I have a lot to do today, so I get up and go shopping early.
As soon as I pick up a piece of produce, I am disappointed that the cold tingling in my fingers is still so strong. I need to wear my sweatshirt and gloves to make it through the grocery store. I thought that by now my sensitivity to cold would have faded, since it is nearly a week out from my last chemo treatment. I am coming to realize and accept that with each treatment it might last longer. This is fine for the summer, but here I am, the end of July and my frozen touch is already bothering me. I am hoping for a warm autumn so I can continue this treatment with few problems.
I am feeling lucky that out of the blue, my friend Melissa has sent me a cozy green scarf and gloves. She thought I would find them useful as the weather grows colder, but without even knowing it, she has sent me the very thing I need right now. I am warmed by her gloves as I stroll through the grocery store.
Once my shopping is done, I head out to Little Compton. One of my daycare families has rented a house near the beach, and is having a gathering. I always want to go to the beach in Little Compton, but it is so difficult to find one there. They are all hidden behind fields and meadows. It seems that this is the only way to get to one here, to know someone who has a house.
I am afraid of getting a sunburn. This is something I would normally be prone to anyway, but some of my chemo drugs have a sun sensitivity warning. I cover myself up as much as I can, and slather on sunscreen before heading out. I plan on only staying a short time, and am hopeful I can escape without a burn.
I park in the yard of the old farmhouse my friends have rented, where a sign tells you that SUV's might be okay to travel down the road to the beach. That leaves out the borrowed Prius I am driving.
The house seems so quiet that I think everyone is down at the beach, so I head on down. It is located down a shell paved farm road that goes through fields of vegetables, meadows and cows, until finally you find the beach. It is maybe a ten minute walk, but I am in an unfamiliar place, and not really sure where it is I am going, so it seems much longer. I see some cars parked down one of the paths, and head toward them. I find a cute little shack standing guard by the path to a rock strewn sparkling beach. In the water I can see a few children playing on boogie boards, and a couple of adults on the shore. I walk over and recognize two of the children and their dad, David. Somehow I missed all of the others gathered at the house.
I go off with one of the boys in search of crabs on the rocky shore. They know where to find them after being here all week. They expertly tip rocks out of the watery, sandy shore, and look for spidery looking crabs which hide beneath them. It is fun to watch as they try to pick them up quickly, mindful of those sharp pinchers. It is obvious that they have done this often, and have been pinched once or twice.
Before long, I need to get ready to leave. I know this is going to be difficult, because other people are just starting to arrive on the beach. As I head toward the path leading off the beach, I collect rocks that will line the zinnia garden at my house. As reach the grassy hill that leads to the road, I am greeted by Amy, who along with David, is hosting this party, and Kristen, who has just arrived with her family. It turns into a big hug fest and they offer me a ride back to the house. I accept, but ask if I can collect more rocks since I had only gathered what I was willing to carry back. They help me gather rocks, and are joined by yet more daycare family. Somehow we all end up finding heart shaped rocks on the beach, a gift from the ocean for us.
After a tour of the lovely old beach house that has been rented, I head back to Providence. I want to stop at a farm stand on my way home, to get some fresh blueberries. I have a birthday party to go to next, and after the delicious berries I had earlier in the week, decide that this is what I must bring. Unfortunately, I decide to take the longest possible way home, and it seems to take forever. I am impatient to reach my next destination. Fortunately, it is Saturday afternoon, and my favorite NPR programs are on.
Next up is a birthday party for one of my current daycare children. Once I have aquired the blueberries I want, I head home to grab the gift I have left there, and to check in with Steven. He makes the blueberries look pretty by placing them in a bowl and adds some mint leaves for decoration. I was just going to bring them in their little green cartons, but this looks much nicer.
He is heading out soon, so I won't see him until the morning. I head off to the party, just a few blocks away. Normally I would walk there, but my busy morning is starting to wear on me, so I drive.
It has been sunny and warm today, but now that I am at a pool party, it is getting cloudy and cool. This doesn't dampen the spirit of the party though. Parents and children are enjoying the pool and the compamy. If I weren't in tingle finger mode, I might join them in the pool, but this is out of the question today. Even getting a drink out of the cooler is a bad idea. Fortunately there is warm food, blueberries included, to enjoy along with the company of parents that I don't usually get to hold complete conversations with. It is fun to see the kids outside of my home, when we can just hang out together.
I only stay at the party for a short time, Ayla wants to have dinner with me tonight. She was hoping for a spinach ricotta pie, but I have been so busy, this is not going to happen today. Instead, we order some food from the Gourmet House, an Asian restaurant nearby. We eat at home because Ayla and Chauncey have also brought their dog Powder over to visit. She loves to come over and run around my backyard.
When Ayla, Chauncey and Powder leave, I am quite tired. It is a good tired though. It has been a full day, with only small reminders of my new limitations. I am figuring out ways around the new obstacles that have cropped up in my life, and I am managing to carry on. I feel good about this.