The temperature outside at 4:00 a.m., a short while after I awoke, registered 25 degrees, just half the number of Fahrenheits the weather witches are forecasting for today. If, indeed, the temperature reaches 50 degrees, today will eclipse yesterday by about 15 degrees. Unlike yesterday, today will not offer a demonstration of what a “dusting of snow” looks like. Actually, yesterday’s snow was more than a dusting, but less than enough to cause any problems on the road. Yesterday offered incontrovertible evidence of Winter, but without teeth. Not a bad day at all, weather-wise. I suspect today will suggest that Spring is at least in the back of Mother Nature’s mind; but it’s only in her subconscious thus far.
Aside from the occasional celebratory moment (like today, which is a friend’s birthday), February can be a dank and bothersome month. Its wild swings between frigid cold and teasing warmth suggest either that Mother Nature experiences psychotic episodes or that she is capable of bullying. Maybe both. I’ve never been particularly fond of February, but I’m certainly glad I’ve not missed any of them since birth. That’s a paradox, isn’t it? I suspect it is akin to the feelings of the parent of a child who has criminal tendencies; I don’t think I need to explain further.
Yesterday, I went to the hospital to undergo a pulmonary function test. The woman who conducted the assessment was very pleasant and seemed very capable, but she was careful not to tell me much about the results. She did say, though, that the bronchial inhaler she administered as part of the process measurably improved my lung function. That means, I guess, that the inhaler my oncologist prescribed (thinking it might improve my cough, which it hasn’t) is apt to be a permanent fixture. And, I might add, an ungodly expensive fixture. My insurance company won’t pay a dime of the cost; I finally got my doctor to prescribe one that cost only $76 for 200 sprays. The good part, though, is that I am to use it only when I need it. Thus far, I haven’t been able to determine whether I need it; I can’t tell any difference between using it and not using it. That’s February for you.
After three days in bed and virtually no intake of food, my wife was up and about for much of the day yesterday. And she ate lunch and dinner. But her cough remains. She asked me to buy more cough/decongestant medicine, which I dutifully did. I may have to physically drag her to see the doctor if her cough persists for much longer. I find it ironic that she has resisted going to the doctor; she berates me for my resistance to the same thing. This is the second episode of cold-like illness she’s experienced in as many weeks.
Today, we’ll have a visit from the occasional housekeeper, who brings with her some floor care machinery (vacuum/wet-vac/??) that is louder than a badly-tuned 747. I flee the scene when she arrives, leaving my wife to give her whatever direction she needs. I wish I had someplace to go, rather than just wandering around in my car, using up gas. Ideally, I would be able to go to the “club,” where I could sit and read the newspaper, have a snifter of brandy, and then play a game of pool. But when she arrives it’s a bit early for brandy; and there is no “club,” so it’s out of the question. I haven’t played pool in years; I bet the last time I played was when we lived in Houston. That would have been almost 40 years ago. I suspect I might drop the pool cue if I picked it up today. Perhaps I could visit my friend whose birthday is today. But that would involve a 5-hour round trip, plus time for the visit; my wife would be annoyed that I left her here for the duration. And my friend my be unpleasantly surprised if I were to show up, unannounced, on her doorstep.
If I were in the mood, I could work on an article I promised to write. But I’m not in the mood. Nor am I in the mood to do much more, for the moment, with the database I will manage for our church auction. It’s not that I’m slothful today; it’s just that I’m in a February mood.
The remaining quarter of a cup of coffee in my mug has long since grown cold. I am not a fan of reheated coffee; it must be fresh and hot to satisfy me. So, I will finish the cold cup, sneering in disgust as I drink it, and will then make another fresh, hot cup. And then, I may write some more. Not that this post can claim to be writing. But it’s the sort of thing I write in February.