So, I’m on the road again. Headed north. Which is crazy, because I hate the cold weather. But my entire family lives in Illinois and I travel back home for Christmas each year, so it is what it is. This trip, however, has presented a few challenges.
Things started to go wrong while I was still in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. On day three the temperature plummeted to 57 and the wind kicked up. The next morning I awoke with my annual sinus infection – a behind the nose raw kind of hurt that made it difficult to swallow. Usually, standing under a hot shower helps a lot, but this was the morning that I had no water in that lovely hotel in Clearwater Beach. I needed new sinuses and a shower that worked.
By the following day I had reached the home of friends in the Atlanta area, who always let me stay with them when I am traveling to Chicago because it is a very convenient midway point. Atlanta’s cold, gray weather ruled out any extended outdoor activity, however I had to wash my car, since it was covered with salt spray from the beach. Within an hour of putting the finishing touches on my now sparkling car, it began to pour rain and it didn’t stop for two days. Spending an hour at the car wash in the cold weather made my sinus infection worse and my eyes, ears, and nose began to torment me with a deep down itch. Here I was, the woman who won’t even take an aspirin, living on Benadryl. I needed a new head. I needed new sinuses. I needed to go for a walk. At least I got to take a nice long, hot shower. I must remember to be grateful.
On the second day of Atlanta’s rain I went to the car to retrieve something and discovered I hadn’t entirely closed the driver’s side car window, thus my entire front seat and floorboard were soaking wet. By now I had a low-grade fever. I needed a new head, I needed new sinuses. I needed a new car front seat. I needed warmer temperatures. But still, I’d had a hot shower and the company of good friends.
Since the waether was too miserable to actually visit any of the greater Atlanta’s attractions, I decided to put the spare time to work on the web site I was designing for my friends. For two days I worked diligently in Dreamweaver to put the finishing touches on their site. By the time it was done, I had been reading tiny type on a small monitor screen for so long that my eyesight was blurred when I looked up into the distance and my wrist hurt overuse of the laptop touchpad. I needed a new head. I needed new sinuses. I needed new eyes and a new wrist. I needed aspirin for my fever. I’d been sitting for two days straight and eating nothing but simple carbs and had probably gained five pounds. I needed to exercise but didn’t feel like it.
I left Atlanta yesterday afternoon, bound for Cincinnati, where I will be attending another writer’s conference. The car seat was still wet, but I spread a towel over it and hoped the heat from my butt would dry it out. I drove for eight hours, encountering two major traffic backups on the Interstate due to accidents and construction, as well as hitting a snowstorm in the mountains of Kentucky. It has been perhaps thirty years since I have driven in snow. I don’t think I have ever driven in a snowstorm in the mountains. And this was a snowstorm in the mountains after dark. I needed a new head. I needed new sinuses. I needed a new front car seat. I needed my one last nerve back. The outside temperature had dropped to 28. Have I mentioned that I HATE cold weather?