Today we played Whack-a-Mole with my skin. Mom applied the hydrocortisone cream liberally to a few patches on my head, neck and upper back both morning and evening. Nothing is really moving yet, nor does it feel bad yet, but we’ll do our best. We also spent time exploring, road tripping and hitting up not just one, but two Starbucks. Yes, we are living dangerously.
Last night, Mom and I hatched a plan for today, that we confirmed over breakfast. Mom stuck with her dairy free yogurt and I branched out to scrambled eggs. In my pre-transplant life, I love scrambled eggs. Today they were, eh. Not the best, but then again, I scrambled the heck out of them, food safety and all. After sorting my pills for the week, chatting with Dad and Andy, we were off! Starbucks first – my Peppermint Mocha was divine and Mom enjoyed her Irish coffee Cold Brew – and then to Van Wilder Pottery, a 70-minute drive from Bethesda.
The 270 wasn’t bad, and eventually we merged with the 70. At some point, we exited towards Middleton, MD and then took something called a pike towards Burkittsville, MD. Yes, it was filmed for the Blair Witch Project and yes, people steal the town sign – especially around Halloween, according to the pottery folks. But the town and surrounding area is beautiful, in spite of it’s tragic history with the Civil War.
After pottery, Mom and I explored Gathland State Park and the War Correspondent’s Memorial (circa 1896, to memorialize journalists killed in wartime). The stone walls are incredibly old, and were, at times, used during Civil War battle for protection. The entire area is a beautiful commemoration; I’ve been very impressed at the historical descriptions, monuments, information centers and permanent fixtures that the state of Maryland has placed to denote historical significance during the Civil War.
After looking around the park, Mom and I headed South on the Appalachian Trail, walking along the spine of South Mountain. The initial climb was slightly steep and had my heart and lungs pumping. Eventually things evened out and we walked, selecting our steps carefully. Maryland is rocky, not PA rocky, but rocky enough – especially for a 70-something dynamo who normally whoops things up in Water Aerobics. I’m continually impressed with Mom, that just needs to be said. After 2 miles, we hit our dirt trail intersection (not much of a view, if I’m going to be honest) and turned around, headed back towards the car and gap. The return was easier – no blinding sun and both of us having already slipped and slid at times, knew especially what to watch out for.
Once back at the car, heater cranked, Mom and I drove back through Burkittsville and back towards Middleton, enjoying the bright colors of the setting sun, intermingled with the greens and golds of fields and farmland all around. Plus, I have a thing for red barns, so I stopped to take a few pictures. At some point, I even got a honk from a passing truck – I took it as a compliment and just waved. The light and trying to capture what I could envision in my mind was the trick, and I loved the challenge.
And then it was home. The 70/270 wasn’t bad, and I mostly sang in between conversations with Mom. We stopped for a second Starbucks for the road, and traffic behaved. I inhaled my chicken noodle soup for dinner, relished the iced gingersnaps for dessert, and had fun watching Pride & Prejudice with Mom. What a classic.
I’m feeling good, as a whole. Tired, and my eyes are tired because it’s late. My eyes, especially my left (even under my eye) is a tad puffy, and for bed, I put on my lymphedema wrap around my lower right leg. Sure, there was car time and my right leg does tend to swell a bit, but I just want to keep things as manageable as possible. Mom Whack-a-Moled my back and later, I chatted with Andy and edited some photos from today. Now it’s time for bed – I can’t wait.
Tomorrow…? Technically it IS tomorrow. No clue, but I’m sleeping in. Goodnight!