Sunday, September 12, 2010

An apple a day....

I'm sick. I've had a cough for over a week that I let myself think I was too busy to take care of - and now I have bronchitis. It isn't fun. Last night was the worst, as the coughing spurts were so frequent and strong I was up literally until the sun rose.

At 11 a.m., when I stretched and knew someone was watching me, I awoke. (I really don't get Tim's fascination in watching me sleep. It isn't pretty and love can't be that blind!) Sleeping until 11 isn't that bad, considering I didn't go to sleep until after 6, but it still shocked me. My Sunday was slipping away and my sleep pattern would suffer.

As I stumbled into the living room, my husband informed me that he was taking me to Urgent Care and I needed to get ready or go in my pajamas. I'd like to think it was out of his concern for me but part of it probably had to do with the little sleep he got last night between my coughing fits and breakdowns. In the end, I'm glad he made me go and will happily swallow these horse pills if it helps me feel better.

On the way home, even though I really just wanted to go home and back to bed, I decided we needed to go to the grocery. Since we went camping last weekend, I purposefully only purchased enough food for our trip and our refrigerator was suffering. I don't know why milk and eggs constitutes the need for groceries but I knew we were out of both. I also knew I wouldn't feel much like cooking the next few days and needed some comfort food, along with quick snacks Noah could make himself.

Shopping on a Sunday afternoon is about the worst time to visit Wal-Mart. People are out of church, hungry, have a list for the week, and every aisle is crowded. As I greeted all the people in their Sunday best, the majority of which I personally knew, I began to feel even worse. I know I looked about as bad as I felt, with my disheveled hair, sloppy clothes and bare face. It was about the only time I was thankful for my incessant coughing, as I hoped at least they'd excuse the messy-me in the knowledge that I was ill.

Anyway, at this point you are probably wondering where the joy is in all of this. It's hard to be joyful when you're sick. Tim says I whine when I don't feel good. He laughs at me, lovingly, but he laughs. He thinks it is cute. So, as I'm wobbling through Wal-Mart, whining internally because he's gone off to look for some random man-purchase, I notice them.

The signs of fall and the upcoming holiday of Halloween is already present. Mums and pumpkins greet you at the front door. Rows and rows of candy greet you around every corner. The idea of fall, my favorite time of year, and all the things I love about it is enough on its own to make me smile. Just seeing the visible displays of the season, would on a normal day, put a little skip in my step. Today though, what really warmed my soul, was a small shelf in the produce aisle.

As if a spotlight beamed onto them and music fell from the heavens, I saw them. Three pleasant little treats neatly contained in plastic wrapping. Round, juicy, nutty, dripping with ooey goodness - my favorite fall treat....Caramel apples! For that moment, I didn't care that I looked like a refugee or sounded like a pack a day smoker....I didn't notice the scratchy throat, throbbing head or achy body parts...I didn't mind that I still had 14 things on my own grocery list I had to find. I snatched up a shiny package, gingerly put them in the front of my cart, and happily went on my way.

Of course, when we made it home and Noah helped carry in groceries, he noticed them. Instantly a giant smile came across his face, followed by a jump in his step and a wide embrace that I was sure would crush my already fragile lungs. "Thank you, Mom! Oh, thank you! I can't believe you bought these for me!"

And so, I later enjoyed my ONE luscious caramel apple right down to the wooden stick, saving the other two for my sweet boy. After all, how can I even think of stealing someone else's joy - especially when I know how much excitement can come from one simple apple, covered in golden caramel, rolled in salty chopped nuts and placed on a stick!


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