As I've mentioned a few times, I'm not the healthiest of people. I never have been, having multiple ailments (None are communicable, keep trading with me!) but in 2013 I was hit pretty hard by diabetes, which I didn't know I had. I literally came 5 minutes short of dying. (and keep in mind, there is some health stuff I'm choosing not to post about)
While I've been physically limited in what I can do for a while, (some days are better than others, of course) this did a real number on me. One thing it did was take away things I WAS able to do previously. I still don't have the stamina fully back yet; I've been told I may NEVER have it back.
The heat takes more out of me that it did before. An example, last year I walked around for 45 minutes at a car show, in August. It was about 90 degrees...and afterwords, I couldn't really walk for 4 days. I only wish I was exaggerating. I was so bad after that that I couldn't even make my own lunch in the microwave.
It took more than that away from me. I had to stop collecting 1/64 NASCAR diecasts. That was #1 for me for many many years. But the money to pay for the medicine which keeps me alive, which costs at the very least $500 a month, sometimes more (it fluctuates constantly) had to come from somewhere, and it had to come from the diecast collection.
It cost me the ability to sit Indian style. I used to sit like that all the time- I used to prefer sitting on the floor to the couch or any chair. Now, trying to sit like that causes me intense pain that lasts for several days, and getting up off the floor is almost impossible due to the pain it puts me in.
I'm not sure if it's related or not, but since I got sick (when I say that, I refer to the diabetes) I've had to totally give up milk and it's looking like I may have to give up cheese soon. Cheese is my favorite food and has been for years, so this is a grievous diagnosis for me. There is a direct correlation between it and my being nauseous all the time. (I'm lactose intolerant, apparently)
I've found work-arounds for some/most of the above that I've lost. Even if I have not done that, I've made peace with it and accept that it's not possible to be part of my life going forward.
The one thing that it took away, and that I miss the most...is Lake George. Lake George, NY, is my absolute favorite place in the world. I had been to it every year of my life, sometimes more than once a year. In fact, more than once I've spent an entire month there with my family, although it's been more than a decade now since we could afford to do that.
Lake George is on the very edge of where we could drive to and back home in one day, or at least, it used to be before my health and my mom's health had major issues in 2013 and 2014 respectively. We were both hit pretty hard in back to back years...and it cost us our ability to travel.
It doesn't help that our Jeep is pretty much officially dead. It last moved under it's own power in October 2015, and it's looking like it might never again. It's from 1994, and we've had it since 2003, but it's made it very hard on us not working constantly. (Even when we do get it "fixed", it usually lasts for only a few months before breaking down again). We can't really trust it to go father than we can walk home from. That's basically to the post office and McDonald's and back.
I have not felt comfortable with my ability to travel since I got sick in 2013. The farthest we've traveled is an hour and a half, to the NNL East in New Jersey. I was able to do that trip with no problem, but Lake George is double that.
I didn't feel safe being that far from home. It's probably more mentally based than reality based- but at home, if my number gets low, I've got plenty of things to choose from to fix it. When my number gets low, I can tell by shaking. My body will start to shake, starting with my left shoulder and moving to my other shoulder and both legs, usually. I'm afraid that if my number got low while riding in the car, I wouldn't feel it, and a low number is actually MORE dangerous than a high number.
But I think I'm in enough control now that I won't have to worry. In fact, no matter what I do, my number is usually too high anyway.
To be honest, I'm still a little worried, but...we have gone back to Lake George! I'm writing this up well in advance but I have felt ready to go back since roughly May of this year. My favorite day of the year is always the day of the Adirondack Nationals, the best car show I know of! It's held at the Fort William Henry grounds- an actual fort from the French and Indian War of the mid-1700s, at least the grounds. The Fort itself is a recreation of the original- with original artifacts on display- after it was burned during the war. (The area also played a major role in the American Revolution).
We found a place that is affordable, a little out of town. The place we had been staying since 1987 unfortunately went out of business in 2014. It was right on the lake.
Normally most places jack up the prices for the car show, but this place doesn't. I don't plan to post this until we get back home, but I've known we were going to go back since late July. I have to say, August has been dragging. The Olympics helped quite a bit, but since the Olympics ended, it's been about a week...but it's dragged on like it was an entire year.
I'm back home now, and this trip was everything I'd hoping it would be. Just about perfect. It was brutally hot on Thursday through Saturday, but I still went to the car show both Friday and Saturday, and I would say I saw about 80% of the show. Much more than I expected to do be able to do. I'm in a lot of pain, I knew that I would be. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! It still feels "wrong" to drive past the street we used to stay on- every year from 1987-2012, it was really home away from home. The heat was tough and took a lot out of me. I am curious to see how long it will be before I'm not in constant pain from the show. (I'm in constant pain 24/7/365, but I'm referring specifically to pain caused by walking at the show). I really don't know. I am hoping to go to another car show this coming weekend, so it's possible I could be facing 4 weeks or more of pain caused by walking this show, if it works out where I can visit 3 car shows in three weeks.
I have Adirondack Nationals photos on my website HERE. I went in 1988 and 1989, then missed it until 2001, we then went to the car show every year from 2001-2012. (The pictures get better as you go along, generally)
I ended up taking 1379 photos and videos on the trip, including my favorite video I've ever taken.
I will post some of my favorite car show pictures below. Before that, though, are some of my favorite photos from the area taken on this trip. It's my favorite place in the world, and even though when I'm typing this up in August, still more than a week before we are even going to leave, I am already filled with more joy for the impending trip than I've felt in years. Literally! I'm not a happy person- it's hard to be happy when you feel terrible all the time. But Lake George...any trip to Lake George makes me happy. Getting there was just as incredible though as I thought it would be. I really can't put into words what it meant to me. As somebody who likes to write a LOT and has a fairly large lexicon, that is not something that happens all that often. Gotta say, the emotional impact almost overwhelmed me at times.
You can see the rest of the photos from this trip (non-car show) HERE on my website. It also covers the trip up, back, and excursions into Saratoga, Ballston Spa, Warrensburg, Queensbury, Glens Falls, and more. A lot of the pictures are of Fort William Henry which is a reconstruction (with some originality) of a fort from the French and Indian War, originally built in 1755.
Here are some car show photos. I took exactly 700 photos and videos at the car show, and I won't share them all here, but you can see them on my Website. I'm not going to post a whole lot because I am kicking around the idea of an automotive photography blog.
I ask you to watch this video. It's the very best I've ever taken. I began shooting video in 2005; it is also the longest at 14 minutes long. This is, truly, a perfect representation of everything I love about Lake George. (You will see that the video jumps twice- there was an ant on me, but I thought it was a big black spider)
Now, I said there was not a lot of card content in this post, and that's true. But, we did find out that there was a new semi-card shop that opened in town in early 2016, and of course we made the effort to go to it. I did find some basketball cards in that local store in town, which are good. But I'm not going to show them now. I got some good stuff, of course, but...it pales in comparison to what I found at my favorite comic store, which I have not been to since roughly 2006.