The January Curse

Maybe you’ve been there, too. A particular month of each year when you (or your entire family) seem to get sick. For us, it’s January. Since January of 2005, our entire family has been plagued with heinous colds and ugly stomach bugs. One year it was strep throat. Often, there was only one of us well enough to take care of the others until that one finally succumbed.

We stocked up like good survivalists. Cold meds? Check. Boxes of tissues? Check. Homemade chicken soup? Check. Bleach wipes? Check. We became obsessed with wiping down surfaces, along with the plea, “Don’t. Touch. Anything.” If one of the sick dared to show his face in the common areas of our home, the first question was, “Did you wash your hands?”

We did this every year. EVERY year, like clockwork, often spilling over into February with a mutant round two. Eleven years in a row. We could count on it. We planned nothing for January because we knew we’d be sick. It became a family joke. We could have laughed about it, but it wasn’t funny. We were sick of being sick. And yet, we continued getting sick.

Until this year—2017. As usual, we waited for it. We stocked up. We planned for nothing but endless days of lying in bed watching reruns of The X-Files, too sick to drag ourselves anywhere but to the bathroom. It didn’t happen. Five days in, we looked at each other, too fearful to mention that we were five days in without anyone getting—no! don’t say it. “It” will hear you. Shh! Don’t say the words!

Day after day, week after week, we waited for “it” to strike, but it never did. Several times we thought it had. At one point, three of us had sinus headaches with loose noses and post nasal drip. Were we sick? Nope. No fever. No chills. No body aches. No weird cravings for biscuits and sausage gravy or extra creamy mac and cheese only to end up drinking chicken broth and sucking on saltine crackers. Life went on as usual without interruption.

Is the January curse broken? Who knows? But for 2017, it is. Maybe “it” decided to move to a new month. Maybe it’s lurking in February, ready to take us down when we least expect it. Of course, now that I’ve mentioned “it”, “it” will be eager to pounce. Good thing I have my prepper list. Cold meds? Check. Tissues? Check . . .

Happy reading!

*BOOK UPDATE –  I haven’t been around much in recent months, but 2016 was a very difficult year. However, that’s a post for another day. For now, just know that I’m still writing. The story for Kav Raines and Aubree Scott (third book in the Majesta Landing series) is moving forward.*

January Has Fangs . . .

Or . . . My Tongue In Cheek Ode to the First Month of the Year

There’s only one thing that bothers the fire out of me every year. You see, it’s January 31st. The last day of the month. One-twelfth of the year gone. But, January is also evil. Sure it’s the first month of the year, a time for renewal and resolutions, indoor games, hot cocoa with marshmallows, and the month of white sales (a tradition that began in 1878; all sheets were white back then), but it’s still evil, and I’ll tell you why. Our objective to keep everyone in the family healthy during the month of January failed. Again. For the eleventh–11th, ELEVENTH!–January in a row, we got sick. Colds. Runny noses. Coughs.

Outside our home Christmas Day 2012
Outside our home Christmas Day 2012

One year it was strep throat. Another year, it was an intestinal bug. Usually colds–but it’s always something. We were close–so close to making this an illness free month. It didn’t happen. January is evil. We fear January.

January doesn’t seem to be kind to anyone. Bitter cold. Winter blizzards. Shoveling snow. Red noses and cheeks. More shoveling snow. Vehicles sliding amuck on icy roads. Still more shoveling snow. People fighting back with cups of hot cocoa, tea, and toddies in front of crackling fires. And bowls of hot soup. Now, I love snow–don’t get me wrong. Winter is my favorite season of the year.

When I was growing up, we had one winter storm that dumped more snow than I’d ever seen. The wind howled around the house and the temperature sank t0 -20 degrees F below zero. The wind chill was -60 degrees F below zero. We had sparkling icicles as thick as my wrist hanging like a curtain from the roof. Which proves that January has crystalline fangs and is out to get us.

On the other hand, maybe 12 is a lucky number. Maybe we won’t get sick next January.