Nice Weather to be Under
The sun in the windows makes being home sick not so bad. I woke up feeling a little sorry for myself. How could I be cycling in what might as well be Siberia, churning through a mile at the pool, or even walking the dog in the face freezing wind chills one day, and suddenly have become a wheezing old woman shuffling around in my socks and flannels the next? I'm croaking through a sore throat and blowing my nose a lot. My ears are ringing, even after the breakfast of champions this morning: orange juice with a vitamin C fizzy packet, a tablespoon of cod liver oil, and two Tylenol. "No wonder you feel sick," Chip said. I had to tell my friend I was too ill to walk the dog. As I listed my symptoms in the text I became convinced that I needed an MRI. This may not just be a sore throat. It could be terminal. But then, I remember I need to write a fax to a dear old friend who really is dying in a Seattle hospital and I'm embarrassed. He would be really happy if all he had was a little cold. If cod liver oil and vitamin C would make him live to run up another mountain, if only so he wouldn't have to drink that stuff again. There's also an email from a friend asking me to pray for a baby in her family with lymphoma, and another friend who has fallen off a ladder and cracked three ribs and her foot. I couldn't visit her yesterday because I didn't want her to catch my cold. Coughing is really, really bad when your ribs are broken. "I'm just thankful it wasn't worse," she said. "I know I'm lucky. " That's how it is in this life, isn't? When you are young the grass is always greener on the other side. As you get older, your snow and ice covered lawn full of brown brambles looks pretty good, especially as you plan the garden that will grow there again this summer and that you will tend with strong arms and legs. A sick day is an opportunity to dream about kale and carrots and basil with Sunsweet cherry tomatoes. It's also a good day to read some more about William Seward and Abraham Lincoln (Team of Rivals), call my dad-- and I haven't even watched one episode of Downton Abbey yet this season, but have taped them all. But right now the high school girls' basketball game is on the radio from Juneau, and they are ahead 4-2, so I have to listen. It really is pretty good weather to be under.