Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Normally the flu season hits at school about a week before the Christmas program, randomly picking off victims and resulting in obvious gaps in the singing lineup on the big night. Paul somehow always manages to stave off the bug until vacation, and he has spent more than one Christmas curled up under a blanket, flush-faced and glassy-eyed.

This year was different. We have 32 students, a new record, and I believe the only one missing at the program was Emily. And then we made it through vacation without much sickness.

But now it's hitting. Ben's friends have been getting sick one by one, and today he succumbed and I dragged him in to the clinic in Junction City, where the doctor said he most likely has pneumonia.

There's a terrible bug going around, the clinic ladies said, and it's very hard on the elderly. Glen Yoder, Paul's cute dumpy overalled bachelor cousin-a-few-times-removed, who used to stand placidly out in his front yard by the hour, waving at people driving by, passed away today.

And now Jenny is lying on the couch with her temperature percolating up a degree or so per hour. So I am in that strange sick-house netherworld, where the universe seems to boil down to this place, this room, these children lying miserably on the couches; taking temperatures, bringing drinks, cold cloths on hot foreheads. The rest of the world, of Paul going to work and Rita planning Bible Club and trucks driving down 99 and people in Michigan voting in primaries seems far away and almost unreal.

Quote of the Day:
Emily: How can I make sure I don't get what Ben has?
Me: Eat a teaspoon of fresh garlic every day. I think that's what I'm going to do.
Paul: I think I'll go get a motel room tonight.


  1. With my auto-immune disorder, my family has to fend for themselves! I got an upper and lower respitory infection in mid-December, nearly 5 weeks later, I am still coughing up the dregs of what remains! This is no bueno (as my kids would say).

  2. I don't blame Paul for heading to a motel room. Just yesterday I stopped in to see my mom, the minute the door opened I knew she was trying to fight sickness!:) What a smell, what a welcome!

  3. well I am feeling better today

  4. Is Emily taking any vitamins, like Centrum or similar? I had the flu a few weeks ago, but I haven't had hardly anything of a cold or anything else so far other than that, and I attribute it to one-a-day vitamins.

  5. Waiting for ITF to show up and say he takes one-a-day vitamins three times daily. :)

  6. I'm taking Zicam, Echinacea, Ibruprofin, and drinking peppermint tea. Germs are everywhere in this house and I'm determined to not get sick. Garlic? All at once? That's a new one.

  7. Oh, Dorcas... why do I want to laugh and be sympathetic at the same time!!! It's your fault! Get well QUICK everyone...

    My second son/family and all of us are playing peekaboo with them bugs, too.

  8. My mom has been stuffing raw garlic--a glove all chopped up--down our throats while we were home over Christmas and she sent several boxes along to SMBI with Benji and I. Needless to say, I haven't touched them since.

    It's actually not bad if you simply swallow it with water--no breath or taste effects.