C-Word Connections

6A09ACD9-126C-4773-85A2-02A9B01C8003_1_201_aCooler weather came all of a sudden this year. Within two weeks we’ve gone from daytime highs near 100°F and 65° nights to, well, yesterday and this morning, with a high around 60°, down to 35° overnight. The dogs don’t want to get out of bed, and when they do they make a beeline for their sleeping bags. I always thought the bag our friend Dee made for our first dachshund, Schatzi, was big enough for two; Fritzi and Lulu proved it this morning.

We waited until the temperature got up to 45° before we went for our morning walk. I don’t mind confessing that my favorite thing about colder weather is not having to walk the dogs at the crack of dawn.

Chilly weather is chili weather. I’m planning to cook a nice pot tomorrow. I’d have done it today, but forgot to take the meat out of the freezer. My favorite recipe? Right here. Over the years I’ve favored different chili recipes, but this one’s occupied my number one spot five years running. The Old Bay seasoning, the last thing you’d ever expect in a list of chili ingredients, is what makes it.

Speaking of cooking, I’m rattled by the death of Julie Powell — who famously cooked her way through all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” while writing a daily blog about it, which you know about if you’ve seen the movie “Julie & Julia” — of cardiac arrest. She was just 49.

Too soon? Maybe not. Julie contracted Covid in September, despite being vaccinated and boosted. Maybe that had nothing to do with her death. Maybe it did. We haven’t begun to grasp the long-term effects of Covid, or even, apparently, the near-term ones. I’ve heard enough reports of people dying unexpectedly after recovering from Covid to conclude that I need to keep masking anywhere there’s a crowd. Like at Costco, which I visited yesterday, where I was one of fewer than ten masked customers in a packed house.

My first thought, upon hearing about the wave of respiratory sickness striking children around the country, was that it must be related to Covid in some way. But that’s such an obvious thought, it must also have occurred to scientists, doctors, and epidemiologists, who would surely tell us if there was a link. And they haven’t. I still suspect a C-word connection, though.

The mid-term elections are Tuesday. I implore you to vote if you haven’t already. They’re all important, elections, but this one seems especially so.

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