March 28, 2013

Publisher's Notebook: Mother Nature not listening to me or Phil

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — On Saturday, I posted on Facebook that I longed to feel the warm sun on my face and grass between my toes. The long, dreary winter had become interminable.

On Monday morning, it wasn’t the warm sun I felt on my face, but a stinging, wind-driven snow that was so heavy I could barely see the road on my way to work.

Mother Nature isn’t listening to my pleas. She’s not listening to Punxsutawney Phil either. The famed prognosticating rodent is under indictment for a bogus forecast of an early spring, as the midwest digs out from up to two feet of snow.

I don’t know why Mother Nature isn’t listening to me. I brake for opossums in the road. I brake for rabbits too, until the foolish things dart back across the road and commit suicide under my tire. I plant grass seed each spring and fall just so the birds won’t go hungry. I let a pair of robins build a nest each year on an outside light fixture. I keep more dogs than I need or want.

Instead, she spits snow in my face while I’m suffering from golf withdrawal. I’ve golfed three times since January, which works out to almost $200 a round in dues. I’m thinking about selling my clubs to help pay the electric bill.

Along with pangs of golf withdrawal, I also suffered a nasty bout of the flu. I’ve never taken a flu shot and the risks finally caught up with me. It pretty much kicked my tail. That’s the worst I’ve felt in a long time.

I used to tough out illness and never go to the doctor. But I’ve become a pain wuss in my older years and find no shame in seeking relief from it.

The doctor set me up with Nurse Tami Flu. Her fee was more than the doctor’s, but she promised to make me better in three to five days.

The worst thing about the flu? The chills and the night sweats. I’d try all day to get warm using a heating pad and scalding-hot baths. But then in the middle of the night, I’d find myself soaking wet. The little depression below my Adam’s apple was a reservoir of sweat. The sheets were all warm and funky at the same time.

My wife changed the sheets two straight nights, but threatened not to do so after the third night. Fortunately, Nurse Tami started making me feel better and was I was no longer afraid of drowning in my sleep.

My wife is very sympathetic when I get sick, probably because I don’t get sick that often. She waits on me hand and foot, cooks whatever I want and goes to the store to get anything I need.

But the sympathy only lasts about two days. If I’m not better by then, I have to change my own sheets. She expects me to get up and moving.

Since I was home with her all day instead of working, my wife wanted to carry on these long, drawn-out conversations about nothing in particular. But I was the exact opposite. I wanted to hump up and suffer in silence. I didn’t feel like talking about our garden or the family vacation because the sun is never going to shine again anyway.

So, she got mad at me because I wouldn’t talk and said I might as well be at work. So, I went back to work, only to be shunned by my employees like I had the plague and told how terrible I looked.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. But a warming trend is on the way. It doesn’t matter because I’m heading out next week during Spring Break and driving south until I find some sunshine and a golf course without snow.

I’m sure I’ll run into Phil along the way.

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