Winter storms are upon us.....or so it would seem.
Forty-mile-an-hour winds. Double-digit seas.
We've had an unbelievable string of seasons here in Oregon.
Spring & summer......turned on.
New sandbars emerged. Even an oldie....that hasn't been good for years.....suddenly showed it's face. Warmer than average waters. South swells. Without skipping a beat... they surfed us well into fall.
I didn't get to travel south this year. But....to be honest....I didn't need to. I've had so many good sessions over the last 9 months.....they begin to blur.
What makes a session.....good?
I don't know.
It isn't always about the best waves.....
Some standouts from spring, summer & fall:
Timbuktu - big & bomby....a couple hours one evening of just the cuteboy & myself.
Drainpipes - a fun-filled afternoon with doc & the cuteboy.
T&A's - Sylas & the crew.....on more than a handful of occasions.
I don't know......maybe it's a testosterone thing? An.....I've-got-the-biggest-balls-and- I'm-going-to-piss-on-every-leg-within-a-fifty-mile-radius....thing? I wonder how ovaries would fit into that scenario? Anyway....
Threats of violence..... over a fucking t-shirt. No. Not even an actual T. A query. A fucking QUESTION. Seriously.
I'm feeling inspired. Yep. Inspired.
I am going to make bikinis imprinted with photos of Oregon surf breaks.
You heard me.....Oregon surf breaks. The more "secret" the better. Controversy, baby. It's not like it hasn't been done. I mean....if Aaron Chang can post photos of surf breaks from around the world on tiny triangles......then why can't I? Especially at a hondo a pop. Ka-ching!!!
My first endeavor? A very secret Southern Oregon surf spot. That's right.....Ol' Mother X........ is going to be plastered right up the ass of my first bikini.
How secret is this spot? ...you ask?
It's so secret..........bikini inspectors will need a flashlight and a speculum.....just to find the surf.
I've been out of the pool for two months now. You know how it is.....Life gets in the way.
Well....yesterday I decided it was time to return to some semblance of normalcy. These gills were drying up and in desperate need of that wonderful concoction two parts hydrogen one part oxygen, with a splash of bromide to taste.
Time to get wet.
A warm welcome back from Coach Dennis & my lane mates and a fairly simple set.....helped ease my re-entry.
50 meter pool
2 x [200s/100k/200p]
3 x [150 @ 2:45 -10 kicks off the wall; 4 x 50 @ 1:15 - 25 choice fast/25 ez; 150 @ 3:00 progressive by 50]
300 pull @ moderate
300 kick @ ez
Total = 3100 meters
I'm always aware of where I sit in the water......hand placement......shoulder roll....hip level.... but that didn't stop me from saying to myself..... "thank god for muscle memory". I didn't drown. I didn't blow a gasket. And more importantly....
Two weeks out of the water, injuries, hectic work weeks.....I was in desperate need of surf, when we headed to the beach Saturday. I figured I'd be satisfied with whatever the swell brought....even a beating sounded good.
Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to see head high peaks.....light off-shores....and the sun shining. A beautiful fall weekend in Oregon.
The cuteboy ditched me in the parking lot. Apparently....I wasn't (un)dressing fast enough. I stood perusing the various peaks....opting for a paddle out at Chambers. There were some long lefts and freight train rights coming through....could be fun. But it was crowded and a nasty rip was tearing through some of the peaks. So... I headed south to Timbuktu where I found myself splitting an empty peak with the Bearhunter and Mr. Lopez.
A couple hours.....trading waves.....smiling......enjoying the good surf.
Back for more Sunday morning....I found myself once again splitting a south peak with Mr. Lopez and the Bearhunter. Fast & furious rights. Steep long lefts. I had a front row seat to Gerry's beautiful carving on big bombers. And when he started cross-stepping to the nose....I told him to stop showing off.
Without getting too starry-eyed....I have to say.....Mr. Lopez is as gracious as he is graceful. The Bearhunter and I were scratching to get over an outside set....when Gerry dropped into the right. Bearhunter made it over. I......almost made it over.
Especially if they are on or anywhere near my person.
Snakes, mice, insects.......no worries.
Last week I was sitting at my desk...working at not working.... and looked up to see a bigass garden spider looming inches above my head.
Not even a naked Mikhail Baryshnikov offering to rub me down with fine french oil could have moved me faster than mister hairy eight leg.
Yes.....the spider dance had begun.
It truly is a masterfully choreographed piece. No two steps are ever the same. Modern...yet classic. A complete improvisation every time.
Twisting & turning....I half jump half dive to the left of my desk. My chair is sent reeling back into the 100-plus-year-old single pane window behind me. Side note: there is a wall to the left of my desk. After removing my forehead from the drywall....I duck & weave, duck & weave, spin spin, shudder and sprint out of my office to the foyer......wwwwuuuuuuaaahhhhhhh! Without missing a beat.....my boss looks up and asks, "Spider?"
Very few have witnessed the spider dance......and lived to tell about it. Shut it, cuteboy. I can hear you sniggering. Death by laughter.
I gathered my wits......along with a newspaper....and slowly crept back into my office. There he was....sitting smuggly in the middle of his web....smiling. I had every intention of smashing the fuzzy lurker but decided to scoop it up and show it the door. I'm so nice. At least.....I thought I was being nice.
....as I was exiting the building something caught my eye. Literally.
Mr. Hairy-Eight-Leg had spun a web across the entrance of the door........right at eye level.
...is the direction we should want to be moving in.
Today I watched the Big B slide himself to the edge of his bed....and with a little assist from Dad...lower himself into his wheelchair. Fortunately for him...I was sans pompoms.
He may not realize it....but these are huge steps forward from just a week ago. A steady progression...despite minor hurdles.
Even got a smile & laugh out of him....when I told him "no speeding tickets". Of course...he immediately followed with the requisite eye roll. A gesture I often choose to ignore. Today....made me smile.
When your own seven-year-old has to help you put your bra on......? It's just wrong. (Or...in his own words....it's GROSS.)
No...it's not the back.
I've managed to pinch a nerve (I think) in my left shoulder. Intense pain & numbness from my armpit all the way down to my wrist. Can't lift my arm. Sucks.
On a positive note......scored some beautiful weather & decent surf at the Noll on Saturday. (Yes....I surfed through the shoulder pain. Priorities...) Pulled a stacked heat....and didn't make it through to the finals. That's okay though.....the surf & weather Sunday was the shits. Literally. Also got to hump a friends new 9'4" Tyler. (Thanks Smitty) Beautiful beautiful board. I want one.
So....back to the injured reserves list I go. And back to teaching the v-man the finer points of operating women's intimate apparel. (It may be a few years down the road, but he'll be thanking me for these lessons....)
I went to a birthday party the other night....and got beat up.
I was standing in a corner of the dining room....having a pleasant conversation with the cuteboy & J. There we were.....talking, laughing, enjoying the party mood.....when this woman elbows me in the left kidney as she moves past me.Let me preface this by saying.....the three of us had been standing in the same corner for at least a half hour with plenty of room to navigate around us.
Anywho.... she elbows past, nailing me directly in the left kidney. Wincing....I look over my shoulder at her, as she...oblivious....heads for what I'm thinking is the cake table. Okay....? The cuteboy gives me a funny look....but I shake it off. No worries....she's obviously hungry. I mean...they're not serving cake yet...but maybe she's putting in her order for an end piece?
It wasn't 10 minutes later.....cuteboy, J & I are still conversing...still standing in the same corner. Again....this woman brushes past me. Yeah....brushes....I wish.
This time....she steps on my left foot. My perfectly-painted-bare-toed-flip-flop-wearing left foot. Jesus Christ! I look down to see a three-inch stacked heel planted squarely on my metatarsals.Am I wearing a kick-me sign? Am I on Candid Camera? I'm being punked...aren't I?Oh-my-fucking-god!I silently scream. What the....?!!...staring in disbelief at my foot. I am horrified by the 175 pounds of weight bearing down upon my slender size 9....grinding my (already flat) foot into the hardwoods. Tears are welling as I look up at the woman and mumble something to her along the lines of....
"Uh....yeah...I walk on my feet too. Only...I use the bottom so they don't wear out as fast."
Without as much as an "excuse me", she gives me this...look. I should have known better than to actually expect an apology. I mean...really...not even an acknowledgment was offered after the kidney offense. What I received, however....was entirely unexpected. A complete stare down. AS IF.....it was MY FAULT my foot was under her bigass shoe.
I was completely taken aback.
I picked my chin up off the floor and looked over at the cuteboy....patiently awaiting his boy-friend-to-the-rescue-here-I-am-to-save-the-day chivalry.
In the millisecond it took this woman to clench her fist and give me a look as if she meant to tear my head off....she also managed to completely shove the cuteboy aside like a sack o' potatoes. Leaving him in the corner....a quivering mass of could-you-possibly-be-any-less-manly-of-a-man. (What a pussy.)
Crypes....that's the last time I stand next to the cake table.
I picked him up off the floor and turned to confront this....this....woman when I realized....she wasn't trying to get to the cake. Apparently.......I had come between her....and her....sweets. Unbeknownst to me, this woman's girlfriend had been standing behind me the entire time. For some odd reason this woman seemed to think that I was flirting with the girlfriend...I really don't know. I swear....I only tossed my hair once...and it was mostly for the cuteboy's benefit. tee hee...
And that.....was just the beginning of the evening. (I'll save the disrobing in the kitchen sequence for another time.)
Sheesh... *disclaimer - all or none of this story has been completely fabricated. Except the part about my boyfriend being a complete pussy. That part....is true.
I started having back problems at about 10 years old. Twenty-nine years....and this has become old hat.
Of all the docs I've seen over the years....only one....the anesthesiologist that was giving me my epidural during labor....pointed out/asked me if I had had scoliosis as a child. (He noticed a curvature in my spine.)
The first time it happened....I was in the middle of gymnastics practice. Can't remember exactly what I was doing....but I couldn't stand up. I had to crawl off the mat and lay down.
That was the first of several "episodes" over the years....where I would hobble around for a few days. Hunched over....clutching my bottle of aspirin as if it was my only friend on earth. If it was really bad....I would go see a chiropractor or osteopath. No worries though....my back always rights itself. Eventually.
I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday to excruciating pain in my left hip. Throbbing, aching pain. I tried to get it to pop....but nothing was working. Unable to get comfortable, I tried going back to sleep. Good luck. By the time I got up Wednesday morning....my whole lower back had seized. Oh joy.
It was all I could do to stand up.
I downed a couple of Advil and winced through my work day.
The cuteboy felt so bad about my hobbling around.....that this morning....he threw his back out. Lucy & Ethel couldn't have timed it any better. Empathy pains....just for me. Isn't he the sweetest...?
The sight of us both trying to make our way down the stairs this morning....was too much. I started laughing....a bad thing when it comes to back pain.....I almost fell down the stairs.
The cuteboy's been keeping a daily photo-log. Each day's progress is digitally captured. Flipping through the pics......takes your breath away.
Single shots. Moments in time. Reminders.
Much about those first few days is a blessed blur...but for the few vivid scenes that will be forever burned into my mind's eye. I can't think about B's initial surgery without a flood of tears welling up. Eight and a half hours that felt more like eighty. Sitting by his bed at 4:00 a.m. Holding his hand & intently watching his swollen unrecognizable face....whispering to him so he would know we were there. Thinking to myself....please please...just open your eyes & roll them at me....pull your hand away....show me the usual courtesy of animosity. Anything... to put my heart at ease.
Seems like yesterday.....and ages ago.
He's had amazing progress. And....a few setbacks. All in all...he's doing well. But....it's time to get him moved and on his way to rehabilitating.
You want so desperately for there to be steady progress....that when things stall....it's almost unbearable. Perhaps....a call to papa?
...a client of mine....knowing the true beachbum that I am & long to be....offered to set me up at the coast and put me on his "payroll". I would be required to work one day a week......keeping the books in order, paying all the bills and filing the requisite tax returns. The rest of my week would be dedicated to surf. (He insists...the bastard.) And of course....not tell my current boss that he's stealing me away. Hee hee hee.....
Humptey Dumptey sat on a wall Humptey Dumptey had a great fall All the King's horses and All the King's men Couldn't put Humptey together again Thankfully......this was not the outcome for the cuteboy's son. The neuro & vascular surgeons that put B back together did an excellent job. And......thank you to the phenomenal nurses that work the pediatric icu. He spent a full two weeks there.....they've finally moved him upstairs. The docs still have to put the bone flap back in and it will be a long road to recovery......but every day he shows amazing improvement.
Yesterday.....he was discussing (schooling me on) the finer points of Wratchet & Clank......a PSP video game.
There is no fucking around on his watch. You do your job....and you do it well.
Wrestling, football, basketball, softball, track....swimming. Doesn't matter the sport...he can coach it....and coach it well. He often produced results...when others seemed to fail.
The consummate coach.
He no longer stands on the deck....stopwatch in hand...sunburned...whistling and yelling at me to "pick it up". (the only coach my twin & I would audibly curse while swimming...screaming back at him between breaths..."it's a 1500, you fucking 'pick it up'!") He has since passed the coaching stopwatch(es) onto my older brother and twin.
Doesn't matter...he still has that gift. That charm.
So....this summer....I've unloosed his coaching prowess onto the v-man.
He is now in control....once again.
v-man(...hanging on the wall): I don't want to swim! I'm not going to swim!
Coach S (my twin): How many laps did Papa tell you you had to swim?
v-man: Papa didn't say I had to swim any laps.
Coach S: Fine. I'm calling Papa... (calls our dad on her cell phone...from the pool deck)
Coach S: Papa's on his way down here to the pool...
Not another word out of the v-man. He got in the pool and finished his workout.
side note: Big Ron...Coach Ron...suffered a quintuple bypass almost 5 years ago. He was cutting stumps for 3 days and felt "fluish". This man...worked out his entire life. A minimum of two hours a day in the gym....not including his "projects" around the farm. A victim....of bad genes.
I took him surfing....for his very first time....ten months after his surgery. As he belly rode the white water in....he grinned at me and said..."I can see why you're addicted to this."
The North Pacific Log Club came together for its annual Log Jam.
Two rules: nothing under 9 feet & no leash.
Water temps reaching 60 degrees (a full 7 degrees warmer than our summer average) found everyone foregoing the 5/3's, 4/3's & 3/2's.... for boardshorts & bikinis. Seeing this much skin in the water is a rarity around here. It was a day spent in the Garden of Eden for us Pacific Northwesterners.
Single fins, 2 + 1's, paddle boards.....a bevy of boards to choose from.