Sunday, November 27, 2016

You Win Some Meals, You Lose Some

Well, Thanksgiving weekend was going really, really good until Friday afternoon.  We'd, oh, so enjoyed my family's Thanksgiving feast on Thursday night and were looking forward to having Davis' family over here to celebrate with them on Saturday.  Well, Blair and her boyfriend, John Samuel, went out to lunch on Friday and then they got into all the Black Friday madness and that's when it happened.  Right there in a department store restroom.  Blair fell victim to the stomach virus. (insert record scratching noise here)

Now, there are certain minor ailments which you could have in your household and still move forward with party hosting but the stomach virus isn't one of the ailments on that list.  No, no one wants to drive by your house, much less eat there, when you say those dreaded words.  So, sadly, we called off the Thanksgiving meal with my in-laws.  We also cancelled our Christmas card picture appointment because, well, it's difficult to have your family picture taken when one of you can't sit up and is the color of loose leaf paper. 

I don't know how y'all are but I just don't play around with the stomach virus.  Sure, when the kids were little and really needed my help, I would get in there and get my hands dirty.  Pardon the pun.  Now, not so much.  I will pat on you, and comfort you during almost any kind of illness but if you've got the stomach virus, you are on your own, my friend.  I don't care if I'm married to you or if I birthed you or if you birthed me.  I don't care who you are.  I don't love on people afflicted with the stomach bug.  It's not really the sight of throw up.  That doesn't bother me when it's my own kids.  It's just that I don't want what you've got. 

So, I'd put my nose down in my shirt and without touching any knobs or surfaces, I'd push Blair's door open with my foot and ask through the sophisticated, antibacterial filter of my t-shirt, "Can I get you anything, baby?"  "No," she'd reply weakly.  On my way out, she informed me that the last place she ate was a Mexican restaurant and that I'd be without my Mexican food amiga for a good, long while.  

I don't know what it is.  I just feel like stomach ailments are so much more contagious than other sicknesses.  Just the mention of someone having it and your stomach starts to feel queasy.  You never know if you're actually getting it or if it's just the power of suggestion.  You can almost see the germs creeping around the house like big rats.  You can feel them like crawling up your neck like hairy tarantulas.  So,  I closed the doors off and tried to keep the patient in a cordoned off area in order to limit the spread.   

Well, it was my good fortune that John Samuel was home for the weekend when she came down with this.  They're in that dating stage, you know, when you just want to be together (insert birds singing) matter if the other one is puking their guts out or running back and forth to the restroom.  Your love just won't allow you to be separated at such a trying time no matter the risk to your own health.  He'd check her temperature and get her Gatorade and medicine.  He stretched out across the bed with her and rubbed her back, kissed her forehead, and stroked her hair while she slept.  I'd warn him when I'd go in there with my nose covered, "John Samuel, you can't snuggle with the stomach virus."  But, he wasn't concerned.  I guess a mother can feel pretty good about a young man who will stay by her daughter's side through gastrointestinal upset.

Well, she got better and, much to no one's surprise, John Samuel came down with it this morning.  So, Blair and his Mom took him back to school today because he wasn't in any shape to drive.  Bless his heart. 

So, while she was gone, I put on my latex gloves and sanitized everything.  The Clorox wipes.  The lemon-scented Lysol.  All the switches, bathroom surfaces, and knobs got disinfected.  Davis stripped her bed and the guest room bed where John Samuel had slept.  We opened the doors and let the cool, fresh air circulate through the house.  We got the washing machine and dryer going.  It was kind of like a viral exorcism.  We had it like an operating room up in here.  

Until, literally, just two minutes ago, when the dog's ears perked up and I heard a lot of commotion coming from down the hall.  Carson has it now.  So, let me get my nose back into my shirt and go check on him. 

I think I feel something crawling on me.   

Where is John Samuel when I need him? 

Save me from all of these sick people.   


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Ordinary Day

One morning, earlier in the week, I woke up and crawled out of a warm, soft bed....a comfortable place used to recharge my body and spirit after a long day.  I got up and walked to the kitchen where I had my choice of many different breakfast options.  Cranberry juice, apple juice, orange juice, milk, coffee.  Sausage, eggs, bacon, cereal, breakfast bars, fruit.  My kitchen was full of delicious things. I turned on the faucet to fill my glass and pure, clean water came out for drinking.  Right there inside my home.  As much as I wanted.  I reached in the cabinet and got out my medicines. Medicines used to treat and prevent and relieve were readily available to me.  I turned on the television to watch the news.  I had access to information and different points of view on what's going on in our country and the world.  I watched a couple of news stories about the new president-elect who was chosen by a democratic process in which everyone had a say.  I headed to take a shower and get ready for the day. A warm shower to make me feel refreshed.  I walked into my closet and looked through all of my clothing options and then shoe options.  There was something in there for any occasion. It was hard to decide.  I grabbed one of my several jackets because it was a little chilly outside.  I headed out to the garage and climbed into my vehicle.  I cranked it and it took me where I needed to go in just a very short time.  I met a friend for lunch.  We bowed our heads before we ate our hot meal and thanked God for our time together.  We weren't fearful of punishment or afraid of reprimand.  After lunch, we walked through a couple of stores where I bought a gift and something else I probably could've done without.  We walked to our cars and I saw the American flag flapping in the breeze near the shopping area.  It was flying over the country that guaranteed us the freedoms that we were enjoying together.  We hugged and parted ways and I drove on to work.  I passed a hospital, a doctor's office, a police department, a dentist's office, a fire department.....all available if my family ever needed them.  Navy jets flew overhead in the big blue sky.  They were ready to combat any threats to our nation's security.  I passed my son's school.  A safe and caring environment where he goes to get a good education.  As I drove, I noticed several churches where people gather and worship God any time they choose. I arrived at my job which pays me to do what I enjoy doing in a comfortable environment and for a fair wage.  My son and my mother called me on my phone during the afternoon.  My daughter and husband texted me, too.  I was able to easily communicate with the people I love no matter where they were.  I made my way back home after work.  I went in from the cold and sat down in my chair with my family there.  It was a dry and warm place.  I heard the heater come on.  The warm air felt so good.  No matter what the weather conditions were outside, I was safe from them there.  My refuge at the end of the day.  My husband came in from work.  He'd been at the job that provides us with all the things we need and some things that we just want.  I got up to start supper.  I turned on the oven and reached in the refrigerator and got the ingredients that I needed to make a meal for my family.  When we got finished eating, there were leftovers.  No one in our house went to bed hungry.  As it got closer for bedtime, I reached over and took the Bible from the table next to my chair and read for a little while.  From the chair where I sat, I could see four more copies of God's word in that room alone. Then, I got my laptop and decided to work on a blog post.  I was free to post anything that was on my mind.  It was up to me. 

Before I went to bed, I thought that it had been a pretty routine day.  Nothing out of the ordinary had happened.  Just a normal, run of the mill day weighted down with blessings and gifts.  Some I recognized as gifts as I was enjoying them.  Others, I just considered routine and skimmed right over their worth.  God, when I find myself becoming desensitized to my blessings, help me not stay in that place for long.  

I know there are parts of this world where my routine would be considered only a dream. God has most generously poured out His provisions over us......and then some. 

I want to remain constantly aware that, without Him, I would have nothing.

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all!

I'm thankful for you.      




Sunday, November 20, 2016

Time is Giving Me Fits

Well, I met most of my goals, last week.  You know, the one about preparing home cooked meals......did that.  Eating vegetables......yes.  Sleeping embarrassing amounts of time......done.  Nursing Carson back to health.....check., not so much. 

I don't know why but this time change thing has really messed me up more than usual.  I hear the older you get, the longer it takes you to adjust to change and I guess it's true.  I usually see Carson off to school in the mornings and then crawl back in bed for a couple of more hours of sleep.  I know......I'm a sorry excuse for a functional, worthwhile person in the morning.  But, with this time change, I come out of my blackout-curtained bedroom and step into what looks like the midday sun and so, by the time he's left for school, I'm awake.  That's all fine and good, I suppose, until nighttime comes and I'm fighting to stay awake at 9:30.  That is not who I am and I'm not proud of it.  My most fruitful and inspired blogging hours are usually from 10:30-12:30 a.m.-ish and so, all the days that I haven't posted lately, well, there is a very good reason for that.  I was unconscious.

There are night people and there are morning people.  I belong to the night and so this is a very uncomfortable and unnatural place for me right now.  I feel terrible all day long from getting up early but, with each passing day, I hope to acclimate better to the new time and gradually stay up later than a 7 year old girl on allergy meds.  Until then, we will muddle through this difficult period together.

Time can give us fits on so many levels.  Last week,  I was stopped in my tracks when I realized it was the middle of the month already!  I'd been so busy at the stores that I hadn't had time to think about much of anything.  I thought it was like the 11th when I realized it was the 16th and my favorite three months of the year were already halfway over.  Dang. 

I've been waiting for this since Easter.....even before all the Peeps were eaten, my appetite for the warm weather had been satisfied.  Then, summer dragged itself through here like a snail on downers.  I thought it would never pull its miserable, humid tail on out of here.  As a matter of fact, it took it about 2 months longer than it should have to make its drawn out exit.  Now, here it is almost Thanksgiving and I'm feeling a little panicky at how fast it's all going.

It seems like when we've got things how we like them, time puts the pedal to the metal.  When we're in the middle of something we're not enjoying, it's like the little old lady with blue hair driving 45 in the passing lane oblivious to how badly you're needing her to just GO!  Your hour long massage goes by a lot quicker than, say, the hour of your pap smear appointment.  And Christmas Day seems several hours shorter than, like, Arbor Day.  And a week of jury duty limps along way slower than your vacation week with its Olympic record time.  It's just a fact.  Time flies when we're having fun and, right now, I'm having fun.....but at warped speed.  Ugh.  I'll be swatting mosquitos and sweating through my clothes before you know it.

In other news, I took Carson to Birmingham, this weekend.  He's been wanting to see if he'd like to get into some mountain biking and, since my brother is a legit racing cyclist, I took him to spend a couple of days riding the rocky trails with his Uncle Lee.  I invited Blair to come and make a shopping trip out of it.  I mean, is there anything from which you can't make a shopping trip?  I think not.  Fun was had by all.  We returned with a lot of shopping bags and only a few tree-induced abrasions.         

And this, right here, is the start of one of my favorite weeks for many reasons.  One being that I never left the town where I grew up and so holidays always bring a lot of friends home to visit their families. I know time is precious when they're home for just a short while and so I'm tickled to death when they call and want to get together.  Tomorrow......lunch with my friend, Karen, my roomie at Mississippi State, and dinner with my high school friend, Amanda, so I'm just a little excited.  All this is after my morning mammogram so I anticipate the morning will pass more slowly than the rest of the day. 

Another reason to list this week at the top of my favorites is, of course, that the end of the week will bring a lot of family and a lot of food.  My Mama and her sister, Aunt Gloria, will cook their traditional Thanksgiving spread using my sweet Grandmother's old recipes.  She was one of the best cooks that ever was and she taught her girls well.  They make it just the way she did.......down to the special coarsely ground corn meal that she used to make the cornbread dressing.  Mmmmm.  It'll be a gathering of about 40 or so and we're adding to that tea glass total all the time.  Needless to say, it's one of my favorite days of the whole I know it will go by (insert snap) just like that.

It is now 11:16 and I'm still awake.  We are making progress, indeed.

Y'all have a good start to this holiday week!