Beyond Here Lie Dragons

My last pre-op post in all likelihood.

I just had the most wonderful weekend. In honor of my birthday and impending surgery, we decided to go to Virginia Beach in our typical Off-Season Kings fashion. A $300+ oceanfront hotel room can be as cheap as $69 in January, so we go to Va. Beach in January.

Since Virginia can be very mild in January, this usually works out very well. Of course, this January has been somewhat Arctic Circle-like, and the 17 degree windchills kept us mostly off the beach. We did visit the Virginia Aquarium, which I adored and Grace enjoyed immensely. I forgot to bring the camera in no photos.

We were able to watch the Wild Card Eagles/Cowboys game on HD in our hotel room. That was nice for Byram especially to see his ‘Boys win in HD.

The next morning, Grace and I braved the ridiculous windchills and went down to the beach to feed cheerios to the seagulls.
Nasty critters, really. Winged rats as far as I am generally concerned. But it is still a novelty to be swarmed by hungry birds.
They were brave. No fear of humans.
It was just too cold to keep Grace on the beach more than a few minutes, so we retreated to our balcony, being somewhat sheltered from the worst of the winds. From there, Byram was able to catch them eating straight from my hand.
I was able to catch him relaxing to the roaring waves.
We braved the beach again on our way out. I love the Norwegian Lady and since she was literally right next to our hotel, we paid her a short visit.
Here is what she is all about:
After leaving the Beach, we went over to Ft. Story where the Cape Henry lights are. The Old Cape Henry Light was the first ever federally funded project built in the very young United States. I have climbed it twice, but Grace was too little for us to climb this time. Maybe in a couple of years we will go again.
This is the New Cape Henry Light. It is still marvelously functional and a joy to behold (if you are me, anyway).
A short distance away is the location that the Jamestown settlers made their first landing (thus called First Landing). They built a wooden cross from spare beams from their ships and held a service of prayer and thanksgiving to God for delivering them safely to the New World. The wooden cross is long gone, but it is replaced by a memorial.
My two favorite people posing at the cross.
From this vista, you can see both lights.
Also, there was a nice view of the shipping lanes in and out of Virginia Beach/Norfolk.
We had a truly smashing time.

I am officially less than 48 hours from my surgery. The butterflies are fairly constant at this point. I have suffered multiple episodes of icy cold feet, a couple of times giving real consideration to calling it off. People keep asking if I am excited, and I wish I could say yes, but mostly, I am so anxious that it overrides the excitement. No, I am not excited about surgery. It is going to hurt, it is invasive, I am dreading the catheter, the drain, the enforced nudity, the lack of privacy (I am such a prude), the constant waking to take vitals, the compression boots, and the self-injected lovenox shots.

What excites me are the possibilities. I dream of hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains. I dream of jogging because I simply enjoy it. I dream of doing the 60 Mile walk in DC for Breast Cancer. I dream of nice looking blue jeans that do not include spandex in them. I dream of not being controlled by what I eat, but controlling and being content with what I eat.

All of these possibilities are a long way off of course. All of these possibilities depend on me doing the work to achieve them. The surgery won’t do it any of that for me. It will help me, but the power to make these things happen has to come from within. I believe that spark is there, but my body has been limited by the extra 120-130 pounds I carry, and my mind has been defeated by years of yo-yo dieting and a singular lack of faith in myself. I have to fix the mental stuff, and I believe that is beginning to happen.

I have always thought myself a quitter in the past. Now, I am proving in a very positive way that I am in fact a quitter. I quit smoking 3 years and 4 months ago. As of New Years Eve 2009, I quit drinking alcohol. I have quit sneaking food when I thought no one would notice. I have quit stuffing myself at meal times.

Now, I need to quit thinking terrible thoughts about myself. I need to quit hating myself for poor choices made in the past. I need to quit worrying about the things I cannot change. I have proven now that I can quit the negative stuff if given the proper motivation, and I believe I will quit all of these mental bad habits.

To be a quitter is not always a bad thing. Now, I aim to be a loser in the best possible way.

I cannot wait to begin my new life Friday morning. I just have to get through the dark and scary day that is Thursday. And I believe that I will with all my heart.

Besides, my dear husband just gave me something else wonderful to live for: my birthday gift was a skein of Malabrigo Worsted Yarn in colorway Plena. He walked into the Yarn Lounge and asked them for a really nice yarn that I could knit something out of while on morphine. He also picked up some Crystal Place 2.75 mm DPNs since I have warped my old Clovers with all of the sock knitting lately. For the man who I think barely tolerates my knitting most of the time, this was a near-saintly act. And I love him all the more for it.

I have been searching for a good scarf pattern for the past week to knit while “on morphine” as he said. I haven’t come up with something I haven’t already knit before yet. I adore the plain Ridged Ribs pattern (cast on any number divisible by 4 +3 more; K2P2 to the last 3 stitches, then K2P1 for every row). I call that my Corrugated Scarf but it works best on really chunky yarn. That will be my fall-back scarf.

Any suggestions?

So, this is probably it until after my surgery. If the worst happens, Byram has my log in info and can post in that case. Otherwise, I expect you will hear from me again in about a week or so.


One response to this post.

  1. How about this one? It’s an easy, fast knit and would look great in Mal worsted.

    I hope you have an easy surgery with no complications. You guys make sure to call if you need anything. One of us can come up and help out if necessary.


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