Time for another photo essay. It has been very hot and humid here in Maine and the entire Northeast. I do not so much like it, as seems to be the opinion of most people. It's been crazy....high 80s and low 90s with record breaking humidity for days on end. Originally I thought it would last just 3 days, then a week, now it seems like, well, let's just say I might have to get used to a new kind of July. I have heard the humidity is suppose to temporarily go down for one day tomorrow, but with a high temperature of 88, that isn't much of a consolation. Sigh.
However, today after a week of wanting to, I finally was able to go with my friends N and R to the lake at my dad's house. He lives on Sebago Lake, the second biggest lake in Maine. With a floating dock, noodles to swim with, and kayaks, it is many ways a perfect summer destination. I had not been swimming in about three years, a huge shame because I absolutely love swimming. When I was a kid, I was never happier than when I was in the pool. Before the humidity started bothering me, I was in the lake a lot during summertime when I was at my dad and stepmom's. Then I was in Oregon one summer and Montana the next time, so it had been a LONG time since I had been swimming.
You know how they say the phrase "easy as riding a bike" or how people think once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget? Well, I'm not quite sure about the bike part, but I know swimming is like that. It's a beautiful feeling, to be able to pick up something so easily that you haven't done in years. The water felt cold when I first went in, as it always did, but then it felt great; soothing, surrounding you as if in a big hug. The dock was still the same; the metal bars are great for grabbing and playing around. I dunked my head in and the rush of cool water was delightful and surprising. Thus baptized, for lack of a better word, I set out to swim to the floating dock, following N and R.
Here's the other thing that surprised me: how easy swimming was. I had been afraid that swimming might be too hard after not having done it for so long, or more likely, that I would not have enough breath to swim because of the air quality (which was thankfully okay today). But it was so intuitive; reaching out to the water and saying "Here I am," reaching out to the water and pulling it toward me, just a few easy strokes with my arms and look how far I've gone! Holding on to the floating dock and gasping for breath, waiting to catch my breath, just like old times. (It seems easy until you stop, lol.) I couldn't swim very long before getting out of breath - but that was true before too - but what I could swim, I enjoyed.
So we sat on the floating dock for a while, entertained by each other's conversation and the sun and water around us. I jumped into the lake from the dock for old time's sake. I was actually kind of nervous doing that. Took a few minutes to get up my nerve. But it went fine, although due to the force of impact it's something I'd only do once. I used to love the feeling of shooting underwater, feeling the water get colder as I went down further, and seeing how far I could go down before I had to go up again. N said he thought I was never going to come back up again. :)
We returned to the shore and the dock there, and grabbed some colorful noodles to sit on and play with, another thing I always used to love. The only thing I didn't do this time is swim on my back, because the water was too rough and would have gotten in my ears and eyes. Come to think of it, it'd get in my ears either way, so swimming on my back may not be a good option.
N, R and I
We also had some fun on the hammock. Rocking back and forth on that thing is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine, and I intend to do it more when I have clothes instead of a bathing suit on, which I figure will be more comfortable.
We had some of my dad's special house-made smoked pulled pork (heat and humidity and pulled pork, Gee, this place is getting more and more like the South every day. If I see someone serving sweet tea, I'm going to run. lol.) Then we went to Whole Foods, N did some shopping for his stepdad while I grocery shopped. I thoroughly enjoyed shopping in an air conditioned environment. Whee!
The only thing that will take some getting used to is this sunburn - which of course I didn't notice until I was home and saw it in the mirror, isn't hat always the case. I have the classic bathing suit strap marks - lol been a long time since I had those. I don't think it's a particularly bad one, but it's definitely more moderate than the very mild ones I've gotten so far this summer. Ie I can actually feel it. But hopefully if I am patient and wait patiently a few days without getting upset, it will go away. It usually does. We went so early in the day, we were there at 1, that it was unfortunately prime sunburning time. I wonder why you never feel yourself getting sunburnt till you are.
My stepmom gave me an old bathing suit that she had which I was very happy about. It fit okay and is the most beautiful shade of purple. I don't love wearing bathing suits, but they are a necessary evil for swimming.
I felt quite good, although tired, when I got home; but then I tried to watch 60 Minutes and I was falling asleep in the chair, so I went upstairs to rest .
I am afraid it may be another unseemly hot and humid weather week coming up so I will have to gather all my patience to get through it again. Patience is key. Then next Saturday is the Clam Festival I have been waiting for for months. The one thing I probably missed most about Maine the last 2 summers. Let's just say I will kill the weather gods if there is not passable weather that day.
If you like this, please be sure to visit my other website, Accepting Asperger's. A lot of my older writing is stored here, including an editorial I once wrote for the Baltimore Sun. Click here to see it: Accepting Asperger's.
What's it really like to be a 20 something with Asperger's? On this blog, I hope to explore that question. But this blog is not just limited to an audience of people in their 20s - this is for anyone who ever wanted to know anything about autism. I plan to delve into the nature and experience of autism, and examine it from as many angles as possible. I would like to start a conversation between people with Asperger's or autism, parents of kids with autism spectrum disorders, and anyone who just wants to know more. Let's explore what autism means, together.
My goal is to start a discussion on and build a community of people affected by autism - parents and adults with ASD - so feel free to leave your two cents in the comments section of any post. If you're too shy for that, however, or want to speak to me personally, you may feel free to email me at KGoldfie@gmail.com.
Asperger's Book for Sale
Common Scents: Adventures with Autism and Chemical Sensitivity" is the story of a young woman's search for physical and emotional safety as she journeys through the mountains of the Cascades, small coastal towns on the Oregon coast, and out-of the-way towns in upstate New York. Along the way, she experiences things she would never have dreamed possible had she stayed in her Maine hometown, and begins to learn the power of human connection.
Common Scents is the story of the last three years of my life. It gives a gripping view of what it is like to experience the world as someone on the autistic spectrum, and some would say, is an entertaining travel story as well. Because of chemical sensitivities, I engaged on a three year journey for a place I could call home.
Comments from readers:
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"Your writing style is SO engaging and interesting. It brings me right into the subject and I always experience a little emotional punch towards the end. In other words, this is the third time I've teared-up reading your work. Kate, you've highlighted ALL the problems with how social skills are usually taught." - mother of ASD kid
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