Saturday, August 7, 2021

I'm Still here!


Big kid, little kids, on Wellfleet trip

I didn't write for a long time because in the height of the pandemic, everything that I was going to say seemed so trite and trivial. As you can see, I did it for a while, and then it was all I could do to concentrate on my paid writing. I was used to doing it out of the house, inspired by the coffee shop noise that due to my newsroom years makes me concentrate better than I do at home. But I'm not complaining, because I was privileged to be able to stay at home. In any case, for the handful of people still checking in, I should say that I'm still alive! 

I realized also that for my personal reference, the blog is a good resource. For example, in thinking about possibly going to the US Open, I looked up what happened last year and found this post about the magical qualities of my Nike tennis skirt. It helped me remember what was going on at the time.

 Also it turned out that I am a resource for others. For example, in the spring, I got this message: "Hi Ronni! My name is Lane - I found your number off of your website. This is a little bit random, but I am trying to track down the bench books in Wellfleet. My friends and I came there 6 years ago and wrote some entries, and when returning a few years later hoping to read our messages, the book we had written in was gone. We are coming back this week for another reunion and are determined to find where they are stored. I found your blog post which noted that they are maintained by a local resident. I was wondering if you had any information on who it was? Thank you so much in advance for any info you might have! " They had googled bench book, which is at one of my favorite places in Wellfleet, overlooking Duck Harbor, and found an entry on my blog, maybe this one. 

One thing led to another, and it's kind of convoluted, but they did find the keeper of the book, with some info that I gave them as a starting point. He texted that they were students at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, and I replied that I had just interviewed a professor from the school, for this story on pandemic pivots, and he said they had taken a class with her. Hashtag small world.

I have been doing the usual: jogging, playing tennis, dealing with skin cancer, doing yoga, writing... The skin cancer is actually not an aside like I just wrote it. I had one on my nose, a squamous cell as usual. I didn't think it would turn into such a big deal, but I ended up with 12 stitches on my nose. It was so hard to keep it bandaged. I needed help. Then I went to Boston to get the stitches out because I figured they knew best. But they left one stitch in, so I had to go to the local doctor anyway to get the stitch out. 

I am also dealing with a senior dog (14.5 years old ) who didn't bark her whole life and who now seems to be getting it out of her system. My vet wants me to see a dog behaviorist . (Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks.) I know what the problem is. She must have dementia because she wants to be with me but goes into another room and starts barking and seems to forget that all she has to do is stay in the same room. I gave in and made the appointment because who knows, I might get some tips. I have been putting her on a leash and going into the other room where she is, for example the dining room, and bringing her back into the kitchen with me. I try to stay calm, because I assume that if I raise my voice, she will think I'm barking at her. But I am only human, and if she is in the same room as me and starts barking, I do sometimes say STOP! More often, I go over and give her a pat or just look at her and wave hello.

I volunteered at a fabulous program, Moving on Up With Tennis and Education, which will be the topic of another post if I don't disappear again. 

It was so exciting to get some freedom and go to the Cape with the family and not worry about hugging. The little kids have the beach in Fairfield, but they seemed to be exhilarated by the waves at the ocean. There were enough waves for it to be exciting but not so many that it was hard for me to get in and out. (And no sharks.) So I went in also. I got on my back and floated like my mother used to do. I looked up at the blue sky with the white puffy clouds. I will admit that Katie had to help me out. We had a moment when I did a belly flop in the shallow water. "Don't yank on my arm!" I yelled, or something like that. We had a good laugh. I didn't drown. We walked on the beach to the other parking lot where the cars were. (Long parking story, maybe not that interesting.) It was almost a mile, but Nell and Callen did well. 

Ferry fun

I thought it was a bit of an overreach when Ben said he wanted to take the day ferry to Nantucket, have lunch at The Rose and Crown (an old haunt) walk around a little, and go back. But I was wrong. It was great. We drove approximately an hour to Hyannis, took the ferry that was only an hour as compared to the longer car ferry that we used to take, enjoyed lunch and walked a little and then went back. I told the kids about throwing a penny in the water as we left, as a sign that we would be back. We did it, so of course we'll have to go back. 

With Joe and Nell
Cape trip #2 is supposed to happen in a couple of weeks. Diane and David were away for the first one, and we have all been looking forward to getting everyone together. The taste of freedom was so liberating. And all those hugs. Now we are starting to worry about the Delta variant. I am back to wearing a mask in stores. I am back to wondering, what counts as "immunocompromised?" (Those are among the ones who might have greater complications.) Is it me? I don't know. I am still on one milligram of prednisone, which compromises my immune system somewhat. And the transplants themselves compromised my system...somewhat. But 12 years from my last transplant, (I wrote about forgetting my birthday) , I am not immunocompromised like people undergoing treatment or right after it. I asked Melissa way back in the EPA (Early Pandemic Era.) She said my immune system is good but not perfect.  We are still planning on going. Fingers and toes crossed.