of them, pain, anti-anxiety, chemo, more chemo, different chemo all making their individual mark on my body. The bottom line is my body is worn out and giving out. Some parts faster than others, but all systems have been compromised, and some are still taking hits with all the drugs I take now. And honestly I take very few drugs for someone in this situation. The pain drug I am on now, the lovely and wonderful Big D seems to be the least difficult on me. Although I am not pain free, I probably have less pain then the average person my age. And it is funny that the Big D does seem to have some impact on those pains, none of the previous pain meds they gave me seemed to work on those little everyday pains. I was told to take your normal over the counter drug along with whatever narcotic they had me on to deal with that. Wow! now if that doesn't say something about the pain we get not from disease, but just life. I am not sure what it is saying, but it seems to be interesting to me. But the Big D seems to be helping me the most and I am quite satisfied staying on this as long as it works.
I have been so busy and there has been so very many reasons to blog, but the dread of dealing with my hands. I had tried to write some posts, which is why this post is already so long. I have mentioned being kidnapped and abducted to St. George by my sister Vicki and her accomplice Nancy. They had driven down from Indiana to our favorite meeting spot, SGI, and had rented a two bedroom, two bath beach house, right on the beach. It was a stilt house and the huge glass window that faced south looked over the gulf and framed the view so that when you were indoors you could still feel the gentle pull of the gulf. Vick and Nanc would walk up and down the beach collecting shells for various projects. All kinds of shells, some for other teacher, some for their own collection. I walked to the beach and then would sit down and look for shells. I chose half a dozen small shells all in a vivid orange color. Just the walk through the gauntlet of sandspurs and twisting sand paths was enough to put my butt on the sand and look for shells. We ate seafood everyday. Grouper sandwiches, fat succulent oyster po boys, crab cakes and platters of all fried seafood of every type you can imagine here on the gulf coast. Every meal was accompanied by hush puppies, cheese grits, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes and even though we were always too full to eat it, Key Lime Pie lured us with its pale lemon lime color. We finally ordered a slice to go and it was consumed an hour after our meal with great enthusiasm. Bug found me and rescued and returned me home. That is how I explained it to Hospice when I returned all of their messages. They laughed and retold the story to others in that program. I smile and think about the last look my sister and I. I was in the car, she on the stairs. We looked deep into each others eyes and fought the screaming, "This is the last time you will ever see each other." That could be true, but it may no be true and each day I fight that little voice that insists that each event is the last. That is not necessarily true. It is good to keep that in mind so that you will remember to pay attention to each moment. But I need to be careful to not allow this to miss the moment. Life each moment like it is the best thing ever. That is a better way to look at it. Because as my sister and I looked at each other, my heart was breaking. But as soon as I got there the dolphins that were spotted each morning and evening as they made their rounds on their fishing grounds, starting playing. Splashing tails and great leaps of water and streamline animal shooting up and twisting and spinning landing with great joy back in the water, only to shoot up and out again. It was like watching a show at SeaWorld, but here the animals did it of their own accord at the moments they felt joy, or maybe it was sexual rituals and they were flirting and showing off. Right in front of our house was a favorite spot for this cavorting, and from the deck at the back of the house I could sit and watch. A golden eagle flew over the house one morning. Slow enough to be identified, Osprey whistled and swept up and down looking for the biggest tastiest fish. They would hold themselves high above the water, twisting their wings so that they hovered in the same place looking down, shadow cast out of the way of the fish. Then they would pull in their wings and shoot down and either pull back up as the fish scattered, or they would sink their talons into their prey and pull themselves up before completely submerging into the water. Young pelicans, duller in color then their grown counterparts who sport patterns of brown, black, white and yellow, flew every morning east into the rising sun. A perfect line of young ones learning the ways of their kind. Each lined up behind the one in front, the line floating up and down just inches above the water as it welcomed the pinks and oranges of the morning sky. Seagulls with their screams and clacking bills. Crabs as big as my fist and as small as a little finger sitting in their hole homes waiting for the cooler evening to scurry out to find their dinner and to remind each other who was bigger. Life of the beach. Life when my sister, and now our Nancy and myself find our souls soothed, our laughter more easy. I left, they still had a few days. They had graciously given up one bedroom for me and then Bug to stay with them. This part of my life, may be the best part that Vicki and I share. And each of us share memories and portions of our lives with so many others.
We did not see any hatching turtles this year. We have seen them two previous years. Even Owen was there for the first time. He got to touch them before we put them in the gulf so that they could start their lives. Owen was around one years old. He no more remembers touching the turtles than they remember him. But hopefully he remembers that we tell him the story of touching the turtles. Sometimes our memories are shared and it takes all of us together to remember those moments. Just like our ancestors together, it takes all of us to remember the day to day events and the special moments.
By the way, I just found out that Hospice refers to a death as an "event". I asked if I would someday be an event. My nurse assured me, yes, it would be an event. I like that, I do not think that I have ever thought of anything in my life that I referred to as an event.
Shortly after my adventure on SGI our dear precious friends Marty and Shelia came for a visit, arms over flowing with presents for both of us. They had been travelling for two weeks having driven to Niagara Falls, both sides, and then heading south to us. They looked a little travel worn, but made it all the more special to me that they would make sure to come and visit us, even though their travels really did not come anywhere close to our place. I continued eating seafood but now we had cheesecake. I had ordered a strawberry cheese cake from Tennessee Cheesecake Company. This is a small family business and I chose it over the big names because they were the only one to say they used fresh strawberries in their swirl. All the other companies simply said a strawberry swirl. I also found by calling the company that their prices were comparable with the others, but in this case the strawberry cheesecake was on special and was much less expensive than the others. I also ordered some turtle cheesecakes but they were out, so substituted boxes of mixed cheesecakes for the same cost, so we ended up with more cheese cakes then I had planned. They were all consumed in record time and I noticed that people had a hard time not going back for a third helping. I highly recommend this small family business. The cheese cakes were creamy and sweet, but with that touch of sour cream on the top that cuts through the richness leaving your mouth and tummy both happy.
We took Marty and Sheila to Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. It is a state park and shows life at a time when the Spanish and the Apalachee Indians lived together in on mission. The Spanish lived on one side, the Native Americans on the other, but together they made up one community. It is a very cool place and I highly recommend you visit it, but I would suggest that this time of year is much nicer than the summer time, because it does get hot. After the Mission M&S took us out for Bug's birthday dinner at Outback. We all ate until we were miserable. Bug was as happy eating as I have ever seen him. He had the surf and turf, filet with garlic sautéed shrimp, all he could eat. Happy, happy, happy. We were going out on the boat the next day, but Shelia got sick from her allergies to animals. She was probably a little worn down from all the travelling and then to come into Dr. Doolittle's really hit her hard. We knew she was allergic to cats, so had down our best to get rid of any cat dander where she might be, but we didn't realize she also had trouble with dogs. They have shitz poos so she is not affected, I had not thought of the poo part to realize that was how she could have pets. The visit was cut short. But even if they had stayed it would not have been long enough. I know Marty would have loved to go out on the boat, the weather was perfect, but Shelia was too sick to go on the boat, and obviously could not be in the house, so instead they headed home.
Bug had gotten his crossbow that was his birthday present. He sited it in, and Marty got to shoot it. My cousin Lori and I also were able to shoot it. Well, with Bug loading it, and giving us a chair and table to steady it, we just shot off the bulls eye. I had tried my right arm first, naturally, but it had hit my port, and I have been scared by all the medical people about not doing things like that. This port is connected to some pretty important veins going into my heart. Not only that it hurt. So I simply switched to my left side, and actually seemed to do better on that arm. Just not worrying about hitting my port helped tremendously. I have no interest at all in shooting anything. Bug has planted a food crop for the deer and turkey and has his blind set back into the trees, and it is hard to see it. I wouldn't mind sitting in there with my Honey as he hunts and I read a book. Ah, quality family time. Of course if he kills anything, I am out of there. I prefer my corn flakes. I don't know how they got from the seed to the box, and I don't really care. That is probably one reason I have never been a big meat eater, if I was left to my own accord I would be forced into a veggie life style, so I might as well be honest about it.
So after a wonderful visit with these two very special friends, my cousin Lori came and as always we had a wonderful time just being together. I love that woman, and remember not that long ago I was 50 and uprooting my family and moving to a totally new place. It can be a challenge. She has a son and a nephew that lives with them that are just at the age where they are trying to decide between college or tech or just get out there and get a job for now, and figure out life a little later, so that does add complications my labs did not bring.
Yesterday, Bob from work and Kim from NC came by for a visit. I felt terrible. I had missed Bob's birthday last month, but he brought us asaigo cheese bagels from Panera. Oh my goodness, I have missed those. Bob looked at a picture on our wall and asked where it had been painted. We only knew that Hope Marie painted in Pensacola. Bob didn't say more, but he studied the painting. Kim loved my Grandfather's painting of the trees. They both have excellent taste and were oohing and aaahing over our very small art collected. It made us very happy. Today I received this photo from Bob. It is a picture of Bellingrath Gardens
|Photo from Bob probably from the website|