December 11, 2018

2017: A Return to the Eyepiece

Our trusty solar scope…

I planned to get a flu shot on return to the States, honest.

We alluded last week to our recent (and still lingering) ’bout with pneumonia. Yup. We caught the flu that was burning right through the expat community in Spain just before leaving, and despite our valiant efforts, it decided to migrate to our lungs on arrival to the U.S. I even went to Urgent Care, concerned that we might’ve cracked a rib from our incessant coughing (we didn’t).

Science did come to the rescue, in the form of a 10 day course of antibiotics. Still, this one had an especially long tail, and the one month anniversary of the start of this ordeal is today. And all of this occurred during a time of transition, re-establishing our life in the States.

We’ve written about being sick on the road before. And it’s especially crucial to be healthy in 2017, lest we have to outrun flying killer robots unleashed by Il Presidente. Our newfound European friends were sympathetic post US-election, and gave us some helpful hints for continuing daily life under fascism.

Still, our illness forced us to only focus on the very core tasks that needed to be done. (getting a flight a car, etc) at the cost of letting secondary tasks (writing, stargazing etc). It’s sad, I know. Not only is freelance writing a big part of how we (the royal ‘we’) earn, but pondering the Universe and other existential pursuits, these are the things we live for.

We always thought that our interests are diverse enough to weather a downturn in health. Going blind might mean an end to stargazing, but I could still play guitar and music just fine. The opposite might hold true if I, say, lost my hearing. In the case of pneumonia, I could barely walk to the car without losing my breath, let alone do my daily run. Now, running is the one form of exercise regimen that I can maintain while travelling. I’ve never had an illness sideline me for several weeks, and even now I’m only slowly returning to a short morning jog a few times a week.

And the same goes for stargazing. Observing and astrophotography often involves lugging out and setting up gear or driving to a distant dark sky site, a sort of task I was hardly up for. Even though we got two of our scopes out of storage, we’ve barely set them up and haven’t even taken them out to the porch yet.

Being sick has been an eye-opener, both as a very brief glimpse of what its like to have a debilitating illness and what could always be in the cards for us in the second half century of our life. We know that, ultimately, we motivate ourself, and there’s no point in seeing the world and circumstances as standing between us and what we like to do. We are proud that we still kept writing through the whole ordeal, something that we’ll probably always do.

And we’ll be back at the eyepiece soon.

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