You’ve earned a break!

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Built: 1941 Closed: December 2008 Demolished: April 13, 2009
SLOCUM ELEMENTARY, Defiance, OH. Built: 1941, Closed: December 2008, Demolished: April 13, 2009

It’s a sore throat. Not likely to be fatal. But it sure has hurt for the past couple of days. Dr. Muhler prescribed an anti-biotic and now I think my body is responding to the second dose I took today.

Let me say that I’m no amateur when it comes to sore throats. I recall lying on our couch in the dinner room one afternoon. No school at Slocum Elementary in Defiance that day for this guy.

It was tonsillitis that day, an affliction I occasionally suffered through school, college and graduate school. Finally, my doctor in Cincinnati decided I had suffered enough and sent me to a surgeon to have my tonsils taken out.

No more tonsillitis. Obviously, I can still get a sore through. I recall one year I was teaching English in Dayton, Kentucky. I lay on the couch for days it seemed. The only thing I accomplished was to finish reading James Michener’s “Hawaii,” which must be 500 or 600 pages in paperback.

I suppose my stories about sore throats won’t interest a lot of readers. But I can share a lesson or two from my history with this common affliction.

For one thing, I’m once more reminded of how resilient the human body is. The anti-biotic I’m taking now doesn’t tell the full tale in my certain recovery. Every one of us houses an arsenal of get well and stay well cells.

I’d bet anything my throat would recover within a few days if I hadn’t gone to the doctor. But I’m glad I saw him just in case my affliction wasn’t anything more serious than a sore throat.

So once more, from my easy chair in the family room, I can quietly celebrate the magic of modern medicine. What a time to be living. And living for more years – most of us – than our grandparents and great-grandparents.

Finally, getting laid up for a couple of days doesn’t have to be a lost part of my life. I’m not only able to scratch out a blog entry and not be suffering. In fact, writing takes my mind off my sore throat. (Wife Toni happens to be attending a church leadership meeting today so she doesn’t have to endure my whining.)

In addition to composing a blog entry, I’ve got the rest of the afternoon to read the papers and get back to the book on FDR and World War II, a tome that I’m more than halfway through.

Naturally, I’d prefer to never get sick. A sore throat, I can assure every reader, is no Disney movie. But getting laid up with such a relatively minor affliction gives a person a chance to take stock of one’s life, to step back and reflect on one’s many blessings and get a fresh perspective.

I need to do that. Life’s too short to go racing through – as Ann Landers used to say – without stopping to smell the flowers. Especially when you’re sick. Here’s your chance!

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