Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Well, it was bound to happen, and it only took 24 days. My daughter calls me from college yesterday and I could instantly tell something was wrong. She scratched her eye taking out her contact lens. It wouldn’t stop tearing, she couldn’t open it, she had a bad headache, she can’t see to do her homework, it hurts, etc. I tell her to put on sunglasses, borrow a baseball cap, and have her roommate walk her down to the infirmary.

It’s a small college, the infirmary is not staffed on the weekends. Let’s visit this bit of logic first shall we? When do you think the possibility of the kids getting sick or injured is greater, during the week while they are sitting in class or during the weekends when they have 48 hours of free time? Hmm…

So, Campus Police drive my daughter over to UVM because their infirmary is open 24/7. The on-call puts drops into my daughter’s eye and numbs it, then put in drops of dye so he could see what happened. Sure enough she has a “paper cut” on her eye. They write her a script for antibiotic drops and send her on her merry way.

Somehow she gets to a pharmacy and gets the drops - $111 for 0.25 ounces. Good Lord in Heaven! What could possibly justify that price? And, of course, there is no generic equivalent. Convenient, no? She could have probably driven the half hour up to Canada and got the EXACT SAME THING for under $10. I’ll be bringing her passport up with us next weekend so she has it, just in case. There is something seriously screwed up with our system here!

We had a nice treat last night. My mother-in-law invited everyone over for dinner. She roasted a pork and a chicken, had mashed potatoes and a ton of veggies. It was delicious, but that is nothing unusual. My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook. It was nice having everyone together, well almost everyone. We were missing three, and their lack of presence was really felt. Obviously one was my oldest daughter, but also my youngest didn’t come because she was not feeling well and my brother-in-law was away on business.

For many, many years, we used to do this every single Sunday. It was an unspoken requirement. Making sure you had nothing else planned for Sunday nights at six became very stressful for everyone, so what should have been a fun and happy event, wasn’t. I’m not sure exactly how or when the Sunday night dinners stopped, but it has been at least ten years. Now, when we can actually get everyone together and have one of these dinners, it is exciting. We look forward to it for days in advance. We laugh over how it keeps getting more and more difficult to squish us all around the table. There are multiple conversations going on at the same time, lots of laughing, catching up, and of course, wonderful food in large quantities.

Please don’t think I’m a horrible mom, leaving my sick kid at home while I went out to dinner. My daughter’s old enough to stay by herself, we were gone for less than two hours and we were less than ten minutes away, it was not the kind of sick which required coddling or even much concern, and we brought her back a plate. Before we left, we asked her if she wanted one or both of us to stay home with her, and she looked at us like we were crazy. We always offer (this is not the first family dinner she’s missed) and she almost always says ‘No’. On the rare occasions she says ‘Yes’, I know she’s really sick and I’ll more than likely be calling the doctor in the morning.

Today I am planning on getting several things cooked so we have them for the week. Yesterday I steamed some cabbage and today I will be making stuffed cabbage and since the filling is the same, some stuffed peppers. I also got another package of plums, so I will be making (an unprecedented) second batch of the dumplings. Everything I will be making makes rather large quantities, so I will be able to portion things out and freeze them for meals in the future. I LOVE when I can do that because, let’s face it, there are some nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. With meals stockpiled in the freezer, I just have to thaw and heat up. No muss, no fuss, no thought required.

On that note, I should get going. I hope you have a wonderful day and happy writing!


Your Last Challenge was:

The fever was so high…

Christmas morning, 1972

My mother had to come and wake me, which concerned her. What young child sleeps in on Christmas morning? With some effort, she cajoled me to get out of bed. I padded the fifteen feet from my bed to the living room couch, (we lived in an old bungalow which would neatly fit in my current kitchen, living room and family room area) curled up in the corner and burrowed under the afghan.

My mom placed a present on my lap and looked at me expectantly. Not wanting to disappoint her, I unwrapped the package, but the effort it took left me too weak to open the lid. I just couldn’t do it. I apologized, handed the gift back to her, slunk back to my bed and crawled under the covers, shivering. She was right there, pressing her hand to my forehead, checking for fever. Sure enough, I was roasting.

In the time it took her to get the baby aspirin and a glass of water I had fallen asleep. Over the next several hours, my fever continued to rise and I drifted between sleep and semi-consciousness. I can recall snippets of memories: a cool cloth covering my eyes, the weight of more blankets being piled on me because I was shivering so hard, my head feeling like it was full of cement, the doll on my dresser waving to me causing me to start screaming. Eventually my fever got so high, they took me to the hospital, but I have absolutely no recollection.


Your Next Challenge is:


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.