Friday, July 6, 2012

Here Comes Summer!

Today is July 5th.  Where I live in the far northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest, we say summer begins after the 4th of July.  Today was the first beautiful, sunny, summer day and I'm content though not headache free.  I just feel more optimistic when the clouds lift and the temperature finally warms up enough to put on my sandals "permanently" until October.  I plan, but it doesn't always go my way, and I try to leave things loose enough to always have a back-up plan.

Last summer my husband and I went on a road trip from Washington State to Santa Cruz, Calif. to see my youngest son.  We did a side trip to Crater Lake in Ore., which is at about 8,000 feet.  We camped in chilly 40 degree night-time temperatures and headed down the mountain the following morning.  The elevation dropped quickly and temperatures began to rise rapidly.  My head began to throb, and soon I knew I didn't have it in me to deal with cooking and camping in our van.  We headed to the nearest motel in Redding.  By the time we arrived I was feeling pretty sick and my internal thermometer had gone haywire.  I was on the way to heat exhaustion.  Air conditioning, a long, cold shower and an ice pack brought my temperature down, and my headache began to respond to meds.  Eventually we went  to dinner at a low key Mexican restaurant (with air conditioning), and food also improved my state of body and mind.  Being tuned in enough to admit what I needed, when I needed it was the the key.  In the past I have tended to ignore all the warning signs until I'm on the point of collapse, but I'm learning.

All in all our road trip wasn't easy, but I learned that unaccustomed heat is a trigger for me.  We continue to plan road trips in the summer, but now we know that staying in a motel can be a good option.  And, you know what?  I'm ok with that.

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