Merry Hour

Merry Hour, as defined by Joni Frances (Thurber):

The term used during the Christmas holiday season to define what is typically called “happy hour.”

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Isn’t that cute?  I’m not saying I’m the first person to coin this phrase, but I’ve never heard it before, so I’m going to claim it.

So, I’ve been sick, in bed, since Sunday. I say “in bed” because it gives a whole different level of sick.  Let me clarify.  I think there’s “not feeling well,” which often means we can manage our day to day, but with less energy and gusto than we’re used to, and then there’s “sick.” To me, “sick” usually means, “in bed.”

It started last week with a raspy voice. Friends and family, myself included, laughed and wondered why I got sexy voice for free. I wasn’t sick. I had no symptoms. Each day was productive, holding nothing back, which was a good thing, because it meant I still worked and I had my interview on Friday.

But BAM! After a long Saturday, sexy voice turned to scratchy burning throat that kept me up all night, and the rest is history. So, for the next three days this was my view:

Warning: Don't zoom in.

Warning: Best not to zoom in.

I know I’m sick when I miss:

COFFEE: Three days without it. It doesn’t sound good.

FOOD:  It doesn’t sound AS good, but I still get hungry. And when I get bored, I walk around in the kitchen trying to find something quick. But the pain of swallowing isn’t worth eating. We have a tradition in our family when we’re sick. We make brownies. I know it’s weird. It started because long ago, like before children, living on my own, when I was sick, even with a high fever, I would get bored and make brownies, then go back to bed. This first morning I was sick, I found Bridgette (my wonderful home from college daughter) in the kitchen making brownies, adding walnuts just for me. The walnuts made it harder for me to eat them, which was a good thing. I’m the only person I know that can gain weight when sick, just by eating out of boredom. I have to say, this time around, I didn’t eat my usual sick diet.

SHOWERS AND MAKE UP:  OK, I missed the showers, but I was perfectly fine not donning make up every day and blow drying my hair.

WORKING OUT:  Yes, I missed a few days of preparing this body for battle. Not a battle as defined by most, but there are many days this body feels like it’s in a battle, with consistent aches in various parts. Doing physical therapy several times a week, and getting in some cardio is essential for my over all well being. It’s what I do to ensure I will be around and in good shape for my children, and my children’s children.  I’m hoping I can help Bridgette and Bradley take care of their children, creating a stronger family support than what they’ve experienced. It starts here. It’s okay that I missed though. That also meant I didn’t have to make hard decisions about getting up at 4:30 or 5:00am. Another battle.


Dinner with a dear friend.

A friend with whom I hate to miss anything. Someone recently called her a “kid whisperer.” She deserves that title. But she could also be called the “friend whisperer.” She’s got a way with all people, bringing out the best in everyone she meets. Last Christmas we met for lunch and she gave me this Christmas Mickey hand. I wear it and send her pictures occasionally and she sends them back to me with her hand.

This is my Christmas Mickey hand driving to OSU to pick up Bridgette.

This is my Christmas Mickey hand driving to OSU to pick up Bridgette.

I couldn’t go to dinner, but my good friend took the kids to dinner without me. As much as I missed out, my kids were blessed, which trumps my loss. My friend was her usual jolly elf, bringing her assortment of Christmas accessories. If I were to ask Bradley to take a photo with reindeer antlers, I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t happen. But I have a picture with both kids in antlers and Mickey hands. I decided not to post, but please imagine it, because it’s really really cute. The kids came home having spent time with an awesome friend and a full sized pizza, for me. I wasn’t able to consume the whole thing like my reputation would lead her to believe, but what I’ve eaten in the last couple of days, excluding two pieces of brownie, was her pizza.

Bradley singing in Les Miserables.

WAHHHHH! For months, the Sunset Choir has been preparing for the Les Mis Christmas performance, which is one of my all time favorite stories, along with It’s a Wonderful Life. I love to see Bradley’s musical side, as well as all the other kids I’ve watched grow up in music. Plus, I’d emailed about twenty families, inviting them to watch the show, because there was no cost, other than a donation. And, I was scheduled to do concessions.  Missing out on last night’s event was heartbreaking. I shed about two minutes of tears over it.

By the way, speaking of two favorite stories… I think I mentioned this before, but it’s timely to mention it again. There is an author named Bob Welch who has written books based on our favorite classic stories, like It’s a Wonderful Life. He gives us 52 messages we can all learn from these stories. I think anyone who watches Les Mis and It’s a Wonderful Life (thus far, my son may disagree when it comes to It’s a Wonderful Life… I have hope) leaves feeling hopeful about life. But then we forget what we learned and what we felt.  These books are good to keep on our bedside table to be reminded of the goodness in the face of desperate and dark. I’ve never met Bob Welch, but he’s a friend of a friend, which is cool!


I had picked up a sub job that isn’t easy. It’s manual labor that requires attention to detail. I got a friend to do the job with me. We both sub for the district and I decided it would be much better to do a job like that with a friend by my side. It was much better last week when we got to do it together. But when I was sick, the friend I recruited worked the job while her friend (me) lay in bed. Ugh. I felt bad for that. She’s a workhorse and handled it like a trooper, but I still wished I could have been a workhorse next to her. Not to mention, I didn’t pick up any other jobs.

Merry Hour.

I’m scheduled to host Merry Hour at my house tomorrow night. I believe it’s going to happen. I don’t mean for it to be a big deal. But I’ve had to adjust to not having people over like I once did. So many factors have gotten in the way of that. Our house is feeling like a home. I want to take advantage while people are taking time out for friends and when the Christmas decorations are up. A group of moms (but not myself… I couldn’t do the movie) were scheduled to go see WILD, but it’s not playing tomorrow after all (except at one theater in NW PDX). Instead of canceling altogether, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have that same group over.

So, if I had had to cancel that due to sickness, I would have been beside myself with grief! Once I post this blog, I’m taking a shower and cleaning house…

The good thing that happened while I was sick in bed? I got offered the job for which I interviewed on Friday! I will post about the whole experience soon. The clarity wasn’t just on my end. The interviewers and interviewee clicked. After I go in on Friday and receive the welcome and compensation package, I’ll consider myself hired. I’m scheduled to start January 5th. It’s a new world for the Thurber Threesome. Oops. Fivesome. The dogs (darn it) are very much a part of this life, and I’ve still got to figure out how to manage them when we’re gone all day!

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