The last couple of weeks have been quite eventful. My parents left last Saturday for Tanzania, Africa, to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and baby nephew for Thanksgiving. Their trip was prefaced by shopping trips to gather things they would take with them, many days packing by my mom, and trips to the travel medicine clinic in Knoxville for them to get the necessary vaccinations before traveling so far.
Of course, the days leading up to their departure meant I wanted to see them at every opportunity I had; we are a very close family, usually eating Friday night dinner every week. I also talk to my mom on the phone multiple times a day. Being unable to see them or phone them has been hard -- even for such a short period of time!
However, I am so grateful that my parents have this opportunity to travel and see the world, and also -- mostly -- that they are getting to spend some time with my brother's family. My brother and his wife moved in March 2009 to Geita, Tanzania, to do missionary work. Last winter they traveled home on an early furlough so that my (first and only) nephew Jude could be born. They returned to Africa in April of this year, so it had been months since they had seen family. I know that Thanksgiving for them is all the more special this year because they have my parents there to spend time with.
Last weekend, as my parents were leaving to fly out, I had been coughing quite a bit. I felt worse Saturday and Sunday, and I even ran a fever, so I took Monday off and spent most of my time sleeping on the couch. I still had a fever on Tuesday, but headed back to school. We only had a few days until Thanksgiving break; surely I could make it until then. By Wednesday, I had lost my voice almost entirely from coughing. I almost bought stock in Nyquil for a day or two -- I tried three or four different medicines with little relief. I finally decided to go to the doctor... Where I learned that I had pneumonia.
I stayed home Friday, after my doctor's appointment on Thursday. This pneumonia isn't joking around, although I have been so worn out it has been almost comical. I mean, you just don't usually hear about a 20-something-year-old getting pneumonia and being so sick. Two days ago, I attempted some minimal shopping at a local T.J. Maxx. I wandered around amid the crowded store, bought only a pack of washclothes, and sat in my car almost in tears because I felt so terrible. Needless to say, yesterday and today have found me very close to home. I get up, fold a load of laundry, then sit down to rest. Get up, fix myself some tea, then sit down to rest. Hang something up, then sit down to rest. You get the picture.
Then, Thursday -- this Thanksgiving -- I am cooking my first holiday dinner. I have planned to the hilt (my OCD wouldn't have it any other way), but to say I'm a bit stressed would be putting it mildly. However, I am also excited! I love to cook, and I love to have people to my house. I even love the crazy cleaning that goes along with having company, late nights and all. I just hope I will have the energy to get everything done that I have planned this week. Otherwise, I will be most unhappy.
I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving. For my health, for my family. For living in our great country where we have freedoms many do not enjoy around the world. For the everyday little things that make life grand. And for books, because yes -- I've been reading, even when I'm not posting reviews. Here is what I've been reading during my illness & recovery:
- Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich (a disappointing addition to the Stephanie Plum series, in my opinion)
- The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson (an excellent debut novel from my favorite genre -- southern lit)
- Island Girl by Lynda Simmons (for its upcoming release in December)
- The Cypress House by Michael Koryta (my first e-book attempt on the iPod touch, which is working pretty well)
- The Innocent Man by John Grisham (not sure how I missed this 2006 release, but it's pretty good so far -- nightmare-inducing, but good)
- Educating Esme by Esme Raji Codell (this is my by-the-bed book for reading in short spurts)
Happy reading and happy Thanksgiving!