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I knew when I woke up with a neckache and a headache two days ago there was more to come. Taking ibuprofen regularly throughout the day didn’t even touch it. 

Then yesterday morning, at three am, I  woke from a fitful sleep with a sore throat and my head feeling the size of a basketball. From there it all went downhill. 

head the size of a basketball

head the size of a basketball

I had to get up, to function normally, and pretend I was fine or nothing I had scheduled for the day would get done. By four in the afternoon after numerous rounds of medicine – a little of this and a little of that – I was ready to throw in the towel. 

Andrew was out for the evening so I forced myself to go with H to get something to eat because I could remember eating only some yogurt earlier in the day. His cure  for all illnesses is to get up and get moving. I just wanted to be left alone so I could wallow in self-pity and fall into a coma. 

By eight pm the day was so foggy I couldn’t remember what medicine I had taken last or if I had even taken any, so I popped a Benadryl and two more ibuprofen and took to my sick bed, leaving H to the blaring of the tv. I know it was blaring because I could hear it at the other end of the hallway in the bedroom. 

At one point I faintly remember Andrew standing over me asking where we kept the ketchup. “Ketchup? Why do you want ketchup? In the fridge if we have any, but I don’t think we do. You don’t eat ketchup and we never use it.”  

“Ana wants some for her fried shrimp and fries.”

So apparently we have fried shrimp and fries and a house guest for the night I thought as I drifted back to sleep. I don’t even remember H coming to bed later. 

This morning there were plates in the sink with leftover lasagna stuck to them and a to-go box of shrimp and fries in the fridge that couldn’t be eaten without ketchup. There was also a week old tomatoe in there that had seen better days. If Andrew had been inventive he could have puréed it, added spices, and voilà -homemade ketchup! (No, I don’t do that.) Every American household should have ketchup in the kitchen as a staple. I don’t. Not even those little packets you can filch from the fast food restaurants. 

homemade ketchup

homemade ketchup

I think I threw that ketchup out last summer when one of my girls visiting pointed out that the expiration date was two years ago! 



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

2 responses »

  1. I never cease to be amazed at the helplessness of the male animal. I mean, needed to wake you up in your sick bed to inquire about ketchup/catsup? Surely the to-go place should have provided little packets!!

    Liked by 1 person


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