31 March 2016

Fever, in the morning, an' fever all thru the night...

The past two weeks have been exhausting.  And wild.  Fever and me is an odd combination at best, because my mind becomes very manic, and I free associate at a speed that can frighten me and then I get really mad that others don't understand my ramblings, especially if they are questions that really bother me, and no one can answer them because they are sane and not privy to the inner working of my brain which when exposed to fever engages in hallucinations and delirium.  It's seldom pretty, tho it can be greatly amusing, much later, not at the time.

Well, sometimes, it's amusing to others even at the time, just not to me.  I didn't even have a high fever when my family woke me after I fell asleep in front of my parents' friends' TV which had a baseball game playing.  They got a HUGE kick out of eight year old me demanding to know, "where's my thing, to catch the stuff?" while opening and closing my upraised hand.  It was a non~existent catcher's mitt.  A feverish teenage me insisted that my mom bring me my shoes, because I had to go to the bathroom.  Oh the family stories go on and on and on, and are filed under "Duhm Ass Things Debbie Says {when feverish}".

Thing is, generally speaking, I know when I'm running a fever, I know that this train of thought has left the realm of reality and is running rampant, having jumped the tracks of predictability.  And I'm still not able to control it.  Even if I had the energy to, I couldn't. The train isn't quite as friendly and welcoming as the Soul Train, nor does the soundtrack include some groovy hits ya can dance to.  It's more of a nightmarish snarling, hellish brutal train that keeps going, gnashing and spewing half formed ideas and tangents.  You'd think that this would have served as some creatively artistic juxtapositions fodder for me.  But no.  Not really.  Or maybe the truth is that there is plenty of material, but I lack the commitment and bravery to submerse myself into that world when I am NOT feverish and could actually write coherently enough to produce such mind benders.  The debris from that devilish dude is grimy, gritty, and greasy.  There is nothing attractive about even the tiniest shreds, nothing.

In the past two weeks, I've consumed enough water, tea, lemons, limes, oranges, honey, and oatmeal that I am truly at a loss for why I am still fighting this infection, virus, bacteria, whatever the hell it is.  We've both seen docs and have been told different things, but the treatments remain the same, mucus relief, acetaminophen, rest, and all the aforementioned  items.  Yesterday, Jerry felt pretty decent for the first time in a week.  I've not seen him get hit this hard in the seven years that I've known him.  He even went out and ran some errands for a few hours this morning.

I, on the other hand, am sinking deeper into a morass of fever, fatigue, wheezing, chest congestion, and mucus.  The main reason I've not returned to the doc is because I highly doubt there's going to be anything different about the treatment and I really Really REALLY don't feel like sitting with others who are also sick but who are much more generous with sharing their spewing germs.  However, I do realize that my own judgement might be seriously clouded and since I am feverish, I might be slightly manic, and therefore not making the best decisions...so in the interest of health, I am open to specific suggestions.

Jerry brought me home some wonderfully cool sweet frozen treats that make my throat feel so nice, my mouth smiles, and my tummy goes, "what's this?  what's this?  this new fangled thing?  this loveliness that makes me sing?  what? Is? THIS?"

I hope everyone has welcomed spring in their special ways and has been enjoying the beautiful weather.  Stay healthy!

17 March 2016

Esther, Easter, Eostre, Ostara, Austro

When I first moved here to Starkville, fifteen years ago, there was a Coffee Bakery across from WalMart in a strip mall.  Leona Jean {or Jane, sometimes I couldn't tell Jenny from Ginny, so Jane and Jean were interchangeable for me until my ear picked up some of the more subtle differences of the southern speaker, even tho Leona was not from here, I think she'd been here sufficiently long enough to let the syrup settle around her vocals} was the owner and main worker, I grew to know her and her regular clientele over the first several years.  Mr Charlie was one of the oldest gentlemen I've ever met and he told me a few things that have held true over the years; including that the last frost of the year would be Easter Weekend.  Which makes sense, really, considering that Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon on or after the spring equinox.

This year, Sunday March 20th will be the coolest night on our calendar, if the current weather forecast is accurate.  It'll get down to 33 degrees fahrenheit, which will leave some nice frost rime, that will disappear as the day warms up.  Easter is the following Sunday this year {a movable feast, which is why Easter can be midMarch thru midApril}; current weather predictions are saying that it's to be about fifty degrees that night.

When I was a child, in Pennsylvania, we had Good Friday and Easter Monday off.  Folks down here in the south don't really know much about Easter Monday, I've learned over the years.  Good Friday was a somber event, tied in with Easter Sunday; most folks who were semi~religious would attend sunrise church services on Easter {and Christmas midnight mass}.  Our Easter Mondays were when most organizations had their Easter Egg Hunts, chocolate egg sales, and clearance on Easter candy and dresses in the retail stores.  It was a solid four day weekend which allowed for some family travel.

Here, I've noticed that many schools will offer week long Spring Breaks coinciding with Easter.  Spring Breaks tend to nicely divide the semester in half, if the break occurs in March.  If break isn't til April, then the first part of the spring term seems to be unbearably long with students whining and teachers grinding their teeth in response to the petulance.  This is because most schools here in the south end in the beginning or midMay at the latest.

When I lived in Pennsylvania, our school years ended in June, with college letting out near the end of May.  I remember one year when we did let out til the end of June and some seniors had to be excused from school early because their colleges were holding sports camps and freshman orientation.  I do believe that was the year we had snow under the holly tree in June.

To me, Easter was always a time of new growth on its way.  You might not yet see the spring grass poking thru the snow, or the buds on the trees; but you knew that winter was winding down and spring was soon to make its appearance...eventually.  It meant that several churches were making their cherry, crispy, peanut butter, or coconut eggs, coated with chocolate and sold on the counters at most convenience stores and gas stations.  My friend and her father always made lots and stuffed the freezer full.  They wouldn't last long, because we all had our favorites.  Mine were the peanut butter.

We'd see lots of new dresses, worn under winter coats, and there'd be lots of spring balls, dances, and concerts.  We were just happy and eager to be thru with the harsh long winter and stuffed noses, hacking coughs, dry skin, and phlegmy chests that some of us broke from cabin fever into spring fever with a rumpus that usually set us back healthwise.  Easter bunnies, chicks, and eggs, sometimes the occasional white chocolate lamb with blue candy eyes were found in baskets.  Easter hams, with cloves and pineapple rings, made their appearances at family gatherings.

Few people really cared that bunnies hiding hardboiled colored eggs made little sense from a religious point of view, but made tons of sense from a historical and traditional perspective.  Most families spread newspaper out on tables and set out cups of dyed water, along with wax crayons, and dozens of hard boiled eggs for the kids and some adults would decorate the eggs too.  As I got older, different fads came into being, stickers instead of paintbrushes and little metal egg holders instead of spoons.  It's been so long since I decorated eggs, I don't even know what is available now.  We'd have little contests like which egg was the most beautifully decorated, from the different age groups.  Then for weeks afterward, we'd be eating hard boiled eggs in our lunches, egg salad, egg salad sandwiches.  My mom would pickle eggs with red beets so they would last longer and because that's when we had the most hardboiled eggs available, eggs being on sale at the grocers for a good price.

Whatever your way of observing this occasion,
 do have a good one!