Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Six Hundred Eighty One

When she came of age she fell in love with a local boy and was banished from the Quarter. She had been trained as a teacher in Saskatoon when she finished her schooling and returned home after to take up teaching in a one room school about a day’s journey from where she grew up. He was a local youth with a reputation who had left school because his father was ill and could no longer manage the farm. They began to see each other, but word reached her parents and they were furious, for they had heard tales of this young man, who was given to drinking and partying in a temperance age.

At first her parents left well enough alone, assuming she would come to her senses and the romance would pass. When it didn’t they decided they had no choice but to act. War had broken out by then in Europe and young men across the Greater Dominions were being sent away to fight. The youth was not among them, for his work managing the farm was considered essential. But with so few men around there were opportunities for women and her older brother was able to arrange for her to be sent to the Eastern Dominions where she would do work in radar. There it was assumed her passion for the youth would fade and matters would take a different course.

When the war ended so did her exile. She returned home and looked up the local youth, who had been waiting for her. Her parents, seeing there was no help for it, blessed the union and they were married, a December wedding. They settled on the youth’s land and farmed. She had an eye for cattle and encouraged him to start raising them, which they did. He was restless in those early years, always talking of pulling up stakes and trying something new, having spent his whole life in the Quarter farming. She, having had adventures outside its bounds, was content to remain where they were, close to their families. They would talk of it often and always she would win the day for she wouldn’t leave and he could not imagine leaving her.

The years went by and they had children and became known across the Quarter and beyond for the cattle they raised. This enabled them to travel far and wide, including to see her brother and sister who had moved to America. They went many places neither of them had ever imagined, satisfying his wanderlust. His pride at the farm and their success grew and grew and he forgot ever wanting to leave it all and starting somewhere anew. The Quarter was his home and what made him, he claimed, though he and everyone else knew it was her.

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