We may not be ready for Christmas, but we can check the dreaded winter cold off our list of things to do. I can’t believe that our family is so in sync that Gill is ill across the pond and Crazy D and I have been sick here all week. Gill optimistically assumes this will ensure that she doesn’t catch her usual airplane cough and cold but why she assumes such great good fortune will befall her, I don’t know. I’d take bets she’ll be sick the day after she arrives.

Crazy D and I both fell ill the same day. Mine struck in the middle of the night, the night of a party I’d attended and during which I had felt fine. Crazy D had been gone for work for three days and returned from Toronto announcing he was sick.

With apologizes for my imitattion of someone speaking with clogged sinuses, he muttered: “Ebrywhere I wendt in the city were sick peoble.Toronto is (achoo!) disease central! I’b going to bed.”  He wasted no time getting into his track pants and hoodie, thick socks and sandals. Then he collapsed in a heap for several days, getting up only to cook something to eat and rest his eyes from the Netflix marathon he was watching on his computer. What did we do before Netflix?

Of course I, as the mother, the one never brought down by illness (it’s against union rules), had to keep keeping on. But there were long periods of time when Crazy D, myself, and The Pig (beagle) were shuffling around in our oldest, scuzziest track pants. Crazy D, in a moment of genius, took to calling The Pig ‘Trackpants’. With her round pot belly, her soft wrinkly legs and Eyeore-like expression, she embodies all the best qualities of track pants: soft, warm, fuzzy, none-too-clean and well loved. I had to admit, it was pretty funny.

I called Crazy D for lunch one day(chicken soup all around, what else?) and heard a strange noise. I listened carefully. It sounded like Gill shuffling across the floor in her unmistakable schlumpy fashion, her feet never leaving the floor. But she wasn’t due home for days.

“Gill? Is that you? I didn’t forget to pick you up from the airport did I?”

Crazy D looked at me strangely. “It’s me, Mom!”

The exertion of his comment was too much and he sank into his chair. He sat, as he always does, leaning back so the chair’s front legs were off the ground. With his four days’ worth of beard, old track pants and top, forlorn expression and listless demeanor, he made the crowd from Duck Dynasty look stylish.Not that I had any reason to gloat with my frayed-at-the-wrists hoodie, bleach-mottled track pants, mismatched socks and tumbleweed-like trail of used tissues following me. Then I glanced down at The Pig…she had a pair of my underwear twisted around one foot — no doubt they stuck to her as she did her hourly turn through the laundry room looking for food I keep in my jacket pockets. I picked up the underwear, did a close inspection, and determined that (whew!) they had come from the clean laundry pile. Dodged a bullet there. We were a Class Act!

“So”, I asked Crazy D. “When is the double-wide being delivered? I think there’s room out in the backyard…” It was the next logical step in our decline from middle-class suburbia to living the  trailer park dream…or nightmare.