For awhile I thought that things might be getting back to normal around here, and I would finally be able to post to my site every day and get back out birding when the sun would magically appear. I should have known better. I finally got the cold that Leslie has had for a week, my first of the year, and I’m sure I was more susceptible because of all the stress around here. Of course, to complicate matters taxes had to be done. Normally they would have been done months ago, too, but other matters have taken priority.
As luck would have it, the taxes were a little more complicated than usual due to some unusually high medical costs for Leslie, and I had to finish them this week. Our medical expenses this year, including insurance premiums, totaled $18,000. Even though I’m on Medicare, my insurance premiums totaled nearly $3,500, and I paid a $1,000 for prescriptions. Leslie had to have relatively “minor” surgery and despite having insurance her out-of-pocket costs accounted for the rest of the total. I certainly felt blessed that we have a good enough income to pay those bills from savings, but it’s also clear many people would have been unable to pay them from savings and would either have had to pay them off over several years or declared bankruptcy. As it turned out, we did get the largest tax refund we’ve ever gotten so the hours spent running down all the needed information was time well spent.
The Wednesday I spent in bed all day certainly wasn’t well spent. COPD and upper respiratory infections aren’t a good combination. It probably didn’t help, either, that Spring is absolutely the worst time of year for my allergies. Even the beauty of our plum tree in full bloom is not enough to overcome my allergies. In fact, early on in the week I was convinced that I was merely having allergy symptoms, not cold/flu symptoms. Wednesday morning when I was having trouble getting up to take Lael to school, it was perfectly clear that it was a cold/flu, not allergies. Luckily, Leslie volunteered to take Lael to and from school and I was able to spend most of the day in bed sleeping with the help of over-the-counter pain killers. I have very little memory of the day. Apparently I was too tired to even push the send button on the tax program, because I had to do that earlier this morning.
Two days later, I’m finally feeling almost back to normal, which is why I’m finally getting around to posting. I’ve also managed to finish reading Thomas Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain and am starting to sort my ideas out. Although I’m not about to convert and I was somewhat put off by his dismissal of other religions, I did find it a fascinating work. My only regret was that I was so busy that I couldn’t sit down and read it through non-stop. In many ways it has helped me to reflect on not only Robert Lax’s poetry but on Joyce’s works, books I finished several months ago but haven’t managed to comment on yet.