Thursday, February 29, 2024

Miss Cellania's Links

Leap Day is February 29, not December 32 due to a Roman calendar quirk – and fastidious medieval monks. (via Damn Interesting)

A widow unexpectedly received $1 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Now, she's covering Bronx med students' tuition forever. (via Fark)

The Boston Typewriter Orchestra Tries Electric Typewriters.

How the sauerkraut ball, a fixture of Ohio holiday parties, introduced me to my new Midwestern family and became a tradition all my own. Recipes linked at Metafilter.

What Ever Happened to Mad Cow? The discovery of mad cow disease almost 40 years ago forever changed our understanding of biology.

Man Gives Skeleton a Good Chiropractic Cracking.

10 Bizarre Royal Conspiracy Theories.

What Is the Dominant Emotion in 400 Years of Women’s Diaries? Women will guess this right.

The game magazine that spent two years taunting a Final Fantasy VIII hater. The final trick was just genius. (via Metafilter

And now for something completely different.

February 29, Leap Day, only comes once every four years. I will never forget this day four years ago. Gothgrrl found my mother on the floor, unable to move. A broken hip. Over the next couple of weeks sitting in her hospital room, the TV was full of news about a disease that was killing people in China and it was spreading to other countries. I was arranging for Mom's transfer from the hospital to a rehab unit when my kids were told the school was closing down. The family spent the next year caring for Mom at home, then she was in a nursing home for almost a year, then there was a year spent dispersing her possessions and settling her estate. Then a year spent processing all of that.

Mom's time in rehab was horrible. The lockdown began the day she arrived there, and no visitors could come in, to our surprise. She would call me when she needed help, and I couldn't effectively tell her where the help button was because I'd never been in her room. I was constantly calling the front desk. It was a relief to take her home, but the future was a big question.  

Looking back at the spring of 2020, my kids were going through a lot, and I didn't have the bandwidth to properly help them. They brought home their graduation gowns, only used once for backyard pictures. Where would they live? What would they do? Gothgrrl was afraid she wouldn't get into vet school and made contingency plans to flee to Europe. Meanwhile, she got a job at a nursing home of all places, and was afraid to be near me or Mom for months. Princess moved here and there and took a variety of jobs that were a string of disasters. I gained and lost a couple of online jobs that year, too, but that seemed trivial. And we had another college refugee living here, but I was gone so much that I never really knew what was going on. I can reconstruct the timeline with Mom, but not so much with my daughters. They both eventually ended up in a good place, because they were always self-sufficient. But because of the date, I can't help but think of what happened four years ago.


Lilylou said...

Wow, you have really been through the mill, these past few years! And you carried on despite all the mayhem. Thank you for telling us what your life has been like. I am deeply impressed by your ability to do what had to be done (your Mom and family issues) AND keep your audience (us) entertained to boot. Good for you, Miss C! We love you and what you bring to us. And you are a trooper of the best kind!

DWVR said...

It sounds like you are the rock to which all cling when accidents and pandemics strike. Yet what I marveled at, reading this story, is that through all this you continued to bring us the blog on schedule. Thank you.

Miss Cellania said...

Well, I didn't stress much about blogging here at the time, and it was more haphazard than you realize. I tend to pre-schedule a lot of posts way ahead, and I'll re-run posts to make things easier.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that luck (or chance) plays a big factor in how things turn out in life. But also important are the choices we make. I expect your children got through the Covid wringer so well is because of the things you taught them when they were little. And even on the edge of adulthood, they likely watched and learned from how you handled those great adversities. And in all the pain and challenge of the last few years, that is something to be proud of.

Lilylou said...


Anonymous said...

Plus this last 4 years is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of crap you've been through.
But you're strong, resilient, and smart enough not to be defeated.
The girls are proof you done good. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

My story is similar. Dad moved to assisted living in Aug 2019. In early March 2020, he had a dementia-related episode and they moved him to the memory lockdown unit the same day the rest of the world went into lockdown. I could not visit him and he spiraled downward quickly. By the time I was able to visit in person (6 feet apart, masked, outside) he was a completely different person, a shell of who he once was. OK, I didn't lose him to the pandemic, but I lost him to the pandemic. He passed away right before Christmas 2022.