It's been, give or take a couple of days, a month since my pinched nerve started acting up again, and I am still struggling with it, though this week has a seen a turn for the better. I had at least 3 weeks of basically non-stop pain and every remedy I tried felt like stop-gap measures that provided some relief while going on, but as soon as they stopped or wore off, I was right back where I started. Heat pillows, heat collars, massage, Ibuprofin, exercising, and 3 visits to a chiropractor haven't really helped. Last week the chiropractor taped my shoulder and amazingly, that seemed to make a slight difference (until the itching reaction from my allergy to the adhesive set in). And I had this week off, and haven't touched a computer keyboard in 6 days, until right this minute...THAT definitely seems to have made a difference. Which doesn't bode well for working.
My oldest best friend arrived last Saturday, with one of her current best friends, and it's been a lovely whirlwind week of nostalgia and sightseeing, laughter, memories and talking. Despite her bogus disclaimers that she is old and gray and wrinkled, it took about 2 seconds and it was as if she had never changed. I had never changed, and we were right back in the comfortable cushion of our friendship that has lasted since we were in 7th grade. She and I had part of 7th grade, all of 8th grade, and about 3 months of 9th grade together, in Holland. Then she moved back to New Mexico. We stayed where we were in Belgium through the end of that school year, then moved to Germany. After that I went to Michigan State when my parents moved back to the the US.
We figured out that in the intervening years since November 1979, we have seen each other 10 times, now 11. A weekend in Baltimore, a week in New Mexico, a canoe trip before her family reunion in Michigan, our wedding, our 40th birthday summer with several of our "gang" from junior high, among others, and a slightly diminished junior high school reunion again IN Holland, which included a visit to the our old school, which had been completely rebuilt since we attended it.
That's pretty damn good for a couple of military brats.
Anyway, her friend Jennifer is a total Hamilton nut and when tickets for the show in London went on sale, she bought 4. She had already seen it twice at that point, and saw it AGAIN before last week's show, and says she'll happily see it as many times as she possibly can. Becky, my friend, and her husband Pete, took 2 of the tickets because Becky was determined to come see me in Sweden, and it seemed like an easy jump this time. Pete, who is half-English, took the opportunity to visit his brother, who lives in Falmouth, so sadly we missed seeing him. So they saw the play and then the two of them headed over here.
We spent a great deal of time just sitting around and chatting and catching up (and in Jennifer's and my case, getting to know each other), talking about our families, our children, our jobs, our lives. We went to Lund and visited the Cathedral and Kulturen. We went over the river and petted horses in the Flyinge Stables and saw the storks. Jennifer wanted to see a real Swedish grocery store, so I took her to our ICA, where she took a picture of the long shelf of (gasp!) unrefrigerated eggs. We looked at photo albums and notebooks stuffed full of the drawings and stories and notes that Becky and I and our friends wrote and drew when we were 13 and 14 and 15.
On Sunday, MY two current best friends came over and as I had hoped, they all liked each other and we had a lovely evening. On Tuesday we drove up to Helsingborg and took the ferry over to Helsingör and visited Kronborg (Hamlet's castle) and ate Danish smörrebröd. Yesterday we spent the day in drizzly, cold Copenhagen and had a blast. And today we ate sushi for lunch in Lund with Karin and then I took them to the train station to begin their trip home. I didn't cry: I know we'll see each other again. I just hope not so much time passes before it happens as went by last time. And just think! I got a new friend out of it! :)
We've had Pie Night, and the Olympics, and Melodifestivalen, and work is STILL insane. I can already feel my arm protesting and I've only been sitting here for about 10 minutes. I have another massage tomorrow (have the day off even though my guests are gone) and one scheduled for next week as well. I miss writing. I miss this journal. I miss you.