Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 56: All fall

This week we enjoyed a visit from one of my old cycling pals from Boston.  He lives in Oregon now, but his work with a bike company brought him to Madison, complete with a slick company car and the perfect hostess gift (future visitors take note!).  Lemon was quite suspicious of him, because he had a beard, but it was great to reconnect with the cycling community a little bit.  It's been strange to have cycling be so absent from my life after it was such a big part for so long.  I will return to it some day, I hope!

The other major highlight of the week was Lemon's first apple picking adventure.  We went to an orchard about 20 minutes from our house, which is basically the middle of nowhere.  It was a glorious fall day, and we did all the glorious fall things:

Looking at chickens

Tasting apples

Tasting pumpkin doughnuts (basically the only reason we could convince Papa Bear to come with us on this outing)

Going on a hayride

 Looking at pumpkins

 Fall is my favorite season of the year, and it seems to be every bit as glorious in Wisconsin as it is "back home" in New England.  This year, though, I face it with a bit more trepidation than I have in the past.  Fall is the season of pumpkins and apples and color, but it also is the beginning of the season of contagious disease.  The students (and whatever pestilence they harbor) are back on campus.  A serious respiratory virus is making its rounds in the midwest and in other parts of the country, sending hundreds of otherwise healthy kids to the hospital because they can't breathe.  People are coughing and sniffling and sneezing all around.  There doesn't seem to be enough Purell and flu shots in the universe to save us from all this.

I can't raise Lemon in a bubble, nor do I want to.  But the drive to protect him from all of these things is strong since I know the cost to him of he getting sick is so high.  It's a tough balance, especially with an increasingly mobile, curious, and willful little boy who is emphatically not a baby anymore (at least in his mind).  We take things one day and one action at a time.  Here's hoping that fall, and the winter that is coming all too soon, are beautiful, serene, and most importantly, healthy.

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