Sometimes you just have to suck it up. Wednesday, Jake and I felt real sick. Jake had already missed the previous two days of school, and I apparently was coming down with whatever ailment he had. It was raining out too, and even our old dog, Molly, wouldn’t eat because of the pain she had in her arthritic knees and hips. It was like a hospital ward for old men, kids, and dogs.
But Robby had his first JV golf tournament that afternoon, for which I was the volunteer team driver, and Jake had a scheduled meeting at the high school with a fellow student to complete an important joint English project on the Odyssey, the ancient Greek tragic poem they had been studying together. Jake had stayed home from school again, leaving his classmate hanging, and Lenie had volunteered to relieve me by driving the golf team the two hours to the tournament up in Reedsport.
Then I got an email alert from the local newspaper saying there had been a mudslide on the coast highway leading to Reedsport that was causing delays up to two hours. Lenie and the team would be caught in that. I called the coach, Mark Hockema, hoping the tournament had been cancelled. Heavy rain and now a slide! Gotta cancel it! These are freshmen, and their rain gear hadn’t even arrived yet from the golf vendor. They may not be able to get to the tournament in time anyway, and if they do they’ll get soaked. But Coach said only lightning cancels golf in the rain, and he had called ODOT (Oregon Dept of Transportation) who said delays were now only 20 minutes at the slide.
As soon as I hung up, I decided the situation presented a good opportunity to give Jake a good life lesson on when it’s time to just suck it up and get your job done. I suggested we tend to our respective jobs in spite of how we felt, and that we drop Molly off at the office on our way so she could be with Mom.
By the time we reached Gold Beach the rain had stopped and the sun had come out. I drove the team the two hours to Forest Hills Golf Club, and Jake met the classmate at school and finished their project.
The delay at the slide was only 8 minutes, as it had been largely cleared by the time we got to it.
The rain held off for the entire tournament, with the only hitches being the large puddles of water on the course, from which the players got relief to a dry spot. Robby did well, placing second among the first-seeds he played with, and finishing with the lowest score for the Gold Beach team. I walked the entire nine holes, keeping track of Robby’s progress so I could debrief him. And I felt good while watching Robby hit every fairway and make some great lob shots.
The rain began again immediately after the tournament ended. We drove back home after a brief stop for pizza. Just below the slide, I had to pull over on the shoulder and puke in the rain.
Jake and his classmate gave their verbal presentation for their Odyssey project in class yesterday. Everyone thought it was good, Jake said. Today he is home from school again sick, and we both had to cancel our long planned plane flight this afternoon to North Carolina to see Annie and my grandkids.
I saw the nurse practitioner today and she said I have flu like everyone else in the area and told me to get Mucinex for the phlegm I was throwing up, Zicam to swab my nostrils with, and keep taking the three Ibuprofen and two Tylenol I had started. You’ll be better in a week to three weeks, she said.
Fine with me, I guess. Nothing I can do about it except moan and groan and puke up phlegm. But I’m really glad Jake and I sucked it up and did what we had to do. I think Jake will remember this episode later in life when he’s trying to make a decision about something important.