It's been an unseasonably cool late spring, with lots of rain, but today's weather forecast was promising, and although it was overcast and still cool, the rain did hold off. I was feeling good, and Marty thought we should take advantage of those facts and go to ride the carousel at Nantasket Beach in Hull, which is a town on the ocean south of Boston. The carousel is one of the oldest in the country and was originally part of a large amusement park called Paragon Park, but when it was shut down the carousel was saved (it actually had to be moved about half a block from its original location).
We left around ten. It's about a forty minute drive, and although we weren't sure exactly where the carousel was, I suddenly pointed it out just as we were about to pass it. The street that runs alongside it was blocked off because of a display of historic cars, so we asked a policeman who was directing traffic where to park, telling him we were disabled and showing our disabled parking pass, and he said to park in the lot of a restaurant across the street. Marty got the scooter out of the trunk, and we had a little scare when at first the charge indicator showed that it was almost out of power, but after running it for a few minutes the needle moved into the yellow zone and eventually back into the green zone.
We had decided to take my three stuffed bears, Pinkypine, Bo-Bo, and Elbee with us (they ride in the scooter basket--they also came when I got the award at the MAMH gala a few weeks ago). When we went to get tickets the woman wanted to know how much assistance I would need, so I told her I could park the scooter and walk, and she showed us a place where it would be out of the way. The only hard part was climbing up on the horse, but I made it (Marty struggled too). We made sure to get on the horses that go up and down, rather than the stationary ones, and it was such a wonderful, nostalgic feeling, with the music and the painted horses, and I had fun waving at the bears every time we went by. When the ride was over Marty told me to stay on and he got off and took a lot of pictures while I rode the second time. When the ride stopped I asked the woman who was running it for some assistance getting down, and she suggested that she turn it back on for just a few seconds to get the horse into the lowest position, which was trickier than it sounded and took a couple of tries.
We then strolled along (me in the scooter, of course), stopping in an arcade where Marty decided to try his hand at Skee-Ball, which he hadn't played since he was a kid. He played a few rounds and ended up with a pile of tickets, which could be exchanged for prizes, and I got a statuette of two little cats (he actually had to go back and play another game because we were a few tickets short). Then we took a look at the classic cars which were parked along both sides of the street, all beautifully maintained and clearly the pride and joy of their owners.
When we went back to the car we decided to check out the restaurant since we were parked there anyway, and it turned out to be quite nice, right on the water, with classic New England seafood. I had fried clams and Marty had fish and chips, we each had a beer, and it was great that I wasn't anywhere near as tired as I thought I might be.
One other purpose of the excursion was to check out the new oxygen concentrator we will need if we go on a longer trip. For short trips I can use the portable tank that fills from the big liquid oxygen tank, but that lasts for only about six hours. The concentrator works, theoretically, on house current, battery power, and car current, but we had all kinds of troubles with the last machine (I think we had three different ones) and were eager to try out this one, which is a totally different model, from a different company. On the way down in the car it was fine, running on car current. I used the portable while we were on the carousel and having lunch, and when we got back in the car Marty hooked me back up to the concentrator on car current. After about fifteen minutes it started to beep ominously, and, once we had found a place to pull over and check it out, it seemed like it was just not holding a charge (which is the same thing that had happened to us with the last machine). So we are going to have to call the oxygen company and see what they can do.
We've had a quiet rest of the day. I've been resting, Marty actually took a little nap, and we did the Saturday Times puzzle, the most challenging of the week, which we struggled with for awhile but finally got (we did have to look up a few things). I'm tired, but less tired than I expected, and less tired than I've felt on many days recently when I haven't done anything. After a few days of feeling so blue, I really needed a day like this.
(Note: I put a new link to photos of the Helsinki church in the blog entry on the meaning of suffering--check them out.)