Saturday, February 16, 2013

January blues

January seemed to play out like a really bad docu-drama or a cheesy science fiction thriller, where an enemy, in the form of the plague or alien, slowly, but surely takes down everyone, but a chosen few. The weather in Texas, regardless of the month, generally includes more days with sunlight, rather than cold and rain. But for us, the weather forecast was a broken record of cold and rainy days. With the passing of each day, you would hear of more and more people being struck down with the flu or something that felt as dreadful.

Thanks to Facebook, you could almost guess what was coming next with the first post of someone coming home from school/work, not feeling well, and within a matters of days, the entire family would be sick. I almost expected to drive through the neighborhood and see people in the hazmat uniforms posting quarantined signs on the neighbors' doors.

As soon as I heard that the flu seemed to be hitting early, I made my girls an appointment to get their flu shot. It was required for my job, so I knew I was covered.

The first person in our family who was hit, was my great niece. Olivia was barely old enough to get the first of the two shots needed for babies, when she was diagnosed. Before she could get well, my other great niece became ill, followed quickly by their mother. I can't imagine worse than having 2 babies 2 years old and younger and the mom being sick. My nephew jumped in thankfully and handled problems very efficiently.

Quickly the germ settled in my parent's house next door. I knew my dad was sick when he missed church, then his volunteer job, then church again!

In our house one night, Grace announced that her skin hurt, I knew we were in trouble, and her temperature confirmed it. I stepped up requiring everyone to drink juice, take vitamins, and get plenty of sleep. Annabel had some symptoms, but overall she and I stayed fairly healthy. It was a good thing since about the time one of my great nieces would get well, their mom would get sick again and my parents just swapped it back and forth.

So after so many days of bad weather combined with so much sickness, the first Saturday that the sun shined it was hard to stay indoors. After all our errands, my niece asked if we could keep her youngest daughter so she could go to the grocery store.

I met them outside and took Olivia to Mom and Dad's front porch swing.

The sky was blue and the sun was warm with only a slight breeze. Mom joined me and for a while, Olivia and I just sat and swinged. So relaxing. So rejuvenating. So, just what I needed, very healing and very therapeutic.

By the next Saturday, the weather had reverted to its January scheme of cold, wet, rainy weather.

We started our day with Grace's piano lesson, followed by a trip to one of the suburbs for me. I had been asked to speak to a group at a health fair, but the weather seemed to deter interest for most to venture out of their homes.

By the time I got by home, my sister and 2 more nieces had arrived to celebrate my birthday. Regardless of the weather outside, it was warm inside.

It was also Chinese New Year's Eve, so we had asked our cousins to join us for this very traditional, family oriented event, at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

The weather went from bad to terrible and they had a really long drive, but they braved it anyway, and joined in the fun of discovering plenty of new things for all on the menu. It was a great time. It is great to spend time with my sister, nieces, and cousins. Even though we probably should have stayed home and out of the weather, everyone showed up, and we all had a fantastic time.

Tomorrow is Saturday again. I missed hearing the forecast as the assignment the girls could not work on last week because of our Internet being out, was due tonight at midnight, which seemed to demand all of our attention.

This Saturday will be even more different than the last two will since it includes chaperoning for the Freshmen dance at the girls' school and me on the clean up committee!

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