Yes, I know it’s been a while, and to claim I’ve been busy would be a true, if somewhat worn claim. I’ve also been a bit under the weather, but again, it’s an excuse.
The real cause for my lack of blog update is a mild case of writer’s block. I have a seemingly endless list of topics to write about, but I like to feel out my topics before I start writing, and for most items on my list, I’m just not there yet.
Be that as it may, I promised to blog and blog I shall, even if the subject matter is a bit scatterbrained. Please forgive me.
To my friends in Florida. My thoughts were with you as Irma blew through. I stayed up and watched whatever news feed I could get and chatted with friends in Florida and elsewhere who could get information better or faster than me. I know that some of you had damage and/or are without power. It is tough to watch as such events unfold and there’s nothing I can do but offer hope for minimal damage and speedy recoveries, but if it helps at all, that’s what I offer. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need to vent, sob, joke, or just chat.
Down for the Count:
The last half of last week was a tough one. I started feeling ill on Wednesday. Typical flu-like symptoms; chills, body aches, very tired. I had a fever, but it never exceeded 99℉. I figured I’d just ride it out. I had a meeting that I could not miss on Thursday, however, so I trudged into the office and sat in. My supervisor kept watching me as I sank lower in my chair as if the fever, now just over 100℉, was literally melting me as I sat. He ended the meeting and threatened to take me to the hospital. I declined explaining that if I could just get to bed and get some Tylenol in me I’d be ok.
He dropped me off and I staggered out of my street clothes, into my very warm PJs and piled as many blankets, coats, even dry bath towels on top of me as I had available to reduce the shivers. Thursday night was likely the most painful night I’ve spent in Namibia. My body, especially my lower back, felt like I’d been trampled by a heard of rampaging elephants. My head felt like a balloon a few seconds from popping from over pressure. My skin grew sensitive. Ever the hair on my arm hurt. Sleep was evasive. I finally took some extra strength Tylenol and within an hour I was asleep.
I stayed home Friday though I needed to go into Swakopmund, which was smart. When I woke I felt better, but still weak. Even though I hadn’t eaten since Tuesday night I was only mildly hungry, so I drank some fruit juice and ate a few crackers. By Friday evening my fever stayed under 100℉ and I was eating food.
My friend, Florian, offered to drive me into Swakopmund on Saturday if I felt up to it, and I did thinking that I would take care of the errands I needed to attend to and come back for more rest. Florian was with his girlfriend, Welma, and they had other plans and invited me along. I was feeling about 80% recovered so I thought why not (MISTAKE!!!).
Dunes and Flamingoes:
Just south of Swakopmund are dunes. I mean big dunes like the kind you see in National Geographic specials. We went there first. I had my trusty Canon GX7 MarkII with me and I whipped it out to get a few sandy shot like this one…
The exertion of climbing a dune to get into the position to actually shoot that shot was deceptively easy. I was breathing hard at the top, but the effort was worth it I think. After all, I could then go back to finish recovering, right?
The Florian suggested that since we were the road to Walvis Bay, why not visit?
He found an area called The Lagoon and it’s wonderful place for bird watchers or anyone looking for a relaxing stroll. Since Florian was with his sig-oth I felt like a party crashing 5th wheel, but he and Welma assured me I was not a bother. Even so, I tried to give them as much couple room as possible. Easy to do at The Lagoon because there were so many flamingoes about.
Again, the pix were worth the effort, but my body was slowing shutting down, I just hadn’t noticed it yet.
Drinks on Him:
On our way through Swakopmund Florian suggested we stop for a drink, so we rolled into The Ocean Breeze, a nice size tavern tucked in the southern corner of Swakopmund. I got a glass of merlot (drinkable, but nothing to write home about) and watched a strange game being played between the bartender and Afrikaner who was determined not to lose, but did anyway.
The game involved three dice in a cup, each player has this. As near as I could tell it’s played like Yahtzee on speed. Three of a kind beats straights which beats two of a kind. It was fun to watch though I doubt I fully understand the rules. Even so, the Afrikaner lost twice while I looked on. Losing meant buying shots for players. I can tell you that the bartender can definitely hold her liquor.
While all this was going on a band struck up and played tunes either I hadn’t heard before, or they were butchered beyond recognition. I knew it wasn’t going to a good musical respite when during warmup the drummer couldn’t keep a beat.
We did make it back to before dark (driving on the highway after dark is not for even the stoutest of hearts. Roads are occupied by the young, foolish and often drunk, and the occasional springbok. The two don’t mix.)
Only after I had settled in with a glass of wine that I noticed I was shivering. I checked my temperature and it was back to 100℉. No body aches this time, but I suddenly felt extremely tired. A hot shower, warm PJs and warmer bed was the cure. I spent all day Sunday recovering. This time the fever stayed down and by Monday morning I was 99% my old self again.
This photo has nothing to do with anything, it’s just me showing you what cool sunsets we have here.
There’s more to come. I promise.
Hi Vern! Love reading your blog and what beautiful pictures! The sand dunes are amazing – as are the flamingos! I’m glad to hear you are feeling better! We all fared well with Irma. A few still without power but the damage was minimal in the area – trees, etc. We miss you here!!!!
Thank you Kristen!!
Glad you all are safe and sound. Miss you all.
Keep a candle in the window.
Glad you’re feeling better, Vern. Lovely images, especially “Dune”.
Thank Ed. How’d you and Lynn fair in Irma? No damage I hope.
We lost power for less than a day, and we have some fairly minor roof damage. But we’re counting our blessings – so many people have it so much worse.
True. Much worse. Glad you and Lynn are ok otherwise.
Vern, I haven’t read this yet but have been thinking a lot about your past writings. The reason for this is I have been in Dominica for the last week and had to be evacuated by the Barbados Coast Guard, an 18 hour trip . I though about the conditions we were in for a week and our coast guard transport and how you’ve endured quite a bit while you’ve been there. It’s help me focus a lot on perspectives. Your writings me a lot, especially now.
Hi Vern, Glad all is well and you’re feeling better. Really miss not being able to talk to you, but all is good here. Roger is going to be a grand father twins he is so over joyed. Well That’s it for here. Be safe love you.
Hey Little Sis,
Thanks! I am doing much better.
I miss you and my Bmore family as well. Please tell them I said hi.
Congrats to Roger. I’m sure he’s all smiles.
I know I’ve been slow posting updates, but I’m working on several good stories, so stay tuned.
Hey Big brother,
Every one is doing good. I’ve been talking to aunt Beulah, she is doing great went on a cruise with her family ,Cheryl and David had a blast. Me and the girls are doing good. ❤