Can too complain

The Ship of Death: Plague Ship, 1347

The Ship of Death: Plague Ship, 1347

My grandfather was one of those stoic types. If you asked him how he was doing, his ready answer was always “can’t complain.” He said the same thing from his hospital bed as from the breakfast table, so take it for what it’s worth. Being made of less hardy stuff, I can complain; I do complain. In fact, I feel another bout coming on right now.

You have to understand that I am writing from the hold of plague ship NCPR. We’re dropping like flies from a variety of winter dreadfuls. Vampire-pale from sunless skies, zombie-eyed from hacking sleepless nights. Deranged by a vile brew of cold nostrums.

I think anyone can survive a few tough weeks of winter, humming “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” as they take their snowshoes out for their annual excursion. My grandfather, for example, lived in a place where winters were fairly short and mild. But the overdose we have endured by this point in February would lay low Samson.

I’m into my second relapse and it seems the whole station is awash in Kleenex. People shout to one another from doorways, afraid to get too close to the infected. While I have heard that there will be a spring someday, I put no credit in the rumor. People tell me to “feel better soon,” but I have forgotten what better feels like.

So, what to do? Since doctors recommend lots of full spectrum light to beat the winter blahs, in the endless absence of the sun you might be able to use this handy guide from All Things Considered that can help you pick out light bulbs that deliver the best facsimile of what Mother Nature is withholding.

If you’re more into spiritual remedies than practical ones, I recommend watching the video below. The scene is the waiting room of a Spanish unemployment office (the metaphysical equivalent of the North Country in February). Musicians stand up one by one and begin to play…

There. Feel a little better? I know I do.


3 Comments on “Can too complain”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    Being one who likes the cooler and colder seasons and really dislikes summer, I can’t complain.

  2. Michael Greer says:

    Very sweet Dale. I too find the season long at this time of the year. I’m tired of carrying all these clothes around, tired of lifting these boots, and tired of that extra little bit of time lost every time you have to go in or out. Maple sugaring season is only days away, (which reminds me that I haven’t pruned the apple trees yet), But once that starts, there is something busy and exciting to do every day…and we’ll forget that it’s winter. We’ll be complaining about black flies before you know it.

  3. Claudia MacDonald says:

    I sit here in my study (formerly sun porch) looking out on Lincoln St. at a very drab villagescape, nose dripping, shoulder aching, stomach rumbling, wondering why I didn’t fly away to a warm, sunny place for this week of winter break. Oh yes, I forgot. I love it here. Even love has its drab, dreary times. And so it goes…

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