Every year, as one of the benefits of being an employee of The Redwood Gazette, I am given a few days that I am able to use to recover from an illness.

Known as sick days, in just about every year I give all of those days back. It’s not that I don’t get sick. I just don’t take off work when I do.

After all, the work still needs to be done, and there were few options through which I could perform that work in an alternate setting.

Now I can.

So, Tuesday (Feb. 11)  I stayed home, and in between the coughing fits I have been working on this edition of the paper.

In fact, I am writing these very words as I feel one of those coughing (hold on just a moment) fits coming. So, while this day qualifies as a sick day, it is also still a work day for me.

The good news is that I could actually feel that it was coming. Things started last Friday morning when I felt that telltale tickle in my throat indicating that something was off. I spent most of the day trying to ward off the inevitable with Vitamin C drops, and when I arrived at home later that day I had nearly forgot all about what I had felt.

Saturday began normally, and most of the day I felt pretty good. Toward the end of the day I actually went for a walk, but as it got darker and colder I recognized that I may have gone out a bit under dressed.

I know what many of you are thinking.

Troy, when is the last time you went out into the elements and anyone else would have considered you properly dressed for the weather? (Wait another moment, please.)

Anyway, I got back in the house and started to feel a bit of a chill. So, I wrapped up in a blanket and tried to warm up my arms and legs. It seemed to work, as did another round of Vitamin C drops.

An average night of rest ensued, as I tried to keep my eyes closed and keep an eye on the weather that was supposed to be coming to our area. In the early morning hours little snow had fallen, and I assumed the storm was going to head in a different direction.

So, I settled in and fell asleep.

The next morning I awoke, looked outside and still was under the impression the snow which had fallen was far more limited than had been promised.

Then I went outside.

On my third step I sunk down several inches and for the next several steps the same thing was happening. There was a lot more snow on the ground than it looked like from the living room window.

Having gone out to do the chores, I completed that task and then went back in to tell the story of the snow.

Later in the day, I went out with some of the other Krause clan members and shoveled what was incredibly light snow. The job of moving several inches of snow came pretty easy.

Back in the house I went, and ultimately I ended up falling back asleep. Sunday afternoons are great for that, aren’t they?

When I awoke a couple of hours later I recognized that things were not quite right. It felt at that very moment as if a flood of sickness had fallen down on my head. I spent the remainder of that day resting and wondering what I was going to do when the alarm went off Monday.

After all, I had not prepared to stay home and had a few interviews to do. So, I went to work. By the time I rolled into town, I was actually feeling quite a bit better. I had talked with my best half about coming home early that day, but as I continued through the rest of the day I was almost convinced that I had recovered.

Yet, something told me more was coming.

So, I grabbed what I needed (with the help of my best half who had come to check on me), and then waited for the kids to be done with their day. We drove home, and by the time I had driven from the school parking lot and into my garage I was exhausted.

I determined before even going to sleep that night I was going to be staying home. A younger version of me would have laughed at my weakness.

If I have learned anything from getting older it is that when an illness of any sort comes it does so in a much stronger way – at least that is how it feels. I have also learned that it takes a lot longer to recover from these things.

So, as I work I am enjoying those wonderful home remedies, like a nice mug of hot lemonade and a bowl full of ramen. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it when you have your very next “sick” work day out of the office at home.)