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The Last to Arrive

The Last to Arrive

The reunion of my best girlfriends from high school can now be called an “annual event.” That’s because
technically you can’t call something an annual event until it’s happened twice. Last year I hosted the
inaugural, and while I enjoyed the company, it’s more fun to be a guest.

This year’s hostess invited us to her vacation home in Bethany Beach, Delaware and specified we were
welcome any time after 4:00 PM. Apparently, we were all raised right because no one was early. I left
after work and was the last to arrive at about 10:00 PM.

Every hellish minute in I-95 traffic was worth it when I was greeted by six screaming ladies on the front
porch, brandishing wine glasses. Each of them embraced me in turn and continued to scream their
greetings in my ear. If you’re ever feeling low, be the last one to arrive at a reunion of half-tanked high
school friends. It’s an amazing ego boost. At that point in the festivities the air conditioner repairman
might have gotten the same reaction, but I’ll take the love just the same.

I was offered food and beverages immediately by my amazing hostess. This was the girl in high school
who most guys wanted to date but got too tongue tied in her presence to form the words. Strangely enough, all that adoration never went to her head. To this day that amazes me. After all the screaming had stopped she took me by the hand, looked very seriously into my eyes and said, “Would you like some chocolate lava cake?”

I turned down the chocolate lava cake but managed to drink waaaay too much Prosecco. So much so
that I fell out of my bunk and had to be tended to by the group’s remaining cogent person. Thank you
Dr. P. I owe you one. She informed me the next morning that I speak fluent Wookie. Who knew?
The rest of the weekend was wonderful. Time on the beach, good food, nonstop talking. I’m still
touched by the memories we all own of each other. It’s like the various puzzle pieces form a complete
cohort’s experience.

We talked a lot about parenting; the way we were parented, the way we parent our kids, and the way
our kids are raising their own kids. I’m more convinced than ever that having a safe and stable home life
is the most important gift you can give a child. It doesn’t have to fit traditional models, but simple
stability is crucial. I’m in awe of the women who could create stable and loving homes when that was
not their experience growing up.

I’m hoping to raise a glass of Presecco among these precious friends for many years to come. We should
probably take turns being the last one to arrive.

Thank you for visiting,


Beach Hack or Fun with Condoms

Beach Hack or Fun with Condoms

On the very first day of a much-anticipated beach weekend, I got a nasty puncture wound on my forearm. This was last Thursday night. I cleaned it out with hydrogen peroxide, covered it with antibiotic ointment, and checked with my doctor first thing in the morning to make sure my tetanus shot was up to date.

But what about wound care? More importantly, what about wound care at the beach and in the ocean? Despite popular assumptions that salt water is good for healing wounds, OCEAN water is not!

“When you decide to swim with your open wound in the ocean, you give a contact between your wound and this possibly-contaminated water. Besides, ocean water might contain harmful bacteria that can lead your wound to infection.”
“When you have an open wound, especially the big and deep one, its healing process might cause changes to your immunity. You can easily be infected with various kinds of viral and bacterial diseases. This is why swimming in the ocean with an open wound is not the best decision.”

I LOVE to swim in the ocean. I should probably say I love to jump through waves and hang out in the water rather than technical swimming. It’s one of my favorite things to do. This is not to say I don’t have respect for rough water, rip tides, and jelly fish. I’m not stupid.

The surf at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina this past weekend was perfect. It just doesn’t get any better for someone like me with a longing to frolic in the ocean but the upper body strength of a kitten.

What to do about my wound?

Here’s where the condoms come in. I first got this idea when I was taking care of my mom during chemo and she had a pic line (surgically inserted port) in her upper arm. One of the few things she still enjoyed was baths. So, I got some super-sized condoms, cut the reservoir end off, rolled it up over her arm, and it worked perfectly! A friend of mine got the same advice from the nurse at an infusion center.

I thought to myself, why can’t I do the same thing at the beach?! I did and it worked equally well.

As always, I have some caveats.

I’m not medically trained. Duh. My advice is anecdotal and should be taken with a grain of salt, but not salt from the ocean on an open wound.

I discovered it’s not a good idea to ask your host or hostess if they have a condom you can borrow.

If you have an allergy to latex or embarrassment, this is probably not for you.

You will need to take the following things with you to the beach:
 Condoms
 Scissors
 Fresh, dry bandages
 A friend (especially if your wound is on your dominant side)
 A sense of humor

Remove the condom by carefully cutting it off as soon as you’re done swimming so you don’t cut off your circulation.

Keep a dry bandage over the wound while you’re on the beach cause who knows what’s in the sand! Probably used condoms.

I prefer unlubricated condoms but apparently they’re hard to find these days. I found this out after having to ask the young, male, pharmacy aid for help. Talk about embarrassing! I can just see his thought bubble, “Yeah, right, it’s for your arm…cougar!”

Anyway, the condoms worked great and I had two days of amazing swimming. And—so far—my arm is still attached to my body.

Thank you for visiting.


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