Thanksgiving Bust

It’s been a few days, and I haven’t been up to much. Unfortunately, that’s been because, for the first time since I started this journey, I’ve been sick. Naturally, it hit me hard on the morning of Thanksgiving, and I had to cancel all of my plans, seal myself in my van, and put up the window covers mid-day so the sun would stop hurting my eyes.

Being sick, in itself, was the only way the holiday was a bust. If I had to get sick out here on the road, Quartzsite was the place to do it. I’m surrounded by friends, who looked out for me. Many asked me if I needed anything. Yellow Wolf, a literal medicine woman, brought over modern and natural remedies of all kinds, which definitely helped me feel better. Arin would’ve brought me a to-go plate of Thanksgiving dinner, except I had no appetite and politely declined. Others near and far checked in on me as well.

Lister never left my side. Okay, admittedly he can’t go very far when he’s trapped inside the van anyway, but that’s not what I mean. He’s normally pretty clingy, but he was especially attentive Thursday and Friday when I felt the worst. Critters are smarter than most people give them credit for. They know when something’s up.

My usual technique for dealing with being sick is to initially ignore it and hope it’s nothing. When that fails (not if), I collapse, focus on taking care of myself, and let it run its course, hopefully as quickly as possible. This usually works pretty well, as it has in this case. Yesterday I was up and moving. I needed to move around because I was getting cramped up inside the van. Lister desperately wanted to go play outside, too. (This may be why I woke up to him trying to rip down my window covers at 6:00 am before the sun was even up. I was displeased.) Today I just have a small cough left and am pretty much back to normal. It took about four days for this to run its course — naturally, the same four consecutive days that I already had off work, to begin with.

Still, I have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is my community who checked in and took care of me. I’m thankful to be able to live this way and be able to make a living in a manner that allows me to. I’m thankful for being financially secure enough to make occasional significant purchases, like the trailer and the V-Strom, as well as emergency repairs like new house batteries. I’m thankful that I can live my life on my terms. I’m happier now than I can remember being in a long time, if ever.

Of course, while I’ve been sick, I’ve been slacking on… well, everything. This is the first time I’ve opened my laptop since before Thanksgiving, which is unheard of for a writer like me. Sadly, I haven’t managed to take a bike ride and enjoy some “wind therapy” on either bike. One friend organized a trip out to the Desert Bar today, which would’ve been a great “final ride” on the KLR (the V-Strom isn’t properly equipped for dirt yet — I’m working on that), but I don’t have the energy for it. I’ll probably take a road cruise on the V-Strom this afternoon instead.

Before I got sick I did manage to pick up some mail, including my shiny new radio nerd license plate. I think it’s the prettiest plate I’ve ever had, with my Florida space shuttle nerd plate as a close second. I also picked up my new pump faucet, which doesn’t leak, and my propane splitter, which lets me hook up and run my heater and stove at the same time. Considering that I’ve been sick, I’ll take these small achievements as a win.

I’ll need to take the van into town tomorrow since neither bike can carry all of the packages waiting for me right now. The rest of Arin’s electrical system for her bus has arrived, as well as a couple of goodies for me. More on those next time.

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