Thursday, 26 March 2015

It's Raining Today

It's a bleary kind of day today. The cold, grey skies have already delivered their promise of rain, the streets glistening, reflecting the headlights from cars going to and fro. The clouds are leaden, still, motionless in the cool air, threatening still more rain. The sun and warmth of yesterday is gone. Today will be a good day to be in the truck, driving through Mississippi and Alabama, possibly right through to Florida. On the I-10, this will be all of a few hours drive and no more.

I'm feeling kind of bleary myself. For some reason, last night I spent much of the night in that vain throat clearing and coughing exercise that attacks so many PALS. There are so many things to which I could attribute this annoying irritation, so many causes and reasons on which I could pontificate, all of them merely suspects in the long dance of symptoms associated with ALS. The bottom line is that many PALS develop some sort of swallowing mis-coordination before they get Bublar ALS, and this is the most likely cause of the intermittent need to clear my throat.

Much of last night was spent in this effort, anything resembling sleep pushed aside as I cough and cleared my way through the night. When this happens, usually a glass or even a sip of water will ease the distraction enough for me to return to sleep; not last night. I awoke several times, many times, with the irritation in my throat just enough to push me from sleep. Eventually I resorted to a Cepacol cough lozenge, the WMD approach to numbing my throat into submission. Sleep once again was possible.

Yesterday was a good day, a day with a very late coffee and beignes at the world famous Cafe Du Monde, just off Jackson Square in the French Quarter of NOLA. This cafe of European flair serves only one thing; coffee and beignes. The waitress asks you what kind of coffee you want, and if you want one order or two. No description of any sort, just "one order or two". After what seems like an eternity of wait, cafe au lait or some other beverage, along with beignes with a snow storm of icing sugar dusted over them arrive at your table. You eat, you leave. There are always more customers.

We took a steamboat paddlewheeler tour of the Mississippi River near NOLA aboard the S.S Natchez, this sixth vessel on the Mississippi to bear this name. A classic old boat, or one built in 1975 to look like a classic old riverboat, Katherine and I took to the steeply up-swept foredeck to get a great view of the river and shoreline. It's a two hour ride, one hour downriver and one hour back. For much of the return run, a Jazz band plays in the main salon, a place of brass and polished oak, sufficiently inviting that I took some time there to enjoy the music and the setting. Katherine sat at the rail, entranced by the river itself, a position usually held my me.

We finished our day in the Louisiana sun by having dinner, once again in the French Quarter. In a budget clobbering exercise, we enjoyed salad with seafood, an appetizer of seafood, followed by seafood main course, all summed up by Pecan Pie. I don't feel too bad about going over budget on this; we've been doing very well with our spending over the last few days.

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