Monday, January 2, 2017

Boxing Day. Who needs it?

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne
Robert Burns
So. Boxing Day. If you're unsure what it's all about, don't mind too much. There seems to be as many explanations as there are days leading up to the Dec. 26th holiday.

Google it and see how many answers you get. When I was a kid, my parents told me they didn't know why it was so called, but, then, my parents also never told me how old my sisters actually were. True story. I still don't know.

Boxing Day. How many of us remember where we were on any given Boxing Day? Right? If you're like me, you have enough trouble remembering where you were on any given Christmas Day... or yesterday.

Sheri and I will likely remember this one for a while because we spent the bulk of it in the emergency room of the local hospital. Bonus coverage. It didn't seem to have much to do with my cancer.

Here's the story... We had a very pleasant Christmas, enjoying lunch with our friends Wanda June (not her real name) and Billy (not her real name either). All was good until about 6 am Boxing Day when I woke up shivering... violently. I added all sorts of extra layers to my nightime bedclothes, but nothing worked. I. Was. Freezing.

Ever practical, Sheri took my temperature. 102.4 degrees. This was bad. Very bad. I'm supposed to call the clinic any time my temperature is over 100. So, call the clinic we do.

Closed. But it's a Monday. Yes, but it is also Boxing Day and Christmas was on a Sunday. Oh, man. This wasn't something we could wait to see it it passed. As I think I have said here before, this is the sort of thing that will ultimately be the death of me. An infection of any kind.

The clinic put us in touch with the terrific doctor on call, who phoned ahead to the emergency room to let them know we would be coming in. That cut the waiting time. It did not seem to affect the amount of time we spent there in total, however.

There were numerous tests to be run including X-rays and an EKG and a bunch of other stuff, all trying to determine why my fever was so high. Well, as is so often the case, none of the tests could tell us bupkis.

As we stagger and stumble our way down this road, dealing with cancer, we have found, more and more often, that medicine does not always have the answers. In fact, we're finding it quite often can't offer much of a clue.

Meanwhile, back at the emergency room... Time passed, five plus hours, my fever lowered and I got to go home... and spend the rest of the day picking those little sticky bits from the EKG off my skin. Some of those were tough little buggers, by the way.

This left us with only one more holiday to endure/enjoy... New Year's Eve, or hogmanay, as we call it in Scotland.

Personally, I spent no time, none, not any, looking back on 2016. I don't know why. It would seem like a natural enough thing to do. But, I didn't.

From some of the things I've read, it was a pretty rotten year for most people. I can only guess that my bar on rotten has been lowered because I live my life in days and let the years take care of themselves. I don't mean that in any sort of bad or fatalistic way. I feel ill so much of the time that I take things bit by bit- endure the bad, enjoy the good.

Whether this led to us missing the dropping of the ball for yet another year or not, we cannot say. All we know is that we were totally engrossed in watching the latest version of “The Jungle Book” in HD and only when it was over did we consider the time. Even then it was only to see if it was bed time.

“Holy crap,” says I to Sheri. “We missed New Year's.” And so we did. So we gave each other a kiss, decided it was late enough to go to bed, and called it a year, all be it a little bit later than many on the east coast.

In case you're unsure of the what the verse above means: And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give me a hand o’ thine! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

Hope you have only the best in 2017.

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere