Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oh Well


As prophesized, I've begun some limited travel this year after being on a self imposed (and quite necessary) travel moratorium since my return from Montreal early last October.  In the last half of January I took two trips, spending 4 nights in Virginia with my boyfriend Mitchell and 2 nights at the coast with my BFF Lisa and her girlfriend Teri.

Lynchburg


My first trip since my surgery began with a rather long (3.5 hour) drive to the foothills of Virginia to spend a few days and nights with Mitchell.  First stop was Total Hair Salon in Raleigh, where it was time to get a color recharge on my roots.  From Raleigh to Lynchburg is usually about a 2.5 hour drive but I ran into traffic almost all the way and it seemed like I would never get there.
Driving to Lynchburg
This was Friday night (January 16th), supposedly the start of the weekend but my baby had to work Sunday that week.  I did get there in time for us to go out for a nice meal at Texas Roadhouse.  When we got there it was very crowded with a long wait for tables, so we ended up sitting and eating at the bar.  Before we got our seats at the bar one man said it was ok for me to sit on his lap (at the bar), if it was ok with Mitchell.  We declined his offer and waited for 2 seats to come open.
Mitch and I with a lovely, fruit filled margarita.  Waiting for a seat somewhere, anywhere.
Overall the trip was pretty uneventful Except for getting to spend some time with my lover on a weekend he might not have come home due to the odd weekend scheduling.  Saturday we sort of took it easy, but we did eat 2 meals out and visit the mall.  Dilating still takes much of my time and energy and in addition I wasn't feeling my best.

The truth is at that time (and even now to a slightly lesser degree) I was having some healing issues and the long car ride seems to have exacerbated them.  I was in some pain and had some bleeding when dilating, so we decided to take it easy for the most part.  No drive up to the Blue Ridge Mountains this time.  Oh well....
Distant views of the Blue Ridge were all I saw of the mountains on this trip to Virginia.
Sunday night, when Mitch came home from work, we watched the NFL playoff game on television and I cooked dinner in the tiny kitchen of the extended stay apartment.  The couch there isn't even big enough for us to lay down and cuddle, but with his chair right next to to the "couchette", we could still hold hands and be close to each other.

Mitchell also had Monday off for Martin Luther King Day.  We thought about going to see "Mockingjay", The new Hunger Games movie, but when we got to the theater it had been superseded by an extra showing of American Sniper.  No interest there, so we went to Best Buy and bought a new movie, American Hustle.  We stopped and picked up a fried chicken and went home to watch what turned out to be a very good movie.

I woke up with Mitchell Tuesday morning and after he left for work I did my dilation routine then hit the road for home.  I picked the dogs up from the kennel then got ready to go with my mom to her historical society meeting.  The speaker that night was involved with an old mill restoration project that I am writing about, so I took this chance to interview her.  Once again, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I was able to fit in among mom's friends, many who knew me "way back when." 

Never be surprised by how well people accept and embrace change.




Jarvisburg

Towards the end of the month I headed east for another trip, this time to visit Lisa and Teri in beautiful Jarvisburg, North Carolina.  I've been promising Lisa I'd visit for sometime but having been laid up after surgery, this was my first good opportunity in months.

My first stop was Currituck Sports where I happened to bump into Lisa.  She was looking for a winter jacket and I was just looking, but this place is right up the road from her house so this gave us a chance to get an head start on some "world class shopping" in this rural area. 

I took a (double) selfie of us outside the shop and posted it on Facebook.  Many friends thought we were going fishing in the January cold (we weren't), and one even made a special effects shot out of our original picture.  I like that we'd made a marquee in Times Square!



That night Lisa, Teri and I headed over to the beach (Kitty Hawk) to have dinner and drinks with Lisa's old boss and friend Darlene.  Darlene's mom lives in Rocky Mount and I have spoken with her about going walking or biking here sometimes when she is in town.  We had not had a chance to meet yet, so it was nice to meet her while having this awesome meal with friends.  Lisa and Darlene hadn't seen each other lately and had so much to catch up on, as Lisa has recently come out and gone full time at work.  I have to give her a hand for transitioning in this small community, but it is a beach community so it's sort of laid back.  So far so good for Lisa (and Congratulations)!
Lisa and I Wednesday night before going to dinner at the beach.
We got quite a surprise when we came home from dinner that night.  There was no water.  As in there was no running water in the house.  Here we are 10 miles from the ocean, a few hundred feet from a river so wide you cannot see the other side, in a region inundated and defined by water, and there was not a drop to drink.  Nor was there a drop to wash off in, flush the toilets etc.  Oh well.

We made do that night.  I skipped that night's dilation, drank a couple of (homemade) margaritas and danced around while Lisa and Teri scurried about worrying about and looking at the well.  Maybe my laid back attitude rubbed off on them because at some point the decision was made to live with the well pump being out and get the neighbor (a fix it guy) over in the morning to take a look at it.

The next day, Thursday, was our planned "Big Day."  Lisa and I had hair appointments at noon, then we were to head up to the big city of Norfolk, Virginia to see what kind of trouble we could get into there.  Teri was already going to be in Norfolk for her electrolysis and was going to meet us for a nice dinner.

Our plans got kind of sidetracked by the well situation.  The fix it guy showed up in the morning but had to go do another job and was to return later that afternoon.  Lisa and I ran around to various hardware stores buying pipes, fittings and a pump for the well.  I also missed my morning dilation and shower.  We cleaned up best we could using bottled water, got dressed and headed out.         


Helping with the well repair, carrying some pipe around Home Depot.
Lisa and I did make it to the hair salon on time.  This was a very big day for Lisa!  I'd made the appointments for us to come in to this little local salon and get our hair washed and styled.  The stylist, Susan, was unaware that Lisa had been in her high school class and lives in the same small community.  At least she didn't know she was now living there as Lisa..:)

It was an awesome scenario.  I went first and made small talk with Susan while she washed my hair.  She found out I was visiting and lived a couple hours away.  After she rinsed my hair out I sat at her station while she washed Lisa's hair.  I am glad Susan couldn't see me because I was grinning the entire time.

Lisa strung her along for a little while and then asked the big question.  She revealed that they'd been in school together and she asked Susan if she remembered her.  Susan asked a few more questions and said that she did know a Crane in high school.  She asked Lisa if that was her brother. 

Oh well, this is when Lisa dropped the bomb on her.  That person Was her, but Now she is Lisa.  That bomb went over on Susan like a flower bomb.  We'd passed with flying colors.  She was surprised, very happy and quite supportive from that moment on.  She asked Lisa many questions and me a few, as we spent another hour or more in the salon getting our hair styled.  Of course, Susan said she didn't have a clue (then or now) but she did remember Lisa's old self seemed mired in sadness.  This is something I could certainly relate to.
               
Lisa, Susan and I having fun at the salon.
Lisa getting her hair "did" while I check out the back of my head.  Fabulous!
The back of Lisa's head was also fabulous!
We Had to go somewhere after getting our hair done, so we headed over to the beach to a local favorite, Hurricane Moe's.  This is a little dive bar/restaurant with a trippy surfer theme but I actually got some of the best seafood of my trip there, a spicy, blackened tuna sandwich.  I also had something else I'd not had since weeks before my surgery, a beer.  In fact we ordered a pitcher of the scrumptious, amber lager.  I believe Lisa let me have one mug before she whisked the rest of it away.  I didn't even get to finish my one mug, as we got called away when we got word that the well fix it guy was on site and ready to start fixing.
Reacquainting myself with this strange liquid..
With the repair to the water source well on the way, I decided I would go ahead and get a dilation in.  Surely the water would be running by the time I finished so that I could shower and get ready for dinner.  When I got through dilating I laid there for awhile, then went to talk to Lisa and realized that nothing happened.  The man couldn't figure out how to fix the well.  It had gotten dark, he was tired and it was time for him to go home.

Oh well, I cleaned up best I could and the three of us went back to the beach, to another highly rated local favorite restaurant, Tortuga's Lie.  Here I enjoyed more tuna, fancily done for such a homey little place, and enjoyed another amber colored beverage. 
        
Lisa, Teri and I at Tortuga's Lie.
When we got back from dinner I didn't bother to dilate since there was no water so we just hung out, had a couple of drinks and talked.  We touched on some deep subjects but tried not to talk about the well.  We had a promise that in the morning everything would be fixed. 

As a matter of fact, it was raining the next morning, Friday, and the guy was late showing up.  When he was over an hour late I went ahead and rinsed off with baby wipes and bottled water, got dressed and packed my bags.  Lisa was going to follow me to the beach for a little shopping, a walk on the ocean pier and one last seafood meal before I headed home. 

I forgot to mention that Lisa always cooks a great breakfast every morning I am there.  I can't say I always return the favor when she visits here, as I usually have cereal and fruit, but I cannot turn down sausage and eggs when they appear, steaming, on the table.

About 11 AM, just when I got all my things packed into my car, the well began to pump again!  Water flowed but had to heat up before anyone could take a shower.  I was already ready so we decided to head on out but at least Teri could get a shower before going to work and Lisa had a warm bath to look forward to when she got home.





Lisa and I braving windy, freezing conditions to walk over the Atlantic Ocean at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head.
My last seafood meal of the trip, a classic fried seafood platter from Darryl's in Manteo.  When at the beach, I usually only eat seafood when dining in restaurants.
By the time I made it home I had not showered or shaved (not tragic, thanks to electrolysis) for over 60 hours and had missed 2 dilations.  I learned that this wasn't tragic either and I quickly got back on schedule.  As a bonus, I made it (barely) back in time to pick up the dogs from the kennel.  They weren't scheduled to be picked up until the following day.  As a second bonus, Mitchell was on his way home from Virginia and got here in time for a late dinner.

It had been an awesome trip and a lesson that things don't have to be perfect in order to work out well.  All we can ever do is make the most of the situation wherever we are and whatever we are doing.  We can take a greater lesson from this experience as well.  We want things to be perfect, just right, but that is seldom if ever the case.  Oh well, things can (and usually do) work out really great in the end!