Friday, December 14, 2007

New Year’s Eve ... 1999

The theme for the next Carnival of Genealogy is the New Millennium. Jasia asked, “Where were you when the year 2000 came around?” My memories of New Year's Eve 1999 are a series of disjointed flashbacks, which I can't quite weave together correctly.

The whole year before the millennium, the bank that I worked at had been worried about the so called “millennium bug.” You remember, when the clock struck midnight, there was a fear that programs in older computers would not recognize the rollover from 99 to 00 and would fail to operate. Our software vendors assured us that all problems had been corrected, but there was still that little nagging doubt about what would occur.

To be on the safe side, Al and I had set aside a little extra cash, just in case. We went ahead and made our plans for our quiet celebration. You know the usual — a couple of good movies, some finger food, and maybe a little Mike's Hard Lemonade. Yeah, I know, pretty boring but that's how we roll.

What we hadn't counted on was another vicious little bug that was roaming around Northwest Ohio at the time — the flu bug. Now there are all kinds of flu bugs, stomach, intestinal, or the kind where you swear an elephant has parked on your chest, and you're sure if you cough one more time they will have to tape your ribs. Well, this virus had it all, the works, it was after all, the Millennium Bug. And the little devil was headin' straight at Al and me.

In the entire 18 years that we have been married, we have never both been sick at the same time. Usually one will come down with something first, and because we like to share, we pass it along to the other partner. This works out well, because the not sick person can wait hand and foot on the sick person. I, of course, prefer to be left for dead when I am ill, with an occasional, “could you get me the ginger ale before I die of dehydration?” Really, I'm no trouble at all.

Al, on the other hand, runs around saying, “feel my forehead, am I hot?” or “I've never been this sick before!” cough, cough. Implying that he wins some kind of medal for being the sickest a person could be without dying. Yeah right, buddy, that's an Olympic event I want to win.

As I said, we had never both been sick at the same time except for once — New Year's Eve 1999. And here is where things get a little fuzzy as I try to reassemble events. I remember, I started feeling achy and queasy when we went to pick up the sauerkraut balls. By the time we got home, I had the chills and the shakes. Somehow there were dirty dishes that needed washed, and Al, who was looking pretty pale himself, felt we should just wash them up and be done with it.

All I wanted to do was crawl into bed, so I suggested that we just throw all the dirty dishes and pans straight into the trash. For a second, I thought my practical pragmatic husband would go for what I felt was a great solution, but no, he basically said to suck it up and let's get 'em done. If the muscles in my face hadn't ached as much as every other muscle in my body I would have given him my evil death ray stare, guaranteed to melt mere mortals to putty. But I couldn't even muster a grimace, so I went along with his plan and we washed and dried the stupid dishes.

Sometime after that, a car skidded and hit a pole a couple of miles down the road from where we live, and knocked out the power. Toledo Edison was quoted the next day, as saying that all the power had been restored in two hours — NOT! We were without power for eight hours and we piled on every blanket in the house we could find.

At one point, Al decided that he should go start our generator, because we were already sick, and freezing to death is not a recognized cure for the flu. Our bedroom is next to the garage so I could hear him out there saying a not very nice word that my husband normally would not utter, and then I would hear a low moan. This went on for several minutes until he came back in the house, crawled under the pile of blankets and mumbled, “I can't get it started.” He was just too weak. My response? Moan, cough, cough, moan.

In reconstructing this with my husband, we think this must have occurred the day before New Year's Eve because I can remember toddling out to the living room on New Year's Eve and Al telling me that the New Year had come and gone with no Y2K problem rearing its ugly head.

Al, at some point had relocated to the living room sofa, because my moaning, shivering, and retching were not helping him to sleep and vice versa. I remember going back to bed and that's the last thing I remember until New Year's Day night. By then the worst of the stomach/intestinal issues were over and I was left with coughing and that achy feeling.

I know I missed a number of days of work with this flu, but everything else is rather vague. I do remember thinking that this did not bode well for my next 1000 years.

And truth be told, some not-so-nice things have happened to me in the intervening eight years, but there have also been a lot of good things that have happened.

Three more beautiful grandchildren have been added to our family.

My parents moved back from Florida to Ohio, and now live just a hop skip and a jump away.

I finally kept my promise to myself to get my bachelor's degree, cum laude thank you very much.

My youngest sister, who thought she would never be a momma, gave birth to a handsome little fellow who has his mommy's eyes.

I found a job that pays decent enough for me to work part time, and I get to spend the extra time with one of my favorite grandchildren

I've watched my three children grow into confident, compassionate adults that more times than not, knock my socks off with the people that they have become.

And not the least, I've spent the last eight years with my best friend and love, my husband.

So the moral of the story is, well heck, make up your own moral for the story. Yeah, the millennium and how I spent it — a real heartwarming tale.

Until Next Time …

Note this post first published online, December 14, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online

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