Friday, December 10, 2010

Misery Loves Company, or Great Expectorations

Well, since our arrival home last Saturday from our whirlwind (and somewhat stressful) trip to the East Coast, Mary and I have been holed up in our casita, nursing monster viral illnesses that have pretty much laid us flat. Although I became ill just three days into our trip, Mary did not show signs of illness until our last day in New England, the day after she had her memorable post-Thanksgiving emergency root canal.
Calling in sick to work for the entire week and canceling all appointments except for mutual sessions with our chiropractor, we basically entered a state of collective suspended animation, spending entire days in our casita, leaving only for several minutes at a time to give Tina brief walks. (Actually, we were generally so sick that we were sometimes unable to walk Tina, so we chose to just let her out on her own, except for nighttime when the coyotes are prowling the nearby river bed, hungry for a sweet canine or feline morsel.)
On Monday evening, too sick to make it to community dinner (and unwilling to infect others with our illness), a neighbor delivered our dinner to us when we requested that someone do so, and we gratefully slurped on homemade soup. Meanwhile, someone has brought us chicken soup, a neighbor is loaning us a vaporizer/humidifier, someone else called from the co-op to see if we need anything, and others have also checked in to see how we are and what we need.
To this day, our coughs continue (although Mary’s is improving), and as I posted on Twitter a few days ago, the used tissues have piled up like so much snotty snow. And to add insult to injury, I believe I have suffered a hairline rib fracture from the force of my persistent cough. Oy.
Illness notwithstanding, yesterday a momentous day dawned, and the 18-wheeler on which we had packed all of our worldly possessions not one week ago in Amherst, Massachusetts arrived to our new storage unit here in Santa Fe. Rallying our strength and meeting up with our excellent hired help (a sweet father-and-son team), we unloaded the truck, carefully packed the storage unit, and brought selected furniture and beloved objects to our casita. Having lived with our clothes in cardboard boxes for the last seven months (and crammed into small spaces in the RV for nine months before that), each of us having a dresser seems like an unheard of luxury, and we will continue to discover small treasures and beloved belongings as we slowly comb through the contents of our storage unit.
So, you may ask, dear Reader, why have the intrepid travelers and self-proclaimed “nomadic communitarians” decided to bring all of their worldly goods to the West? Are they thinking about remaining in Santa Fe? What about the continued search for community and the optimal climate for living?
What we have decided is that, except for friends and family who we love dearly, our ties to the East Coast have indeed weakened, and we have decided to stay in the West for the foreseeable future. Although Santa Fe still holds our attention and we are happy at The Commons on the Alameda, this area is not feeling like our “forever home”, and other horizons will eventually beckon once the time to move on has presented itself. Until then, there is still much to explore and experience here in Northern New Mexico, and we are presently traveling while rooted in one place (something that Tina is especially thrilled about!).
So, as the used tissues continue to pile up and gallons of tea with honey are imbibed (with the odd shot of sherry or port wine for reasons of pure constitutional fortification, of course), we feel our mutual suffering coming to an end, and our (admittedly somewhat cozy) self-imposed isolation will also cease.
It’s been a long two weeks, replete with a whirlwind trip to the other coast, acute illness, reuniting with our life’s possessions, and the reminder that our bodies need important rest and recuperation when under duress. Yes, Misery loves Company (guess which one of us is Misery and which one is Company!), and we know this time of companionable misery and great expectorations will remain a poignant memory long after the trash is taken out and the surfaces summarily disinfected.
We are wishing everyone out there in blogland a most happy, healthy and joyous holiday season, and we send you all our love, respect and gratitude. 

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