I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Middle of August already

Seagull at the bus stop
Every weekday morning I walk about a half mile to the bus stop. This seagull was there three days this past week, and I finally decided to capture a picture of him. He can fly, but he must have figured out this is a good place to watch for food prospects. The lady sitting next to me on the bench started to eat her bagel and he inched forward, interested. We shooed him away, but he kept coming back. I was surprised to see him there, day after day.

I also noticed when I downloaded the picture how long the morning shadows have become. It was taken about 7:30am, and it reminded me that we have passed Lammas, the day between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. We are losing more than three minutes of daylight every day now, which adds up to almost a half an hour each week! And the weather has been hot, by Pacific Northwest standards anyway. We almost reached 80 degrees F here in Bellingham a couple times this week. The weather on our hike last Thursday was terribly hot, as we trudged upwards in full sun. My little thermometer read 88 degrees; I was carrying almost two liters of water and drank every drop.

I also pushed myself pretty hard to get to the top of the peak, along with several of the other hikers. Whenever I get lightheaded and cannot eat my lunch when I stop, I know I'm dangerously close to heat exhaustion, so I drank as much as I could hold, which eventually helped. Next week I will carry some electrolytes to boost my energy levels, which I did for a long time but never seemed to need them. Last week I really did wish I had some.

Perhaps it explains my current feeling of enervation. Although yesterday (Saturday) I woke feeling great, I noticed a bit of scratchiness in my throat and wondered if I might be coming down with something. Although I went on the five-mile walk with the Fairhaven group in the morning and felt fine, it was becoming obvious as the day wore on that I might be in danger of catching something. Today I woke with the same scratchy throat, but it is no worse and there's no congestion, so I'm hoping that, if the weather cooperates, I'll be able to join my friends in Snohomish today for a skydive or two.

Tomorrow is another hard hike, the second in our "extra" hikes of the summer, but I'm beginning to think it might be smart for me to skip it and let myself rest. That's hard for me to admit, so I'll see how today goes before I make any rash decisions one way or the other. It's not much fun to realize that you're sick and have no energy when you're in the middle of the wilderness with your friends. And that there's nothing to do but soldier on until you get home. The older I get, the more I realize it's important to listen to my body and what it tries to tell me BEFORE I become indisposed.

My baby sister Fia married her beau, Russ, this past Friday. I call her my baby sister, but she's fifty now, but since I'm seventy, I can call her that. She looks radiant in her pictures, posted on her daughter's Facebook page. It's hard for me to realize that Fia is a grandmother already; Aiden was the ring bearer (he carried them on his little fire truck). A joyous celebration. I'm so glad for her to begin this new chapter in her life.

Yesterday I went to see a movie with my friend Judy, The Way Way Back, which I enjoyed very much. It's a coming-of-age movie about a 14-year-old boy who is forced to spend the summer at his mother's new boyfriend's beach house. Steve Carrell plays the despicable boyfriend; he is so good that I hated him throughout the entire movie. We are so fortunate to have an independent theater here in Bellingham, the Pickford. We get to see lots of movies that don't make it to the regular theaters. Another one that I enjoyed tremendously was a documentary about backup singers, 20 Feet From Stardom. I don't see many movies that earn a 99% "freshness" rating on Rotten Tomatoes (check out the link), but this one did and deserves it, too. It's about women, mostly black women, who are as talented as the main singers they back up (or more so), but for one reason or another they don't make it big. If you get a chance to see either of these movies, I'd love to hear what you think.

Well, that's pretty much all I've got in me this morning. The sun is finally beginning to lighten the sky at 6:30am, and I'll be checking the weather obsessively for a while until I figure out whether it makes sense for me to drive for an hour and a half down to Snohomish. Of course it was sunny and beautiful until the weekend, and then a front moved in. It did clear out early yesterday, though, and I almost changed my plans, but decided to hope for another good day today.

My partner is still sleeping next to me, my tea is finished, and the day beckons. The time I spend here every Sunday morning has become precious to me. I have a chance to think about what's on my mind, where I am right this minute, and think about my dear friends out there in Blogland. I hope you are all well or trending in that direction, and I hope the same for myself. Until next Sunday...


Far Side of Fifty said...

Good Sunday morning to you DJan. I hope you listen to your body...and take good care of you. Being out of circulation for one or two days is better than a week or two. Have a wonderful Sunday whatever you do! :)

Stella Jones said...

So you are at the start of your day and I am at tea-time. It's 5 o'clock here in fifteen minutes time! I hope you enjoy your day as much as I have enjoyed mine so far.
Love that Fia's grandson brought the ring in his firetruck. How cute is that!
I hope your throat fights off the bugs. Not nice when you want to be good and busy, like you do most of the time.
I haven't heard of the film you mention, but we often get films a good six months after you because we here in England are in Region 2. It sounds like one of those films that has me clenching my fists in my lap!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh my, carrying the rings on a firetruck, I love it. Hope you get past your scratchy throat, etc. Wonder whether you are allergic to something that is blooming right now. Take care of yourself, in any case. I'm noticing the shorter daylight, too. Guess it's all part of the cycle, sigh.

Arkansas Patti said...

Let's hope your scratchy throat is just sinuses or allergies. I get that sometimes and scratchy is all that happens.
You are smart to listen to your body. I have never had mine lie to me.

Gigi said...

Carrying the rings on his firetruck - how precious is that? Listen to your body, DJan, it has yet to steer you wrong.

Have I ever told you how much I love your header pictures? They bring a smile to my face every time I stop by and I always linger over them.

Have a great week my friend.

Linda Myers said...

Yep, listen to your body. You know that if you feel thirsty you're already dehydrated. Even when I'm working in the garden - like today, when I'm thinning raspberries and replanting strawberries - I come inside every 45 minutes or so to rest up and drink.

Jackie said...

Jan...I adore long shadows.
They remind me that it's either the beginning or ending of a day (or a season)...Beautiful, they are!
Take care of your throat, my friend.
I do pray for relief for you and for a beautiful week, indeed.
Hugs from South Georgia....and Jackie!

Sally Wessely said...

The long shadows are a reminder, aren't they?

Listen to your body. That is a good thing. I hope you aren't getting sick.

Next Sunday, I'll be here looking forward to another post. Have a great week.

Red said...

So the seagulls aren't half as dumb as we think they are.
Yes, we have to listen to our bodies. That's something coming from a male. males are famous for ignoring their health. have a great week.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm reading this after the fact, so I'm thinking based on our weather here that you did get to jump out of an airplane today. Now you have to decide about hiking tomorrow. I worked in the yard all morning, and then called it quits, but expectantly had to go help my elderly neighbor, who is moving out of her house into assisted living and has no family around. So I never did get the rest my body says it needs. Maybe tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You and your siblings look very different from each other, so different you don't look related. My sisters and I are that way, too. Yet, we all know that my mother never cheated on my father. It makes for some interesting conversations. Lol.

Do take care of yourself, DJan. Don't over-do it.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, listening to our body is something that I didn't learn until Meniere's entered my life in 2006 when I was 70. Now I try to be in touch with what my body is telling me about its needs. I tire so much more easily now and I've learned that and I've also learned that I must say no more often to things I might really want to do and to people with whom I might really want to do those things.

I hope you don't have a summer flu or cold because if I'm remembering right you were sick for several days a few weeks ago. Peace.

Friko said...

Don’t ignore what your body says, it would be very foolish. I know you’re not the sort to fuss over nothing, so if you are even thinking of having a break for a day, it must be necessary.

Hiking and skydiving and all the other activities will still be waiting for you.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Your movie recommendations are always terrific. Our daughter also enjoyed way, way back.

Enjoyed the post about your sister's marriage, too!

Rita said...

I am late to the party. ;)
I hope you are feeling well, listened to your body, and did something fun since Sunday.
I already had both those movies in my Netflix queue! They're not available yet, but now I am looking forward to both of them. :)

Jenn Jilks said...

I am always so surprised at how fast the seasons pass. Love your post.
Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario