Today I woke up with the OLDER sister in the house. Cheryl had come for a visit and had arrived while I was still sleeping because she said, “I am here to visit family” instead of “I am an internet stalker to see someone I read about on-line” and thus was passed through customs instead of delayed for half an hour.
I woke up late because Linda and I both worked quite late last night and I actually had to wheel up to her and say, “Hi, my name is Linda, I am the responsible one and I am going to bed now.” To which she was, “Alright! Alright! I get the point!” So we got to bed late and then did one of those “sleepover things” which is pretty fun to do when you have been together for 14 years: we talked in the darkness about this and that. Tonight’s topic was “What did you play during recess in Elementary School?” and “What were the gender playground bounds in Elementary School?” along with, “Did you have any crushes?” We both were NOT jungle gym gals, but talked about the two different types: a) those girls who took gymnastics lessons and could do cartwheels or hang by their knees and b) the girls who liked playing rough and then if a boy starting bullying some girls they would go over and yell at them and scare them off and then go back to playing on the jungle gym.
There were the swings, of which the aim was that today, one of us was going to swing SO hard, we would loop the swing bar and there were tales that someone in an older year or someone’s sibling had HEARD of someone who had done this. Also the, “How high is the swing still swinging when you jump off?” which is also known as “How Jane broke her arm.” I played four square and hopscotch. Linda, in a bizarre revelation told me she had NEVER played hopscotch. Wow. The things you learn after so many years. I knew her town was strict (it was and still pretty much is a DRY town – no drinking, no liquor stores, and NO PROM) but I didn’t think hopping on one leg was the “devil’s work” exactly. Of course she played “King of the Hill” on the giant snowpile but didn’t play in the sandbox (as that was ‘too dirty and too many boys’). I was, “So standing atop a pile of snow and shoving guys in the face so they slide down is OKAY, but playing around boys in the sandbox is NOT?” Apparently this was the recess code at her school. Since I was in LA, there were a) swings, b) a LOT of cement where boys played some form of soccer game which MAY have had goalposts or maybe just involved knocking people down, seemed more of the latter, and c) sandbox with jungle gym. I played in the sandbox, specifically the “build a giant mound” then you and your friend dig tunnels until your fingers meet. Also in the old school was the “Tire Swing” in which two people would then wind the tire swing around and around and let go and then by the time the swing stopped, you fell out and the world kept spinning.
So, when I woke up, Linda was comparing our answers with Cheryl’s. Then we were off to Badminton which had quite a few people so we played three games, and at one point Cheryl and I, in wheelchair were playing Linda the able body and BEATING her! But then we did regular doubles. Linda and Cheryl were doing very well, while I had a few (Why is there a hole in my racket?) shots.
After that, lunch, a bunch of heart erratics, oxygen, me slurring and dropping stuff, before we went to one of my favorite places, our own Cemetery, the Ross Bay Cemetery. Due to poor planning in the 1800’s put the cemetery at the end of a funnel cove and with winter storms after waves crash OVER the graves, they tend to SUCK back things too…like grandma. So, they put in a retaining wall to keep our slightly shortened cemetery with most of the inhabitants. It does have a few very nice mausoleums, and Linda and Cheryl posed for me by one of the nice ones. It does have a very London style cemetery feel, as many of the early inhabitants were from the UK as they put in BOLD letters on the tombstone, often taking up more space than their dates to say, “Originally from DEVON” or other parts of the UK, which to me seems like putting up a tombstone, Elizabeth McClung, died 1892 a LEFT HANDER! Obviously very important to them, but now, kind of strange as, hey, they are still dead and still here in Victoria.
We found in the corner of a family plot a baby sized tomb, which I hadn’t seen before. While often the caskets are small, in Cardiff and London, most of the child tombs are regular sized while this was about two feet long with a tiny headstone to match for this 14 month old child. Needless to say, I was having a very Edward Gorey moment and being perhaps a little TOO happy as I crowed to Cheryl, “Isn’t this just the BEST! I mean, look at that mold, and that moss! Here in Victoria, we like a good thick layer of decay on our tombs!” I am sure the city planners will be picking up that last line for T-shirts or next years tourist tag line. You can see a pic of me here grinning enthusiastically (no, not ghoulish).
We dropped Cheryl off at the boat and she ordered me to go home and nap. Which I was ready for as I usually exercise in a day or talk in a day OR go and wheel around in the cemetery in a day and in a few hours I did all three. Also, you may not believe this, but I tend to talk a lot, like until I run out of oxygen and slump over. So, with Cheryl here, I needed to get all my questions in, only I would ask a question and then get distracted and never get the full answer, which is I suppose why Cheryl has to keep coming over.
Before going to sleep we made a list of the five MUST do things. So after I got up, placed in the chair, given coke and 30 minutes to WAKE UP, we did the searching and deciding and calling and reserving a hotel in Beppu, Japan (the place with all the hot springs, we told you about earlier with the HELL springs). But the hotel had, for the weekend, already sold out of a type of twin rooms for April 12th, so a bit of panic and we made our reservation for a Hiroshima wheelchair accessible room in a hotel right by the dock so we could go over to the world Heritage site of Miyajima island the next morning. Now we only have about four or five nights left to book.
We looked at cooling vests, and bought a bunch of the disposable ice packs on ebay thanks to a tip from Laura, a reader who emailed us suggestions (like Michael/Raccoon did for our AirMed insurance) - thanks! But we were SO info-loaded from two to three hours of hotel reservation information that when it came to cooling vests I was left grabbing at the screen going, ‘Want that one…pretty!’ while Linda said, “No, we can’t for this trip as that is $200 for a single vest.” And then she suggested I review the TWELVE different vest companies and options at which point I tried to make my brain explode so I wouldn’t have to absorb any more information. So we are leaving that decision until tomorrow. I emailed the disability people in Japan with our itinerary AND another 15 questions including “Where is there a wheelchair accessible studio where they dress you up as a Geisha and take pictures?” I bet they haven’t gotten THAT question before.
So, had fun till I dropped and then did work till my brain went BOOM! Tomorrow starts my 7 or 8 days straight of at least one appointment per day. I am up at 8:00 ish (for me that is early!), to get my wheelchair totally redone because I have lost so much weight in my legs that I keep falling over backwards in the chair every time I get hot and my head tilts back (no I do not have a BIG HEAD, I just happen to have very heavy brains…yeah).
Anyway, I hope you had a good weekend. I haven’t come up with a master plan post april but hey, I got to see dead people today, woo hoo, so there!
13 hours ago