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"Any trip which does not result in at least one good story has been a waste of time."

To Vytas, I'd like to exclaim, in my best Skipper imitation, "Thanks a lot!" Then I'd hit him over the head with my hat (after having found a suitably high surface on which to stand, such as, say, Uther).

At this very moment I should be in a large airplane, preparing to put my seat and tray table back into their fully upright positions and checking around my seating area for any personal belongings which I may have brought on board. I should be ready to take out my earplugs and experience the balloon-squealing roar of my fellow passengers as we collectively deflate the plane. I should be stumbling across the uneven floor of the jetway, filling my lungs with the scent of low-carb California-blend kerosene. I should be anticipating finding at least some of my luggage and heading off to dinner with Collette, Aimeric, and Chiara. I should be experiencing that half-heartbeat just as I open the door to my house, thrilled to both see my cats once again and to see how they have redecorated the place while I was away.

But, lo, I am not.

I am not on a plane. I am nowhere near home. I am not even moving. I have barely left the room in two days.

I have pneumonia.

This was to be the extended trip to Chicagoland to get together with my family for the holidays. My dad's mind is turning to mud at an alarming rate, and I won't have too many more chances to actually be able to talk with him in person during which he actually knows my name. My brothers are all in Chicago, and Autumn and I were going to spend a lot of time experiencing our particular extended family dynamic, while occasionally heading in to the Big City to see the sights it has to offer. All in all, we would have plenty of time for the traditional last-minute shopping, plenty of time for my pilgrimage to the Mecca of pizza (the original Giordanos), plenty of time for talking about everything or nothing at all, and plenty of brothers from whom to borrow cars.

We both came down with the flu the day before we left SFO. I could only wish that I had left any of my major organs in San Francisco, though it appeared I could most easily do without my lungs. Fortunately TSA took a look at us, a look at the plastic bag full of meds, and then another look at us, before dimly turning to the next people in line.

I don't remember much about the first three days or so here. We are in a nice B&B ( which is within rock-throwing distance of my brother Rob's house, but we were far too sick to go much of anywhere for much of any reason. Rob kept just bringing us drugs, and our inkeeper went out of her way to help. I could feel the warm breeze of recovery blowing my way when I was suddenly hit with a sizzling fever.

I knew I was in trouble when I could make out Collette using phrasings like "...104 degrees...", "...called your brother...", and "...emergency room..." I didn't want to make her feel put out, but I found that I had rather little energy with which to argue. The hospital had valet parking.

Jump forward to today, here, now. I'm back at the B&B. I'm propped up on pillows. I'm loaded with antibiotics, and I have supplies lain in for a long siege. I have Wifi.

I noticed Collette reading LJ and it slowly dawned on me that, hey, I have an account there, too. This means more stuff to read! And here I thought I'd run out of Internet.

Collette's flu has mostly been conquered. When her coughs get back up to ultrasonic range, it's time for more Robitussin. She has put up with a lot from me this past week, and only got a little upset with me when she found out how ill I really was. She said she is going to have to start treating me like one of her pets (hey, a promotion!). Then she said she'd have to ignore whatever I say and ascertain my health herself. That wasn't what I had in mind...


Everyone needs a first post. This one is mine.
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May 2010

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