Saturday, May 08, 2010

Morning stretch

Today, West Seattle is sunny, with a prediction of sun all weekend. Ahhhhhhh.

This morning, our family will do some chores, including re-securing Tessa's beloved swingset with concrete. (She often uses it for an hour a day - what a fabulous investment!) I'm going to see if we still have that old clothesline pole, too, because if we're mixing concrete for the swingset, why not put the pole up and start using it at the same time. It's something I've been meaning to do for ages, anyway. There's nothing like sun and wind dried clothes - especially bedding. They smell fresh and fantastic, and the reduced energy usage makes me happy as well.

And then, we're heading to the beach. I want to share my recent beach experiences with my family, and climbing around on rocks and looking at sea creatures and hunting for seashells is definitely my cup of tea. This is my choice of Mother's Day activities for myself; family time in nature. Tomorrow we'll go to church and to a family barbeque, and both will be wonderful, but I wanted to make sure we got some play time just the three of us as well.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Seashells II

Today I went back to the same beach at the same time, but the tide was farther out. I took my time, climbed on the rocks, laughed at some beautiful shorebirds who were creating a ruckus, and continued my quest for the perfect seashell.

Thankfully, once again I did not find what I was looking for, so I will have to go back soon. But I did find a perfect silver dollar sized sand dollar unexpectedly, and a perfect little clam shell just the size of my thumbnail, both halves intact. I also found a corked wine bottle floating at the edge, and so I retrieved it and looked for a note inside, but alas, it was empty. It did make me consider sending a note out to sea myself, though. What would my note say?

This afternoon is chores, chores, and more chores, and I'd rather sleep. But my morning on a beach was just what I needed.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


I am re-reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "A Gift From the Sea" right now. Actually, I just finished it, and I plan to re-re-read it, because it is speaking to me so deeply and profoundly.

I don't want to write a book review here, but if you are a woman who is seeking balance in her life, and you're finding yourself running around like mad, and you wonder how life got this crazy, then this book is like a soft breeze from the ocean. It was just what I needed. It has nothing saccharine about it, and it manages to be deeply philosophical and restful at the same time.

The book is infiltrating my dreams, and the dreams are beautiful. In these dreams, I'm running on beaches, discovering beautiful shells, walking alone in the beauty of a beach day. Most of my dreams this year have been nightmares, and this is a gift like I can not describe.

This morning, I took Shep for an overdue walk (when I have surgery the poor boy is neglected), and headed to a favorite beach of mine. I tied Shep up (no dogs on beaches in Seattle was a good excuse for the true solitude; he could see me from where he was), and walked on the beach by myself for fifteen minutes, looking for shells. I found all kinds of lovely bits to take home with me, but not the exact shell that I was looking for. This is excellent, because it will remind me to keep looking for it.

I found a tidepool with two small sea anenomes, green fingers outstretched, and a hermit crab in a beautiful shell beside them. The beach had waves of red seaweed on it, and the color contrast was just so striking. I found two perfect white stones.

My to do list is as long as ever. Laundry is perpetual. I've already done the Tessa routine, and gone grocery shopping, and put things away, and made myself lunch. I'm still deeply tired, and in a few weeks if I'm not well then we will start exploring chronic fatigue syndrome - there must be SOME reason that I'm so wiped out. The garden calls, and the house needs dusting, and so on and so on.

But I am taking more time for myself. Walking Shep was good, but walking by myself on a beach is better. Like Lindbergh says, the shells are a reminder of my true self. I am the girl who walks on empty beaches.

I'm doing my old bedtime rituals again, too. Hot baths, candles, herbal tea, poetry. I love to fluff up my pillow, put on pretty pajamas, and crawl into bed an hour before I intend to fall asleep. Books, classical music (I'm particularly into Beethoven right now), poetry. And sometimes, just silence, and watching the candle flicker.

I plan to spend my life looking for seashells.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Catching my breath

Today I'm trying to catch my breath. My friend Laurie treated me to a lovely pedicure, and I felt pampered and spoiled, and now my toes look pretty. (We just need to warm up the weather so that I can show them off in open toed shoes.) I'm changing sheets, doing laundry, and generally trying to catch up on some of what I feel behind on.

And I'm catching my breath. I'm still very tired, and my neck gets so very achy in the afternoons, but I can manage these things. It could have been so different for me, and I know it. Actually, I know it very well. A "breast cancer friend" is experiencing a new mets diagnosis right now, and my heart is broken for her. This disease never stops.

In perhaps good news for me, I just saw this article:
I had two kinds of cancer: DCIS and IDC. My DCIS took up 10cm of my breast, and the IDC was in three tumors sized 2.1, 1.5, and .2 cm. I've always considered this a negative in my prognosis - as if one tumor wasn't enough, I had four, and two types - but this new research says that maybe it improves my prognosis somehow. Is it a correlation, because I didn't qualify for a lumpectomy? Is it some other thing? I do not know, but it gives me a bit more hope.

I have lots of catching up to do in my life, lots of thinking about life itself, and it is an honor to be granted that opportunity. To explore, to think, to plan.

I'm working on my best life now.