Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time for a Pot of Chocolate!

I've been busy yesterday and today! I went to the thrift store and found this oh-so-charming little teapot! Isn't it just darling? I had to add it to my tea pot collection. The other tea pots in my tea pot cabinet will just have to move over and make room. Hopefully they will all be friends with each other soon.

Additionally, my little shopping spree yielded a sweater and a cute terry cloth hoodie/pants combo for Ariana, a pair of exercise pants for me, TWO gorgeous skirts (one is black crinkle with lace applique and black sequins, and the other is a silk crinkle skirt that fades from brown at the hem to coral higher up, with brown embrodery embellishments. And last but not least, a denim Anthropologie Jacket with a bit of embroidery work on it. Getting that jacket represtents hope, because it's just a tad too small for me, yet. But I am shrinking. Hope.

What I was looking for were smaller blue jeans, and after putting a gazillion pairs in my cart to try on, I learned to my dismay in the changing room that the brand of jeans that I currently own (which are getting baggy) use vanity sizing, and the numbers in other pants don't correspond to the actual size of my...ahem...self.

I thought I needed smaller jeans because I was going to go on a caving trip with Maia and Ariana and our AHG troop. I ended up wearing my baggies and they were fine.

Well, let me tell you: I thought caving would be scary, but I actually had fun!!!

The first part of the cave tour was easy: In a boat. We saw blind (and pure white) cave fish and crayfish, and some frogs that had washed into the cave river. What, I asked, do these creatures eat, since there is no vegetation at all in the cave river? The frogs don't eat, and eventually leave the cave, since they don't technically belong there. The fish eat microscopic creatures that live in the river water, was the answer. And I saw a mud-brown bat, too. Amazing to see mud covered limestone and the water so clear we could see the bottom several feet down. In some places, the cave river was too deep to see the bottom. Gollum and goblin jokes abounded. And one little girl who was Pokemon obsessed was "seeing" them at every turn!

There were live rock formations, dripping wet and growing, right next to dead ones that had grown their maximum capacity and dried. The guide told us that were we to swim under that water, we could go up into those rock formations and there would be an air-pocket on the inside, a hollow chamber.

The second part of the cave experience was called a wild cave tour. We entered a tight crack in the rock, geared out with hard hats and flashlights. I'd bought the kind that strapped to my head or helmet. Before long we were crawling through a tight space, and I thought to myself: "What have I gotten myself in to?!" And that was only the beginning. On our way out, I laughed at the section I'd quailed at near the beginning. The passage basically got tighter and tighter. Then we climbed straight down a hole (think Alice in Wonderland style) and had to go through a very tight horizontal passage. Very rocky and uncomfortable, with only enough room to crawl military style...or scootch on your back. I decided I'd rather go feet first instead of head first into that creepy hole and I ended up cork-screwing myself through there. How was I not scared witless, lying there on sharp rocks, staring at rocks five inches above my face? On the other side was a water fall. We climbed up that (OK, so there were stairs at one part, to accomodate us tourists), got wet and were in the final chamber where we rested, and then turned around and headed back. Funny how coming back out did not seem nearly as far as it seemed going in.

The whole thing took us quite some time. And it was quite the experience. I just kept telling myself: "God is here, too." Psalm 139:7-8 came to mind:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Accomplishing the cave tour was huge for me. Five years ago, I was practically in bed all the time with fibromyalgia. And now I was able do this! My recent workouts came in handy, and I felt strong enough to do something difficult.

I have bruises all over, but feel amazing at the accomplishment...even if it was just 1400 feet of caving crawling, and not even real/actual exploring. Still, it was something I'd never tried, and that I'd always sort of feared, and I did it! Glory to God for all things.

The kids had a good time, too. The bunks were uncomfortable (we "camped" in the cave with a bunch of other scout troops that were also on the tour), and the food was hideous, and it was cold, damp and muddy. But all in all, good times were had.

But now...oh, my cozy chair is so nice! I've had Arnica rubbed on my many bruises and sore places and it's definitely time for a pot of chocolate!


elizabeth said...

so glad to hear of these things! :)

Marigold said...

Eeeek I felt so claustrophobic just reading about your cave adventures! I wish I was brave enough :)

x M.

Anonymous said...

So amazing! Which caves were these?

And, nothing better than a great thrift store haul. ;-)

--Victoria, too lazy to log in

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Neuropoet said...

This post gives me hope... not that I want to go spelunking any time - but to even be capable of it someday - that would be wonderful. Right now just showering with Fibromyalgia is a workout..

Congratulations on your successful adventure! :)


GothGirl said...


I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, but...


Tabitha said...

You "rock"! I'm sure I would totally have "caved" under the pressure. Spaces that small would have driven me "batty". Sorry to be such a "drip". Okay, I'm done now.

Pearl said...

I had to stop reading that post to fend off an incipient claustrophobia induced panic attack!

However, I wanted to let you know that I've been lurking for ages, and praying for B. I was a young woman with a mental illness, and I wish I could help. I lit several candles for her here: The community have many links with Orthodox Christians (including a community of Romanian Orthodox who worship in their chapel) and I thought of you while I was there.

Alana said...

Thank you!

The caves were the Bluesprings Caverns, in Bedford, Indiana.