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December 4, 2023

Window on the World Column | Late for It All

I don’t know what happened. We skipped through Halloween, enjoyed a nice, peaceful Thanksgiving and then all heck broke loose. I took an early Christmas delivery to my dad and sister overseas — and how organized was I! Even had the holiday gift bags and tissue paper in my luggage all ready to be present and perfectly put together under my family’s trees (that were already up and pristine, glistening with the joy and hope for the season).

Normally I am scrambling to the post office to make the deadline for overseas shipments, and then staggering under the pressure to mortgage my house to pay for priority shipping. But not this year. My large blue case was firmly packed and overloaded with all of their blessings. I was just that organized this year.

Then I got sick. Never mind I was fully masked the whole 10-plus hours of the flight. Something snuck in and gave me a nasty virus. By day two of my trip, I was hacking up a lung and investing in all measure of English cold and cough medicines I could to help me feel better. Nothing worked, except for, maybe the hot mulled wine for a little bit at least.

By the time I arrived at my sister’s house on the Isle of Man, everyone was hating me — nearly as much as I was hating myself. Sister managed to get me some antibiotics, by way of the magic phone doc that talks to you and issues you a prescription, free of charge — but still the evil virus hung on in the lower regions of my poor old chest. Everything hurt. I went to bed and hardly visited with my old dad. It was a sad state of affairs for our early Christmas visit.

By the time I arrived back on U.S. soil, still hacking and hating, I was so far behind with the holiday season that I might as well send out a “Happy January” greeting out to all and sundry, or perhaps an early missive for Christmas 2023. What happened to Miss Organized? She had sunk in the ship of good intent.

As I ventured to approach my office desk, piled with not-dealt-with crud, I noted all the cards I had planned to send, all the folks I had planned to thank and nothing was going anywhere on time. I felt like a complete loser. I know people who get organized in August, for crying out loud; what is wrong with me?

Still the virus hung on like an unpopular relative, inviting themselves over for the entire holiday season. “You’ve got the RSV virus,” my friend noted helpfully. And I realized that I likely did. No matter all the medicines I imbibed and the full course of antibiotics I ingested like a good girl, this beast was seeming like a keeper in my body. I was so over it.

“I’m so behind!” I bemoaned to anyone who would listen. “Hey,” a friend sent over her cheer and understanding. “We are all behind. Everyone will understand. The most important thing is you traveled successfully across the world to deliver cheer to your family. Not many of us can say we accomplished that!”

And with that, I stopped hacking and took stock of my good fortune. Yes, I did that this year. Never mind I forgot to send cards to you and you and you, you will just have to forgive me. I was sick with RSV, I traveled across the world — was sick — for many, many days — and I never caught up with myself.

If you receive a new year greeting from me, still bedecked with holly and snow and fireplaces of the festive season that was — I’m going to apologize in advance and pledge to try and do better next year.

I’ve yet to unpack my bag from my travels, my laundry is in a huge pile smiling at me and my granddaughter will arrive soon, expecting her room to be cleared of my luggage. Plus, I still have the virus. Feel my pain?

Seasons greetings to all — this is the best I could do. Happy Christmas after Christmas, as it were. I send you a timely greeting of health and happiness for the coming year. At least I’m not late for that (unless I miss my editorial deadline… could happen…)

Love to you all — from my home at Solace to yours, the world over.

Lucy Jensen
Lucy Jensen
Soledad columnist Lucy Jensen may be reached at [email protected].


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