When you’re racing, all too rapidly, toward the tail end of your seventh decade, “normal” takes on new meanings. Cycling into and out of depression is normal. I’m used to it. I know it will pass. But when it’s accompanied by an extended spell of being all-over sick in a way that interferes with even the most basic tasks of daily life, I start wondering. Is this the new normal? Why did it strike so suddenly? And if it isn’t going to go away, how am I going to cope?
If this was it, the final stage of the journey, it would mean that the little bit of gardening I’ve undertaken for the first time in 20 years or so has slammed to a halt before it’s barely begun. It would mean that all the writing projects in progress and planned will remain right where they are — unfinished or unstarted.
And then, suddenly, I had a good day. Good by my usual measure for this time of life. I might never have known what happened — why I’d been so sick and why I was, from one day to the next, over it, except for the various news sites I read. An E. coli warning. From the Gold Medal company, makers of the very flour that was sitting in my refrigerator and that I’d been making bread with. And yes, my bag of flour was being recalled. I didn’t have all the symptoms, thank goodness, but that was probably due to an amazing coincidence: I had recently decided to back off on baking and eating all that delicious bread I’d been pigging out on, and go to a modified low-carb diet for a while.
So the flour that was left got tossed in the garbage, and the bread machine will be collecting dust for a while. June is going to be low-carb month. Since the depression disappeared along with the E. coli, maybe it will also be a writing month.