Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cape Cod escape, Part II

Tennis friends, all dressed up: Standing, from left, Kit,
Donna, Debbie (mother of the bride) and Deb; seated,
from left, me, Korby and Nancy.

The Cape Cod trip with my tennis friends was great. This was my second Cape mini-vacation of the summer. The first was just a couple of weeks ago to Wellfleet. On this Labor Day weekend I went to Falmouth to celebrate the wedding of Kelly Rowe (now Flores), the daughter of my tennis friend Debbie.

We had plenty of sun. Donna and Deb and I shared a room at a motel with a tennis court. The beach was across the street, and a large pond was at the back of the grounds. We had time to go to the beach, take a walk along the water and even play some tennis. I actually played two sets. Donna, Deb and I started out just hitting. My racquet felt lighter than before, so I hit some decent shots. With my low platelets, I know not to run for anything, plus I don't think I could anyway, although I did take a couple of steps from time to time.

We gave each other names corresponding with players at the U.S. Open. I got to be Kim Clijsters, the 26-year-old Belgian who took a two-year leave from tennis due to serious injuries and the birth of a daughter. (I didn't have a baby, but you could say I had "serious injuries.) Clijsters defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and then beat Na Li of China to advance to the semis.

Deb was Venus, and Donna was Serena (Williams). We shouted, "Come on, Kim," or "Way to go Venus," or "Good shot, Serena." I teased Deb (Venus) that I (Kim) had already beaten her.

An older man with white hair watched us from outside the fence. He walked back and forth, evaluating the scene. Finally he asked if we needed a fourth. We said sure and he went back to get his racquet.

Our new friend, 77-year-old Larry, was a good player with an exceptionally strong serve. We thought of asking him if he wanted a name, but we figured that might make us sound too crazy. I explained briefly that I was just getting back into tennis after not playing for a year. He played with Donna and I played with Deb. Larry was very gentlemanly, telling me to take an extra serve when I double-faulted. Actually I ended up getting most of my serves in, but anyone could see that I wasn't exactly in top-notch form. We lost 6-3, which actually wasn't bad. When I started in on "I cudda hit those shots a year ago," they reminded me to remember how far I had come from the days not so long ago when I couldn't even walk.

The bride displays a life jacket that
her brother made for her.

Of course the wedding was our reason for being there, and it was wonderful. I had been trying to decide whether to wear a mask, but I decided not to, having found a seat at a side pew near an open window and door that let in a nice breeze in. The ceremony was followed by a reception at a waterside restaurant. As evening fell, the lights sparkled on the water. Everyone was so happy. The bride, Kelly, and her mother, Debbie, both beaming, looked beautiful.

We sat a table where I felt pretty well protected from other people. I ate a little from various food stations; so far, so good. I couldn't resist going onto the dance floor a few times, even though that might not have been "allowed" because I was too close to people. Hey, but it was fun. My friend Korby and I did a great jitterbug. Also we found Debbie, formed a circle of tennis friends, and danced with our arms around each other's shoulders.

I bounced back from feeling sluggish (and anxious) a few days earlier. I hardly thought about platelets and rbcs. (Maybe the remedy is to be on vacation all the time?)

The next day we played a little more tennis with Larry and then went to the beach. We had a picnic there and couldn't pull ourselves away until around 3. It was warm, but the air had that late summer feeling, heralding fall, that makes you wistful.

It reminded me of a New Yorker cover from 1981 that my parents had framed and hung in their apartment. It shows a man bidding good-bye to the ocean around Labor Day. The man looked exactly like their good friend Bernie Glazer, who had died recently and who loved the beach. It was kind of eerie and kind of comforting.

Good-bye ocean, good-bye summer.


Anonymous said...

You look gorgeous and I think you were smart NOT to wear a mask. Unless you are going to wear a super duper heavy duty one the Hutch told me that the paper ones only last 15 minutes and if you lift them up once they are useless and if anything traps moisture/yeast and fungus.

There is something special about Labor Day on the East Coast and I miss it. It is a rite of passage that I don't feel out here in CA.

You look and sound wonderful!
Keep going!

Susan C said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. You and all your friends look gorgeous.

Today I felt the hint of a transition from summer into fall. The morning was cool enough for me to garden for two hours until 10 am. The light had that unmistakable slant of autumn. Such a relief after the high temps and smoky air after the fires.

Nelle said...

What a group of fine looking ladies. You all seem to have the look of friends who just "get" each other. Sounds like a wonderful time and a nice easy way to get back into tennis. I'm sure Larry was thrilled to be sharing the tennis court with all these ladies. Weddings are wonderful things. Glad you had this nice trip.

Diane said...

Wow is all I can say. 7 months ago you were in a coma and now you are playing a full set of tennis, getting most of your serves in. I hope you realize how unbelievable all of this is. So glad you had such a lovely time. Love the picture of 'Bernie' waving good-bye to summer. Summer might be over, but your brighter days are ahead, as is evident by your come back, drive and determination.Keep it up!