Yesterday I arrived at our little half-acre of heaven a bit later than usual; because on my way up the hill, I had stopped at the local wood-burning stove store to buy a new fireplace tool set.
I knew right away that something was amiss because the garage door wasn't open, there was no Holly barking a greeting, and no LOC* waiting in the doorway with a smile. (*Lovable Old Coot)
Instead, both the LOC and Holly, the resident Lhasa Apso, were stretched out in his recliner, with a blanket over him, and with Holly on top of both the blanket and the LOC. As I walked in he feebly said, "Feel my forehead." This is never a good beginning to a conversation, now is it?
Sure enough, he had a fever, and he pitifully lolled his head to one side to look up at me and said, quite unnecessarily, "I'm sick." His reddened eyes confirmed his own diagnosis.
There is nothing quite as helpless as a grown man who is sick. I have known three year-olds who can fend for themselves with more efficiency than a adult male with a cold.
"Have you taken any Tylenol for the fever?"
"No, I was planning to do that just as soon as I felt well enough to walk into the bathroom and get it out of the medicine cabinet", he said in a tone that implied that effort would be tantamount to ascending Mt. Everest.
"Would you like for me to turn up the thermostat? Are you warm enough?"
"No, that's okay. Holly has been keeping me warm."
Now I am flooded with a guilt-trip; because I am down the hill taking care of my son who is seriously ill after a difficult surgery, which means I am unavailable to take care of the LOC, who clearly could use some TLC himself. How to be in two places at once?
"Would you like me to make some fresh coffee?"
"No, I am sticking with my green tea for now."
Yes, I have read all about the antioxidants per cup of green tea, etc. and I'm sorry but I can't stand the stuff. Even the smell nauseates me. But the LOC likes it, so good for him.
"Okay, can I get you anything to eat?"
"No, thanks. I'm not hungry right now. And I don't think I could eat anything that would go well with the cough syrup I've been taking all night."
Turns out he has been swilling that stuff all night like a lush on a bender, and is barely cogent. Like I said, I've known three-year olds....
God bless his pointed head, I did what I could for him for the next three hours before I had to head back down the hill (about fifteen miles door-to-door) where K. was still bed fast and waiting for me to bring him some dinner. Clearly I am spread a little too thinly, and I only wish my dress size reflected that reality.
I phoned the LOC later in the evening to check on how he was doing. A little better - was the report. Now if only Holly does not come down with the sniffles, maybe we will make it through this week.
It is Thanksgiving this week, and I am thankful. God knows my heart. But right this moment, my thankfulness may be more along the lines of the old quote from B.F. Skinner (famous behavioral psychologist) who once said,
"If, at the end of the day, nobody died, nobody went to jail, and nobody threw up, it was a pretty good day."
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Hope everyone is doing well at your domicile. Until next time ...Marsha (not in jail, and not throwing up ... so far)