Friday, June 05, 2009

Squam is da Bomb
(Sorry about that, I couldn't resist...)

It's lovely here. Just absolutely, beautifully, LOVELY!

The light is stunning. It makes everything look clear and bright, it's like the light back home in MN. I wonder if it's a function of the latitude?

The food is very good - light years better than anything I ever had at camp - and many of us find ourselves going for seconds (and thirds!)

I've been laying low in the dining hall, breathing is hard and talking is harder, so I've either been eating alone or with folks I don't have to chat with much (folks who know me, who I don't have to impress...)

I've been booked into 2 classes a day for the 3 days of the workshops, and the students are everything I could hope for.

They're curious, hard working, very engaged and VERY fun! And - something I hadn't really thought about - they're very caring and quite generous with their concern.

I've been having a pretty bad time breathing since NJ. I think it was the pollen which I'd grown used to not dealing with - not that there's not pollen in MN, but pollen is different in different places.

My breathing kept getting worse and worse until I was having a hard time just getting up the stairs here, let alone carrying my bags around to the class building, etc. I brought my bike, but there's NO way I could ride around this gorgeous area.

So I figured I'd just get through it - push through - but my lungs were having NONE of that.

And so in each class I've been sitting more than I'd like, not moving as much as I usually do, and breathing like a racehorse after the derby. VERY enjoyable for the students, I'm sure.

Last night I felt SO out of it that I avoided talking to anyone after dinner (speech = bad) and just came up to my room to sleep. I looked up the local hospital (in Plymouth) just in case I had to drive for a nebulizer treatment, and slept.

And slept. And slept. I slept almost 12 hours last night. I was exhausted from trying to live, teach, move on partial oxygen.

This morning my roommate - the lovely, kind and talented Sally Melville - offered me some allergy medicine. "Oh, it's not allergies, it's asthma..." But I took the good stuff - the Canadian stuff - and within a few hours my nose wasn't runny, my breathing was pretty good, and I sounded much better in my classes.

I'm sure my students still think I sounded terrible, but the reduced wheezing was music to my ears!

Tomorrow are my last classes, then I leave here on Sunday to head off to Toronto. I'm not sure if I should go via NY State or through Montreal and above the lake. I'm stoked about either way - but perhaps NY would be a safer bet if I have to stop at a doc's on the way, insurance being what it is and not wanting to cause an international incident.

As I drove up here I stopped at an old friend's house - she is a master (mistress?) gardner and lives IN the Taconic State Park. Amazing.

Her home is a dream, and her garden is more of the same. Here are some shots of her lovely abode - the furry things are weasel tails.

Apparently her cat leaves these as an offering many mornings. Nothing left but the tail.
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posted by Annie at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please see a doctor. With underlying lung disease you should get on top of any changes in your breathing. The longer it goes on, the longer it will take to get better.
Cyndy (a frequent reader and physician)

June 06, 2009 2:14 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Driving: probably within an hour of the same time, whether you take I-90 or the 401. You can go faster in the U.S. because our speed limit is a touch higher. But we've found the border crossings up that way to be less congested than those in Buffalo (unless you have a NEXUS card?). You could always split the difference and come across through Burlington, north of Plattsburgh, and then along Route 11 to the Ogdensburg bridge and the 401. At least, it's a nice time of the year to be driving, and you're unlikely to hit snow.

June 06, 2009 4:44 PM  
Blogger kmkat said...

I recognized Jess (frecklegirl) in the photo. We knitters are a world unto ourselves, aren't we? Do take care of yourself, Annie -- oxygen is not to be underrated.

June 07, 2009 10:40 AM  
Blogger digifigi said...

First, as a fellow asthmatic whose triggers include allergic reactions, antihistamines have kept me off inhalers for years. It was an allergist who predicted incipient asthma if the allergic reactions weren't kept in check. Do check in with your MD (by phone) to see if you can get relief while away.
Second, as a former MN resident, it is the latitude that affects the light. Have you experienced the Northern Lights yet?

June 07, 2009 12:03 PM  

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