THOUGHTS WHILE SNIFFLING
I had convinced myself that wiping the noses of child after child had exposed me to all known germs, and built up my immune system to such a degree that I would remain healthy even while all those around me hacked and sniffled. I was wrong. I too am mortal, and I too can hack and sniffle.
In some ways this can be a good thing. For example, I like to laze and lie about. Ordinarily this proves you are possessed by the deadly sin called, “Sloth,” but when you are ill, doctors claim lazing and laying about is, “Responsible Behavior.”
Unfortunately, the one time being irresponsible might make me responsible, I must be irresponsible, because when you run a business, and/or a farm, you have to show up, even if you are hacking and sniffling and you’d rather laze and lie about. In other words, by being responsible I am irresponsible, for I disobey the doctors.
I keep hoping that one of these days I might figure out how to be responsible, but for now all I can figure out is that responsibility is not something you can figure out when you are feverish.
In any case, by slugging down some Dayquil I managed three hours of non-hacking and non-sniffling, to get farm chores done and to open up our Childcare. I wasn’t too worried about exposing anyone to germs, because everyone had been hacking and sniffling at me and upon me for around ten days, as this bug passed through town. By showing up for work drugged I was only doing what some hard-working parents do, when they drop off their child in a drugged state.
The drugs do wear off, and sometimes the child sags and wilts and the parent has to come trudging back to pick up their child. (Only the most devious turn off their cell-phones.) I wish I could build a sanitarium and hire a nurse, so parents could keep working, but I can’t afford that (yet.) I also wish my parents were alive, and when my drugs wore off they had to come trudging back to pick me up. Alas, at age sixty I must care for myself.
Considering the Dayquil starts to wear off three hours before you are allowed to take the next dose, it is lucky I am boss, and can go home for an early lunch, and conk out on the couch.
I slipped into an uneasy slumber, a restless rest, full of ideas I’m too weak to enact. I dreamt up a hundred topics to post upon, on this blog, but was to feeble-minded to even post one.
Something or another was happening in Maryland. A school board was so afraid of pedophiles that they had banned hugging children. They even banned pushing a child on a swing, because that involved touching the rear of a child. I wondered, in my half-awake state, how this would play out when a child had a dirty diaper. Would I be allowed to change it? Or was the fear of pedophiles so great that the child would have to sit and stew in their juices until their parent was done work.
I jolted awake all sweaty, and thought I’d just had a bad dream, but then remembered it wasn’t a dream. Turning on my computer and clicking to see the news on “Free Range Kids,” I again followed the link to a Maryland paper:
I wanted to write a reply, but my brain couldn’t even handle cooking myself lunch.
I did manage to put my clothes from the washing machine into the drier, but I knew there was something else I should be doing. I went out to sit in the bright March sunshine, hoping I’d remember, but just as I sat down the sun dimmed. Looking up I saw the sky getting ugly and angry, and then some stray flakes whizzed by in the cold wind. Uttering a few rude words, I headed back to the computer to check the weather.
Vaguely my brains noted some stray atmospheric occluded impulse was reincarnating into an actual storm over the ocean, and I groaned. The last thing I needed was more snow. Running the snow blower over the Childcare parking lot even one more time seemed, to my exaggeration-prone mind, to be worse than just rolling over and dying..
And of course, these days, weather is not a safe subject. Politics and religion are safer. When you check up on the weather, you get dragged into Global Warming. I saw six things to post about, but was too tired to lift a finger. Anyway, I was oppressed by the sense there was something else I should be doing.
I glanced at the clock and saw it was time for my next dose of Dayquil, and also time to head back to work. As I dosed myself I glanced into the bathroom mirror. What a haggard mess! I beat my hair back down to Einstein’s style, and combed my beard, and headed back to work. It was as I was pulling into the farm I remembered what I had forgotten.
I’ve been boiling sap over a turkey-roaster propane gizmo, for the kids, and making sugar. I had set two gallons of sap out, at the start of the day, well aware I needed to add more sap, (or shut the flame off,) after three hours. But I’d forgotten. It was six hours later. I expected my kettle would hold a scorched, if not glowing, chunk of carbon.
Sometimes a strange mercy appears in my life, which I can take no credit for. The propane tank had run out, just at the point when the sap was thick syrup. Had it run even five minutes longer, the sap would have burned.
I looked up at the sky, and it didn’t seem so ugly. I began to notice things were not as bad as I had been grumbling. The storm that brewed up, and which gave places on Cape Cod nearly a foot of snow, never quite reached this far north. Also my cold did not turn into pneumonia. Also winter shows signs, (admittedly small,) of turning to spring.
Most people are quite good at ducking the blame, when things go wrong. I think maybe they should also duck the credit, when things go right.
Who or what should get the credit? That is up to you. Give credit to sheer coincidence, or to God. However if I have learned one thing in sixty years, it is that our big, fat egos are more often stumbling blocks, and in the way, than they are helpful.
I could dwell on this, but such thought isn’t exactly coherent, or even wise, when you are sniffling and slightly feverish.