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Wednesday, September 7

Drained - a ramble

There are a few times I've felt as utterly drained as I do at the moment. Even laying down and typing this out feels like very strenous activity.

Two of those times were when I attempted to donate blood. The first time, they got to 1/2 a pint, and I started feeling really awful and then deliciously sleepy. They stopped taking blood, put cool rags on me, and told me not to sleep. I couldn't understand why, but I obeyed. Then I got cookies and some juice and felt more lively. It wasn't squeamishness. I've had countless shots and blood drawn for tests. They suggested, and I concluded that I just hadn't eaten well enough beforehand.

I prepared better then next time. It was years later. I had a nice meal a little while before. I enjoyed watching how them take a pint out. It went much more smoothly. I ate my little treats and waited the obligatory 15 minutes. Then I stood up to go and almost fell over. Same feeling as before. They had me lay down, again with the cool rags, and had me sip some Gatorade. After a while, I felt ok to go. They said I'd be ok to donate again but would just need to let them know to keep me a bit longer.

The other times I've felt like this, besides having strep once, were when I was pregnant. I worked two retail jobs in retail the first time and then would go to afternoon classes. In the heat of the summer, I'd come home after work, pass out in front of the window unit air conditioner and wake up a few hours later.

I finally cut the ballet class. I needed the money, and I really wanted to finish up the C programming course I was taking. I thought I was being a bit wimpy at the time. The ballet instructor had managed to dance throughout her pregnancy. I guess she was used to it. It wasn't the dancing that was really wearing me out. I think it was just doing more, overall, than my body could really handle.

There's really no point to this except to vent a little frustration. I don't really have time to be sick. I have too much to do, and yet it's nice to get some rest. I think I've been neglecting sleep a lot lately, and it's just making me feel that much worse right now.

For a few minutes when I was feeling slightly better, I wandered out into the yard. It was breezy and pleasant. I watered a few plants and remembered how much fun I used to have doing that as a child. I had a rose bush and a few crepe myrtles that I'd care for plus I'd check on all the other little trees my parents had attempted to grow. All of my plants did well and I managed, I think, to keep some of their trees going for a while. I think it was the wrong soil for them. Lots of rocks. Dig a few inches, find a 6 by 4 inch rock. Dig a few more, find another, etc.

I remember the ground would get so dry in the summer that large cracks would form. There was some risk of catching one's footing in them.

A friend was talking about his telescope and complaining about the terrible visibility in Austin. I think I was a bit inconsiderate in mentioning that I grew up being able to see the Milky Way almost nightly. I took it for-granted that I'd always be able to see it. I loved looking at it and thinking about how big the universe might be.

I miss the sunrises and sunsets out there. Trees were scarce. I could look out and see literally for miles. Later, I got used to being in the city with all the trees and never even thought to wonder why I hadn't seen the Milky Way. Someone explained it - that the city lights were too bright. I don't mind too much. I don't need to see the Milky Way every night, but I'd like to see it again sometime. The sunrise and sunset too. I used to watch them daily and never get tired of it.

I thought I'd miss them a lot when I moved in town, but I don't really. It's just a little thing I think about now and then.

One thing I miss slightly more is watching a storm roll in. There's nothing like seeing huge clouds, smelling the rain in the air, hearing the thunder. I loved to stand outside and watch for as long as I was allowed. My dad would watch too. I don't remember what we talked about. We just enjoyed it.

It's almost my favorite time of year again. Fall. I think I wrote about it last year. I love the cool relief from summer. I love Halloween. We have a tradition now of gutting some pumpkins and carving designs in them.

Feeling better now. End of ramble.

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