Point Z

I have a cold this week and the weather had been cold this week, that’s ironic, maybe even mildly amusing. The truth is there is little for me to laugh about as each time I cough, my lungs feel like Velcro being pulled apart-the long way. If you could graph the point at which I am least able to withstand winter’s cold temps (axis x) and the point at which winter is coldest (axis y) then that would be point “z.” This week was point Z.

First off, let’s not get discouraged. I could see folks questioning their own sanity at living in a place where we get weather like this week’s blizzard which was named Coyote. Coyote-class blizzards don’t visit that often and quality of life should not be based using this storm as the norm. It did really suck, however. Lisa and I were trapped at home all day Wednesday but we had plenty of corn for heat and a few movies to watch so at least that was nice. I did try to plow the road but I should have tried to get my pick-up stuck instead because then I could have at least claimed some success. I decided to wait for the county plow to come through and it succeeded in turning the three-foot drifts into a powdery cement which hardened as soon as it hit the ditch. I did have to shovel out the pick-up, which caused me to breathe deeply which brought back the Velcro-being-pulled-apart-the-long-way feeling in my lungs that was almost mind-altering in the depth of it’s pain.

This brings me back from the outside cold to the cold inside me. I get lots of colds each winter but have been able to fight them off using Zicam cold remedy. The cold I have right now obeys no earthly rules nor does it bow to formulas created in some apothecary‘s laboratory. I have changed my morning schedule to include forty-five minutes of Kleenex work and some truly inspired hacking. The coughing involved with this cold is of the type that if I had enough guts, I could probably just pass out from my efforts but instead I fall just short and end up with a terrible headache. I do enjoy sympathy for this horrible cold and Lisa made chicken soup with our super-hot, home-grown peppers that was fantastic. It neither killed me nor cured me but it did make things better for a bit. I am drinking plenty of fluids, sleeping a lot and found that I could tell my myself, “I’m sorry but you have a virus instead of a bacteria so there’s nothing I can do for you” just as well as a doctor and so that’s what I’ve done.

“Z” used to be an abbreviation for deep sleep, those were the good ole days. From now on, it is simply the point at which cold and my inability to resist it intersect in one fantastic coughing, sneezing, shivering, shoveling, drug-resistant moment in time.

(Lisa and I would like to offer condolences to the family of Jon Stimac who died in a motor vehicle accident this week near Thief River Falls, Mn. I knew Jon as a very conscientious route driver for sanitation pick-up, Lisa knew him better and said he was a great guy. When I was a kid, a neighbor told me you could tell a lot about a person by whether they waived to you or not while meeting on the road. Jon always waived)  GN

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