Random 5 for November 22 – Doom, change, flu, ancestors, winter

Am I in Kansas? – This morning I woke up with a sense of doom. Sometimes that happens but it’s usually because I heard a cat hacking up a hairball. This is much more serious. It may be exacerbated by the fact that I know I’m moving in a few months. Home is always a safe place for me. The move makes logical sense but today I’m not in a logical mood.

That was weird – I picked up my Starbucks mocha this morning and parked in front of the store where a barista was unloading her car trunk with at least 20 gallons of milk. Usually those things are delivered. I held the door for her and wondered what on earth is going on with the world.

Another reminder – I’ve blogged before that my grandfather died in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Yesterday one of my distant cousins with whom I have communicated in the past, asked me a question. He send part of his great grandmother’s journal. She was my mother’s sister. There is a notation on the day that her father had died. He got sick on Tuesday and was dead by Thursday. She said all the children were in bed sick from it. It’s the first I knew that it went through the family and also that he died within two days. I don’t know how he got it. They lived in a small town quite a distance from any large city. He was a healthy 40 year old man whose lungs went to crap in two days.

On a positive note – I was able to give my relative some information he didn’t have. Not information I knew but my much older brother did. I just love ancestry research. It’s a puzzle where the cats can’t knock the pieces on the floor. You can walk away when you are frustrated and don’t have to dust around it. You come across lots of relatives – some crazy and some just like me (that would be normal). Right now it’s the only thing that hasn’t changed.

Winter mode – Our yard is now in winter mode. All the leaves have fallen and the chrysanthemums are done for the season. It has its own beauty but you can’t beat the riotous color of spring bulbs or the greenness of summer. Perhaps winter is what make us appreciate the rest of the year more.

Memories until next season

So how was your week?

68 thoughts on “Random 5 for November 22 – Doom, change, flu, ancestors, winter

  1. My mother told me that it was rumored that my great-grandfather died of TB but no one bothered to get any medical records to substantiate that info. Scary though for a 40-year old who is healthy to die in two days … it was scary then, just like now. Will you be filing a change-of-address card so the chipmunks, squirrels and birds know where to find you? They will be disappointed if the new owners don’t enjoy feeding the various critters like you have been doing.

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  2. Genealogy research is such a fun puzzle. And it never ends. There is never that one last piece to fit in, but rather a whole new “empty room” suddenly opens up haha.
    I’ve had that feeling of doom a few times during this pandemic. Then the next day I forget about it. So weird.I hope all goes very well for your move. Just make sure the kitties are safe and make people wear masks.

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  3. I think it’s easy to understand that a move feels overwhelming. It would be under the best of circumstances, and we are far from the best! I would imagine as we move into spring you’ll feel more energized, but it is a big deal. Still, how wonderful—once the move is behind you!!

    Reading about the Spanish flu from an intimate letter or journal would be a little depressing, although terribly interesting. My grandparents and my mother-in-law all lived through that period, and I sure wish I’d asked them more about it!

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    • There is so much I wished I had asked my mom. I know her childhood was hard because when her father died, the wage earner died. No SS back then. She once told me her best years were when my dad was a live. He too died young.

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  4. Congratulations on your new house! Hope we get to see pictures soon.

    Chuckled at “a puzzle where the cats can’t knock the pieces on the floor.”

    Ancestry research is fun, but as you pointed out, some of the crazy relatives come out.

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  5. Been a bit scarce lately from the blogging world. I know you were looking to downsize. Did you finally find a place to move to?

    I’ve had that feeling of doom on and off a lot lately. I’m sure it’s from all the tension in the air. It can be jarring on some days.

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  6. You’re right about how genealogy is really a big old puzzle. I’m glad you were able to help a relative piece a few more bits together. I wonder if you can ever get the whole picture, or if you always have few missing pieces? A rhetorical question, of course.

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    • Missing links? Every year I hear from one really distant relative looking for info. They help me fill in some of my holes that I would never know without them and I do the same for them. The more I read about Neanderthals the more I think they were progressive for their time.

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  7. I found the packing, cleaning the condo after we were out. and the redo on the Casa the most overwhelming. I am still adjusting and feel overwhelmed at times. Even though I feel at peace here, there are still things that pop up every day. Sometimes just deciding what I wanted to eat for lunch was monumental. But it’s the little things that make it all worth it. Yesterday we finally planted our Crotons around our Foxtail Palms. Just looking at them makes me smile 🙂 I do hope you get moved before peeps start peeping. That’s big. I like your mantra, I could of used it! Hope your current house goes quickly. That will be a huge relief and will get things MOVING!

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  8. I do love your pond. I will miss its adventures. But who knows what wonderful adventures your new house will have to offer. Maybe a nutty squirrel or a chipmunk that likes to dance lives there. Or a fat little groundhog! I wish you the best in the new home.

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    • I hope so. I’m finding it stressful. I love my current home but I have to plan for the future. If it’s stressful now, it’s not going to be less stressful in a year or two. I admire people who move cross country. When I was young I did some out of state moves and wasn’t near as stressed. Back then it was an adventure. Now it’s work! Then there is the backdrop of the pandemic and ludicrous politicking.

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  9. How sad that your grandfather died from the Spanish Flu and so young. I love ancestry too. I am getting my mom the dna test for Christmas because I have now gotten her interested too.

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  10. Last time I moved (It was a couple of years after my husband died.) I did all the packing and made the arrangements. Then, on the day of the move, it was pouring down rain. The big truck couldn’t make it all the way up to the house, and they had to ferry everything to the big truck with a small truck. Sometimes when it rains, it pours. I hope you’ll have better weather.

    Last week L. Marie had a post about the seasons, how they define time for us and how they can be used in writing a novel. It made me think that the places I’ve been writing about in my novel, When in Vanuatu, don’t have 4 seasons. Now today, I’m reading an article in Literary Hub about Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. She sites his first line to point out that time passes differently in the tropics. I haven’t finished the article, but I’ve left it open to finish.

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    • That’s interesting. I’d think there were less markers. Retirement and especially this pandemic has done that for me. There is no difference between a weekday and a weekend. Without seasonal changes there wouldn’t be much to mark time at all.

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  11. Ok…here’s the thing…I am kind of jealous. Your new home is stunning! (did you ever see the note I sent you?) I would love it. And, I too need (yes need, not necessarily want) to downsize too. But, I have not reached that magic place yet that will allow me too. Kudos to you.

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    • Since you posted as Someone I’m not sure exactly who you are so I don’t know if I got your note. I’m finding it hard to do. It’s an overwhelming job and I’ve moved many times so it’s not new to me. My advice is do it when you are young enough to have the energy and interest.

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  12. Getting ready to move is really unsettling. But soon you will be in your new home settling in there 🙂 Your genealogy research is so interesting! My SIL and my mother are doing a lot of that as well – they find some interesting things!

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  13. No matter how many people say that you’ll get through this just fine, and no matter how much you know it’s true, it is still a stressful time for you. The excitement of moving to a new home is overshadowed right now by the idea of leaving a home – and yard – that you love.

    My grandmother died in 1919, soon after giving birth to my mother. I never really knew that cause of her death (she was young and, as far as I know, healthy). Maybe it was just the complications of childbirth, but sometimes I wonder about the timing.

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  14. Oh, those early hour anxiety moments. I am with you in solidarity with that for sure. But at least you know the primary reasons for them. Moving is indeed at the top of most stress charts. This too shall hopefully pass.

    On a completely irrelevant note: I read your post via the Reader today, as I always do. For some reason it comes across as one huge paragraph rather than separate ones. I knew that couldn’t be the case in reality, so I double-checked by clicking at the top to take me to your actual site. Indeed, it appears as normal. More adverse changes on the part of WP, I see! – Marty

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  15. Moving is a very disruptive process. You’re not on autopilot with so many things in the process and in the new place for awhile. I hope it is not more stressful than need be!

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    • It’s easier when it’s required because of job changes or building the home of your dreams. Downsizing is also required but it’s different. It would be less stressful if it wasn’t during a pandemic. Calling the right decision is always scary. The market is hot right now. Homes in our neighborhood are going fast. If we wait, would we miss that? The other thing is that the home we found checks off all our boxes. We’ve been looking for a few years and that’s not an easy find.

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  16. My mom had some stories about 1918. The first was that one of her uncles (or maybe grand uncles, although generations spanned multiple decades) was one of the many volunteers for the U.S. Army for WWII and that there were too many volunteers! So the Army weeded them out by only taking soldiers who could swim. Still too many. More weeding involved seeing how many different types of strokes each potential soldier knew. He made it into the army and then got influenza. Supposedly he and others in his regiment (that guarded German POWs in Arizona) survived because the doctors wrapped them in sheepskins and had them “sweat it out.”

    Questionable, but interesting.

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    • Supposedly, it came over here through the military troops who were stationed overseas. It was WWI back then. As far as I could tell, no one in our family at that time was in the military. Philadelphia was a hot spot but he was a good 1-1/2 hours from there and had no reason to travel there. Where they lived was rural. Not sure sweating it out was a cure. More likely he had better resistance or was less susceptible. Just like today, some people die and some don’t show symptoms. Interesting how they weeded out soldiers. I would have been yelling, “pick me, pick me” (to get weeded out!).

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  17. I expect that you’re not alone in your feelings of doom (and gloom?) with all the negative news about the election, the pandemic, climate change, the looming danger of folks traveling and gathering for the holidays, civil unrest, Trump’s planned coup, etc., etc., etc.

    Coupled with anxiety about selling your house, buying a new one, packing, how the cats will deal with moving, etc. ~> YOWSA!!!

    Anyway, find a soothing mantra that works for YOU (e.g., “que sera, sera” or “it is what it is” or “I am here and it is now, what else is there”) and repeat it often while focusing on your breath.

    Above all, keep breathing!

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    • My current mantra is “nothing is forever. If we don’t like the house we can move again.” You are right about the overall negativity going on now especially people who say the virus is a hoax. I’m looking forward to a president that doesn’t spew vile everyday and hope for the best. He may make good news for the media but people are starting to avoid news completely.

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  18. Perspective is always more challenging during the night and first thing in the morning. You have likely heard by now how ‘moving’ is up there in the stages of grief and stress, even when it is a good move. A huge wow and no words about the Spanish flu. Around here, dealing with a water issue in the family room since yesterday morning. The positive: managed to get a company in to start drying and investigating the source. I had been wash my hair and do laundry today. May not have water for awhile. Still thankful for a great deal. Hang in there, Kate. x

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    • 3 a.m. is my darkest hour. If I’m lucky I sleep through it. If not, I’m looking for my magic wand and cringing under the bed. It’s all in layers. As a layer gets resolved, I will feel more at ease. No water would be a big deal here too. There is much to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on that.

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