Friday, April 04, 2003

Under The Weather

We're reunion relatives, Cathy and I. She is my mother's first cousin; the much-younger Jack's oldest; her father's artist brother's artist daughter. We meet every few years at the last of my generation's bar-and-bat-mitzvahs. Basically she's just Cathy, the blood and obligation for some odd reason thin enough to allow for acquaintance based on mutual curiousity and shared interest.

Last spring when a pregnant Darcie and I decided to go to Washington for one last vacation, we stayed at their home for a few days before jetting off to her father's gracefully offered and gratefully accepted Rehoboth Beach cabana, and had a wonderful and peaceful time. Though I've really only spent time with her three or four times as an adult, we seemed to click pretty well with her and her family: Jon, the wine-cellared builder; Jessica the art student, a Junior at BU; Daniel, looking at colleges. Mother and son came up from Maryland with Cathy yesterday and today looking at UMass and UHartford; we were eager to host them, as they had hosted us.

We put them up in the school guesthouse, an excellent grand victorian bed-and-breakfast-sans-breakfast, two rooms for two nights for a total in-house rate of $50, and they seem comfortable. But the sky gods and the microbes they carry seem to have conspired against us spending quality time with them.

Cathy and Daniel arrived yesterday evening in an ominous drizzle; we took them to the local Chinese/Sushi place for maki and sesame chicken. Willow was in the throes of her first cold, and it was serious -- crankiness compounded by an inability to sleep for more than a few moments without choking on her swollen sinuses, and who knew a kid that tiny could produce a full tablespoon of snot in a single sneeze? -- so we ate quickly and sent them off to rest for the UMass admissions program the next day.

The baby's cold began to fade by this morning, but Darcie came down with it rather quickly, the sniffles turning into honking and tissues rolled up the nostrils. It had begun snowing after midnight; by morning it was frozen rain, a half-inch sheen on everything. After scraping the car down to the glass, while Darcie and the baby slept and later went to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens to release indoors a butterfly that Darcie's mom's kindergarden class had hatched, I spent the day in the media center doing back work: gathering the raw materials for the department web page, rewriting policy documents and mandates, catching up on e-correspondance. Advanced Web Design class from 2-4, which I'm finding works most successfully as a workshop, guiding the peer-teaching of a nice small group of committed students. Home to a sick wife and child steaming themselves in the bath.

I managed to make it through another dinner with Cathy and Daniel, this time fried mozzerella and a sweet-n-lemony chicken francese at the vast Bella Notte, a middle-of-nowhere place that attracts the golf crowd and makes what I believe to be the best red sauce in the history of cooking. But here, at home, I've begun to sneeze; my back aches, and the back of my throat tickles thickly. I think we'll get through breakfast with them, if they can get here through the roads covered in frozen white ballbearings -- the baby should be mostly better -- but it looks like I'm staying in bed tomorrow afternoon, listening to the eternal ice-pea hail rattle the roof. A pity; I was hoping to get down to the Iron Horse to see Eddie From Ohio tomorrow night.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:50 PM |

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