by Jeff Marshall
So far, November has been pretty cruddy! On November 1, right after Sara and family left Decatur, I became very sick with terrible cold and flu symptoms. Today is the 6th, and it has now gone into my throat and chest. At this rate, by the end of the month my knees will be shot and my toes will be falling off.
I joked with Sara that I was obviously suffering from the dreaded BWS – Borgstede Withdrawal Syndrome. Kinda like what happened to Elliott when E.T. was dying. When left untreated, BWS can lead to migraine headaches, shortness of breath, and dementia.
I had a wonderful visit with Sara and her family last month. I’m such a warped personality that I was dreading their visit because as soon as it began, I knew the end would be near. It’s like not looking forward to Christmas because you know once the new year has begun, the post-holiday letdown is inevitable.
I learned a lot about myself during their visit. I learned that my reactions to circumstances are directly proportional to the people with whom I’m surrounded when said circumstances occur. We spent an afternoon in Springfield – a city with which I have a love/hate relationship. Twenty-five years ago, when I first got my license, I got lost in Springfield until 2AM. Keep in mind, this was long before the GPS, the cell phone, the map… Anyway, during our visit, I ended up going the wrong way on a one-way street. Normally, this would have caused stress, embarrassment, fear, and paranoia. With Borgstedes in the car with me, it became a thrill ride and a laugh riot. Later in the week, when Mike and Sara and their boys stayed with me, Tommy pulled another Shawshank escape in a cold rainstorm. Normally, this would have caused stress, embarrassment, fear, and paranoia. This time, I took their son Paul with me and we turned it into an adventure looking for the long lost evil beagle/pit bull mix.
I also learned that a little chaos is good for me. With three adults, three boys, and two dogs together overnight for a couple days, chaos is inevitable. I will never forget walking into the living room and hearing Sara utter the now immortal line: “Do not stab your brother in the face with your machete.” I have literally said that line out loud to myself every day since it happened – it’s something I never expected to hear ever in my life. Our days and nights together were filled with fights over computer and Wii games, podcast recordings, heart to heart talks, painting, freak shows, chocolate pie, tears before bedtime… And I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything.
I also learned that I’m OLD! Really OLD! I spent time with these young creatures who have never dialed a rotary telephone, who think Beta and VHS were characters in STAR WARS, and who have never had to walk seven miles through the snow without shoes to get back and forth to school everyday.
So, as I continue my hopefully speedy recovery from the dreaded BWS I’m battling, I will continue to think back on a wild and wacky few days and look forward to the next chapter of laughter, tears, action, adventure, and CHAOS!!
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