Monday, November 30, 2015

Under the weather

I’ve been under the weather the last few weeks with a nasty cough that sounds like a hound treeing a squirrel.

I’ve turned into a whiny baby. It takes great restraint from Jilda to keep from cutting my head off with a butcher knife to put me out of my misery.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this bad.

I know the exact moment it started. We were driving down Interstate 65 to play at an art festival in Clanton. Midway between Birmingham and the peach water tower, we both saw a small fire just off the Interstate.

Instead of the smoke rising as you’d expect, this smoke spread out just above the ground and hung there like a veil.

A moment after we drove through the smoke, we coughed in stereo. Jilda said, “I hope they weren’t burning toxic waste back there.”

We both laughed, but my cough persisted…and has for three weeks.

The last time a cough this bad settled in my chest was when I was about 13 years old. I remember that time clearly because it was my first trip deer hunting with my dad. I anticipated that I’d come back with deer meat and a story to tell, but the only thing I brought home was pneumonia.

It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and the temps had dropped like a stone. We bunked with about 15 other hunters in a run-down hunting cabin. Pulling my pallet up close to the fireplace, I fell asleep to the sound of snapping logs.

The next day, the sun felt warm on my hunting jacket when the wind wasn’t blowing, but my shotgun was so cold I feared my fingers would stick to the polished blue steel barrel.

And then after lunch, the clouds rolled in. Soon, misting rain began to fall. By late evening, my clothes were damp and my boots felt like anvils on my feet.

That second night, getting a place close to the fire was harder because everyone’s feet got wet that day so boots took the choice drying spots by the fire.

The next day was the most miserable day of my life. The jeep dropped hunters every three or four hundred yards in the area. My stand was in a grove of oak and hickory with no one in sight.

I sat at the base of that tree for hours. The drizzling rain returned and brought flecks of sleet and snow with it.

When I couldn’t take the wind and cold anymore, I found a giant oak that had been damaged by fire in years past. The trunk was hollowed out and the opening was just the right size. I burrowed into the tree like a mole and stayed there until I heard the jeep horn at dusk.

A rattling cough started that night and by the time we got home the following afternoon, I was sick. The doctor took one look at me on Monday and told my mom I had pneumonia. It took forever to get over that hunting trip.

This past week when I went to the doctor for my current cough, he shot me full of antibiotics and medicine for the cough. I’m feeling much better, but I couldn’t run a race.


  1. I had Whooping Cough about 10 years ago they call it the 100 days lasted almost exactly 100 days. Hope yours clears up soon.

  2. I hope you're feeling better soon. Take care and don't push yourself too hard.

  3. I had pnemonia once... thankfully only in one lung, it was awful... I really hope you feel more like yourself Rick xox ♡

  4. Here is hoping you get to feeling better soon, and the COUGH goes away. But you have done one thing for me, reminded me how good it is NOT TO COUGH, mine just ended.
    It is the tough times that make the good times so good. (I felt for the kid with the shotgun! OUCH!)

  5. My daughter and her family all have something awful so we didn't see them for turkey day. Hope it's gone by Christmas!

  6. I do not like being sick... All the guys came home from hunting with a very bad chest cold. I do hope you get to feeling much better, I did get a Pnemonia shot, I hope it works.
    We do a lot of that Elderberry stuff, my DIL makes it for us!
    Blessings to you both, and I do understand the whining and butcher knife, it reminds me of the story of the Three blind mice...

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your sickness. It would be interesting to know just what was burning and what you and Jilda breathed into your lungs.
    As I read about the hunting trip when you were a young boy, my heart broke for you.
    I do hope that you are feeling 100% very soon. Hugs to you and Jilda.

  8. I smiled at Jilda's threat - hang in there - you'll get better, the cough will go and the butcher's knife will go back into the drawer.

    What a lot of fun you had on your first deer-hunting trip......

    Ms Soup

  9. Sounds like you turned the corner with the antibiotics. Hope you get completely well soon!

  10. Sorry that you're still feeling sick. That was quite the hunting trip.
    I been under the weather too and still on antibiotic that zap the life out of me so I can sympathize.

    I can't even think of Christmas decorations yet. Two more days of antibiotic and I may come back to life. I hope that you'll feel better soon.

  11. I hope Jilda will take pictures of you out running your race net week. Of course I am making a joke. It struck me as amusing that you are so sick and yet you think about running.

  12. Anonymous12:50 PM

    You're not paying attention--I TOLD you to feel better!!


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