This was the plan. Rent an incredible house in the redwoods for the three-day weekend. Close to the ocean, wineries, hiking, fresh crab, bike riding, sunshine, funky little towns, picture taking, reading, talking, relaxing, connecting. The good stuff.
Did you see anywhere in that list…have the flu and cough so much that you actually feel worse than you sound? And trade the wine for Nyquil, feast on canned chicken noodle soup and chocolate pudding cups, and get a glimpse of yourselves as an elderly couple, too weak to even play Scrabble? Nope, that wasn’t in the plan.
The house was indeed spectacular. I rented it off Airbnb, as a test, with the idea we could rent it for the month of August. I have been anticipating this weekend for months. As a bonus, one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, was speaking on Saturday in nearby Petaluma, on writing personal narrative. My folks gave me the workshop as a Christmas gift, and I was thrilled I felt “writerly” enough to even go.
My flu arrived on Wednesday night. I know how to over medicate and sleep my way through illness (25 years of motherhood gives you a few tricks), so I rallied for the workshop, though I wasn’t as collaborative as the healthy Kim might have been. Steve (who had the flu shot I skipped) started getting sick on Saturday, and I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say we have both aged about 30 years. Yesterday we managed to leave the house for a few hours to see the ocean…I drove and he had a blanket over his lap.
Honestly, for a moment I felt like I saw into our future. I asked him if he ever wondered which one of us would be an invalid first. That was as close to romantic as we got. Pathetic, I know. For both of us, talking sets off the coughing attacks, so we’ve been quiet and still…and have been in a weird time and space continuum, punctuated by cups of herb tea and honey.
We tried to enjoy being sick in a beautiful house, with lovely windows, in the midst of the forest with the sun streaming in. I learned to make a fire in the wood stove. And the wine, well…that will keep for another time.
This wasn’t the plan, but it’s what showed up. The weekend wasn’t what I had hoped for, and my pictures certainly weren’t. But there’s something about being still and being stuck in one place. Of having things go not exactly as you have planned. It’s not pretty, but it’s real.
And we did get to see the ocean, so there’s that.