That’s a title that sounds like it could be sung to “There’s no place like home for the Holidays,” and pretty much describes much of my life since around Thanksgiving. That’s the day I consumed at least 3000 calories at one sitting and at the same time acquired a gut ailment that required medical treatment. Not long after that cleared up, I did get to ride a couple of times. The first time, I was the only one who showed up for a club ride (but stupidly forgot to bring a water bottle so had to abbreviate the ride), and then went on a club ride touring some of Stepford’s more elaborate Christmas light tableaux – two of which were synced to Christmas music.
Then, on the afternoon of the Wednesday one week before Christmas Eve, while playing lightsaber tag (I was “It”) wielding the blue good-guy lightsaber my young son gave me for my birthday earlier this month, I ran between the shed and the oak tree stumbling in a depression in the grass, there re-injuring the same ankle that was severely injured in September of 2013. I dropped and I remember as I lay on the cold, damp ground, that I was awed by the fact that the dirt, the grass, the thought of bugs, leaf-mold, and other lawn detrita provided much in the way of soothing comfort over against the screaming pain that began in my lower extremity and exploded through my central nervous system.
When I could again open my eyes and regard the world about me, I saw that my boy had obtained the safe harbor of his home-base and was pretending not to notice that I’d fallen and appeared to be in distress. That’s probably one of a constellation of normal responses an early elementary-school boy has in response to witnessing his father’s injury, but I was at the time a little put out by his seeming total lack of empathy.
I called Stepford’s premiere podiatrist, a Cornell-educated genius with years of active duty Army experience who agreed to fit me into his schedule if I could get to the office immediately. I then called my barber, an equally brilliant fellow in his own line, and rescheduled our haircuts for later in the afternoon. Currently, I have five more weeks in the air-cast boot and at least two before the next podiatric appointment at which time the medico will determine whether further diagnosis demands magnetic resonance imagery.
Prior to all this, however, in response to the gut ailment precipitated by the Thanksgiving Day meal, I’d radically altered my dietary regime. Initially, I entirely abstained from coffee; formerly, I’d consumed at least one full pot of coffee a day. I quit eating cheese. I laid off the leftover Halloween and early Christmas candy. I started drinking herbal tea as my Internet researches indicated licorice might soothe the gut: Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea. When my symptoms became less tolerable, I also consumed generic Thera Flu as well as Airborne. So, about that Celestial Seasonings tea – I’m guessing the box’s graphic is code for something…
We took our annual Christmas trip to the farm where visited with my wife’s family. Our little boy was sick much of the week, but still enjoyed playing with his cousins. He and I both suffered from some renewed bout of viral infection and both our appetites waned. I spent most of the week watching Magnum P.I. reruns from the show’s fourth season and playing Angry Birds on my wife’s Ipad. I talked theology with my father-in-law and his best friend, dropped my data-plan and went back to a flip-phone, tried to eat carefully, and, by the time we returned home Saturday after Christmas, had lost three pounds.
The prospect of five more weeks in the air-cast, and possibly even longer before I can ride or walk for exercise is irritating.