Grandkids, Germs, Turkeys and Eagles

Today marks two weeks since I first began to feel crappy – sore throat, coughing, tiredness, a little fever and way too much snot and phlegm.  When I was a kid, we called this a cold.  Now that I am kinda old, people are calling it one of the strains of flu not covered by the 2012 flu shot.  Apparently the Center for Disease Control missed the mark on this one, with their vaccination cocktail providing protection from just 14% of the flu bugs that have invaded our shores this year.

Except for the cough and some of the tiredness, I think I’m beginning to get the upper hand.  Doctors have said you pretty much just have to wait this crap out and allow it to run its course, but that over-the-counter medications can help with some of the symptoms.  I’ve tried some and honestly don’t know how much they’ve helped, but I have to give grudging credit to something I pretty much resisted.  When my nighttime coughing was rattling the foundation of the house, a layer of Vick’s Vapo-Rub was applied to the soles of my feet while I slept and despite my skepticism – I quit coughing.  I don’t get it, but I like the idea of not coughing.

The grandkids have been here with their mom for the last week and we’ve had a good time, although the little guy has been more sick than I have.  He has asthma and allergies to begin with and the addition of this bug has been no picnic for him, but to his everlasting credit – and unlike me – he never complains, not even when waiting in the emergency room or hooked up for a breathing treatment.  He’s just one of those tough guys that come along from time to time. 

Hours before he, his sister and mom wake up Saturday morning to begin their 565 mile return trek back home to Oroville, I’ll be sneaking around in the dawn on the opening day of the season to await the sunrise and with any luck – a Tom turkey.  The birds are there and whether they will respond to my calls or ignore them is secondary to the unique joy of being in the oak woodland when it wakes up. 

The hoot of owls will stir up their enemies the crows and ravens whose raucous calls will be answered by the turkeys from their roosts in the large sycamore trees that rise from the bank of the creek.  In the dim grey light, their outlines are tough to distinguish from the parasitic clumps of mistletoe.  When the boss hen deems it appropriate she will squawk a call that I hear only at “fly down,” when the big birds will hit the ground for the first time and begin their day.  In due time, they will begin to disperse in all directions and I will do all that I can to induce a gobbler to come my way.  If one does, I’ll may bring it along to Sunday’s Easter Potluck Brunch.  If not, we’ll eat quiche.       

I often use this space to say something about my Aztecs and if you have been watching the NCAA Tournament, you know that beat the Sooners of Oklahoma before being taken down by the tourney’s Cinderella – the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University.  It was a disappointing end for the Aztecs, but I have to keep in mind that they have built a solid program on Montezuma Mesa and are one of only 18 teams in the country to have reached the “big dance” in each of the last four years.



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