|Looking towards the train tracks and a passing train in Altavista, June 2014. The Staunton River runs among the distant trees.|
If you’re in the kitchen at 4 a.m. eating a bowl of grits, you know things aren’t normal.
That was me yesterday morning. Cooking a bowl of instant grits in the microwave while Larry and Chase Bird slept. Eating the hot grits in an attempt to feel better.
Grits are a comfort food for me. No matter what kind of illness I may have, the warm blandness mixed with a dab of butter can calm down nausea, give a little energy to fight a headache, or soothe a sore throat.
Larry got a bad cold last week, and being the generous man that he is, he shared it with me. At least we are miserable together.
Of course, we’re not really miserable in the sense being unhappy or in dire straits or seriously ill. We just feel bad enough not to feel like doing anything. Just bad enough that walking to the mailbox at the end of the driveway seems too big a task. So bad that we believe if we don’t stop coughing soon, we are going to die of misery.
I took a book with me to the doctor’s office to read while waiting. I never opened it. I didn’t feel like reading. If I don’t feel like reading, I know I’m miserable. Or feverish.
I did have a fever. When I got home, Larry was sitting in the den, wrapped in a blanket, trying to get warm. We croaked hello to each other.
Then he left the house to run some errands. He had noticed our bare pantry shelves, too, and since he had been sick longer and hence was supposedly on the road to recovery already, he was elected to go to the grocery store.
He brought home things we really don’t need. A berry pie? Frozen pizza? Ah, things you buy when you shop while miserable. Or terribly hungry.
So here we are, taking our medicine, offering each other advice on how to feel better, eating food that isn’t good for us. Poor Chase Bird just wants us to stop coughing already. And get over this misery.
What is your best treatment for the common, miserable cold?