Walking Away From A Cold

Where the f*ck have I been that I wasn’t aware that a summer cold is a thing, a topic of active discussion, and probably has been a member of the thing category for a good long while? Had I ever heard the term before? Possibly. But if I had it didn’t stick like glue to my brain cells. Anyway, a week or so ago two people mentioned the words when they learned of my ailment. In sympathy, one of them said that “summer colds are the worst.” The other said that he knew of someone else who was suffering from the symptoms of this dastardly condition.

Summer colds. Are they different from colds that you might pick up at any other time of the year? Beats me. In any event, I was down and partly out for the count during the first week of August. The cold was heavy. It was a summer cold, you dig?

I went through Kleenex tissues as if they were salted peanuts, so full of amazingly robust mucus was my respiratory system. I moaned and groaned like a wuss. I had less energy than a used flashlight battery. But eventually my body pulled itself together and I began to feel pretty damn good.

Yeah, pretty damn good indeed. And so, on August 8 I decided that I needed to stretch my legs in a meaningful way in environs that might inspire and intrigue me. Looking forward to a mini-adventure, off I headed to Hatboro, Pennsylvania, a town that looks like a town (Hatboro has two long strings of stores and businesses along a main street, which is crisscrossed by tidy residential blocks). In other words, it’s not a hodgepodge collection of housing developments and strip malls. I’ve been to Hatboro many times, what with it being only three miles from my home, but never had gone on more than a 15-minute ramble there. At 10:30 AM I parked my car on Hatboro’s shopping drag (York Road), fed the parking meter and set off.

York Road’s shopping section is lengthy, extending for half a mile. The stores are mostly of the mom and pop variety. I’ve often wondered how most of them stay in business, as I’ve never seen Hatboro’s sidewalks even remotely crowded. But stay in business they somehow do. You have a hardware store, several barber shops, bakeries, delis, diners, a big furniture store . . . and I’ll end the list now to avoid this becoming a 2,000-word essay. None of the shops are glitzy. Glitziness has little place in Hatboro, a blue collar area and proud of it.

Not unusual for me, I took a lot of photos during the walk. At first I concentrated on bouncily-decorated storefronts and nifty store signs. Who would turn a thumbs-down on the Hatboro Barber Shop’s facade, a parade of red, white and blue? Or on Village Hardware’s “We Fix Stuff” sign, which succinctly (and hopefully accurately) tells a story. Nobody, I’m sure.

And when I wandered off York Road into the neighborhoods, I was surprised by the goodly number of old, beautiful homes. Had to snap some of their images, of course, one of which is directly above.

But halfway through the stroll my focus changed unexpectedly, as I became enchanted with the idea of looking for bright yellows. I guess it was a riveting yellow (and red and black) traffic sign on a residential block, meant to announce that a stop sign was ahead, that put the notion into my head.  That and the fact that I was getting some exercise on a supremely sunny day, the Sun being the finest yellow friend that any of us ever will have. Ergo, a patch of yellow flowers aside a house became fodder for my phone’s camera. As did the golden arches of Hatboro’s McDonald’s franchise.

But enough about yellows. Let’s face it, in most regards, the walk ultimately wasn’t very different from nearly any neighborhood walk that one might take. It lasted one and a quarter hours and encompassed two miles. Nothing special about those figures. But here’s what I’m getting at: I enjoyed the heck out of the walk. I was glad to have recovered from my illness, glad once again to be outside breathing freely and taking in the sights.

Which is why it would have been very, very cool if the lyrics to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah had been playing in my mind as I walked around. You know them:

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Alas, they weren’t. Still, I’m in tune with the song’s message. Meaning, I know enough not to take things for granted. Hopefully many walks lie ahead. Onward!

(Don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this story. Gracias.)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window.)

92 thoughts on “Walking Away From A Cold

  1. barrydjd August 13, 2018 / 12:10 am

    A summer cold or the ‘wink wink’ 24 hour flu?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:28 pm

      Well, it lasted a bunch of days, so it wasn’t a 24 hour bug.
      See ya’, Barry. Take care.


  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross August 13, 2018 / 1:26 am

    Summer colds are worse because the sinus tissues are usually already somewhat swollen because of the heat and if you also run a mild fever the heat can aggravate that symptom as well. In general, the heat will accentuate cold characteristics. I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better now. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Carmel Bendon August 13, 2018 / 1:29 am

    It’s the oxymoronic combo of ‘summer’ and ‘cold’ that makes the headache worse! Happy to hear you’re improving. Keep well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:32 pm

      Yellow was my favorite color when I was young. A long time ago, not sure when, my fave color became blue.
      Have a great day, Audrey. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. daveclapp August 13, 2018 / 6:50 am

    Yup, summer colds are the worst.As is man flu in the winter. Get well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:35 pm

      One thing that helped a bit for me was breathing in steam a few times a day. I did it for around 5 minutes each session. It seemed to help loosen things up. Give it a try.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. greenpete58 August 13, 2018 / 7:50 am

    Nice, Neil, but I’m assuming your photographing a McDonald’s sign is intended to be tongue-in-cheek??

    (Please say “yes”… please??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Hi Pete. I’m feeling a little foggy and dense right now, so I’m not sure what you mean. Please explain. Thanks.


      • greenpete58 August 13, 2018 / 4:13 pm

        Maybe I’m the one who’s foggy and dense! I liked your images of quaint Hatboro. The McDonalds sign, despite being yellow, was a bit jarring after the town’s quaintness. Aside from being a bright yellow color, why would you photograph a tacky image of fast food nation? Unless, of course, you’re being sardonic, or tongue-in-cheek.

        Forgive me, Neil, I may be coming down with a head cold.


        • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 4:41 pm

          When I got into my yellow mood during the walk, the McDonald’s place caught my eye. So I took the picture. I like the photo.
          I’m pretty sure that the McD is the only fast food place in Hatboro.
          Have a great night, Pete. Take care.


  6. tylerust August 13, 2018 / 8:44 am

    Summer colds are the worst – so hard to get rid of. I hope you’re feeling better soon! (Lovely pics, as always.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:36 pm

      Hi Tyler. I’m doing fine. It’s always good to hear from you. Take care.


  7. Laurie Graves August 13, 2018 / 9:04 am

    Glad that dratted cold has gone away so that you could visit this town that looks like a town. What a sad commentary on today’s town’s, but how true it is. Even in little rural Maine. I really enjoy the way you get caught up with color and images.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that towns are starting to look not like towns in Maine. I wouldn’t have guessed that.
      Have a great week, Laurie. Bye for now.


      • Laurie Graves August 13, 2018 / 2:37 pm

        Strip development, alas, prevails. Some towns are fighting back and are actually making some progress. Others are like ghost towns, with the chains dominating. Sigh. But we still have the ocean and the beautiful countryside. At least for now.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Helen Devries August 13, 2018 / 9:26 am

    It seems almost an insult to the system to have a cold in summer…but what a super way to mark your recovery.
    Our little town in Costa Rica has its streets with little shops…but the big boys are beginning to move in so I’ll make the most of it while it lasts.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries August 13, 2018 / 2:38 pm

        Me too. Go to the upmarket suburbs of the capital and you need a car to get from one shopping plaza to the next…a real pain.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Aditya Semwal August 13, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Ugh! I hate summer colds!
    Especially when you have to force tonics down your throat while others have a chilling good time

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:40 pm

      Yeah, that’s a drag. Colds at any time of year, though, are very annoying.
      Thanks for stopping by, Aditya. Much appreciated.


      • Aditya Semwal August 13, 2018 / 9:25 pm


        Liked by 1 person

  10. eden baylee August 13, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Colds are not welcome any time of year but are especially bad in the summer, if only psychologically. It’s just not right to catch a cold when it’s not even cold season! The fact that every person you know feels fine must make the symptoms worse.

    Feel better. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Hi Eden. It’s too bad that scientists haven’t come up with vaccines against colds. Some day, if we’re lucky, they will.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Cindy August 13, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better! Avid TV viewers during the 60s and 70s (such as myself) may remember a commercial for Contac cold medicine that sported a jingle about a summer cold being a “different kind of animal.” It’s weird how 50-year-old old jingles stick in our minds—but we can’t remember what we did yesterday!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 1:43 pm

      Cindy, from one boomer to another: Getting old ain’t great, and neither is having a cold.
      See ya’ —


  12. alhenry August 13, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    Glad you recuperated in a timely fashion, Neil (though I’m sure it probably didn’t feel timely enough at the time). Yes, summer colds are legend–you’ve probably just had earphones in, listening to music, all these years when others were discussing this nemesis of summer fun.

    I completely get your zip-a-dee-doo-dah mood here. You never feel better than you do once you’re on the mend from some misery. You don’t even have to be 100%. You just need to be laying down some distance between yourself and whatever malady gobsmacked you. Nothing, for example, feels better than the moment you know you’re done throwing up.

    So,carry on skipping down local streets, but beware of autumn chills.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sniderjerry August 13, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    So I said to my friend, “Are you taking anything for your cold?” He said, “No one has made me an offer.” Rim Shot! Glad your feeling better. Have a really yellow great day!


    Liked by 3 people

  14. selizabryangmailcom August 13, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Whenever I get a cold, for some reason my husband says it’s “probably just allergies.” Not sure why he goes into denial that I’m probably sick: maybe in paranoia of catching it himself? Glad you’re better. It’s always great to be up and about again, to move freely, and be able to smell the roses…….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Alyson August 13, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    Sorry to hear about the cold Neil – doesn’t seem fair does it to strike during a summer month – anyway it seems that your senses have been enhanced post recovery what with the pictures and the zip-a-dee-do-dah feeling. Long may it continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Thanks, Alyson. I’m back to normal, looking forward to a nice cold beer with dinner tonight.
      See ya’ —


  16. Marie Rogers August 13, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Fresh air and sunshine are good medicine. So is strolling through a charming little town. I’m glad we still have places like Hatboro.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 3:15 pm

      It’s true what you say about towns like Hatboro. “Charming” is the right word.

      It’s always good to hear from you, Marie. Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann Coleman August 13, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    I’ve heard of summer colds, but like you, I just thought it meant catching an ordinary cold in the summertime. Honestly, what is the difference? Both make us wish we had bought stock in Kleenex! And the only good thing about a cold is how much we appreciate our health when it finally goes away. Glad you were feeling well enough to get out and explore, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks, Ann. People usually get over colds, but they sure can be a pain while we have them. The over-the-counter medications for colds must total many billions of dollars/euros/etc. in sales each year.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Still the Lucky Few August 13, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    Summer colds are worse than others, but it’s only in your head…Psychologically, we RESENT getting a cold in summer, and that’s what really makes it worse. Besides, concoctions consisting of honey, lemon and rum (served piping hot) don’t have the appeal they would during a dark and stormy night. So there you go—summer colds are bad because they seem bad. But seriously, Neil, sorry you got a summer cold. Maybe now you won’t get one this winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      Hi Diane. I’m always glad to hear from you.
      Colds usually aren’t all that big of a deal. Eventually, in most cases, we recover from them. And in this case it was a good thing for me in one way: Namely, I got some writing inspiration from the cold. I’m happy about that, because coming up with story ideas isn’t a piece of cake for me!


  19. tanjabrittonwriter August 13, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    I am glad you have recovered, Neil, and wish you countless more sunny walks! 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Amanda On A Small Blue Planet August 13, 2018 / 11:30 pm

    Colds and flus in general suck, except for the guilt-free intake of endless hours of movies you’ve always wanted to watch but never had the time for! Particularly black and white movies. Something about the quietness of them is sorta soothing when you feel foul I find. And a shot of rum doesn’t hurt either. I’m just saying. It is a great feeling to be back in the land of the living though, glad you’re feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 14, 2018 / 6:54 am

      Hi there, Amanda. You’re right about B&W movies, and the Turner Classic Movie channel would be the perfect pick. I was thinking the other day about some of my fave movies, and a number of them are in black and white: Hud, Odd Man Out, The Miracle Worker, for example.
      Have a great rest of the week. See you —

      Liked by 1 person

  21. cincinnatibabyhead August 14, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    “I enjoyed the heck out of the walk”. You are a true walker. A chartered member of ‘Th John Prine Walking Club’.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Isabelle August 14, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    It’s good to hear that you’re recovering from the cold Neil. It was a really nice sunny day when you had the stroll, I can see it from the photos. Great to have a glimpse of Hatboro. Take care, Isabelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 14, 2018 / 5:15 pm

      I’m pretty sure you’d like Hatboro, Isabelle. It’s got a lot of character.
      There used to be a good Italian restaurant there. My wife and I ate in that restaurant dozens and dozens of times. It closed about 5 years ago. Boo-hoo!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isabelle August 15, 2018 / 5:37 am

        I’d love to be there and explore Hatboro myself. I’ll be wandering for hours and hours. I think there’s charm in every spot if we take time to look around and pay attention to the details.
        Such a lovely restaurant you described! I’ll be sad if my favourite cafe closes down but things happen all the time. We never know. Thanks for the chat Neil. Appreciate it a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Aunt Beulah August 17, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Neil, after I announced I would quit writing my blog, I took a break from all things blog related but finally realized I missed my blog friends and so returned to find you continue to good things with words like taking a summer cold and a walk through a small town and making them topics of great interest to your readers. That’s quite a skill you have, my friend. Who else could interest me in how many yellow things you could find? No one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Janet, I’m very glad to hear from you. And I thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it!
      Stay well —

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Mellow Curmudgeon August 17, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    Any place with a sign saying «We Fix Stuff» is indeed good to see.

    Yeah, I have heard the folklore about summer colds being worse.  I’ve had them at all times of yr and have not noticed any obvious difference.  This post prompted a little Googling.  There is some difference in which viruses are involved in summer, but there is some disagreement about the weight of this difference versus the weight of psychological factors:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Hey there, and many thanks for stopping by. A cold is a cold is a cold is a cold . . . . or something like that.
      Have a great weekend. Take care —

      Liked by 1 person

  25. cigarman501 August 18, 2018 / 6:14 am

    No cold here, just spring allergies that continued into summer and fall allergies that are here way too soon. I feel your pain…or at least nasal congestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Silver Screenings August 18, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Ugh. I hate having a summer cold, because I feel so ripped off! I could be lazing about OUTside instead of INside.

    What a charming town you’ve shown us. As you said, it does look like a “real town”.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. America On Coffee August 18, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Hope you getting better. Heat and the flu is, worse than having the flu in cold weather. Awful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 18, 2018 / 11:08 pm

      Hi AOC. I’m fine. My wife and I just got home from a nice evening with friends: a movie and dinner. Enjoy the upcoming week. Take care —


  28. America On Coffee August 18, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    That is so beautiful Neil! Happy continuation of blogging. Have a great week ahead as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. jeanleesworld August 19, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    Oh I’ve had the summer cold. It SUCKS. But this year, I had the fun of a weird virus that literally knocked me unconscious for hours–if it weren’t for my aunt already coming over to watch the kids so I could work, Lord knows what would have happened. That was one helluva week! Glad you’re feeling well enough to type again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • jeanleesworld August 20, 2018 / 6:54 am

        It was, BUT, it only lasted a few days. I think the worst thing about summer colds is that they can hold on for a month before any doctor takes’em seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. cath August 20, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Well, the aftermath of the cold was worth waiting for. Some lovely pictures. Hatboro looks idyllic, almost too good to be true, and I love the name. Are the locals big on wearing or making head-gear, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 20, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      Good question. Maybe the town had some kind of connection to hats in the past. Maybe there was a hat factory. I’ll have to see what our friend google has to say about that.
      Thanks for stopping by, Cath, and support your local bookstore!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. grimspound August 21, 2018 / 11:16 am

    Really enjoyed this one, Neil! You have a knack for finding silver linings.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Dave Ply September 9, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    Nice that a Mom and Pop shop town can still exist in an Amazon age.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. throughrosetintedglasses54 February 2, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    I have just read this while suffering the dreaded winter cold, I can’t wait to get on my next healthy walk when I’ve finished with the tissues and am back to my old self again. Its a great feeling after any viral illness. Interesting walk around too.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. viewfromoverthehill February 7, 2019 / 11:16 pm

    Awh Neil: I wanted you to feel sorry for me when I suffered with that horrid winter flu but you just wouldn’t. Do you think a summer cold is worster than a winter cold???? Let’s both stay well. Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.