“He grinned. It was the sort of grin that Agnes supposed was called infectious but, then, so was measles.”

It was cloudy when I first woke up, but now the sun is shining, a hazy sun. The breeze is slight, only the tops of trees seem to be moving. It is cold, a wintry blast of cold, a portent of the snow predicted for tomorrow night though here on the cape we will escape most of it. I’m okay with that. On Wednesday we’ll be back to the 40’s during the day, the 20’s at night, a typical cape weather pattern this time of year.

Henry is a barker. That’s all he did for a while this morning. He barked at the noise of a car door shutting at my neighbor’s house across the street. My neighbor had company. He barked when the car left and barked again when it returned. He howled when two doors slammed. He drove me crazy. My father always said to praise a dog for barking as the dog is protecting his territory, but by the time Henry got to baying, I was irritated. I yelled. He didn’t stop until the car left, after more barking when the door shut.

The cold never manifested. I still have a scratchy throat, but I have no idea why.

When I was a kid, I didn’t miss school very often. I didn’t have too many common ailments, colds or coughs, but I did have childhood diseases like measles, chickenpox and mumps. They used to travel like wildfire from kid to kid in my school, and then to my siblings at home. My mother was just fine with us spreading those childhood diseases. She preferred we all get them at the same time so she didn’t have to deal with one kid then another getting them. I remember wearing gloves and taking baking soda baths when I had chickenpox. They kept me from scratching the chicken pox because if I did, I’d cause scars, something my mother said over and over. I don’t have a single scar from my bout with chickenpox thanks to my mother and her constant nagging. That is, after all, what mothers do, all for the best.

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8 Comments on ““He grinned. It was the sort of grin that Agnes supposed was called infectious but, then, so was measles.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    I can’t remember baking soda baths, either it was uncommon here or I just forgot. Drinking chamomile tea was seen as a cure for everything, I never liked it.
    Today we saw a first glimpse of spring, partly sunny and the some buds start to grow.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I never drank tea as a kid so that wasn’t a remedy. I do remember the soda bath as it made me less itchy afterwards.

      Spring is so far away I’m almost doubting it will arrive. Snow is coming tomorrow, but only an inch or two here before it turns to rain. Some places on the west coast have gotten 2 feet and more is coming. I’m not going to complain!

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When I was a kid I had all three of the childhood diseases measles, mumps and chicken pox. My mother put Calidryl on the pox to relive the itching. Both my kids were vaccinated against all three but my daughter got a very mild case of the chicken pox. We used an oat meal bath to ease the itching. I remember that both the measles and mumps required a darkened room. In those days doctors made house calls and if the doctor didn’t give us a shot, my mother didn’t think she got her money worth. I’m amazed antibiotics work today considering how many penicillin shots I got as a kid.

    My downstairs neighbor has a dog who barks at least twice daily. When the neighbor is home she yells at the dog to be quiet which is more annoying than the dog barking. Our neighbor is a very annoying person who is a constant complainer and a nosey busybody.

    Another cold and rainy day a repeat of yesterday. The sun will be out tomorrow and 75 degrees for only one day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,

      I also had all the childhood diseases. I remember the nurse from the school coming to my house to check on me. My room was dark just as you mentioned. Oatmeal baths replaced baking soda.

      I didn’t get all that many antibiotics when I was a kid as I didn’t need them. I did have an infection in a cut but that was about it.

      Henry barks when he hears something and doesn’t stop but does that only in the house. He is quite outside.

      One of the reasons I never wanted a condo was having such close neighbors.

      Snow tomorrow but not much.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        My mother believed that shots worked better than liquid medicine or pills. She also thought hard tooth brushes must be better than soft, which was wrong and that antibiotics are the miracle drugs for everything. Of course she passed away in 1961 and we’ve learned a few things since then. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        My mother used liquid medicines hoping they’d be enough. They usually were. I don’t remember my toothbrush one way or the other. It is only now I know soft is better.

        When I fell down the stairs on my way to the bathroom, my mother was sleeping so I just went back to bed. I had to sit up as my chin hurt. She was horrified the next day and took me to the doctor. He couldn’t stitch it as it was already infected, but he did give me a shot.

  3. olof1 Says:

    I’ve had all the childhood diseases and chicken pox several times. I don’t know why I’ve gotten that one more than once but the doctor said that it can happen. I’ve only got two or three poxes every time so perhaps that’s the reason?

    Sunshine here yesterday and they say we’ll have that today as well and later this week we’ll get up to F for a couple of days, I’ll enjoy every second of those temperatures 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I had measles twice: regular measles and German measles. The rest I had only once.

      You have had far more snow than I have so you deserve some sun. I’m thinking we do too as we have had too many cloudy days. Tomorrow afternoon the snow will start then the rain later at night. It will e another ugly day.

      Have a great day!!


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