Sunday, July 6, 2014

July in the Lowcountry

It's a rainy day with thunder in the distance.  Everything is refreshed from the downpour of yesterday and today.  It's the kind of day to relax, read, write a little and take a nap.  I have to say that the rain is a relief from the 90 F days we have had over the past week.

I was out on the boat when Tropical Storm Arthur decided to become a hurricane. I had planned to come back in on Thursday afternoon but pulled up anchor on Wednesday and came back to the dock. It was a wise decision because the rain bands, winds and seas from the storm would have been unpleasant to ride out at anchor.

Then July 4 came on Friday. It was a bright sunny day that could have used a bit more wind. We sweltered at the marina where some friends gathered to watch the evening fireworks and have a pot luck dinner.  But the sea breeze came in later in the afternoon and cooled us down.

We had a nice evening. The fireworks were good. The conversation was thought-provoking. A British lady and a couple from France were there to give thoughts on the American Revolution.  We talked about how the French were our great allies in defeating the British. And we joked with our British friend about whipping up on Cornwallis, leading to the surrender at Yorktown. We talked about so many things until the wee hours of the morning--dangers of processed food, compromised auto-immune systems, medical care in the US compared to Britain and France, and how good it is to be able to have these discussions without rancor, without the animosity that seems to pervade the news and labels a person as being right wing or left wing.  I believe these were open-minded people, willing to listen and discuss.  Good times, good food, and intelligent conversations.

My wife has a head cold that she is nursing.  And I am nursing her as much as she will allow.  The coughing makes me concerned because a sponsee has pertussis, Whooping Cough, and has been very sick. Evidently, Whooping Cough has reached epidemic proportions on the West Coast where he recently visited. I am protective of C. and don't want her to do too much.  But it is hard for her to not do.  But I suspect today we will take a nap together and snuggle next to each other.  It is one of those days where not much can be done, except relax.

I talked with my first sponsor who has stage IV lung cancer.  He is moving in with his son and his family because he can not stay at the retirement home where he has been living.  He is accepting of what is to come. I have accepted it also. But I can imagine how hard it must be to give up personal freedom and know that a sick diseased body is what is left. I sincerely hope that his remaining life won't be difficult with prolonged suffering. He says that some nights are hard because he is afraid. I understand and ask myself if any person can be fully accepting of death.  Do we not still hold out hope that some miracle will happen to restore vitality to our body?  I don't know but hope that he is content surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

So I'll leave you with some photos from the past week. This is early July in the Lowcountry.


  1. ugh. i hope that what remains of his life is not wracked with pain...hard to come to accept the end of all we know...

    i hope your wife feels better soon...that hard cough can be so uncomfortable and painful...

    sounds like you had a great time up talking with those all night conversations that keep going and bouncing around to all kinds of things...

    we were up further in the mountains for the long weekend...rather worn out...and just a bit burnt...smiles.

  2. We both had lovely Independence Days! I am so glad you got a chance to talk to people with whom you could have a true conversation. How rare these days!
    Your pictures are simply gorgeous. Great fireworks shots!
    Nurse that wife of yours as much as she'll let you. I hope she recovers soon.

  3. Isn't it interesting to hear American history from a foreign perception? When I lived in Italy, I took a world history class and it was so cool to get a non-US view of events.

  4. Readily I can see acceptance of imminent death (for myself), even wishing for it to occur. But it's those days, weeks, or months of debilitation, horrible and horrifying PAIN, suffering, which although inevitable--certainly are not "acceptable".
    Hope C gets better S O O N...

    Yes, I can recall M A N Y conversations with people from other countries, cultures--ALWAYS a learning experience...sometimes loads of FUN!

  5. Human physical touch will boost your wife's immune system a great deal. Reach out and just pet her (or as I would tell my daughter, I was painting her with love to give her a protective shield). The physical touch will release serotonin and decrease stress. The body immediately begins to relax and may be more responsive to healing.

  6. It's interesting that we live just 4 hours apart and yet your July 4th was "sweltering" and we had a lovely cool day in the high 80's with a breeze !
    I love to have conversations like you descirbed. They are rare. People seem to be on the defensive all the time ...on both sides.
    I hope "C" gets well soon and all the best to you both.

  7. Argh, that disease is becoming so prevalant

  8. ...sorry, I-pad acting up.... Best wishes to your friend. And speedy recovery to your wife. Your photos look beautiful, you're living in an amazing part.

  9. I enjoy reading your blog. I haven't stop by for a while, but today that I did I'm amazed of how big God can be and of how similar are we all (human beings). I'm not american, english is not my native language and yet I feel pretty identified with your words. Isn't there an universal language for pain, happiness and fear? I'm sure there is one, specially when you share a similar background and a borderless disease.
    My 8 year old child has been pretty selfconscious about his "onedayisgoingtohappenwhoknowswhenpossiblesomeday" death and I've been thinking a lot about how to make him feel safer. I'm pretty touched about your friend not being able to sleep cause he's afraid, I wish there were a way to make him feel better. What I do with my son is that I hug him and I show him how much I love him. I know I can't take away his fear but I can make him feel accompanied. I'm sure that your friend will feel better sorrounded by his children and grandchildren.
    Thank you for sharing, you make me feel accompanied as well.

  10. I'm so sorry your sponsor is gravely ill. And I hope C gets well soon.

    Your photos, as always, are beautiful.

  11. Syd I also love those non-acrimonious conversations on hot topics and history. And I hope your wife gets better soon -- your sponsor is on my mind. The pics are so love -- that garden!

  12. Catching up a wee bit with my favorite bloggers. Mostly reading and nodding. I hope you and C have recovered fully and that the summer rains give respite from the heat (if not the humidity) while you are out on the boat. Syd, our break from summer heat came in spending time in the mountains of North Carolina. Fortunately it rained just enough, not too much. You spoke of your first sponsor, facing into what will come, with a cancer diagnosis. I have a dear friend in program, who is in hospice now at her home… so what you shared here, today, touched me at my quick. I thank you and I pray I will be able to accept whatever God has in store for my friend (she's just 65)… with dignity. Love and peace, Smitty


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