It’s been a while, and I have missed consistently reading various blogs and tapping away on the computer keys about what’s going on with us. So, I guess this means I am back.
Summertime has been a quiet event for us. We did welcome a few visitors, relaxed with reading, and I ventured to the beach for walks, swims, and the pure enjoyment of feeling the sand between my toes, and on other days rescued a drip or two of melted ice cream from descending on my lap. What can I say? It’s been a hot, dry summer, and like life, this summer has been a mixed bag of all sorts.
The quietness in our life is mainly due to the Squire’s ongoing health challenges, which haven’t improved as expected, especially his T Cells [immune system]. What does this mean? We are waiting to hear the results of what his T Cells are “doing” within his blood system. If the specialist is correct, the Squire will need a top-up of T-Cells from his donor. That will require a mini transplant procedure. Each week, eight vials of blood are taken to test various “things”. Currently, the medical team are reducing his drugs, mainly the cyclosporine [immunosuppressant] and will deal with the ongoing issues, if any do occur. The last time his medical team reduced his medications, a stint in hospital with ten blood transfusions occurred. Fingers crossed that episode isn’t repeated.
As with most people, we continuously took each day as it arrived and enjoyed the small successes with less focus on what we couldn’t do during summer. For myself, there has also been the constant and lifesaving enjoyment of cycling with a friend and walking. Plus, it kept me reasonably sane, I think?. For the Squire, exercise was slowly reintroduced during February with strolls around various local areas, usually with me in tow. It also signified something new for me as I now call myself a senior woman who is into shooting hoops [S.W.I.S.H]. This type of basketball is not just a New Zealand “thing”, as there are clubs worldwide. It’s fascinating, and I’m so pleased to have found this local team who have gone out of their way to make me feel part of a very supportive group.
A place where I am just known as Suzanne.
The sounds spilling from our local sports arena suggests an ordinary basketball game: shoes squeaking against a slick court, hollow thumps of a ball, and friendly banter.
But inside this hall is a rare component.
Not a group of youngsters it’s a group of still young at heart older women, even a couple in their 80s, are hustling to pass, steal and shoot. They dribble the ball and weave skillfully through other players as they sprint toward the basket. I am not one of those skilled players, though my ambition to improve each week is high on my list of priorities. For now, those sharpshooters have me running around in circles trying to keep up. The team are my inspiration.
We, in various ways, have thwarted the slow creep of aging and loneliness during parts of this pandemic by supporting each other. The leader basketballer makes an effort to let us know how other members are going and why someone isn’t there. Phone calls or messages are shared when a ball isn’t. Injuries and medical reasons don’t stop members from being a part of the team as they contribute by ticking off who’s here to play, fees noted, and being the official sideline referee.
By nine-thirty, after a short natter, as we scurry around the court, warming up our limbs and that hard basketball, the game starts. We become players, friendly though with a serious competitive streak, the ball passes quickly. Most are trying to intercept and block those shots from the opposition. The ball is grabbed tightly, arms lifted, and heaved towards the basket within minutes.
Other moments via snapshots
After deciding to do this post I realised the lack of moments captured with my camera so perhaps autumn will be the season to inspire me. Here’s to us all enjoying and capturing more of our own unique backyards and further afield.