I’m not predicting anything ever again, at least about the weather. I’ll leave that embarrassment up to the Old Farmers of the Almanac fame. They use the tried and true method of tracking sunspots. And perhaps a wooly worm algorithm. Anyhow, they aren’t calling for a heck of a lot of snow in this neck of the woods between now and spring.
That suits me just fine. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve not been necessarily anti-snow, but when it gets so deep you are more or less cooped up in your house, cabin fever sets in.
I’m talking about those not-uncommon January mornings when the highway is all iced up and snow-packed, and nmroads.com says, “difficult driving conditions,” it’s not exactly a feel-good Courier and Ives painted picture moment. With me being such a jellyfish about driving in those conditions, especially after my history of risking life and limb vehiculating on snow-packed mountain roads in Colorado and spinning on the black ice of Tennessee, I’ve had enough.
Did I just write “vehiculating?”
I’ve heard the Inuit and other Eskimo peoples in northern climes have something like 99 different words to describe snow. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I could find a few choice words for the mess it makes on the kitchen floor when I come in with icy, wet boots.
Anyway, when the wind is blowing, and you look out the window and it keeps snowing and drifting up higher and higher, it seems like the world has temporarily stopped. Everyday wants and worries are put on hold, and survival mode kicks in.
Get the candles ready. Check the propane tank. Spread pallets by the heater. And no matter what, go to the store for bread and milk.
Me, I want to eat. Pack in another inch or two of body fat. That’s my subconscious talking to my subcutaneous, if I may. Nature’s answer to staying warm. Well … that, and not dying of starvation.
For me, hot food is the remedy. Not hot like a frying pan, but hot like what is being cooked in the skillet. Hot like the vapor coming off a green chile cheeseburger after that first bite. Warm gravy over hot biscuits with a garnish of green chile. Hot like a cheese enchilada with red chile and a fried egg on top.
Well, you get the idea. It’s just that my appetite seems to be governed by the weather. A sure cure for the common cold. And possibly for the flu, regardless of that bacterial versus viral thing, but please don’t quote me on that. What you can quote me on is: go ahead and get that flu shot.
Or should I say, “influenza,” which makes it sound as serious as it actually is. Like, you can die from it. Think 1918.
I just read that over seven million have contracted the flu this winter, and that god-awful COVID germ is still lurking. Just don’t get me started on RSV. I’m not sure how many times I’m supposed to be inoculated before I can venture out with confidence into what seems to be our virus-infested world.
Having said that, I feel oddly grateful when all I get is a stuffed-up head and runny nose.
It’s been a few years since I came down with a full-blown, bedridden, feverish bad cold, but there’s always a stuffy head and chest congestion lingering right around the corner.
It was such the case last week when I found myself nervously asking the pharmacist for a decongestant with pseudoephedrine. Nervous, because he was asking about my blood pressure and allergies and whatnot, and I was standing there wondering if he thought I was going to go back home and cook up a batch of methamphetamine.
Growing up, we didn’t get much more than Vicks Vapo-Rub and the dreaded mustard plaster. That was back when the back of our mother’s hand was more accurate than a mercury thermometer. She’d also have us drink lots of water. Of course, these days, you don’t drink water; you “hydrate.”
Times have gotten weird. Used to be, you’d take a couple of aspirins, sip on flat Seven-Up and blow your nose raw. Now you stand in front of racks and racks of store-bought remedies, trying to guess which over-the-counter wonder drug will fix you up.
Do I need a decongestant or an antihistamine? Chlorpheniramine maleate? Phenylephrine? Loratadine? Diphenhydramine HCL? My goodness.
Then there’s Vitamin C with zinc, echinacea with zinc, probiotics with zinc, and just zinc. And don’t forget the adhesive strip that pulls out your nostrils.
Which sounds like another job for duct tape.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going into the bathroom to make a mess with my neti-pot.