Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Thank you is not quite enough for those who have served, for those who have died, and for the families of both. The words are paltry, but if we had others to use, I would use them to show the gratefulness of the sacrifices that you all have given.
In celebration of this holiday, we usually take a trip up north. It is still too cold to waterski (although I think in past years I may have eeked out a trip), and if I had to guess, I'd say the water was about 40 degrees. Maybe 50. Either way, it's the kind of cold that makes you suck in involuntarily and hurts - and if your head dares to dip below, you get the top of head frozen headache. If you haven't ever been in that kind of water, you really should do it, not because it's fun or anything, rather mostly just to prove you are not a pansy.
This weekend was no exception. We did have to find a way to pack baby chicks in a couple bins to take them with us on our excursions (really not super recommended, but what can you do) as well as pack the dog (all in the same truck bed). A stop on the way over to the feed store for some pine shaving bedding and we could almost convince my parents that chickens don't smell like horrible, filthy livestock. (They still do. Please, I love you, chicks, but please can you get out of my house yet?)
I thought that I would go for a trail run the evening that we arrived - I love the path that takes me up (and I do mean vertically) through the woods, over to some sand hills, and then juts back in past a cedar swamp. It is nice to have a different path and scenery (even if "running" up a sand hill has the same pace as walking up a sand hill). I took the diseased dog with me, partly because she loves running and partly because every time I mention I am going to go on this trail, my mother tells me that it is entirely probable that I am going to be eaten by a bear and I figure bears would maybe rather eat a dog than me, so let's give them some menu options.
I thought that I would go a bit longer on this run (after sitting in the car for 3-4 hours, I had plenty of stored energy), so I ran past the house after the trail run and down to the end of the road (1.1 more miles away). I was totally down with this and tearing up the pace, but the dog was not really on board with me. Soon, it seemed that I was dragging her behind me. Yes. I was dragging a dog. This is much more unpleasant than I want it to be, what remedy is there? I could just loop her leash over a post or tree or something and let her rest while I go to the end of the road (she would still be in sight). Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. There's hardly any people up here anyway.
That looks like a good place! I hooked her to a post on one of the last and vacant driveways and told her to sit and stay. I ran off, gloriously faster (no 50 pound dead weight yanking my arm backwards), and turned around at the end. I could see the small shape of the black dog sitting and waiting for me. I got about 100 yards further and the dog started to bark the bark of alarm. What? What is the problem? Why would she be barking like that...and she is turned sideways aiming at the house? Oh great. I couldn't run fast enough. (As a side note, sprinting and yelling at a dog simultaneously is a great way to burn a lot of calories, but a quick way to get out of breath.) Come on, teleporter, make me get up there. Why hasn't someone invented a teleporter yet? (Seriously, someone needs to get on that.)
A woman was approaching the dog, walking down her driveway, somewhat meekly as my dog was in full going-to-kill-you bark mode. She turned short and began her evening walk. I sprinted my guts off and debated - do I run past her and say, "Oh hi, this is my dog, I thought nobody lived here, and my dog was really tired, so I just wanted her to rest while I was running to the end..." Explaining always sounds worse, so I just unhooked the dog and sprinted past her waving and smiling instead. She can imagine whatever she wants, I guess. On the way home, I learned a new way to breathe while running - it was to put my tongue on the bottom of my top teeth so I could avoid swallowing gallons of bugs (I learned this too late as I probably ate an entire protein bar's worth of bugs on that run).
Finally, we made it home. Now I can just take a shower and chillax, maybe read my new book about Elizabeth I. Perfect - minus the bug sandwiches and the dog fiasco. Except, wait. Where are my clean underwear? No seriously. I unpacked my entire bag. I have plenty of socks, 4 pairs of shoes, a plug for my ipod, I even brought Sovereign Silver and P73 Orega-Resp just in case of weird emergency. And no underwear. You have got to be joking me. Awesome. I guess my undies get a shower, too.
Sunday was filled with a coma-like nap, the kind that you know you should be getting up because you probably slept so long it's dinner now, but when you try to open your eyes, you feel drugged and dizzy, but you are so determined to get up that you throw your legs over the side of the bed/couch and start walking...over to another place that you can lay down and go back to sleep for a while. This is unfortunately periodically interrupted by your spouse who keeps sarcastically and dramatically asking you if you are okay, and if something is wrong with you, and purposely loud enough so that your mother hears, who will really actually think you are sick and start bombing you with questions about your health when all you want to do is alternate between punching your husband with his sarcastically amused expression (at the success of getting your mother involved) and actually going back to your sleep coma. Monday has to be better.
Except at 4:30 a.m. you wake up to the worst pain in your elbow ever experienced by humans on earth and conclude that you are dying of a black widow or brown recluse spider bite. The elbow looks like a swollen freakshow and bending or not bending it makes you wish you knew how to do self-amputation. But wait! There is danger! Perhaps that spider is still in the bedding. I must wake my husband and save his life. "Honey, I think I just got bit by a venomous spider. It might still be here!"
Hubby grumbles, "What? What do you want me to do?"
"We need to get up and check!"
Hubby, "What?! Didn't you do this like a few months ago and there was no spider?"
Me, "Seriously! Are you even talking about that!? No, I don't recall that. Just get up, I'm turning on the light." On goes the light. He appears half awake. I am full-blown awake and on a mission to eradicate death spiders, ripping covers and pillows off, onto the floor, but then worrying that the spider already escaped to the floor and is now under the bedding and will likely bite me again. I sit up in bed. My hair falls onto my arm, and I do a freak out dance. "Please can you look up spider bites on your phone?"
"Right now? Let me see your elbow. It doesn't look like a spider bite."
"Well what the heck else do you think I would wake up suddenly from in the middle of the night in excrutiating pain from?! It has to be!" I plod downstairs to get an ice pack for my pathetic pain.
Hubby, "Google says you could have MRSA. That is so gross, and I'm laying in bed with you."
WHAT?! "First of all, no, I do not have MRSA. And secondly, what did you just say? I am probably dying of a brown recluse bite and you're accusing me of having MRSA!" Finally, after an hour or so, I fall back to sleep (hubby had no problem with that and was at snore level 3 within minutes), cuddling with an ice pack and dreaming of spiders and snake bites. As morning dawns, I look at it, hoping it is better, but it is worse. I want to go home and get activated charcoal. Why don't my parents have weird things in their medicine cabinet? My mom and dad bring me epsom salt, and my mom suggests that a wasp stung me. Mom, a wasp? It was 4:00 in the morning. Well, it could be, she says. Dad looks at it, he thinks he sees something. I soak my arm in epsom salt in the sink and decide I am probably going to die so I should either pack up and rush home (3-4 hour drive) or go the opposite way, into town, to the urgent care/emergency room. But which one? I call the emergency room. They tell me that they can't give me medical advice over the phone. Thank you. Awesome.
I resign myself to my death and tell hubby we probably should go into town to the ER (especially after hearing that my friend's daughter went into shock and delerium from her brown reculse bite). Upon hearing this, the littles cry out, "Are you going to die, Mom!?" Well, I hope not, I say, trying to be brave. I will probably survive, I lie to child #1. This is very concerning to them because I would only subject myself to traditional allopathic medicine under dire life and limb circumstances and here I am suggesting we go. As we drive to town, I suggest to my husband that this is our anniversary date. He laughs. I wonder if I can get flowers out of this.
After answering the question, "Do you work?" to the urgent care receptionist with "Well, not really. Unless you want to buy some Norwex. I have some here in my purse. Would you like to see a demo?" I am satisfied that I could entertain myself sufficiently here. She tells me that there will be an hour wait and I ask her if she would like to take a bribe of some Norwex and bump me up a few people. For some reason, she just laughs. Oh well, I tried.
We finally get in to the room where we are going to see the PA or whatever he is and he walks in with stylish dark rimmed glasses and says he is from California and that I probably do not have a spider bite. I am scowling inside with disdain. Not have a spider bite! Like I believe you! And then he tells me that people come in everyday saying they have spider bites. What EVER. He suggests antibiotics and NSAIDs. I filter that through my head as "Sovereign Silver and turmeric". He comes down with the diagnosis (not a spider bite, I'm so sure) - bursitis of the elbow. What am I, like 65? Bursitis? He says I should wear a sling and I make a face with wild eyebrows. "You're totally not going to wear a sling, are you?" Well, no. I will tie myself up with an ace bandage when I get back, though.
Sigh. Memorable vacations.
Peace, love, and I can't wait until 4th of July,