You’ve felt a sore throat for a couple of days now but dismiss it saying to yourself, “It’s nothing.” (Funny how we all become doctors when it comes to our health.) The next day arrives and you know you’ll not make it through the day as the congestion is in full swing. For the good of fellow employees and yourself you make the phone call that puts all your duties on hold for at least one day.
“Now what?” you say. It’s 6:00 a.m., work has been alerted and the entire day lays before you. “Too early for the ‘Price is Right’ and ‘As the World Turns” hasn’t been on the air since your grandmother died. Bundled up in your bathrobe you make some tea and add honey, the brandy is saved for after 5 p.m. The living room corner is a good spot where you spot snowflakes that grow in number. The mystery book you’ve half read is on the ottoman. “Ummm,” you murmur. You easily get back into the book’s seedy and heroic characters and the snows continues to fall. Three hours passes including the nap just when the book’s action was getting good and the snow falls faster.
You repeat taking your over-the-counter stuff that’s supposed help the stuff in your head and nose and it’s time for lunch with the afternoon holding what ever is ahead.
It’s your turn to host the neighborhood party. Fifteen people responded and you’ve been looking forward to this since summer began. The backyard’s been mowed and the grill is warming up as the warm air offers a periodic breeze to balance the day. Evenings are always the best when the sun sets and another kind of the day begins. The neighbors are full of neighborly happenings and the punch is slightly spiked to give a slight zing without all the expensive bottles. The smoke and smells remind you of a Catholic Church on a happy feast day but this time the sights and scents are brats and burgers. 7:00 p.m. the neighbors are jovial and strengthening connections keeping the neighborhood safe and strong. It’s a full moon but that was not planned nor was it planned that the last group would leave at 2:00 a.m. That’s okay, you had enough punch to see you through night.
You have an important meeting at 7:00 a.m. and corporate is expected to be there awaiting PowerPoint and Excel explanations of everything that needs explaining. It’s been snowing all night with eight inches already on the group and you don’t have time to shovel and hope the mail carrier doesn’t curse your mother. You plow your car backwards through the snow and out of the driveway and make it to work on time but you forget a second pair of shoes might have helped.
After the long wintry snow-filled months you are anticipating that all fifteen of your neighbors will arrive, each bringing something to share from their specialties or a favorite family recipe. The weatherman said the high would be 95 today but they’ve been wrong how many times before. The neighbors arrive and you finally admit that if it’s not the temperature, it’s the humidity. Discussion about the weather goes on for much longer than necessary because everyone feels the hot weather through their sweaty shirts and shorts. “The dining room will work!” you say after mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges for nothing. The fifteen plus your family huddle together surrounded by the wonders of AC and enjoy the punch meant for the outside. You sweat your way through the brats and burgers all by yourself. The evening proceeds well in the confines of your otherwise winter confines and the neighborhood-jokester suggests, “How about a fire tonight?” The next day is sunny, pleasant with a high of 75 degrees with low humidity.