There's an old saying around these parts (perhaps other parts of the northern hemisphere as well), "As the days lengthen, the cold will strengthen."
That's only true for a while though. January is our coldest month, averaging a mean temperature of 26.9 degrees over the last 123 years. The average January hi is 40.3 and the low 13.4. December's 123 year mean is 28.4. February, despite it's dreary, chill reputation, boasts a mean temp of 29.4.
So yeah, the cold strengthens after the first of the year, but before very many days pass the increasing sun angle and daylight duration begin to work their warming magic. March will deliver an average hi of 49.8 and average low of 22.2, for a mean of a balmy 36 degrees. And April, which is the one that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb in this part of the country, will have a mean temperature of 45.2. That's skinny-dippin' weather!
But I digress. When I saw the surgeon last I was a bit concerned that I'd be chastised for abandoning the crutches. My foot was still sore but felt solid, and crutches are aluminum death on winter's ice, so I turned them back in to the crutch rental counter at the local pharmacy.
I needn't have worried though. "People know when they can start bearing weight," said the surgeon. He was quite pleased with the miracle he had wrought on my previously badly infected heel. "Looks like the infection is all gone," he said. "I've rarely seen anyone heal up so quickly. Whatever you're doing keep it up."
I do have to continue the IV antibiotics through January 19, which as I write this means
Anyway it looks as if I'll be able to put this bone infection behind me finally. It's been a very long five months. And now that the infection has been killed I'm beginning to realize how sick I was. Even with the dang cold I recently picked up I'm feeling like Superman. Well, perhaps Superboy. A young Superboy. But that's still a lot better than feeling like Debilitatedman.
As for the cold I'm battling, I can be rather certain that it's a viral illness rather than bacterial. With all that high-powered antibiotic coursing through my veins I doubt that any respiratory pathogens could survive long enough to colonize a single alveoli. Alveolus? One of those.
As colds go it's pretty mild. Stuffed head and a lot of lung junk causing a cough. Sore throat from the sinus drainage. A little fever, but not much of one. The last couple of winter colds were just awful, full-blown bouts of influenza that made me unspeakably miserable for 2-3 weeks. This is nothing.
I jumped on it hard with guaifenesin extended release, naprosyn and acetaminophen, lots of fluids, and Jewish penicillin (chicken soup).
As I may have mentioned here earlier I had to sell all my cows. With my foot the way it was and the recovery timescale rather uncertain, I couldn't be sure that I'd be able to properly care for them. They represented a hell of a lot of money and a train wreck would have been disastrous. So I sold 'em and put the money in the bank, where it will be available to buy newer, younger, better cows in the next few months.
I did keep the bulls back; there was no way to get a reasonable price for them at auction and I was pretty sure I could take care of such a small number of animals regardless of my condition.
This morning it looks like we're having a nice January warm spell, what J.B. Books (John Wayne) and his landlady Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) called a "false spring." Sun is shining in a clear blue sky and there's very little wind. The temperature is edging north of the freezing mark and is expected to soar into the mid-50's in the next couple of days.
I'm enjoying the sunshine and relative warmth, even though part of me is quite cross that I can't yet get out and work. My foot is healing from the surgery every day, but it's still healing, and overdoing it at this point could be a not good thing in the long run. So I'll continue to practice patience.
Here are a few things that have helped me while away the endless hours.
Fast Movers is, as the subtitle suggests, the tales of a few select jet aircrew and their experiences in Vietnam. Fourteen of them including Olds, Ritchie, Nichols, Rasimus, etc. F-4 and A-6 guys in the main. It's some superb stuff.
Exocet Falklands is an insider's tale regarding Brit special operations during the Falklands War in 1982. I'll bet you had no idea that Limey snake eaters were operating in Chile.
I haven't started Pelandok yet but it promises to be a good read. It's a fictional account of what might have happened if the RAN (Royal Australian Navy) had been confronted with a nuclear threat from beneath the sea. Written by a former RAN ASW aircrew bubba, the book promises some H-3 Sea King and S-2G Tracker action from the decks of HMAS Melbourne, Australia's Majestic Class carrier.
And as if that's not enough, i just took delivery of this.
Gonna be fun times when spring finally gets sprung.