Thursday, September 12, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Is this little guy doing yoga?
I am afraid of snakes. I think it's because they're deaf and so don't move away until you're very close. I like having snakes in the garden because they eat bugs. I just wish they'd say "hey" so I'd know that they're there.
I'm also afraid of falling, not heights. I like being up high, like my cat Carly, but don't like moving around on a 40-foot ladder pulling off asbestos shingles and nails, scraping, sanding and painting. I have a healthy respect for electricity and gravity. So this intersection of the rooflines of my house has been a challenge to work on because I have to stretch out on the roof, turn around and rest my feet on the top run of the ladder while someone is holding the bottom of the ladder. It'll get done but it may be the worst part of the whole house-painting experience.

I've had some very scary experiences. I've gotten lost in the woods hiking alone twice, once in the North Woods of Maine, which is very remote.  I found my way out after a little while, but it did cause feelings of panick.

In 2004 I had a common, run-of-the-mill surgery that went very, very wrong.  It resulted in three surgeries in ten days, and two near-death experiences.  I missed 2 1/2 months of work.  Oh, and multiple blood transfusions, one of which leaked into my arm, causing it to turn purply-black from wrist to elbow.  I couldn't use it too well.  I remember my nephew really wanting me to swim out to a little "island" in a pond at his house, but I could only use one hand and required the help of a boogie board.

I had a little post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards where I would re-live being in the hospital again.  I kept trying to prove that I could go back to my former existence.  I would go hiking but constantly check to see if I had started hemorrhaging again.  Plus I was afraid to go too far into the woods for fear of being  too far away from medical help.

I decided to try to climb Mount Katahdin in Maine six months later, much to the chagrin of my physical therapist, who was afraid I'd fall and reverse the progress made on my arm.  I had to prove to myself that I was okay, you know?

The previous year I had fulfilled a life-long dream of renting a cabin in the wilds of Maine.  About a month before then I had gone on my first hike, and gotten very lost (on Soapstone Mountain).  On my first day there, when my sister and her family didn't show up to meet up with me, I went into Greenville and bought a book from a local on hiking in the North Woods.  I completed a bunch of intense, wonderful hikes that week and was hooked.  In that area the way to trailheads are on unmarked, unpaved logging roads.  One can get very, very lost on those roads.

 Anyway, the next year (when I was recovering from my illness) my mother insisted I call every day, unlike the previous year when she hadn't heard from me the entire week.  One day I got very, very lost on those logging roads looking for a trailhead (which I still haven't located!).  I was late calling her, so she called the owner of the cabin where I was staying.  Poor thing.  She misheard me and thought I had gotten lost in the woods for hours, but I was only lost on those darn logging roads.  I finally followed signs to a wilderness camp where they train sled dogs and the lovely lady gave me directions out of there.  That was more frustrating than scary, though, and it's always fun to spot a moose!

Anyway, on my bucket list is to complete that hike.  I only got to Chimney Pond (pictured below).  I didn't want to push it and my stamina wasn't back to normal quite yet.
     What are you afraid of?

1 comment:

alissa said...

What a beautiful lake - it's breathtaking! I hope you are able to conquer the mountain soon and check that off your list.