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« Margie and I venture out into the wind to do some early Christmas shopping | Main | I drive in the wind to a still Anchorage, but quickly come back to the wind »

Winter Solstice - on the shortest day of the year, I walk through the wind to Abby's and hear about Roswell, New Mexico

I had a terrible night. For the past three weeks or so, everybody around me has been getting sick, but whatever bugs have been in the air had left me alone until two nights ago. Compared to the bugs that caught the others, whatever hit me was not so bad. It didn't make me vomit or give me an upset tummy - it just made me cough real hard.

And with this soccer-ball sized hernia my surgery mishaps have left in the middle of my tummy, those coughs REALLY hurt - like they are going to rupture right through my flesh. I have a big, broad, elastic abdominal support to wear and it helps, but still, the coughs hurt.

And last night I coughed a lot. The coughing eased off this morning just when it was time to get up, so I didn't get up. I slept. Until nearly 11:00 AM. Then I got up and since Margie was home, the fire was burning hot and the house was warm, I cooked myself some oatmeal.

A little after noon, Margie announced she was going shopping and would be gone for about five hours. So I told her that when I got hungry, I would walk to Abby's for lunch. She said I was done, I could call and she would pick me up.

So here I am, mid-afternoon, feeling hungry, leaving the house to walk to Abby's for lunch. The two snowed over cars are Caleb's and neither one of them works very well. The wrecked airplane off to the side of the house is mine. It doesn't work, either. I often wish Caleb would sell the cars and get them out of here, but there's no way I'm getting rid of that airplane, so what can I say?

Plus, real Alaska yards are supposed to look like this, anyway.

Here I am, about three quarters of the way to Abby's, one-and-a-half miles from the house. The wind is howling. The temperature has really warmed up, to 20 degrees F (- 7 C), but with a windchill right back down to the - 20 range where our real temperatures spent most of the week. But, like I said, a windchill is not the same as a real temperature. The wind was to my back and it was a most pleasant walk. It just felt good, invigorating. I was comfortable and happy.

Earlier in the week, in the real -20's F, I had taken a walk dressed exactly as I was today, but had to break it off half-way through and come home because my feet and legs got too cold. If I had been wearing overpants and boots or warm shoes, I would have been fine, even then. But I wasn't - just Levi's and street shoes.

I didn't get cold at all on this walk in this wind, at 20 above with a -20 F windchill.

I knew it would be a lot tougher walking back, but still, if needed, I could turn around now and then and walk backwards.

I see online that Fairbanks is still running temperatures from -39 to -50. 

"Alappaa! -39 to -50 tonight in Fairbanks! Bbrrrrrr," says Bernice Kaigelak of Nuiqsut on Facebook. She is visiting Fairbanks.

"Alappaa!" means "really cold."

By the way - I am studying my Iñupiaq Rosetta Stone really hard these days.

Even though it is only a mile and a half, it took me a while to reach Abby's, because I would stop to do things like go out and stand in the middle of the road and turn around and wait for a car to appear beneath the moon, but here I am, just about there.

In addition to her regular menu and a couple of specials that sounded pretty good, Abby was cooking chilli, which she said would be done in 15 minutes. Chilli sounded good. Perfect. Tim was there and joined me at the table, where, as always, he told me some good stories.

About 14 minutes after I came in, Abby came over with a tablespoon of chilli. Tim is her official tester and she wanted his opinion. He sniffed the chilli. "Fine bouquet," he praised. Then he tasted it.

"What does it need?" Abby asked.

"It's got everything it needs," Tim answered, "but age."

He then told me how he had gone into a restaurant in Roswell, New Mexico and saw a special advertising yesterday's soup for half-price. So he bought a bowl. It was super delicious. He thought the restaurant should have charged double for the aged soup, instead of half.






I texted Margie to tell her I was at Abby's and chilli was just about ready. She came to get some, too. Somehow, I took it for granted she had met Tim before, but she hadn't, so I introduced them.

"Tim's the one who's usually wearing a cowboy hat," I told her.

"I got tired of chasing it around, so I took it off," Tim explained why he wasn't wearing it today.

Right after she sat down, she got a text from Lavina and this picture. When I picked Margie up yesterday, she told me Lynx had been walking all over the place, but of course while I was there he refused to walk and would only crawl. After we left, he started walking everywhere again. Lavina decided it was time to hang up his cradle board.

But then Lynx wanted back in. So she tied him up, lulled him to sleep and took this picture.

The chilli, btw, was superb, exquisite - mighty, mighty, MIGHTY good. Margie said so, too. I don't doubt but it would have been even better if it had aged a day, but I don't know how chilli this good could ever make it through a full day without getting eaten all up.

Reader Comments (3)

Hey, Bill. My husband and I traded viruses in the last month or so, and we were both prescribed a generic pill that stops coughing. It's benzonatate 100 mg. It's a generic for something called Tessalon Perles.

I checked online at your Wasilla Wal-Mart Pharmacy, just to see if it's sold there as one of the $4 meds, and it is. If you could get a doctor to phone in a script for you, whether there or to some other local pharmacy with the good generic prices, that well-spent $4 might buy you some really good, immediate relief.

We were each told to take one or two pills, three times a day, until we got rid of our cough. It helped A LOT. I was warned that taking a couple of pills together might make me sleepy.

At bedtime, two pills not only stopped the cough but also helped me get better sleep overnight. And, I drifted off to sleep letting a cough drop melt in my mouth with its menthol goodness calming my throat. Now, I've never come close to choking on one, so that's not been a problem for me; I don't know about you, though... I mention it only because that also was in my little arsenal of coughing relief.

The other thing the doctor told me to do while I remained sick was to stay on antihistamine-type allergy meds, like Allegra, but, generic. My husband always has a stockpile of this stuff, but I don't usually take it. It helped dry up the nasal drainage that gave me such a bad sore throat and led to me coughing when I lay down to rest. Spouse buys his stuff (90 pills at a time) at Sam's Club in a product named "fexofenadine" hydrochloride tablets, 180 mg. each. But he's also used other allergy tablets in the past that contain Diphenhydramine Hydrocholoride 25 mg.

I go to this length to pass this along to you here because 1) I can't find an email address for you, and 2) we both got a lot of relief with these basic medicines when coughing was a major problem for us recently.

I hope you will get some relief TODAY for yourself. You've suffered terribly in these last several months, and you deserve some relief, dammit!

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercuppajava

Thank you for the information, cuppajava - and for making such and effort and taking the time to pass it on. If this is still bothering me come Monday when my doctor is back in her office, I will give a call and she if will prescribe it for me. I thought my email address was somewhere on this page. I will have to remedy that.

It is runningdog@ak.net.

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterLogbook - Wasilla - Beyond

Hey Bill... I finally got to Abby's the other day. I kept it simple and just had a hamburger & fries, but it was good.

December 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

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