My touch of somewhat vigorous unwell has not quite abated. Last night, I called my folks to take stock on the holiday situation. We have snow on the ground in Texas, but it will depart soon. In Arkansas, they have more vivid winter advisories. But the clincher is that my mother has not been well, and should not be around people with contagions like me who might make her ill when her immunity is down. The fear of my being contagious around someone with lowered immunity makes the trip unworkable. My parents and I worked out an alternative plan, to prevent risk all around. I like that my dad is a retired doctor, who can help me with such dilemmae.
Thus, it looks like our Arkansas Christmas trip is turning into an Arkansas New Year's trip. We'll stay in town this weekend after all, which will mark the first holidays in my life that I have not been with either mine or my wife's family for at least one holiday. We missed Thanksgiving due to work requirements for both of us, and then a quick post-thanksgiving trip to Arkansas had to be foregone due to everyone at home being worn out by the big day. We all negotiate these challenges as best we can, but keeping my folks rested and as healthy as possible is first priority.
I had a nice, long chat with my folks last night, sharing stories, reflecting on this and that. I've been blessed with kind parents and had a great childhood, which I know is a gift not given to all.
Today I'm in my office, getting things done. After yesterday's fiasco of sneezing, I took one of those thermonuclear over the counter cold medicines that doesn't really cure anything, but suppresses all symptoms more effectively than anything short of a miracle. Of course, before I finished this entry, I sneezed magisterially.
I'm a little disappointed not to be going home this weekend, and, truth to tell, I had this cool fantasy of driving home over rural ice patches. We did that the first year my wife and I were married, when a huge Christmas era ice storm found both my siblings and us in our separate cars, rolling home to see our folks. That drive took ten hours to "skate" over a five hour trip. By coincidence, we all linked up at a fast food place forty miles from home, in Hope. We all swore never to drive in such icy conditions again, but it actually was kind of fun, if tiring. I would have done that trip again, but for the illness. But the combination is too much. It's a bit much to drive through icy weather to then bring flu near one's loved ones.
The snow is still on the ground here, although the sun is out and it can't be long for this world. Apparently, south Arkansas has a fair bit of snow (for that area), and a hard freeze coming. I don't think we'll quite have a white Christmas here, but they may up there.
Snow in our part of the country is rarer and a bigger deal than elsewhere, because we don't have much of the equipment to deal with snow.
I'm hopeful for a good Christmas despite this setback. My brother's family will be in town, and my wife and I will enjoy a quiet time together. Today I passed out gifts to folks with whom I work. Tomorrow my wife and I will go to a shopping place to pick out what I will get for Christmas. Perhaps we'll have steak tomorrow night, as that is my Christmas Eve tradition. I think that will be much easier than trying to make potato sausage or mustard ring, which are my wife's Swedish-American family's traditions.
I made mustard ring one year, a quite elaborate set of ingredients requiring detailed use of the top of the stove. That is as close as I have ever come to a Food Channel experience, as I am usually of the "roast a chicken", "saute sausages", or "bake cookies" cooking persuasion.
I am holding out hope to feel better by Saturday or Sunday. I thought, frankly, I was almost over it on Tuesday, but Wednesday proved just awful. But I feel fortunate to have the life I have, and the loved ones I have, and the weekend ahead.