Sunday, September 20, 2009

Busy Getting Ready for Fall Term

I have been so busy getting everything finished for Fall term since I returned from North Carolina that I have almost forgotten that I had a week on Topsail Island! But Topsail has not allowed me to forget :)

I went to Topsail Island with two other quilting friends, one who lives in North Carolina. We rented a house on the beach for the week. It has been years and years since I could walk along the beach and more years than that since I had played in the ocean. But walking in the sand is a breeze with these legs and swimming! What a joy it was to play in the Atlantic! At first I could not think how anyone could feel refreshed with such humid heat in warm bathwater, but just a few minutes in the water with the wind blowing a bit and I suddenly understood. It was delightful!

Our days were very much the same. We'd get up, chat, make breakfast, sit and chat and do handwork, have a sandwich for noon meal, sit and chat and do handwork, go swimming, sit and chat and do handwork, make the evening meal, and then sit and chat and do handwork until bedtime. One day we went to Jacksonville to visit their quilt shop. One day we went to Wilmington on a quilt shop run. We visited the sea turtle rescue hospital on the island and found the ice cream store.

The final day we went for our swim and just minutes into the water--I only got one body surf in--I felt this horrible pain and knew without knowing how I knew that I had been stung by a jellyfish. It wrapped around my thigh. I yelled and washed it off with the ocean and yelled and washed it off. We headed for the house, stopping by the people sitting on the beach and asked them if they knew what to do for a jellyfish sting. They were not comfortable peeing on my thigh... ;) I showered and called my son back in Oregon. Baking soda and vinegar. My friend Dorothy went out to buy those things as I watched my thigh welt up. Yeppers, all around the whole thigh. I monitored my breathing--I am deathly allergic to bee and wasp and yellow jacket stings--but I had no problems.

We left the next day and headed for Raleigh to catch the flight home the next morning. We did a nice quilt shop run in Raleigh and visited the historical Oakwood Cemetery. We then went out to dinner, capping our last night together with a good meal.

The jellyfish sting stayed painful for about three days and then it went away. *whew* I got started on my fall classes, worked on finishing all those hand projects I spent the week doing, and cut out the two quilt tops from the fat quarters I bought along each quilt shop we visited. On the Sunday before I had to return to school for week-long meetings, I felt achy and ill. I had a more difficult time walking and my back was in bad shape. As I got ready for bed that night, I felt my thigh itching and as I felt down to rub it, I felt these huge tentacle-shaped welts exactly where my jellyfish had so happily stung me! And they itched like CRAZY! So more Ibprofen and a call to the doctor the next day for some topical cream and antihistamine. Now, the tentacle vision is still there but the itching is almost gone.

A long slow peaceful summer ends with a bang. Many projects completed. Many days floating in our little pool. Many days feeling more revived and happy. And the adventure continues.