Sunday, May 15, 2005
Home Sweet Home
Back from Special Olympics in Stillwater. The three days went well. The two kids I had in my room behaved better than I thought they would. One in particular did extremely well. I hope he surprised the folks from his previous elementary school who were staying on our floor. I'm not sure he got a fair shake there and was never allowed to show his good qualities. All they saw was the bad behavior and came away with a dislike of the kid. Of course, he drives me nuts most days but Tracey and I both like him. He's got tons of potential and I hope she can prove to his parents that he can be a great kid who deserves to be loved.
As far as the weather went, this year's time in Stillwater was uneventful. The first day was warm and muggy but not unbearably so. The second day was overcast and cooler but nowhere near as cool as last year turned out. We also didn't have a repeat of last year's rainout of the 50 meter races.
Probably the only bad thing that happened was one of the kids puked in the pool during our Thursday night pool party at the YMCA. Yep, last year it was diarrhea from some unknown kid and this year one of our kids lost their tortellini dinner in the pool about thirty minutes before we were scheduled to leave. Better than last year when we only got to swim for about thirty minutes before the call to abandon ship. Maybe next year we can go back to our uneventful pool parties.
Friday we skipped the closing ceremonies--it was raining and I spent an unfun two hours in the common room keeping our kids from bouncing off the walls. Finally we loaded everyone into the bus and made the trip to Hideaway Pizza for lunch. We were finished there around 1:30 and headed back to school, arriving about 3:00.
Unloading the bus takes a helluva lot less time than packing it and most of the kids were met at the school by their parents so, after cleaning the bus windows, I waited in our classroom for Duncan to get out of school and Mike to pick us up. I'm such a glutton for punishment, I agreed to a trip to Lake Tenkiller for the weekend.
Mike picked us up about 4 and I rounded up a few things for him and the kids. Mom had packed most of the kids' things already, which was a big help. Mike packed his own because I was starting to drag. The exhaustion of Special Olympics always hits me when I enter the front door of my home. Not sure why. Maybe it's because I know it's okay to be whupped then because I don't have to watch out for any more kids (other than my own that is).
Mom, Cal and my brother drove up in her car around 5:20 and we headed off to the lake. I didn't fall asleep on the drive. That was surprising. Cal and Duncan watched DVDs and were very good. We stopped in Henryetta and ate at a greasy spoon/truck stop off the highway called the Pig Out Palace. Yep, the name was too good to pass up. The food there was okay. My hamburger was pretty good but Mike wasn't impressed with their buffet.
After stopping at a local grocery store in Gore, we finally arrived at the cabin around 9:30 and unloaded all our junk. This cabin was a lot smaller than the one we rented at Roman Nose before Cal was born. It had two rooms, one with a queen size bed and the other with two twin beds. The futon couch in the living area made out into a full size bed. Fortunately my brother had brought his inflatable mattress because the futon couch bed was none too sturdy.
After we got everything put away, I called E to chat and watched a storm roll in. The lake looked really cool when it was lit up by lightning flashes. Went to bed just before the downpour hit and slept great. Gotta love it when exhaustion can make even an unfamiliar bed be comfortable.
The next morning we ate breakfast and headed out for a walk. Justin wanted to finish paying for the cabin so we stopped in at the gift shop/ranger station first. Then Justin took us to an area where you can jump off some cliffs into the lake. One area is closed off because the cliff is a tad too high and the water below it a tad too rocky. He and I climbed down to the area he normally likes to use. I was up for jumping but it wasn't open for the season and the gate was padlocked with a notice to keep out. Either the entire area has been shut down for good or they just hadn't opened it for the season.
Duncan was all hot and bothered to swim in the lake (although after seeing the cliff, he didn't want to do it there) so we went back to the cabin and got our swimming suits and flotation devices. Tenkiller has a few spots roped off for swimming and we found one close by and proceeded to step into some very cold water.
The water was too cold for Cal and Duncan. Duncan hopped on his floatie tube and stayed above the water. Justin, after diving in, did the same in his floatie tube. I tried to get Cal to float on his raft but he didn't like the fact that it sunk into the cold water when he got on it so I put him on Duncan's back and walked them around the water. This put me in the water up to my chest. In the really cold water, up to my chest for around twenty minutes.
Cal wanted to go in and I put him back on the shore and walked out of the lake. I looked at my legs and was surprised at how red they were. I sat down on a rock and felt all of the blood rush from my head to my lower extremeties. I even mentioned this fact to my mom. I got even more light-headed and decided sitting in a chair might be a good idea so I walked over to the chair next to my mom and fell down while trying to sit in it. That was weird. I usually have a lot more control over my body.
I managed to sit in the chair and noticed my vision was going all wonky. The next thing I knew, Mike was yelling at me asking if I could hear him. Evidently I had passed out. And Mike got it on video. I watched it tonight. Kinda weird to see yourself look like you're asleep and then notice your head loll forward while you convulse. Wacky stuff.
Everyone spent the next fifteen minutes or so trying to rouse me and get me to the van. I was so out of it I only remember sporadic questions and being pretty emphatic about not wanting to go to the emergency room. I also remember my brother chafing my legs to get circulation going and thinking that it was sad for him that I hadn't shaved that morning--prickly stubble. Evidently I was so out of it at one point Mike had to slap my face to get me to wake up. And they dropped me a few times trying to get me to the van. Something about becoming a dead weight while going up a sandy incline. Hypothermia...a wonderful thing.
The sad thing is, I knew what to do about what was happening to me because of the first aid class I had to take for school this year. Unfortunately having never experienced the effects of hypothermia I was taken by surprise (to put it mildly) and wasn't lucid enough to give instructions to anyone until we got back to the cabin. Fortunately I recovered and only wasted the rest of my Saturday sleeping and dealing with a nasty headache. Oh and I noticed today my right leg has a weird bruise. Probably from being dropped.
On the plus side, I now know what hypothermia feels like and that I will not be swimming in any Oklahoma lakes in the middle of May.
That evening, after sleeping a helluva lot, I felt a lot better. We grilled hamburgers, played some spitting Uno (Uno Attack) and built a nice fire after the sun went down. We did the obligatory roasting of marshmallows and making of s'mores. After taking one bite of a s'more I didn't want any more. Icky things.
The kids did the bath thing and we watched the fire for a while. Then Duncan and I watched the Survivor episode I missed on Thursday. Mike was nice enough to tape it and dump it to a DVD for me. Keen. After that was over we all went to sleep. Even after sleeping all day I was pooped.
Mike and Duncan were nuts and got up early the next morning so they could drive back to OKC and go with the junior high school class to visit a Buddhist temple. I was very smart and stayed in bed.
Mom, Cal, Justin and I took our time eating breakfast and gathering up our shit. We tidied the cabin, checked out and went to the marina so Cal could feed these really huge carp. We left the marina and drove to a scenic overlook. I snapped a few pics and Cal played on the swings. Then it was time to hit the road for real and head to OKC.
We made it home around 3. Mike and Duncan were already home and being lazy. I didn't do much beyond putting all of our dirty clothes in the hamper and checking my email. Oh, I got my comics and vacuumed out the van. We ate leftovers for dinner and watched the Survivor finale. And that was my weekend. Fun, huh?
posted by Tamara - 9:25 PM -- Link to this entry
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