Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, Lots to get done this week!

We ate soup and bread on Sunday. Will cook up the scalloped potatoes today,  no plans for other meals but have asparagus and many salad fixings to eat this week.

     I need to order a plane ticket,  get the yard cleaned up, pay all the bills for the month, figure out Easter, get costumes for the spring recital lined up.  These are my goals before the end of the week. I also want to be completely caught up in my shop, although we know completely caught up will never happen.

     I did no housework this weekend and boy is the house is trashed.  I need to change the sheets on the beds, and do a huge pile of laundry.  This is what happens when I start to work outside.  I fail to work inside and then I walk through the house with dirty shoes and so the bathrooms are littered with Kim leaves and sticks and dirt that falls out off my clothes and hair.  You see I can't garden without rolling in the dirt, it is just my nature.

     I noticed that I am a little stiff and sore today from my work out yesterday, but I have been much worse.  Hub's had Quartet practice Sunday night which is so nice, as I get 2 free hours to control the remote or do what ever I want without commentary or question.  Not that I do get questioned but there is something about the peace of being alone that I love. 

     I stayed up way too late Saturday night and was so sleepy through out church.  Then I came home a took a long nap, I did not want to get up. I need to get the house organized so bad.  I have a hard time getting things done when the house is a wreck.  So I am going to work on getting it whipped into shape first.  So off to strip the beds and clean up the kitchen, start the laundry.  I also need to find a box for the piano music that had been on the sofa for a month, how is that for procrastination?  I am the queen of putting things off let me tell you.

     Took a break from above and finally cleaned the house up a little.  Was reminded by my ballet Mistress, that I need to order Marly tape for the floor, dance rosin, get more copy cd's,  and something else I can't remember.  So glad I am in charge.  Oh that is right tap shoes for my little boys.  Ugh! I just stopped and ordered these am I good or what?  Oops forgot the rosin, stop call, okay done.  Do you suppose I could do that with the Marley tape?  Okay done,  the Mistress will be so pleased with me and she usually isn't so I am starting out the week good!  I will have to go to Wal-mart for cd's so that I will do tonight after class.

     story cont:

           Mr.Sloan lived three days, before one of the maids who was caring for him came down with the illness. Soon the family was affected. The Doctor who came from Stockholm at a very high fee diagnosed Polio.  Polio was one of the most dreaded of childhood diseases.  There was an epidemic of polio cases in Sweden at the time. Quarantine was set upon the farm. Mr. Sloan's relatives were notified and he was quickly buried in the church yard.  The memories of these few months were sad ones.  Polio was very contagious and it mainly affected children.  It was a random disease striking Sweden most severely. 

   In the three months that the Bjorklunds remained in quarantine, they tried hard to keep the children separated from  the staff, but Nels and Millie were with Mr. Sloan a great deal and then they were with the family it was too late to stop the insidious.  Far Mar said to send the maids and hired men home, but Far argued that they would just spread the contagion farther.  No they would stay in the old house and do the best they could. 
     It seemed that the hired help took the disease harder, Nels had a mild case and Millie came down with the symptoms last of the family. Mother was of no use during the scourge as she was pregnant again and very weak.  Father developed a weakness on his left side and then seemed to recover. Because the help were all in the old house together it was up to Millie and Nels to keep the farm running and the sick nursed. 

     When the maids and the two farm hands recovered and were not allowed to return to their homes.  The fear of the disease ran deep and they stayed on with the Bjorklund farm.  This was a blessing for all Millie and Nels.  Fathers case was a little worse and the hands were able to get the spring crop in with Nels help.  The dairy stayed running but not at full capacity.  Far Far sold off half the stock and he practically had to give them away.  No one wanted animals from a farm where a polio quarantine was in progress. Nels and Millie had never worked so hard.  Nels on the farm and Millie at the house.  Both missed their books and past times dreadfully. The house was getting dusty and cluttered and for the first time in their young lives things were not running smoothly at the Bjorklund farm.

     No additional help could be had for any price and it seemed that the quarantine hung heavy on their shoulders.  Far was becoming less and less satisfied with the Swedish government.  He felt that the poorer classes were unfairly burdened by the quarantines placed on them.  Finally the quarantine was lifted and all things that could hold still were fumigated.  What a mess. Sulfur powdered with other ingredients was sprayed over almost every surface and surviving thing. Mar observed that the cure was worse than the disease that really for its length of quarantine had not left anyone worse for wear.  It was a sad house of dirt when the doctor arrived three days later to lift the ban.

     Millie looked down at her scratched and red hands. She had washed too many sheets and had her hands in water almost continually every waking hour since they had taken poor Mr. Sloan off the cart.  Looking at her hands reminded Millie that she still had diapers to wash and sitting here reminiscing while Nels worked  on a radio did not get her work done. " I am almost finished," Nels replied when Millie shook her hands in front of her.  "Don't be too late", she said as she picked up her lantern and headed up the stairs.  The halls of the tenements were required by law to have a gas light, but one small jet per floor and landing was spooky when one walked alone.  Millie and Nels always carried a lantern at night.  It was a habit carried from the old country. The over head lights in the apartment would wake the sleeping ones in the rooms, and someone always had to make a bathroom trip down the hall.  A lantern was just better.

     Finishing the laundry, Millie too stock of tomorrow's breakfast.  She had found out early in her days in America that organization at night made for a better morning.  Who was she kidding ?  Mornings were like a mad beehive at the flat.  Carefully after unpinning her hair , she slipped into her nightgown and quietly opened the pocket door.  She peaked with the lantern at all her sleeping brothers and sisters and then knelt down by her bed to say her prayers.

     Some nights her prayers were rote and mundane.  The same things over and over.  At other times she would really stop and pour out her gratitude and needs to the Lord.  Tonight she hurried as she heard Nels enter the flat.  She was still awake when Nels crawled into his upper bunk.  Nels never said a prayer unless she made him and then it was short or wrote.  Millie sighed, she had more things to worry about that Nels spiritual welfare.  She really needed to worry about the children's lack of socks.  Should she get wool and knit them, or buy them machine made?  Homemade would last longer, but the time element was  a problem.  Each needed at least 3 pair, as She did the math in her head she fell asleep.


     Well I had better get to work, time is a wasting.

Out My window:  The rain we were supposed to get  Saturday is here today so I cannot have anyone come over and work on the tree limbs, that is probably good as it will keep me in the house and working.

Have a great and productive day.


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