Wednesday night before we left for West Virginia (December 30th) Mom started to feel like she was catching a cold. Not wanting to infect Grandma or ruin the trip, she took every kind of cold preventative medicine in the house and possibly performed some voodoo rituals. However, it was to no avail. She woke up Thursday morning with a cold and brought it with her on the nine-hour drive.
Mom spent all day Friday practically immobile, only moving from the couch to the lazy-boy. The cold was really kicking her butt. On Saturday she pretended to feel better so that we could go to a movie and dinner with Grandma. However, it was painfully obvious on what became the like 11-hour return trip* that she was still feeling pretty miserable. She spent most of the trip curled up asleep in the back seat surrounded by tissues. In a rare occurrence, she even took Monday off work, she was still so miserable.
*Apparently, Cale and I do not travel with as much efficiency or surgical strikeness as my parents. Dad called on our drive there and was shocked to discover how little distance we had covered in five hours. We had stopped to pee, switch drivers and were now stopped to eat some food. When Mom and Dad travel, the do not stop the car...ever...unless they run out of gas.
On the way back from Grandma's we traveled through the most ridiculous winter weather in the mountains. The wind speeds were insane. The temperature outside was less than 14 degrees and snow was blowing every where. The news was telling me it was even below freezing in Orlando. This is when we discovered that the windshield wiper fluid wasn't working. I was driving and tried to wipe the windows only to turn them into an opaque smeary mess.
We spent more than an hour at a gas station trying to remedy the situation. The reservoir was filled with ice. Cale tried pouring new fluid in that was rated to -20 and turned the ice into slushy, but still not a fix. He tried pouring hot water over the reservoir and lines, no go. He tried breaking up the ice with a metal coat hanger, nothing.
Eventually we devised a plan that involved a spray bottle of windshield wiper fluid. I was to lean out the passenger-side window and spray the windshield. However, our test run taught us that in this wind, even at a standstill (much less highway speeds) we could not get the spray on the windshield. So we ended up stopping every 10 or 20 minutes until we got out of the mountains and miraculously the weather cleared up.
Mom did her best to keep her cold to her self. She washed her hands constantly, used antibacterial stuff and kept all her tissues in a bag. I declared that I didn't care if I got the cold as long as it waited until Wednesday, the 6th. My GRE exam was on Tuesday and I refused to let a cold ruin it. Kindly enough, the cold waited and on Wednesday, I was sick. The cold laid me out. I spent two days on the couch with little movement. I wasn't feeling good enough to go out until Tuesday when I restarted my job search after only one day the previous week. Almost two weeks later and I am still not completely over the cold, taking medicine to fight the sinus pain and constantly blowing gunk out my nose.
Saturday Cale came down with the cold and spend the entire day on the couch while I was at my first day of work. He is powering through it much better, refusing to let it drag him down. He spend all day Sunday running errands with me and has to work today. It appears he is stronger than me or my mother, or the bug had weakened by the time it got to him.
The only person in the house not sick yet is Dad. If we are following the same timetable, dad should have the cold sometime around next weekend. We will have to wait and see.