A Lost Weekend
Wow, is it Monday already? I feel like I’ve been living in a warped zone of time, where days mistakenly drop away from my calendar, without explanation or warning.
In other words, I’ve had a cold for the past week.
We spent Presidents Day weekend up at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania, huddling inside a modern cabin as the temperatures dipped into the single digits. (One morning, we woke up to the textbook definition of a “dusting” of snow — about half an inch that covered all the existing snowbanks and ice slicks with a beautiful, pristine layer of white.) The time was perfect for catching up on reading, and for being disconnected from the online world. (Although there’s cell phone connectivity, there’s no wifi in the park.) Alas, it was too cold and too icy to do much hiking, even on the very easy paths. More time for reading!
We drove home last Monday, cleverly meeting the park’s required check-out time of 10:00 a.m. and arriving at our house about two hours before a snowstorm. Those five inches proved enough to shut down the federal government (Mark’s employer) and the local schools (providers of my Tuesday-morning exercise class), so we enjoyed an additional day of vacation. At home, of course, we also enjoyed the added attention of the local felines, each of whom staked claim to a lap and protected it with great ferocity.
And then began the loss of days. I came down with a head cold on Monday — nothing serious, but a wonderful excuse for sleeping. And sleeping. And sleeping some more. I got *some* work done (editing two chapters of JOY OF WITCHCRAFT — gotta get ready for that August release!) but mostly I drank Day-Quil and Ny-Quil, and provided a stable bed for the kitties.
Then another weekend happened. Another weekend with another five inches or so of snow, this time followed by a nice glaze of freezing rain.
I know we’re not getting weather anything like our poor friends in New England. But the snow and ice we’ve gotten is more than enough to complicate life here — especially when we had massive melt-off yesterday, followed by a precipitous drop in temps today. The world outside my door is pretty much a skating rink, and it looks like it’ll stay that way for several days.
I hate ice.
I hate slipping on ice.
I live in terror of falling on ice. (Not so much the fall. The resulting broken bones, concussions, etc.)
At least I’ve been amusing myself with one thing: Of the two cats in the house, the greatest challenge (by far) is Poppy. She is an extremely strong-willed cat, with firm ideas about where she should be when, and what we humans should be doing to serve her. She makes writing a challenge, because she refuses to settle on a lap (why take a nice, warm, cat-trap-blanket-covered lap, when there’s a keyboard in use so nearby?)
But when we got Poppy from the shelter, about six years ago, we decided that she’d been owned by a family of consumptives. She *hates* when people cough. In fact, she’ll leave food, her favorite scratching toy, her warmest lap, even a keyboard-in-use, if someone coughs. And when one or both of her humans have colds, her sensitivities are heightened. She’ll take her leave as soon as one of said human takes a deep breath (presumably, preparatory to coughing.)
I’m trying very hard not to use my knowledge for evil. But if I just happen to take a deep breath and if that just happens to send the cat upstairs to the guest room, where the sun is streaming in the window, and if I just happen to be able to get more work done…
Well, that benefits everyone, right? I’m not cruel for testing her responsiveness. Right? Right?