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I haven’t been sick in years and now, I’m fighting a nasty, honking respiratory infection/cold/whatever that makes me sound like the ‘before’ character in a cough syrup commercial.

Oregon crocuses. (Kathleen Kenna photo

First sign of spring: The neighbor’s crocuses. (Kathleen Kenna photo)

At least I don’t have health insurance, so I can’t bother some doctor or overworked nurse with this most common of winter ailments.

I’m drinking hot lemon and honey tea to soothe my throat and my self-pitying mood.

I’m also walking the neighborhood, filling my cranky lungs with fresh air.

The streets are so quiet when everyone’s at work, so I can admire all the redwoods, and tall, red cedars in our neighborhood. And as a tenant with no space for potted flowers, I’m especially thankful to my neighbors for their spring-green lawns and gardens.

There’s nothing like the first crocuses to perk up a miserable mood, and remind me that renewal is near.

Oregon crocuses. (Kathleen Kenna photo)

With gratitude to my neighbors. (Kathleen Kenna photo)