Like most, no all, teachers, I eagerly waited for Winter Break. I knew how many days there were between Thanksgiving and break. I worked at making the learning count, while still counting the days until I could breathe. I dreamed. I made plans. Then, I got sick and ruined it all.
Since I have been married, I have spent Christmas in Ohio with my in-laws. I could not have chosen better in-laws, truly. There have been only a couple of times when I woke in my own bed on Christmas morning, and those were times when one of us was sick – me, B, or the kids, and travelling was just not a good idea. And, then we eventually made it to Ohio a day late. This year it was me. This year I had made it all the way to the last Friday
before break before I got sick. Usually, I get sick and miss a day or two, this year not a single day did I miss and last week as the afternoon class began, I could feel it – the aches, the cough, the congestion, and the dread that I was sick. There were signs – kids at my school were sick, kids at my kid’s schools were sick. It was some sort of bug, some sort of viral thing, but it was wiping kids out, and as it turns out, adults, too.
I made my announcement to B via text – it went something like this –
Me- Starting to get sick
B – U r
B – How?
Me – Got homemade buckeye (comment on student gifts)
Me – Cough sore throat
B- They making you sick?
Me – hope not – felt it this morn
B – Then u should have said something and I would have sent u to school with stuff
Friday night I climbed in bed and covered up and slept as long as I could Saturday morning. I still woke up feeling achy and sick. Saturday was the day to finish odds, ends, last minute things, pack and be ready to leave Sunday, except I did not feel well or anywhere close to feeling well. Saturday was a blur but I did run a few errands and got a haircut, really a trim and by the end of the day, I was toast. I went to bed thinking I would feel better Sunday.
Not. I couldn’t risk exposing her parents, so I made an alternate plan. I would help B and the kids pack up and head to Ohio Sunday and I would drive over Monday or Christmas morning, if I felt better. Once they pulled out of the driveway, I called and explained to B’s mom and we laughed, for a moment I felt a twinge better – the laughter did it. But, it didn’t last. Sunday night I got plenty of sleep and rested. But, I couldn’t shake it and I went to church Christmas Eve knowing Ivy and I would spend Christmas alone together. I could tell I didn’t feel well – I have not written a single post since last week, I just haven’t had the energy and there are countless other tasks that have been undone.
The original plan after Christmas was to travel north from Ohio to the cottage and enjoy winter. Something we cannot do in Illinois – no snow! So, as we packed the cars Sunday, we split the load – winter gear and dog stuff in my car along with the food for the cottage (and the slopes) and Christmas stuff in B’s car.
Yesterday, I woke and decided I felt well enough to travel. Unfortunately, Ohio wasn’t an option as they were in the middle of the after Christmas winter storm and ended up getting ten inches of fresh snow. Instead, I was headed north to the cottage with B and the kids to follow today, or tomorrow. I finished my errands and was on the road by two in the afternoon.
Traffic was good, until I reached southern Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the lake effect snow and the outer bands of the winter storm made a mess of the road. I slowed down and drove cautiously. I wish I could say the same for my fellow travelers. By the time I drove out of the snow, some three or so hours later, I counted twenty-five cars off the road and in the ditch. The last two had flipped and rolled. I said a prayer, kept my head down, my hands tight on the wheel, and vowed not to join them. Ivy was a dream and slept curled in the back seat, no worries.
When we pulled in the driveway, light snow was falling and the place was covered in a thick white blanket. The driveway was clear and a clean path led to the door. I hooked up Ivy’s tether and let her explore while I unloaded the car and made my list of things to do today.
Today, is gonna be a great. I know it. I have list and I’m feeling better. At least a little bit better and the kids are coming soon. Ivy and I will enjoy the cottage and get it ready for their visit. In the meantime, I had better get a move on and jump up, jump in and seize the day. Today is gonna be a great day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one small thing, one step forward.
What is on your post-Christmas list?
Video Courtesy of Michigan.org