When the People you Love Make You Sick

I rise from my sickbed to send you post-Thanksgiving greetings. My illness has been impressive, with high temperature and aches, and a couple of times there, I may have hallucinated.  This is not hyperbola.  This is fact, and had it persisted I would have been in the ER, along with some of you, I hear.

I just partied too much, I guess. Not the partying of my youth, with late nights and smokey places, but with so many family gatherings, beginning on Wednesday and carrying over to Saturday evening.  I was already run down before the festivities began.  For all my gathering up celery and day old bread, for the all the bags of sugar and brown sugar and pecans, I failed to check my vanilla. 

Vanilla. Another trip to the store.

But the idea of being spotted in public looking as I did, all streaked with flour and blobs of butter was more than even I could bear.  I decided instead to use bourbon, which mostly went unnoticed by everyone except for one super-taster nephew.. 

I cooked, baked, stirred, folded dough, and brined the turkey in a Gott cooler. My nights were late, my mornings early.  But really, things pulled together pretty well, better than last year when I set the oven on fire. We had fourteen for dinner, but mercifully not here, and it was all so pleasant we stayed until evening.  On Friday my niece, Alex, thought it would be fun for the two new toddler cousins to gather at my house to make cinnamon ornaments, as she and her grown cousins had done at Sutton Elementary.  

She showed up with supplies and all the toys her little one, Arthur, had outgrown, bringing them  for Cy, the younger cuz. I decided why not ask all the adult nieces and nephews, and their parents to join us, not to make ornaments, but to visit—my grandmother’s favorite word—and to spend an nice afternoon before they all take off for evening plans.  

We never got to the ornaments, as you would imagine, but the boys, who hardly know each other, thank you Covid, played well and sweetly, with only little bitty grabs for toys.  Cy, who was born smack dab in the middle of Covid, couldn’t get over his cousin, the little person just like him, and he spend a good deal of time squatting down and getting in Arthur’s face, saying. “Baby?  Baby?”  

It’s his new word, and everyone is a baby now. 

Then Saturday and dinner with the newlyweds, Brad and Hannah.  I think there was a game on, too, and part of the point of the party, but by then I was beginning to fade.  It was still nice to get to know Brad’s parents a bit better, to spend time with his kids, who are great. But mostly I wanted to go home and cough my head off in peace. 

By Sunday, I could hardly move. I crawled to the medicine cabinet for a  thermometer, and after a time, as I faded in and out, it began to beep in a frantic way to signal I was in the danger zone.  I lay on the couch with my barking cough, my fever-addled dreams, and moaned a lot.

My sister, ahem, was unwell, too. So I am inclined to blame her. Of course, I was out and about in an intense way getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I spent time with more people in a three day period than I have seen in the last three months. And the little ones.  Who knows where those hands have been?

I did my due diligence and took one, then two, Covid tests.  Both negative. I rallied a bit, my temperature went down, slowly, but still.  I had a doctor’s appointment already on the books, so with luck she can help me to a full recovery when I see her later today. 

And yet, the time with my dear hearts couldn’t have been better, unless a few more of them had been able to join us. I don’t know about the others, but I loved every minute of our being together.  So, let’s face it.  Sometimes your family makes you sick.  But then, sometimes, like this past weekend, it is worth the risk.

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