Lake Waccamaw

At Lake Waccamaw again, finally!

Sitting here in one of my favorite places in the entire world, the glider on the back screened porch of my cousin Fred’s house at Lake Waccamaw, watching the birds swoop over the water and listening to the artesian well trickle between the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore. As the shadows grow longer, the waves usually crank up to small whitecaps in the evening.

I drove to Marietta on Wednesday afternoon, and my reason was to accompany my mother to her doctor’s appointment for an epidural steroid injection for the terrible sciatic pain she is experiencing almost constantly. We (including her “man” friend Billy Kay) drove an hour to Florence, South Carolina to the Pee Dee Spine Center, where she had an appointment at 2:45 yet was not seen until about 6:00. Then, just as they were ready to give her the injection, somehow they found out that she had been taking an arthritis medication that the doctor said gave the procedure a risk of paralysis. I understand how she was confused about it, but my heart just broke for her when they called me back there and told me what was going on. If I had been her, I would have bawled like a baby. So now she has to go back on Friday, after she has not taken that medication for seven days. What is really tough is that it is the only medication that gives her any relief at all.

So I stayed Thursday night and we ran some errands on Friday morning. Then I cooked all afternoon so that she would have plenty of good food to prepare easily during the coming week. She has lost so much weight during this ordeal, which began in February. I don’t know what to think about this medical practice. If we have another bad experience on Friday I think that my sister and I are going to arrange for her to see a doctor in the Triangle. There are so many good doctors and hospitals in that area and she can stay with one of us for a while.

After eating dinner with Mama, I drove to the lake and here I sit. It’s a little warm and humid. My sister and her husband are here, and Lisa spent a few hours with Mama today. We’ll swing back by there tomorrow on our way home.

I’ve been weaving the second sunrise tapestry. It’s been good to see my color choices in natural light, sitting in the shade of Spanish moss draped bald cypress trees. I don’t get the chance to come down here much anymore so I grabbed it. Since my cousin retired, he is often here with his friends. The days of this beautiful retreat as a common getaway are over. It makes me sad, but also grateful that I was able to use this place for free so often for so long.

I gather water smoothed, beetle carved driftwood sticks in the cool, shallow, tea colored water, digging my toes into the tannin soaked sand. One day I am going to come down for a weekend and make paper, including things that I find here in the water and on the beach. I would love to set up an outside Navajo style tapestry loom over one summer and weave the fibers and sticks of this place into a big wall hanging. I guess that it could happen and I should not count it out. This is truly my favorite place in the world; surely I will be able to continue to embrace it with my heart.

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