by Kasey Tross
The day after Christmas I came down with the flu.
But it wasn’t all bad- I spent the next day with my friend Kyra. She’s a fashion designer from New York City. After her hot Irish boyfriend started making it big as an actor they moved into a HUGE house in Beverly Hills, which was great until the Oscar buzz led to a bunch of paparazzi stalking them everywhere. I mean, it was great for her fashion design business (seriously- how else do you get to design gowns for the Golden Globes and the Oscars?) but it made her crazy and it was way stressful on their marriage. Fortunately, they’ve reached a compromise and they’re making it work. And her designs are more popular than ever.
The day after that I was with my other friend Gaby at her farm in Massachusetts. In the years since her husband passed away she’s had a hard time, but she decided she was finally ready to love again, and she sent a video message to her children to let them all know she was getting married- on CHRISTMAS! So she got them all home- mostly because she refused to tell them who she was marrying until the wedding. In fact, she didn’t even tell the GROOM! Yes, she had 3 different men propose. She’s awesome like that. Well, the family all came and the barn was all decked out in white lights and it was so beautiful- turned out they even made it a double wedding. ;-)
The next day was probably my favorite- I took a train trip. I went all the way across the country- first on the Capitol Limited and then on the Southwest Chief. The people I met on that trip were a trip in themselves- there was Regina and her mom, both long-time train workers who had some amazing stories to tell, then there was the famous director and his writer and assistant- they were always making things more interesting. There was Tyrone, the singing bartender who bore a startling resemblance to Elvis, then Father Kelly, the retired minister. Oh, and of course Tom and Julie, the engaged couple that actually got MARRIED on the Southwest Chief. If it hadn’t been for the avalanche on the other side of the Raton pass in Colorado, it would have been a pretty pleasant trip. But they got us out, and even with that, it was a lot of fun, mostly thanks to the great people I met.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I didn’t actually do any of those things. But I did read 3 different books that almost made me feel like I actually was doing those things! I read "The Year of Living Famously" by Laura CaldwellI, "The Christmas Wedding" by James Patterson, and "The Christmas Train" by David Baldacci.
I felt lousy, and I slept a lot, but the one thing that kept my mind off of how awful I felt was reading. Thankfully, my husband had the week off so that I could stay in bed and sleep and read. When I read, I felt like I was somewhere else, experiencing all sorts of wonderful things, and it really pulled me through my illness.
The experience just proved to me once again how powerful words can be. I could have just been lying around in bed feeling sorry for myself (and I did some of that too) or mindlessly surfing the internet, or staring at a TV. But those things for me are life-sucking. After I finish staring at a screen I usually feel even more drained. When I read books, however, I feel refreshed and fulfilled, my
imagination alive with possibilities.
Who knows, maybe someday some other poor soul will by lying on their sickbed and something I will have written will allow them to forget about how lousy they feel for a little while... ;-)