These past few weeks have been rough ones. Evening temperatures have plummeted into the negative teens. The wind has been cutting. The highs have been in the single digits and low teens. The sun has been hiding. For some reason the furnace isn't keeping up with the demand, and the other morning we woke to a house that was only fifty-two degrees. Calvin has been sick with a low-grade fever and a persistent rash on his cheeks and chin. He has suffered seizures on three consecutive days. Sleep is elusive. Minds are weary. Bodies are cinched up. Tempers are fragile. Patience is being tested.

Last night, while lying in bed next to my feverish and seizing boy—the THCA oil not working well enough to quash a spate of partial seizures—I thought about the world. I considered the reckless mess of a president and wondered what the hell is wrong with him. So unhinged. I'm angry at Attorney General Jeff Sessions who just deceitfully or ignorantly stripped Calvin of his protections for using medical marijuana to treat his epilepsy. I'm weary of the niggling from someone who used to be close to me and who now seems intent only on impressing and playing paranoid cat and mouse games.

But Calvin's condition—the vast number of seizures he has plus his disabilities—and his ability to pull through and remain as sweet and loving as he is, is the great equalizer that puts things in perspective for me. Spats with my husband about our failing furnace in these sub-zero temperatures become ridiculously puny feuds. Pathetic messages from an unhinged individual become ludicrous proof of his lunacy. Worries about the DOJ's rollback of Obama-era protections of medical marijuana users become hilarious visions of CPS agents coming for Calvin, taking one look at our effed-up kid and running away as fast as they can or, in another vignette, the Feds taking me from my kid, thus galvanizing legions of supporters to take to the streets in mutiny.

This morning I watched part of Oprah Winfrey's speech from last night's Golden Globe Awards. She was flawless, poised, beautiful, her message one of sanity, strength, hope, inclusiveness, progression, harmony. Word is she may run for president in 2020. Wouldn't that be peachy—a bigoted, misogynistic, baggy, deceitful, right-wing, white, male reality-tv blowhard being handily unseated by a vibrant, talented, intelligent, informed, compassionate, normal, yet extraordinary, African American woman who is admired by millions around the world! Now that is some fresh perspective I can sink my teeth into, though to be honest I'd rather have a president who is a constitutional scholar, like Obama, and has at least some experience in politics.

By now, with the help of a fire in our wood stove and a small space heater, the house has finally reached sixty-two degrees, though we still have yet to find a plumber to come take a look at the furnace. Know anyone good? In the meantime, we are wearing our robes and coats inside. Calvin hasn't had any seizures for a few hours. He seems a bit peppier. I'm done with that niggling someone. Sunshine and much milder temps are forecast for tomorrow. Calvin will be off of his benzo in seven weeks. I predict there will be a blue tsunami come November. I believe what's-his-face's days are numbered. And perhaps tonight I'll get some sleep.

Photo by Michael Kolster


  1. Beautifully written. You are the best in placing the juxtaposition of your personal challenges and journey with the bigger picture. You and Calvin are right there on the front lines, draftees in this horrible war on humanity. Yes, humanity, because certain decencies that are being destroyed and ignored are what define what is humane.

    On the pragmatic level, the Delonghi radiators, the oil filled ones , work well for us. And those electric mattresses warm a bed so well at low cost. We don’t have, but our cousins heat their homes with pellet stoves. A strategical places Mitsubishi set up can be great backup to a furnace and Ac

    1. who are you? thank you so much! we got our furnace cleaned and it is working now, thank goodness. xo

  2. "what's his face.." I like that!