I had a very different post queued up for today. But between the high pollen count all week, a deluge last night, and an inexplicable heat wave inside our house, things have been weird here.
Late Wednesday afternoon at the office I was looking out the window wistfully at the rain. I’d been out earlier in the day (a small group of us walked to a nearby restaurant to have lunch with a former co-worker). It had been really pleasant. No rain, overcast enough that I didn’t need sunglasses, and not cold or breezy. The rain that was coming down later just looked nice. Yes, I like the rain, so sue me.
It was also nice because, last week we had the very sudden arrival of medium-high pollen in the middle of the week, which escalated over the next couple of days. A bunch of us were sniffling and such at the office. But the pollen count was high enough to explain it. Especially after a long period of virtually no pollen because of winter.
My hay fever is always worst when it’s a new species for that year. So when junipers and alders started pollenating last week, my immune system was like, “OMG! What is the stuff!? I forgot what this stuff was!!!!!” Since it was drizzly and rainy most of the weekend, the amount of pollen in the air was lower, and my hay fever wasn’t too bad.
But this week it’s mostly been just damp, rather than actually raining or even drizzling, and the pollen has been climbing. Some of my co-workers have been especially hard hit by it. My project manager, who avoided all the colds running around the office in January and February was hit very hard. She went to see her doctor, who confirmed she was having hay fever. She hadn’t thought to check the pollen report, because it seemed too early. If she had, she would have realized, because she already knows that juniper is one of the pollens that she strongly reacts to.
By the time I was walking home, it wasn’t just raining, but it was heavy rain. I was enjoying it for about a mile. Then it went from heavy rain to deluge. After a few blocks of walking in that, my leather coat was so soaked, that it felt almost as if I didn’t have a hood or coat at all.
So at the half-way point in my walk home, the first place where there is a bus stop for a bus that would get me home, I stepped in under the shelter’s roof and checked the bus app. I wasn’t sure I was ready to give up walking home, yet, because if the rain would let up back to ordinary levels, I’d enjoy the rest of the walk.
And cars were backed up like crazy. The traffic is usually heavy on the six-lane road I walk along for much of the route home, but all the north bound traffic was just sitting there. every half minute or so a car would be able to move forward a car length or two, then stop. Days like that, the hour and ten minute walk home is literally faster than a bus.
Then someone on my twitter feed mentioned that the Ballard bridge, which is a drawbridge over the ship canal and part of my commute home, seemed to be stuck open. Which would explain the traffic. It also meant that my five-mile walk home from work had suddenly become a 12-mile walk, because I’d have to veer off and walk to the Fremont Bridge to get across. Of course, if the bridge was stuck open for an extended time, the buses would start detouring, which was better than walking the extra time. So, when a bus came along (just as the rain was starting to subside), I got on.
By the time we got there, the bridge was down and traffic seemed to be moving normally. So I got off as soon as we were across the bridge, and walked the last mile in ordinary rain. But I was soaked. My coat was completely soaked, my clothes under the coat were soaked, my supposedly water-proof backpack was all damp inside. And I was cold from all the cold rain.
So the house felt nice and toasty. Michael was not feeling well, he had been sick all day, said he felt hot and feverish. He seemed a little feverish. I made us breakfast for dinner, and conked out on the couch. When I woke up at what would ordinarily be bedtime, I felt a bit muggy and clammy, but attributed that to a combination of falling asleep in the recliner while dressed, and the way the house heats up with the oven has been on.
I went to bed. Then woke up with a killer sinus headache at 2 a.m. I was drenched in sweat, I felt like I was burning up. I groaned, thinking that maybe I was coming down sick yet again! And my husband was still sitting in the computer room, listening to his audio book. When I tsked at him about being up so late on a work night, he mentioned how hot and icky he felt.
While I was getting myself a glass of water, I noticed that the thermometer in the kitchen said it was 80°. “What!?” So, I checked all the floorboard heaters in the house. None of them were even warm. The thermometer in the computer room also said 80°. I got dressed and went out and down to the basement. It seemed normal temperature down there, about 5 degrees warmer than outside, which was about 47°. There was no sign of a fire or anything in any of the other apartments, and the clothes dryer in the basement was cold.
So, no obvious cause of the heat. My assumption at this point is that one of the downstairs units left their oven on, or maybe one of them decided to put the oven through a cleaning cycle over night. Anyway, we opened all the windows and I sat here, in the recliner, with the door open for about an hour. The temperature in the house went down. By which point, between some cold meds I took when I first woke up with the fever, and the cool breeze, my head was feeling much better. Michael admitted that cooling the house down made him feel better, too.
I was able to go back to sleep, and only feel mildly angry at the alarms this morning.
We’re both heading into work. Neither of us exactly at our best.
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