Summer Bug

 No, not this kind of summer bug.

 Nor the kind of bug that comes from eating fair food. Just a plain old stomach bug.

I recently congratulated myself on a real, actual months-long sickness-free streak. Within 48 hours a mild, warning-like plague struck. Mother and child down with bellyaches. Nothing more.

Today, Beren and I ingested one half a bagel each, a cup of bergamot tea, and shared a Mexican Coca-cola (real, healthful sugar as opposed to the crappy tasting corn syrup). In the morning, I made it to the gate to open and close it for Jared who is out doing a botany job. Later I made it to the mailbox to mail off bills and went back to the couch. Then, back to the mailbox with Beren to find - no incoming bills, no letters, no junkmail, nothing to distract us.

Back to the couch. We read about a dozen books including old board books, Golden books, picture books, and multiple chapters of a Magic School Bus book that clocks in at 104 pages.

The Magic School Bus was a tithe-type purchase from a particularly good used bookstore in Florida. Beren and I parked ourselves in the kid's aisle, reading about Ms. Frizzle and her students while Jared scored a stack of ethnobotany and herbalism books. At 50 cents, the books had to come home - in fairness - to the bookstore and to Beren who was deep into the story.

I recall the long past days as a bookstore clerk at the somewhat less long-gone Barnes & Noble located in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

In Magic School Bus homage, here I will present... Two Facts: only Barnes is "plural". Noble is not plural despite many insisting otherwise. Displaying an opposite tendency, our own local Bowman's Hill is Bowman's Hill, not Bowman Hill.

OK, back at B&N, we had many customers (library patrons?) park in the cafe with paperbacks until they looked like they'd been to the beach. Spine creased, edges worn to use book-speak. Not that I really care about supporting Debbie MacComber's prolific romance output with sales of $7.99 mass markets to those who'd rather use a box store like a library, HarperCollins and other publishers, nor box store bookstores.

But, butt, my sections at Barnes & Noble - art and reference - were by the bathroom. One customer (library patron) took her books not just to the cafe but also to the bathroom. Yep, she did. She'd moan and groan on the pot and read away.

Again, to be fair, she didn't have a peachy life. She also brought what I assume were her life's belongings packed onto a cart into the bathroom. And yet, I must tell you that her sh*t was sour-smelling. Be comforted, while "her" books may have made it back onto the shelves, no one would buy them, not even you. They were tagged by appearance and possibly aroma. You'd never have purchased a book that looked like that.

 I chose to withstand terrible portable toilet smell to take this classic photo. I liked the colors.

Anyway, we're at page 40 of the Magic School Bus book, and I expect to hit page 104 later today.

Right now, Beren's digging into a box of puzzles and train themed stacking blocks (babyish toys too nice to giveaway until a baby cousin hits the scene) that I had stashed in the attic just for a time like this. I can hear blocks rolling around on the hardwood floor upstairs.

I imagine his room is a "mess". It's ok. He's momentarily forgotten his upset belly, and I've had a break from the Magic School Bus. I've learned various interesting facts from the book, but books put me to sleep and never, ever, not so far, my son.

One benefit of this bug was a lazy day, floating on the couch, totally relaxed, and I don't have to cook dinner.