Too much fun for one day – Lake County Record-Bee

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I woke feeling pretty punk on the day I was to have a breathing test in Ukiah. Fortunately, Mabel stepped up and drove me to my appointment. “It’s a good day to have your breathing tested,” she said, “especially when you’re having problems breathing.”

Sounded logical to me.

I’ve had breathing problems on and off my whole life. When I was rowing competitively, I would go to the Long Beach Rowing Association and join my teammates at 5 A.M. O’dark hundred. We’d warm up and then row 2,000 meter sprints. Four times. Just days before the regatta, I came down with bronchitis. My doctor said it was “exercise induced asthma.” So much for competitive rowing.

Since then, I’ve done all sorts of activities and had no problem. Just no more rowing 2,000 meter sprints. But lately the air, due to the fires and whatever else is going on, has knocked me back, so off to my second-ever breathing test.

The respiratory nurses conducting my testing were super friendly. Shelly and Bobbie. Shelly went over instructions while Bobbie expertly took a blood sample. The testing took over two hours and during several tests I was breathing so deeply, and for so long, that I felt I was going to pass out. Fortunately, I didn’t.

During several breaks from heavy breathing, we chatted and my column “What’s a Girl to Do?” came up. Always a fun topic; talking about driving race cars, playing Dungeons & Dragons, swearing when I get scared.

While Shelly tortured me with a different breathing test, Bobbie found my columns online. There I was panting like a dog (“panting breathing”) and she found all sorts of activities I could go to. Many I had already written about, but one was interesting; a cribbage group held that night at a pizzeria. Perfect! I could have my first piece of pizza in over two years!

I hadn’t played cribbage in probably four decades, but I’m a quick study. At least that was my thought until I remembered that my parents taught Husband No.1 and I how to play Bridge. We played in the family room and being pregnant, I, as usual, had to go to the bathroom. While I was gone, my very kind but playful step-father and my mom, who was also pretty darn playful when she wasn’t being strict, dealt me a perfect Bridge hand of all spades. When I sat back down at the table and picked up my hand and saw all spades, I timidly opened with a bid of “One spade.” My parents and husband cracked up! “What?” I said. “What’s so funny?” Well, having a perfect hand, my bid should have just been to slam the cards down on the table saying, “You lose!” Guess I wasn’t such a quick learner.

On the drive home from the breathing test, I asked Mabel if she wanted to go and she declined, saying Cribbage was a game for old ladies. “That’s mahjong,” I told her. That didn’t sway her, so when I got home I rested and then headed out to Lakeport, driving myself. Amazingly I wasn’t tired. I was actually pretty jacked up from the breathing meds I had taken during the tests.

The pizzeria smelled great. Really great. “Stay the course, Lucy. Don’t be tempted with all that yumminess,” I told myself.

Eventually 10 people dribbled into the banquet room. Everyone introduced themselves to me. One woman brought a large pizza with her for everyone to share. I held back, politely, for a few minutes and then took a piece, trying not to inhale it.

A retired firefighter sat across from me and asked me questions while shuffling a deck of cards; have you played before? Is this your first time here? I told him about not having played for roughly 40 years, but I put on an air of bravado. Like I was going to kick butt! Righttt.

Firefighter Al, patiently reintroduced me to the rules, the counting of cards, the moving of pegs on the small wooden board and a bunch of others, too numerous for me to remember. And then we began a game. A few times, someone was called over to help me.

Toward the end of the game, my brain went into a fog. I had a hard time counting, even when I counted on my fingers. I couldn’t remember if I had pegged my points on the board. I was done. Too tired from all the heavy breathing in Ukiah.

What was a girl to do?…I got up and promised everyone I’d return next week. But no more pizza!

Lucy Llewellyn Byard is currently a freelance journalist and columnist for the Record-Bee. To contact her, email [email protected]

 


This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
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