Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's a whole lotta shakin' going on!

Ever since the news of my impending surgery, my life has felt like an earthquake!  I had big plans for the fall and they are "all shook up!" Trying to juggle moving into my condo (then moving out 13 days later), repairing the damage in my condo, working "two" jobs, dating, and having pain in my ankle that restricts my driving seems unbearable at times. Couple this with not being able to weight bear for 6-8 weeks after my triple joint fusion and I feel completely out of control! The ground as I thought I knew it has been shaken. The plans I had made are now on hold - or will not be executed as I had imagined.

Fast forward two weeks later.....

Yesterday, around 11:30am, I bounced outside to escape my cubicle and the air conditioning to enjoy lunch. It was beautiful outside. Clear, blue skies, 85 degrees, a light wind -- I reluctantly returned to my cube after thirty minutes, longing to stay outside.
About 2:00pm, the floor beneath my desk started to rumble. At first, I thought there was some sort of construction going on. Then a bigger rumble came, the entire building started shaking and the power went out. The building was pitch black! My colleagues and I were stunned and silenced by what had just occurred.  Our first thought was that we were experiencing a terrorist attack. Being in DC and given that we are so close to the 10th anniversary of September 11, sadly, that seemed realistic.

Then the lights came back on.  Our phones were ringing off the hook and we all realized what we had just experienced was an earthquake. While it was scary because I had never been in an earthquake of that magnitude before, I was relieved. It wasn't a terrorist attack. Nobody was hurt. I had survived. I was alive. It wasn't as big of a deal as it had seemed while it was occurring.

My hope is that "the earthquake that is my surgery" will be the same way. Right now, it seems daunting because I have not had a major procedure in seven years. My life is much more complicated than it was when I was growing up and having these surgeries. Without a doubt, this is a *whopper* of a medical procedure! But, I will recover, and I will be better for it in the end.

Right now, the unknowns and uncertainty feel unbearable and suffocating at times. In the end, it will feel like this:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future" -Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sweet Tea, Sunshine, Summertime

It's been quite a long time since I have been to South Carolina, but after my most recent visit I can guarantee I will be spending much more time in the beautiful Palmetto state. I boarded a 6am flight and met my mom and our family friend, Paula, down in Myrtle Beach. It was the first time the three of us have spend any significant amount of time together and we had so much fun!
We didn't spend any amount of time at the beach because Paula wanted to show us some other beautiful parts of South Carolina.  Her house is not on the beach, but sits on a beautiful lake. We woke up every morning raring to go on an adventure and then would return home and relax by the pool that looks out at the lake. Our adventures included:
A trip to Georgetown, SC - home of the best sweet tea I've ever tasted

A quick visit to Folly 

And a wonderful day in Charleston where we shopped and ate...
and ate...
and ate some more!

One night, we rolled ourselves to the theatre to see the Legends concert. Legends features celebrity impersonators. Our concert featured Alan Jackson, Madonna, Abba, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and Elvis. The resemblance to the real life celebrity singers was uncanny in appearance and voice. I am still wondering why anyone would want to make himself look like MJ, but hey, he was good and could even moonwalk! Photography was not allowed so unfortunately, I don't have any photos to show you how closely the imposters resembled the real deal!

These three women packed so much shopping and fun into four days there wasn't really time to lounge at the beach. However, I was not leaving Myrtle Beach without evidence that we were there.

While this was my first time to South Carolina in many years, I know it will be a place that I will frequent in the years to come.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Richmond Reunion 2011

My college friends have a reunion every year. For the most part, we are all spread out up and down the east coast and we choose a different place to reunite each year. Technology helps bridge the distance gap between us, but with a few exceptions, reunion is the one time most of us can be together. This year our reunion was in Boston. I have been to Boston close to 10 times and thought I had pretty much exhausted all the fun things to do in the city. Boy was I wrong!
On Friday night, we gathered for dinner at Union. The food here was delicious and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is visiting Boston. The hot cornbread in a skillet delivered to your table is a real plus. We shared many laughs, LOTS of food, and looked forward to our big day on Saturday while we chowed down on the southern cooking.

Saturday morning, we woke up early and grabbed breakfast at this adorable restaurant in Dorchester before heading to the dock to catch the ferry. Georges Island was our destination. Boston Harbor has 35 islands and Georges Island is a wonderful day trip. On Georges Island is Ft. Warren, a prison back in the 1900s. 

 The tour guide was concerned I might have trouble on the tour (He obviously doesn't know me!), so he suggested my friends and I have a private tour in a golf cart. While I was reluctant to accept his offer, I sure am glad I did!  
Our tour guide was a native of Georges Island and grew up hanging around Ft. Warren his whole life. He enthusiastically recounted all the historical facts and loved to throw in a tale or two about ghosts and his childhood adventures at the Fort.  It was such a treat to hear the information from someone who had spent serious time there and loved the fort rather than from someone who had just memorized a script. Sadly, there wasn't room for Brad and Joseph on the golf cart, so they walked.
It was a gorgeous day at Georges, so after the tour we just took in the sights and sounds of the island and enjoyed being in each others company. There was also the Berklee Music Festival going on there, so relaxing in the midst of friends and live music was perfect.

The weekend continued with a real treat on Sunday -- the Red Sox game! We had attempted to get tickets prior to reunion weekend, but paying $130 for a ticket to a baseball game was difficult for all of us to swallow!  I am used to the Nationals where $25 will get you a phenomenal seat, but there is no comparison between the Nationals and the Red Sox. In fact, attending a game at Fenway Park is truly an experience!

Brad had been advised that our best bet was to go wait in line the day of the game to score the best seats. We waited for an hour and a half, but were never nervous that we were going to be turned away at the box office due to a sold out game. At the box office, we purchased the best seats within reason for $55. But what we purchased and where we sat were two different places! Our friend, Kristen, had been to a wedding the night before and was going to be late to meet us. Reluctantly, the guy at the box office let us purchase her ticket, but we had to meet her to give it to her. There is no will call. So, we walked through the gates and "squatted" in these amazing (and handicapped) seats to take some photos and wait for Kristen to arrive. Turns out we were able to pull the "disability card" (I save it for times like this!) and stay in these seats for the entire game!

Look at how close we were! Home runs! Hot dogs! A legendary team! Die hard fans! Going to a Nationals game will never compare, but I am thrilled I got this experience.

I look forward to reunion weekend every year. It's a refreshing opportunity to catch up with some of the most genuine, loyal, intelligent and adventurous people I know and am blessed to call my friends.

Where to next, Spiders?

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