Monday, February 25, 2008

Light Carnage

Massachusetts Vacation Week brought a somewhat subdued version of its maximum carnage this year. Good snow in the southern part of New Hampshire may have waylaid some of them who decided to drive less and play more. The economy can't be helping, either. When economic news is bad, even people who haven't really been hurt by it get nervous and frugal. It's mostly a good thing in the grand scheme.

Lower traffic helped me and others at the touring center battling a truly evil head cold. This illness progresses like a series of muggings. Symptoms will come on, then abate almost completely, then come back harder over the first several days. For instance, on Monday I had a tiny, pinhead-sized tickle spot in my throat. By the end of Tuesday I felt like I had snorted the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag. But that suddenly eased up during Wednesday, only to slam back Wednesday night. So it went, into the weekend. Fortunately, between the big holiday weekend and the closing weekend crowds thin considerably.

I am barely-living proof that addicted skiers will rise from their death bed to take advantage of great ski conditions. During the mid-day flush of near normalcy I went out on the classical skis to thread the traffic jams on the Ellis River Trail. And Denise, who has had the cold for going on two weeks, continues her streak of continuous days of skiing. It has to be over 100 by now.

Skiing sick and injured forces me to focus on efficiency and energy conservation. Since complete bed rest wasn't an option, active rest was. I actually felt better after skiing. The slump didn't start until near sundown, when many creatures naturally slump anyway. And the big symptoms conveniently waited until bed time. But I'm just as glad now to have a day or two in which the most strenuous thing I have to tackle is 12 days of stinky ski laundry. The clothes can crawl over to the washing machine by themselves. Too bad I can't get them to hang themselves up after they're washed.

The nice thing about being sick is that when you get over it it makes the level of mediocrity you were at before the illness feel like Olympian strength. I look forward to feeling that mediocre again soon.

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