I did have my Civil War book relaxation time. I learned that General Robert E. Lee had really tiny feet --- size 4-1/2. I learned that 100 percent of the soldiers had either fleas or lice and since they scratched with dirty fingers the bites would get infected. They wore the same uniform for a year and rarely bathed. I don't mean this to be funny (since it's not), but it makes me wonder how much can one body smell? How dirty can your hair get? Does it reach a point where the level of smell evens out?
I was struck by a section on Louisa May Alcott and it made me think about how women have been marginalized in history. When you think of her, and really, she was one of the only female authors I knew growing up, you imagine her in front of a cozy fireplace writing polite stories about young girls.
In fact, she went to DC during the war to be a nurse, worked grueling 12-hour shifts, developed typhoid fever, remarkably she recovered but the drugs they gave her made her teeth and hair fall out. She wrote a book called Hospital Sketches about her work -- and only wrote Little Women years later.
EMBARRASSING CONFESSION TIME: My helper Marilyn is coming tomorrow and I had gathered up some clothes for the thrift shop. I came upon this dress (yeah, another one) that I had been thinking about giving, but kept it for no particular reason other than to have a dress, but I knew I hadn't worn it for a while. It is in a dry cleaner plastic bag with the ticket still attached. I wasn't wearing my glasses so I couldn't read the ticket, but when I got my glasses on, the ticket said January 31, 2005.
Uh-huh. 2005. I have to say that surprised me. I don't know what I would have guessed, but not that long so out it goes tomorrow.