Jenster's Musings

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Fun

My fan (Mailyn) wants more from me so she’s going to get it in the form of a lengthy post. If you have a short attention span you may want to just give up here, though there are pictures for you, too.

I took the kids and a friend each to CamelBeach in the Poconos yesterday. The weather was perfect. High 70’s, low 80’s with low humidity. The ride up was pleasant, though they didn’t particularly care to listen to my play list all the way there. I don’t know why not. It totally rocks. At least it rocks if you’re 40-ish.

On Monday I went in search of a new bathing suit – as if Mondays aren’t bad enough. Out of the six or seven swimsuits in my drawer only one actually fit me and that was my mastectomy suit. The neckline is so high and I don’t need the worthless “special” pockets anymore. I knew it was kind of silly to buy a new swimsuit when school starts in two weeks, but I couldn’t help myself. And I hit the jackpot! Sears has LandsEnd bathing suits and they were on clearance. I found a top that went well with the bottoms I already have and made off with it for $10.00! And look at it!! It’s better than a Miracle Suit. If you go here you can see how it makes me look tall and thin and young and, dare I say it, “hot”? Okay. You’re right. This isn’t me. And while I don’t look anything like her, I didn’t end up crying in the dressing room – a very shocking and pleasant experience for me.

We got to CamelBeach and instead of renting a locker I told the kids I would just keep their stuff with me. I may be feeling great since the surgery, but I’m not up to walking all over heck and gone and riding waterslides. They threw their stuff on beach chairs and promised to come check on me every couple of hours so I could take potty breaks.

This is my beach chair. This is the first beach chair I’ve sat in since probably August – maybe early September – of 2004. I thought it was worthy of a photo. I started off in the shade and knew I would eventually end up in the sun. Being a former hedonist, the glaring white of my legs is rather depressing. So my thought was I’d begin my day in the shade and work my way slowly into a little tanning. I didn’t start off with sunscreen because, well, I was in the shade.

I was also reading. And as so often happens with me, I kept thinking, “I’ll put the sunscreen on after this chapter.” But by the end of the chapter I had to see what was going to happen next. So then I thought, “I’ll put the sunscreen on after this chapter.” I’m sure you intelligent people that are still with me can see where this is going. I burned my leg. Actually, I only burned a strip of my leg. Just one. I do have a little strip of pink on my other leg, too, but not as bright as the red on my other. I look ridiculous. Pasty is much preferred to striped.

As much as I adore sitting and reading I had to get up and walk around a bit. So I took pictures. In the winter CamelBeach is CamelBack Mountain – a premier ski area in this vicinity. I’m curious to know what happens with the wave pool and kiddy pools and water slides in the winter. But in the summer it is totally incongruous to have ski lifts, snow makers and pine trees right next to beach chairs, fake palm trees and surf huts.

On our way out the kids stopped for some airbrushed tattoos.

Aren’t they cool?? Especially because they didn’t hurt and they’ll eventually go away.

I sat at a table with whoever wasn’t being tattooed and waited. Across the eating area was a shack with the name “Kahuna Cheese Steaks.” Something I don’t think you’d ever see in Philly. I asked Taylor, “Is it just me, or does that make you think of Kahlua Mudslides?” It was just me.

We finally made it home last night and all were exhausted. I can see why the kids were so tired. They ran all over the place. I, on the other hand, sat most of the day. Still, I soaked in a glorious bubble bath, drank a bottle of water and read the rest of my book. It was all going along so nicely until I decided to turn on the jets.

First of all the jets frothed up the bubbles to an alarming height. And since I was reading this was not good. Secondly, the last few times I took a bath I had to use the Aveeno Oatmeal soak. Apparently the stuff got into the jets because when I turned them on there was oatmeal crap EVERYWHERE! So that ended my delicious soak in the tub.

I crawled into bed and slept the sleep of the dead – though what does that really mean? How does anyone truly know how the dead sleep? But I digress. I got up this morning and had to wake both the kids as Katie had to baby sit and Taylor had a 9:00 meeting at church for Youth Leadership.

That less than delightful chore done, I got my clothes out of the closet and set about getting dressed, the whole time thinking about the last Starbuck’s Vanilla Frappuccino in the fridge. I’m pretty sure I was smiling dreamily while pulling my capris on, even though the blasted sunburned stripe was paining me. Then I picked up the hooded t-shirt and yanked it on over my head, succeeding in bruising the bridge of my nose with the hanger I forgot to remove!

Though my leg and my nose hurt, I staved off the woe-is-me drama with the thought of cold liquid happiness waiting for me downstairs. You know what’s next, don’t you? You can see it coming, can’t you?

I was totally blindsided.


I should have had a Kahlua Mudslide. That’s coffee, after all.

As you know, this summer has been pretty lame for me. Hawaii – cancelled. Arkansas – cancelled. No day trips to the shore, no bike riding, no much of anything fun. Katie and I did have a blast in NYC, but I put that in a different category.

So yesterday was my first “official” summer outing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Our summers used to consist of spending the majority of our time at the local pool. I loved it as much as the kids. If none of my friends were there I would just read while the kids swam. More often than not, however, my very best friends were there as well. I ask you what’s better than being lazy on a summer day in the company of good friends.

Those days came to a screeching halt for me when I was diagnosed. That summer (2005) I was in the middle of chemo and couldn’t be outside in the sun for any length of time. And most of the time my white count was so low that it was dangerous for me to be in public places.

Last summer I did manage two trips to the shore with the kids and driving trips to “learn the lay of the land”. It was our first summer in Pennsylvania and so most of our summer fun was just the three of us.

And you all know about this summer. Rashes, blisters, bumps, female troubles and finally a hysterectomy brought 2007 in a close second as the worst summer ever. As much as it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not. To everything there is a season and this was just another summer of healing for me.


Side note - "Praise you in This Storm" by Casting Crowns is playing on the iPod right now. Appropriate, I think.


Todd is taking Friday off and we’re driving down to Baltimore to take in the National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor and I’m quite excited about that. Our one day/one night family summer vacation. And I know that next summer is going to be among the best ever. As long as I remember the sunscreen BEFORE I start reading.

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:24 PM :: 21 People musing:

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