Winter had been mild until last week. Just when I thought I would make it through the winter season without a cold, a few weeks ago I came down with bronchitis. I persuaded a nurse practitioner at a walk-in clinic to prescribe a Z-pack, which controlled my symptoms well enough for me to continue part-time work. When the pills ran out, however, I was left with an ominous feeling in my chest that promised to get worse if not treated with sustained rest.
A week ago Sunday, as if prescribed just for me, a snow- and ice storm hit Nashville that kept me inside my house for an entire week. My clients canceled my caregiving due to road conditions and my driveway froze into a thick, stubborn sheet of ice.
On Monday I consulted my BFF by phone about a sewing project that I expected to be working on for weeks. For an hour Deanne and I discussed how I should proceed. Working at an enjoyable, leisurely pace, I finished a set of curtains by Wednesday night.
My sister-in-law had invited me to her condo in Water Color, FL, for Friday through Monday, the days I do not work. I figured this trip would only hasten my respiratory healing. On Thursday morning I printed a Southwest boarding pass, started packing a suitcase, and arranged for Yellow Cab to pick me up street side at six the next morning, since my driveway remained frozen over.
Around two o'clock I lay down on my bed to read. When I emerged from thebedroom an hour later, I saw water dripping on the hardwood floor from six different places in my dinette ceiling. Later I would learn this phenomenon—called “ice damming”—occurs when snow melting close to the roof propels the surge of water up under the shingles. At the time I assumed I had a multitude of standard roof leaks.
I knew I had to cancel my trip. I spread towels around the hardware floor and called my sister-in-law.I faced two more days of solitude, with lots of rest and reading, as I dealt with contractors and insurance adjustors by phone. Purely by luck, I still had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for myself and food and treats for Lucy the cat.
On Sunday I eased my SUV across a still icy driveway to the clear street and drove to late morning Mass, then to Kroger to stock up on food and gas.
Although I face months of repairs, some of which insurance doesn’t cover, I feel grateful for the respite that not only restored my health but also reminded me how much I enjoy my long-neglected hobby of sewing.