Almost a month... what has happened ?
I've had two bouts of the dreaded norovirus, commonly known as the stomach bug.
Since I was very very ill with this last June, I've had several lesser episodes of it. Seems that once bitten, the immunity to this miserable stuff goes way down.
So it hit me December 9 - 12
That's the last week of classes before exams, when I had many papers to correct. No time is good, but that was particularly unwelcome.
The bright spot came on Sunday, December 14, I cold but sunny afternoon, when I accompanied Lisa Cantwell, one of my poet friends, while she visited with her horses and rabbits at the farm where she boards them. Then we repaired to her home in the beautiful Harbaugh Valley, eleven miles away from Emmitsburg. She and her husband live in what once was a summer cabin, one of those cabins on stilts with a deck and screened in porch, overlooking a meadow and valley. It was warm and decorated for Christmas. Lisa has a small flock of chickens, too, very tame ones, and I got to feed them, and even hold one. I had no idea that chickens like sunflower seeds!
So, that week was occupied with giving and grading exams, finishing up the grades, and baking cookies and bread. I loved those last two activities.
The week of Christmas continued the baking, but also the decorating of our tree, listening to my favorite Christmas music downloaded on iTunes - God save me from what comes on the radio- and admiring the Christmas decorations here at the big house where I live:
the manger , once my parents', now on the bureau in my bedroom
the crib in the Mary Chapel
the crib in the Basilica
From the heights to the depths....
I had lovely days writing Christmas cards, working on the courses for the Spring semester, visiting friends, preparing for a trip to West Chester to visit more friends, when, at about 11PM on December 30, I was slammed again by the stomach bug. This time it was an all-nighter,
as they say, "hugging the toilet."
This cartoon captures some of the spirit of this experience:
So I have spent the last four days ( counting today) either being sick or recovering from being sick.
I was too busy entertaining the bug to notice the passing of 2014. In the weeks prior, I had many thoughts about time and its passing, but won't write them down now.