I should get the real, big, actual news of how Saturday turned out done first to head off any big fears: my mother is just fine, and while she did spend the day in the emergency room, and my father and I and much of the family spent it with us or hovering around us, there are no obvious reasons for concern and no evidence of anything particular, and we got through things without anyone needing to strangle anyone else. It was frightening for a little bit at the start but pretty soon turned out to be not all that alarming.
Now. Saturday started for me a little before noon as my father nudged my bed and said that I had to get up, because my mother had called and she was feeling nauseous and we had to pick her up. I'm not at my best when waking up but I was able to follow this pretty well. My father was very anxious, and not without cause. My mother had gone into the hospital for in for examinations on her heart which turned into serious surgery on my birthday in 2003; and was rushed to the hospital with heart problems --- in fact, in shock, which she identified in what was by reports a hilarious scene to everyone without a medical involvement in it --- on my birthday in 2006. I have understandably mixed feelings in anticipating my birthday this year.
Still, my assumption was my mother had got a cold or flu and had reached that point where the disease has spread just enough that you lose stability and so was waiting in the ``Friendly's'' parking lot, by my father's report. My father was, I infer, making the assumption she was losing major parts of heart and brain function. This as you could imagine affected how rapidly I was getting dressed, teeth brushed, and load of laundry advanced through the washer and dryer. By the time I was putting on socks my father had pulled his Jeep (this will be a modestly relevant detail) out into the pouring rain and had advanced it from the driveway to the side of the road in front of the mailbox, where I couldn't get in except by squishing across ten feet of saturated lawn, honking and yelling at me to HURRY UP.
My father is slightly prone to anxiety in these sorts of situations.
Trivia: $3.75 million of the $15 million to be paid by the United States for the Louisiana Purchase were to be deducted, covering the cost of American claims against France in the years preceding 1803. Source: The Sixth Great Power: A History Of One Of The Greatest Of All Banking Families, The House Of Barins, 1762 - 1929, Philip Ziegler.
Currently Reading: Decline And Fall, Otto Friedrich. And then we reach the inevitable point in the Final Collapse Of The Company story in which the corporation clings to the idea that some change in how it does something will save enough money to let the corporation survive, only to discover that nobody actually knows how much the thing cost to do before, what it would cost to do after the change, or how much the change would cost, but they cling to the idea anyway.