by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 19, 2011
At first no one knew what the little red, itchy, dots were. They thought it might be allergies and that being the case, my three nephews were exposed right after I came down with “it”, whatever “it” was.
And then they thought it might be measles.
But it was not measles.
It was Chicken Pox. By the time our parents figured out what I had, the boys, my nephews, 2 1/2, 4 1/2 years, and 6 1/2 years younger than I, were coming down with it, too.
So we were miserable together. We didn’t have air conditioning in our little farm home. It was summer in Kansas. It was Hot. How in the world did we ever live without air conditioning, anyhow?
We had what was referred to as a squirrel cage cooler that ran air over water from an outdoor hose. It just barely cooled the air down, and it moved it around fast enough to blow your hair, and you had to talk loud to be heard over it. It also added humidity to the air, so on hot, humid, muggy, days it was like trying to breath under water with that thing running.
No one wanted four miserable whiny kids in the house…
Anyhow, no one wanted four miserable itchy, whiny, hot kids in the house with them, so our parents set up old green Army cots under the shade tree by the water hydrant in the back yard, just a few feet from the back door in the shade and the south wind. They probably gave us some books and coloring books, and then they parked us outside in the breeze.
If we had a television then, and I can’t remember if we did or not, there were only three channels and few things that kids would be interested in watching. I don’t remember much more about that time, except that we were sick, itchy, and bored beyond distraction. We were close to a sand pile and a water source and we didn’t feel like playing, so we laid on the cots, scratched, and whined.
Fortunately for me, I got it first, so I got over it first, and so I was able to escape our exile sooner than my nephews could!