Ocean State of Mind

August 25, 2007

Before I move on to my vacation in Rhode Island, I’d like to thank everyone for the kind comments. Some of you made me laugh, and all of you touched my heart.

I’m still not feeling well. Yesterday morning, I was so sick I was seriously afraid I would have to go back to the hospital. It was vomiting this time (dry heaving, actually, but very violent and very painful), accompanied by a stupefying headache.

I just want to feel like a normal, healthy person. It’s hard for me to even remember what that’s like…

Now for the Rhode Island recap. The vacation gets a mixed review. In my previous entry, I hinted that I was under a bit of stress while I was away. The first stressful incident had to do with my daughter, Leigh.

She and I went up Saturday evening, and Rebecca joined us the following day. Leigh was supposed to stay until Tuesday, but Rebecca woke me up at midnight on Sunday to say that Leigh was leaving because of a telephone spat with her boyfriend.

This was alarming to me because Leigh had been experiencing mycoclonic seizures that day. (Leigh is an epileptic, and myocolonic seizures are brief, shock-like jerks of a muscle or a group of muscles.) The thought of her driving three hours alone in the dark along a route she was not familiar with did not sit well with me. I tried to convince her to at least wait until morning, but she was in quite a state, and couldn’t be reasoned with. (What else is new…)

Rebecca offered to go with her (and drive Leigh’s car). I was left alone and despondent.

My mother was due to arrive the next morning, so Rebecca planned to catch a ride back up with her grandmother. However, when the time came, she didn’t want to get up that early (after having driven until 3:00 a.m., I don’t blame her), so she made arrangements to come back later in the afternoon with a friend.

When she DID arrive, she realized she had left her car keys at home. (Just to clarify things – Rebecca drove Leigh’s car home, leaving her own vehicle in Rhode Island. She returned to RI in her friend’s car, but needed her keys to drive her own car home.)

Rebecca called her father, who had planned to come up for a day, anyway. He brought the keys on Friday, only a couple of hours before Becca had to go back. Phew. That was a close one.

Despite the situation described above, I would have to say that the major cause of my stress was my mother. Ay yi yi. She is the most contentious person I have ever known. She debated every single thing everybody said. You could tell her the sky is blue, and she’d say, “No it’s not. It’s brown.” I held a lot in, to avoid ugly confrontations, which would only have made things worse. My stomach was pretty much in knots the whole time due to things that happened, or in anticipation of what was to come.

Still, there were good days. The first fun thing we did was go to a powwow. While there, we were lucky enough to attend a service with the Native Americans in this church, which was rebuilt after it was set on fire about fifteen years ago.

Of course, I especially enjoyed our many hours spent on the beach, one day in particular, when the waves were bigger and wilder than usual.

Another thing I really enjoyed was surf fishing at the Charlestown Breachway, even though we didn’t catch anything. We did see a school of bluefish, but, by the time we got our poles rigged and into the water, they were gone. The sunset was spectacular, and we were happy to be there, even my mother.

On Wednesday, we went out on a charter fishing boat for a half-day of fluke fishing. When we first boarded the boat, my mother asked a mate, “What’s a fluke?” His reply: “A fluke is what it will be if you catch any fish.” Hah! I had a good laugh over that. The fluke, by the way, is more commonly known as summer flounder.

The conditions were pretty rough, and Rebecca’s friend was frightened and seasick. Becca and I had a great time, though. We both caught flukes, but only Rebecca’s was large enough to keep. (They have to be 19 inches.) Rebecca also caught a skate, and the mates had fun terrorizing her with the ugly thing.

Here’s a shot of Becca after the mates put the skate on her head. (The two of them were walking around with skates on THEIR heads, too, by the way.)


And here’s a close-up of the skate.


Another particularly stressful incident took place after we got off the boat. My mother didn’t want to drive, and Rebecca didn’t have the keys to her own car, so she drove my mother’s Saturn. When we got to the car after our fishing expedition, the car wouldn’t start. Rebecca had left the lights on, and the battery was dead.

Rebecca felt terrible (my mother is good at making people feel that way). The poor thing was in tears. I felt awful for Rebecca, and tried to tell her that these things happen, and I didn’t blame her, etc. I went to search for assistance, and ran into a man who had been on the fishing boat with us. Fortunately, he had jumper cables, and was able to get my mother’s car started.

On a more pleasant note, we had Rebecca’s fluke for dinner that evening, and it was delicious. Even Becca liked it, and she hates fish.

By the way, my mother forgot to turn the car lights off one evening (SNORT),  but the beeping sound alerted her before any more damage could be done. The sound is what you hear when a car door is open, or you haven’t fastened your seatbelt, which is why Rebecca didn’t recognize it as having anything to do with the lights. 

Here’s a shot of Rebecca reading and relaxing after four hours of fishing and a tense situation with a dead battery.


While Rebecca did her relaxing in the hammock, I did mine at the beach.

There was also a trip to the casinos at Foxwoods, a visit to the site of an old fort, a stroll through lovely Watch Hill (which included checking out the historic Flying Horse Carousel, and a brief shopping excursion), and a lobster dinner.

And so, my vacation is over. Soon, the summer will be, as well. I don’t know yet whether or not I’ll be returning to work on September 4th. That will be determined at my doctor appointment on the 29th. Unless he strongly recommends surgery, I have a feeling I will be going back to work. We really need the money.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a short video of some waves. Bear in mind that I was using my digital camera, so the quality isn’t the greatest. Still, it will be nice to have this on hand when I’m craving the sights and sounds of the seashore. Now, if only I could find a way to bottle the scent…

Song of the Day:  Waves by Phish

P.S.  Once again, WordPress is messing up my paragraphing.  I hate the way it looks, but don’t have it in me to keep trying to fix things, only to make them worse.

18 Responses to “Ocean State of Mind”

  1. mercystreet said

    I love the wave video. I have a short one too that I did with my camera and watch it to remind me of the ocean when I get sad. You and I should go to the beach sometime, that would be fun. I am glad you got to relax and had some fun. You look cute in your photo.

  2. Great entry and terrific photos! You look so tan and pretty and relaxed! But why do so many mothers have to be that way?! I’m sorry you had to have that added stress to an otherwise nice trip!

  3. LeAnn said

    Great pics!! I would just love a vacation like that!! Wow!! Now about the vomiting. I’m no doc but your symtoms are similar to mine. Both the ones you mentioned in this blog and your last one. The docs don’t immediately think bowel obstruction for some reason. But maybe you should ask if it’s possible. Especially if you have ever had abdominal surgery. Bowel obstructions are rare if you haven’t ever had abdominal surgery but they do happen. Granted, that is what is on my mind now, obviously–but I still think you should ask your doc about it. Take care. Love, LeAnn

  4. yaketyyak said

    LeAnn – I DID have abdominal surgery, but it was only a laparoscopy to remove ovarian cysts, and it was about four years ago… You’ve got me scared now! Wouldn’t an obsctuction have shown up on the CAT scan?

  5. Melanie said

    You made me want to go to the beach! Sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather with another health issue. I read an article this week about how prescription pain meds have increased sales so much because so many people are living in pain, and I immediately thought of you. Wishing healthier, pain-free times ahead for you.

  6. Here it is the rush of the waters in creeks, burbling away, talking baby talk, but soothing nevertheless. I have several clips of that here in my files.

  7. Bex said

    My (ex) boyfriend had a bowel obstructions once, he just kept vomiting whenever he’d eat. They found out it was from scar tissue from a previous operation. Sometimes the scar tissue takes a long time to become an obstruction…so it could very well be that. I’m afraid surgery was required, too, to remove the scar tissue, but this was more than 20 years ago so possibly the surgery is now laparoscopic and not too bad. I don’t know.

  8. young jae said

    Nice vacation.
    Well… I hope you’re getting well. Take care of your health.

  9. Jim said

    I somehow don’t get to spend much time in your (vacation) half of South County and I have never been on the flying horse carousel (I really am going to have to do something about that). They didn’t have Shakepeare in the park this summer.

    Maybe you should vacation with just Daniel and make the rest of the family go to a different beach? You could all meet up for one meal a day or something and the rest of the time you and Daniel could relax on the beach or explore the shore or whatever.

  10. Dustin Vik said

    Great Article Thanks


  11. So sorry you had such a difficult time before vacation, but I rejoice in your fun time away! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  12. Those waves made me want to jump right in! (Thanks for your kind thoughts, too.)

  13. Aspenhugger said

    Thanks for your lovely note. It is a very hard thing, & I’m still working my way through it. I see some old familiar faces amongst your noters — and I would sign up except NotifyList isn’t working for me any more — I think my ISP’s spam filter is blocking it, but they deny that (of course).

  14. Stefani said

    That skate is really icky!

  15. LA said

    I make it a point to never eat anything I’ve known while it was alive (humans are the exception of course *evil grin*) but that skate definitely needed some batter and butter.

    Happy Birthday, darling friend. I’ll see you Thursday! After my beach day on Tuesday please be very impressed with my slightly less than whiter shade of pale. ~LA

  16. Diane said

    Well except for the pressured moments it looks like a great vacation. I hope your well enough to work again *cross fingers*

  17. f-i-n said

    I love the pow-wow pictures and the closeup of the skate. Cute!

  18. Matt said


    I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I’d like to request permission to use the photograph you have posted in this book. Please contact me at matt@wefeelfine.org, and I’d be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



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