Saying goodbye to a friend

And how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life, wouldn’t you say?
– Kirk, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

I debated long and hard about whether or not to post this here. As a general rule, I try to avoid putting personal things into my blog.

On Sunday, my friend Theresa passed away after a long hard struggle with illness the past week.

To say Theresa had character would be an understatement. She was full of character. She was tough as nails and didn’t take crap from anybody. She’d dish it out as good as she got and then some. You always knew where you stood with her though. If she thought something was dumb or didn’t make sense, you knew it too. If she was feeling good, her smile, attitude and sense of humour would light up a room.

I’ve known her long enough that I don’t remember exactly how or precisely when we met. I’m pretty sure it was at one of the occasional lunch gatherings organized in the ITC chat room (where some of the computer geeks at work hang out), easily 5 or 6 years ago. We became lunch friends. I’d ask in the chat room if anybody wanted to go to lunch. Sometimes hers was the only response, sometimes others joined in and made it a group thing. Lunches with Theresa were always fun and informative. I always learned something new during our lunches and other times we hung out. I learned a lot about cystic fibrosis and transplants from her, and she was a source of information after my diabetes diagnosis,

After my diabetes diagnosis I decided I needed to go to the gym on a more regular basis and get back into some kind of shape. She wanted to get “less puny” and prepare for another Transplant Games so for a little while, we became gym partners. Our gym routine worked out so that I’d do cardio while waiting for her to get to the Wellness Center, then we’d head to the weight training area (she wasn’t a fan of cardio, but I made her do a little bit). One time after a particularly tough set of squats, she punched me in the arm, catching me totally off guard. After that it became her thing to do and I got punched in the arm a fair bit.

She was a fighter. She fought through all the problems cystic fibrosis dealt her, and never gave up. I remember her telling me that if she died of anything other than CF related causes, then she had won. I like to think that after everything she went through to survive 36 years with CF, she won anyway. Theresa’s breathing easier now and won’t have to worry about her lungs or kidneys breaking anymore.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit her in the hospital a couple of times last week, the last time being Friday, two days before she died. Yesterday a bunch of us gathered at Tommy Condon’s, her favourite watering hole, to celebrate Theresa and share stories over Guinness, her drink of choice. On Thursday I’ll go to her funeral mass and say goodbye (or depending on my mood at the time, “see you in the next life”). Like many who knew Theresa, I’m sad she is gone and I’ll miss her tremendously, but I feel like I’m a bit richer for having known her.

From Theresa’s sister, Beth:

There will be a funeral Mass for Theresa Peters on Thurs 5/23 at 10:00 AM at Christ Our King Catholic Church located at 1122 Russell Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. There will be a brunch following, locally. All are welcome.


The obituary for Theresa is online now.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=Theresa-Peters&pid=164914230

and

http://www.mcalister-smith.com/book-of-memories/1587523/Peters-Theresa/obituary.php


I filed this note on my phone as ‘teeda burger’. Sometimes when she wasn’t feeling well and wanted a cheezburger, this is what I’d bring her from 5 Guys

Jr cheeseburger with tomato, mayo ketchup, grilled onions
Regular fries

Lowcountry dog park tour: Bee’s Landing dog park

Tucked away in the corner of the Bee’s Landing Recreation Complex (buried in a subdivision off Bee’s Ferry Road) is the City of Charleston’s newest dog park. To get there, go to the right of the recreation center building all the way to the back. Go to the right behind the baseball field and you’ll see the dog park. There currently aren’t any signs and only a worn dirt path to the dog park, but there are indications that a sidewalk or path is being built leading to the dog park. Otherwise it’s not at all obvious there’s even a dog park there.

The dog park is a pretty decent size, split into two sections, presumably for large and small dogs. The section on the right side is the larger of the two. There are lots of trees which should provide plenty of shade for hot weather. The trees will also keep things from drying out quickly after a rain so there is pretty good mud potential here.

There is only one water fountain located in the larger section, so people using the smaller section will have to either bring their own water, fill a water bowl from the fountain or bring their dogs into the larger section for water.

The trees kind of keep you from throwing a ball a really long distance, although if you throw too far you’re likely to end up throwing it out of the park anyway. The holes in the wire fence are also pretty large so any tennis balls thrown towards the fence have a high probability of going through.

There are large gates connecting the two sections of the dog park, and also connecting the larger section to a third area with a stream running through it. I don’t know if this third section is meant to be used by dogs. I presume the gates are meant to provide access for service vehicles, but there are no signs on them and they weren’t locked or anything (yet).

This dog park is a good addition to the West Ashley area and extends the dog-friendliness reach of the city.

See the rest of my pictures from the dog park here.

Here’s a Google Map to the dog park

View Bees Landing Dog Park in a larger map

Lowcountry Dog Park Tour: Wassamassaw Park Dog Park

Just inside the entrance to Summerville’s Wassamassaw Community Park are two fenced dog parks on either side of the road. The signs say that the one on the left (as you’re entering) is for big dogs (> 20 lbs) and the one on the right (as you’re entering) is for small dogs (< 20 lbs).

Both areas are roughly the same shape, long and rectangular, providing a good amount of room for long ball throws.

The park is pretty new (opened August 2008) so the grass is still largely intact, although there was a small muddy section near the middle that was probably started by a dog trying to dig something up. Looks like the park designers took drainage into account, as the ground slopes down toward a line along the middle of the park and towards a stormwater drain.

A muddy spot

A few trees provide some shade, and several benches are available for people to sit on in both dog areas. There are also a couple of poop bag and disposal stations in each dog area.

Poop bag station

One significant failing of the dog park is that there is only one water fountain, and it’s located outside the large dog area. That means if you want to water your dog, you’ll have to leash it, exit the park, get water and then go back in when you’re finished. Or you can just wait until you’re finished with the dog park and let your dog drink on your way out. Why the water was placed outside the dog area, I have no idea. I suspect the small dog area was put in as a bit of an afterthought, which would explain why there’s no water fountain for the small dog area.

Not sure what the dog population is like in Summerville, but I’m sure once more people find out about this dog park, it’ll be come very popular.

See the rest of the dog park photos here.

Here’s a Google Map to the dog park

View Wassamassaw Park Dog Park in a larger map

Lowcountry dog park tour: Park West dog park

Thanks to some misalignment in Google Maps, it took me a little bit of driving around Park West before I could find the dog park.

Located in the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Center in Park West, the dog park is a small fenced in area next to the tennis court. It’s dominated by the retention pond in the center of the park, so there’s not a lot of open field for dogs to run. However, if you’ve got a dog that loves water, that’s not really going to matter much.

There are plenty of tennis balls around for dogs to run around and fetch, although most of them are in the pond so they’ll need to be fished out.

One thing the dog park could use is a water hose to wash the pond water off the dogs when you’re finished. There’s also no water fountain for the dogs, so it’s probably a good idea to bring your own water and bowl.

More dog park photos.

Here’s a Google Map to the dog park.

View Park West Dog Park in a larger map

Lowcountry dog park tour: Isle of Palms Bark Park

The IOP Bark Park is a decently sized fenced in dog park located just behind the IOP Recreation Center, and so far is the only dog park that features a separate small dog area.

IOP Bark Park

The Bark Park isn’t very large, about the same size as Ackerman dog park. It’s fairly wide open though and offers a lot of room for dogs to run around. Benches provide plenty of places for people to sit, and several trees provide shady spots during hot weather.

The small dog area is a long narrow strip adjacent to the main dog park. There were no small dogs around when I was there, so I’m not sure how often it gets used. Looks like it would be a good place for people with smaller dogs that don’t want to risk them getting bowled over by bigger dogs. Most of the small dogs I’ve seen though play just fine with big dogs.

Small dog area

There’s no water fountain installed in the dog park, but a large bucket in each area provides water. The water comes from a hose running from the Rec center to the dog park. Filling the bucket requires walking out of the dog park over to the building to turn the water on.

Water bucket

There are a few sandy areas where dogs can plop down to relax, cool down or work out some of their digging urges.

See the rest of the IOP Bark Park photos.

A Google Map to the IOP Bark Park.

View Larger Map