I take this morning off from Sunday childcare at church, and Steven and I go to Horseneck beach with some friends. I put on my bathing suit, jeans and a tee shirt. I am not sure whether the wind or the water will affect my neuropathy, so I bring along an extra tee with long sleeves and a sweatshirt.
Just before we are about to get picked up, I empty my bag. Some how while doing this, I manage to put my finger through the plastic and now need to change the whole bag. This is very upsetting.
Steven send our friends off in search of coffee at Seven Stars bakery while I change it. They arrive again to pick us up just as I have finished.
We get to the beach around eight, before they have started collecting the admission fee. There are only a handful of other people here at this time, and the beach is freshly groomed and beautiful. It is like a giant has used the beach as his personal zen garden.
The tide is going out, and we set our blankets down close to the shore. Valerie and I head down to the water with her boys and watch as they build rock walls to be knocked down by the waves and washed away. They start skipping stones into the water, and Steven and Alex, their dad, join in.
Before long, we decide to go back to our blankets and have some breakfast. I have done a rather lame job of packing for our feast, but Valerie has covered for me with delicious treats from the bakery. I have a cinnamon bun, and Steve picks out a berry muffin. Valerie has some bread with butter, and the boys have some bread, fruit and a cookie. Alex is off, riding his bike on the beach, missing out on first picks. Breakfast is so delicious in flavor and mood. We sit back, enjoy the sights and smells of the ocean while savoring our food and company.
Steve and I go back down to the water with one of the boys. I get my feet wet, with no tingles. I stick in my hands and seem to be okay. I take off my jeans, but put on my sweat shirt. There is a steady breeze blowing and I feel cool. I have been contemplating getting wet. I wade in, and there are a lot of rocks rolling back and forth in the water. There is also a whole section of red sea weed. Instead of going in, I decide to collect some quahog shells from the shoreline to paint during the week at daycare. I also gather rocks to line our zinnia garden with.
When I return from collecting, our friends are all in the water. Steven and I decide to take a walk along the beach, one of my favorite things to do at Horseneck. There is a part of the beach, away from where the lifeguards are, away from the crowds, that is full of surprises. Since it hasn't been as well traveled as the main section, there are washed up treasures to be found. There are often seagulls guarding fish that have washed ashore or other mysterious edibles, pieces of driftwood, bits of rope, fishing net or line, gloves and other things that have found their way to the shore from the sea.
The best thing is the secret art gallery that patiently waits to be discovered. Along the way, scattered at varying intervals, there are temporary installations, composed of shells, rocks, driftwood, seaweed and sand. I discovered this treasure a few years ago, and have been delighted to find this natural museum recreated each summer since.
At first we find small works, sprinkled here and there, then come across the main attraction. It is made of many quahog shells, rocks and driftwood. After collecting shells myself along this beach, I am appreciative of the labor that went into gathering the materials before the art had even begun.
We turn around to head back to our blanket, and find Valerie and the boys walking toward us. We show them the sculptures we have discovered. One of my younger friends and I decide to repair one of the sculptures that was damaged by the earlier high tide. We gather dried sea weed and add our own flourishes. When we are completely satisfied with our work, we head back to catch up with the rest of our party.
On our way, I an delighted to find one of my daycare families playing at the edge of the shore. Soli and Lee are there with their children and friends, enjoying the morning at the beach. I am amazed that we have managed to bump into each other, it is so rare on a quickly filling beach to see anyone you know. We say hello and head on our way. The beach is much more crowded now than when we left on our walk, and the tide has gone out quite a bit more, making it a challenge to find our blanket.
Having had our fill of the beauty and what was at the beginning the solitude of the beach, we pack up and head out. It is a wonderful way to start the day, and nice to escape before the beach becomes too packed with people.
Having had the seal break on my bag for two days in a row, I am starting to get a sense of what it feels like at the beginning. Although I had on my bathing suit, and my bag was held close to my body, I know the seal is not holding. It started to work it's way loose at the beach, and by the time I arrive at home, the waste is working it's way toward the edge of the adhesive ring. I needed to take a shower anyway, so this gives me an excuse to take the bag off and enjoy a shower plastic wrap free. When I am applying my new bag, I decide to try using adhesive paste. This is like caulking for your belly. It is recommended if you have an uneven belly surface, to fill in gaps that might prevent a tight seal. I don't have this problem, but I am hoping the extra stickiness will help my bag stay put.
I intend to get ahead on my blog today, but instead work on my ostomy bag order. I am trying to figure out the solution to my lack of adhesion problem.
As I am getting ready to go to a graduation party, I am worried about my bag again. It is becoming an obsession. I find some c-shaped seals that are meant to go around the bag during exercise, and put them on the bag to ensure that nothing unexpected will happen.
The party is for friends, two of whom are children of my friend Elizabeth, one who is their cousin. They have all graduated, two from high school and one from college. My family always loves going to their house, we have spent many happy hours growing up with them. We also have the kind of relationship with every one of them, where no matter how much time has passed, it is like we were just together yesterday. We pick up things where we left off, like we never missed a beat.
By now we also know most of their extended family, and they always make us feel welcomed as one of their own. Even though I am tired when we leave our house, we stay much longer than I was thinking I would be able to. We enjoy good food, conversation, and we even play volley ball. It all feels like home.
When I get home, I find I need to change my bag again. Ugh!
(PS I am posting this while Steve is out so there are no photos yet. Check back tomorrow to see the sand art.)