Thursday morning. Chemo tomorrow. Round three. So far, Gabrielle is weathering this week quite nicely. The kids, along with Karissa, made us a wonderful meal of pan-fried petrale sole, mashed potatoes and broccoli along with cherry pie for dessert. Gabrielle had an impressive amount, but she is still thin…almost 20 pounds down from when this all began. I am making up for her weight loss, big time, but will soon put the brakes on that. Still, I want to be a good example to her, so I shovel it in. Nothing like leading by example, right?
Daniel and Gabrielle had a nice outing to Northgate as well…four hours. She even took advantage of her birthday month and had lunch at Red Robin. I am so jealous!
Well, I’ll have to leave the rest of the details to the others. I just have time for one quick story before hopping on my bike on this blustery morning and heading off to the salt mines (that’s where Ward Cleaver always told June he was going)…
So, now, my little aside.
On Sunday, I was booted out of the house by Gabrielle and Daniel and told to get some exercise as I needed it. Perhaps they were sick of seeing me eating all the treats that were supposed to be for someone else. In any event, I went down to the beach and went for a run during low tide. It was quite pleasant as I had a chance to find more beach glass and saw all sorts of wonderful things: waves, birds (cormorants, buffleheads, gulls and such), and even got a little exercise to boot, though it was kind of hard to run and eat ginger cookies and pick up beach glass all at the same time. One of the delights about being at the beach is that you never know what you’ll see. I looked the waves, the clouds as they scudded across the sky (the poet types love that word ‘scud’, so thought I’d throw it in just for good measure). So as I scudded across the beach, the ginger cookies scudded down my gullet, the clouds scudded as well. So much for scudding.
As I ran, I was struck by a massive barnacle shell and picked it up. At first I thought of discarding it, as I didn’t know what to do with it once I got it back home. But as I held it in my one free hand (see reference to beach glass and cookies above), I was drawn to it all the more and just couldn’t send it scudding across the water like a skipped stone. So now it’s in my collection of seashells and beach glass. Here’s a picture of it:
You will notice that it totally dwarfs the previous biggie that I snagged a couple of weeks back. And, no, I didn’t find the quarter. I just threw that on the table to give you a reference as to the size.
So, today’s aside is about barnacles. I think they have gotten a bad rap over the years. What do you do if you have a boat? You scrape the barnacles off. Barnacles slow you down, are crusty and rough. I know of one dermatologist who told a patient that all her spots and moles were just “barnacles on the ship of life”. Patient didn’t like getting told she had barnacles, and I don’t suppose I would either.
But take a closer look at the big one above. It has a massive exterior that shelters a very soft organism from the ravages of the wind, the tides, the various sea creatures that want to eat it for lunch. When it is hungry, it opens up its hatch (gotta be a better term than hatch, but that’s the best I can do right now) and extends its feather-like arm into the current pulling in nutrients and even more calcium to add to the shell. Piece by piece, the shell is made. On any one day, you wouldn’t notice the half dozen or so calcium bits stuck on the rim, but over time they add up, and the soft little critter on the inside is nestled deeper inside, safer than before.
I like shells. They protect the vulnerable soft spots. But unlike the barnacle, I can’t be all hard and crusty. Softness lends itself to being open and receiving the gifts of kindness of others. Sure, it is possible to get hurt, but I’ll take that chance. Nevertheless, there is something nice about that barnacle.