This morning I woke up and felt almost fine. Yes, there was the ghost of a headache and my legs ached and some bloating was still hanging around, but I was hungry. I hadn't been hungry in a week.
There's some extra joy that comes with homestays, we've discovered - it's all the illness that you bring back.
Brandon fell first and fell swiftly, taking to his bed about an hour after we got home. He stayed near the bathroom the whole day after we got back while the children and I happily went and picked a friend's apples. Joseph, who had a fever, stayed with him. We all stayed healthy enough (at least the useful ones) to make twenty-seven quarts of applesauce the day after, which was good because I needed all the help I could get.
But then each of the children fell ill, some with fevers, some with intestinal issues, some with vomiting. I started my own descent on Sunday night with excruciating back pains and my own fever and spent the next week in and out of bed.
By Friday when Eleanor and I both had mysterious rashes and she hadn't had a solid bowel movement for a week, I called uncle and visited the med unit. And for fun, we hauled Edwin along (who had thrown up while I was on the phone scheduling an appointment). Of course, nothing diagnosable was found and so the usual regimen of rest and bland diet with lots of fluids was prescribed.
I haven't cooked dinner in a week (which isn't such a bad thing, considering), and everyone else has been eating a whole lot of cold cereal - in between eating nothing at all. It's a good thing we finished school before we left on our trip because there was a whole lot of nothing getting done while everyone was taking turns being on their bed of pain.
We did crawl out of bed to celebrate Brandon's birthday on Thursday and then crawl right back in to sleep it off on Friday. The pool opened on Saturday, but none of us were there to see it (or the soft opening the week before) because there were too many germs floating around to be considered safe for public appearances.
But now (fingers crossed), we're over it and life can resume. Eleanor still has a lingering rash that went suspiciously bumpy today, but that's nothing a good throat swab can't diagnose.
But next time we're tempted to go and stay in a little mountain village and eat food undoubtedly washed in little mountain streams served on dishes washed in the same place, I'll remember this week. And then camping will sound pretty good to me. Hot dogs, after all, are roasted over fires. Get them hot enough and everything will be dead.