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Boosted with a sprinkle of twinkle lights


I had my 4th Covid vaccination at the tail end of June at a vaccination event in the coffee shop at the local rural community hospital.


I think the event was aimed at getting the youngest age group their first Covid vaccination. If that was the purpose, it failed horribly. At the time of my appointment at 9:30 am, the second appointment slot of the event, there were no children in sight. Not counting the EMTs who administered the shots, the average age in the room was possibly somewhere between 50-70 years.

There were not a lot of us hanging out in the rearranged coffee shop, waiting the requisite 15 minutes to ensure we were not going to have a reaction, (I had my knitting to pass the time) and no, they were only giving vaccinations. No free coffee. However we did each get a free $50 voucher to the big box shop on the hill.


I hadn’t really intended to get the second booster yet. My original plan had been to wait until I had travel plans, then schedule the vaccination to strengthen my immune system for whatever adventure I was going to entertain. The texts from my state health dept pleading with me to get boosted were getting insistent. I once again have deleted my winter travel plans, thank you bah humbug virus, and then there was that lure of a $50 voucher. The trinket in the cereal box, yes, but what a trinket! While it currently takes more than that to fill the Red Pony‘s petrol tank, $50 isn't nothing.


That little boon came at a price, though. Worse than any of the others, this booster shot truly laid me low the next day. I woke in the night with high fever. Bone aches. Headache. Swollen arm. Injection site throbbing like a wasp sting. Utter physical weakness. Paddling against the current big time and awful sorry for myself.


No way was I going to make it to farmers market even though I had loaded the car in readiness the night before. I stayed in bed almost all that Saturday, half dozing and decidedly uncomfortable, fevered, with an unquenchable thirst. Fantasizing about chilled watermelon.


Next day the malaise was all gone.


I hastened me to the big box shop on the hill to spend my $50 earned, now, through 24 hours of physical suffering. I bought plants for the garden - Cistus purpureus and ‘May Night’ blue salvia - more Italian terracotta pots for aloes and another string of Moroccan/Mughal looking coloured indoor/outdoor lights to add a touch more twinkle to life in the shala.

A friend from way back when in that last outpost place of my birth, recently used the term “raucous styling” referring to a certain exuberant maximalism of style often found in the old country.

The hacienda interior, where every day is Depavali, might just qualify as raucous styling.

Anyone who thinks there are enough string lights now, has never seen an Indian festival.

Kerala has incarnated in the Chihuahuan desert by way of the southern tip of the oldest continent. The mountain has come to Mohammad. If I can’t go there, I will make there here. Or here, there.

Or…whatever.

Is the clamor in my head disturbing you?

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