Time for… the Flu?

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Everything is early this year! All of the fall Jewish holidays were: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkoth, Simchas Torah. My birthday came around all too fast. Now we’re coming up on Hanukkah — which begins Saturday evening. Saturday is also Mom’s birthday.

Even flu season is a month early. Yes, it is. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far, it says, high flu activity has been reported in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas, and moderate activity in Georgia and Missouri. (Hmmmm…both Missouri and Tennessee are just one state away from where I live.)

And just in time for early flu season comes National Influenza Vaccination Week. That would be this week. So go get your flu shot. The CDC is saying this year’s flu is a particularly bad one, but the vaccine rocks.

I’ll be getting my flu shot — and dragging the young’uns who live in my house with me. Two of them are in high school, where 2,000-plus teenagers are crammed into one building, busily passing germs around faster than they can text each other about next weekend’s party.

I have more than one reason for not wanting to get the flu. For one, I’m finally…hopefully…getting my blood glucose straightened out. One more tweak on my basals, maybe? I certainly don’t want to throw chills, a fever, aches and pains, and whatever else comes with the flu (it’s been a few years) into the mix. Besides, I don’t even like to get the sniffles.

Another reason is this month’s road trip to South Carolina to see my father. It’s been a year since I’ve seen him and Mom says he’s going downhill. He isn’t reading any more and when he gets crossways on his bed, somebody has to help him get back where he needs to be.

At least he still remembers who I am. And I remember the way his face lit up last year when he saw me.

One of the ways he made money when he was a single dude was to work as a roller skating rink guard. An early memory is skating with Dad when the person in front of us fell down. Without a break in rhythm, Dad picked me up and jumped over the person. Now he’s bedfast. It’s still difficult to think of my father as anything but the Energizer Bunny, who worked all day, then came home and worked all evening.

Anyway, he doesn’t need the flu.

We’re taking our granddaughter and her boyfriend with us. He thinks he wants to marry her when he graduates from college, so I believe he needs to meet more of the family, most of whom live in South Carolina. He can meet uncles, aunts, a cousin, great-grandparents, and even a couple of old family friends who are meeting us there.

On top of all that, the kids are staying with Mom. My husband and me? We’re staying in a hotel. My family drives me nuts! Actually, we get a suite and Dad stays with us. Besides, the hotel has accessible rooms: The relatives’ houses do not.

Dad and I get into our jammies and watch football. He’s a big West Virginia University fan, so I got him WVU sleep pants and a t-shirt. I think he’ll like them.

In January, my granddaughter, her best friend (who also lives with us), and I are taking a fun trip to Chicago for a couple of days. We’ll take the train up one morning and back the next evening. In between, we’ll do some shopping, eating, and bumming around, and see I Love Lucy: Live on Stage. It’ll be fun. And, as long as I don’t let my granddaughter know where the Hello Kitty store is, I might even come home with some money!

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