Mammals Here Nap

Fall                                                   Waxing Dark Moon

It has been a strange fall for  leaf change and leaf shedding.  Our trees were green until just a week or so ago, then the trees with golden fall colors like the birch and the poplars changed.  A few of the red changed, but the large numbers of oak and ash trees still have their leaves.  They are brown, not green.

The wet, cool day put all the mammals here in a stupor.  Rigel and Vega slept in their crates instead of playing outside; the whippets dozed on chairs and the couch.  My eyes began to wink shut while I read about the masterpiece and Kate decided for an early nap.  So did I.  Something in us furry creatures find wet, fall days a nice time to head into the den and rest up.

Sarah, Lois our housekeeper’s daughter, took care of the 17 year old at Hennepin General.  She’s a nurse in the pediatric ICU.  That was a good story about backs against the wall medicine.

If I had a school age child, I told Kate, I’d be worried.  The random nature of the H1N1 serious complications makes it difficult to know just what to do.  Kate then reminded me of a reality I knew vaguely, but which surprised me.

Parents as late as the 1950’s and early 60’s lived in an age when it was still common for children to die.  Measles, mumps, diptheria, flu complications, polio all claimed the lives of children while adults who had them and lived were unharmed.  This is such a different reality from our own, an era when the death of a child is seen as an anomaly, an act against nature, when in fact, for the bulk of human history, living into adulthood has been the anomaly.

Even so, if you were a pioneer and you knew the odds of your children living into adulthood were low, the death of a child would still be the death of your child.  Hard.  In that regard those must of have been times of uncountable sorrow.

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