Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Melancholy



I've been feeling blue of late, and this song won't leave my head. Nothing's wrong particularly, I just can't shake this sense of deep sadness. Maybe I take things too much to heart, but honestly, it just seems like everywhere I look, I see people being horrible to each other.

I suppose largely it's political. It just seems like our polarized politics have given people license to hate and blame each - and I seem to see humanity eroding everywhere I look. Discussions on NextDoor.com over stupid things like fireworks or graffiti have turned into virtual shouting matches, and don't EVEN get me started about healthcare, or Syria, or...

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just need to have a thicker skin, or learn to ignore it all, I dunno, but it really feels like something fundamental is broken, and people are taking it out on each other. Well, at least I don't feel angry or scared anymore, just sad.

Anyhow, in other news, the carpet beetles have been trying to make a comeback, so I've finally begun the project of tearing out my hideous avocado green shag carpeting. It's rather slow, mostly because I have to cut it up into chunks to haul it outside. And ripping out those horrible carpet strips along the edges is the worst part. But the oak floors underneath are in remarkably good condition. Can't wait to get it all out of here!



And the front yard is looking much better. The volunteer marigolds are coming along wonderfully, and a few have started to bloom. Can't wait until they all do.


I also stuck a few other plants in there. This dianthus is doing quite well.


I'm slowly working on digging out the other half of the yard. It's too hot to plant anything now, but if I can get most of the weeds and remaining turf out by fall, my stepmom has a bunch of low water plants that she's going to separate and give me, so maybe by this time next year my xeriscape will finally be done!

CatMan and I have been riding up a storm. On one of our last rides, we ended up at Riverside Cemetery.


Riverside is Denver's oldest cemetery, and I must say, it really does put things into perspective. I think I'm already older than most of the people buried there.

The ones that always get me are the little babies. There are just sooo many who died before they even reached one year.



Well, that's about all the news from the funny farm. Here's wishing you all the same level of peace that Jasper seems to have achieved in this photo.


38 comments :

  1. If this is situational depression, stop reading, listening, and watching the news. Our brains aren't made to handle the amount of news that is available to us these days. We're still wired to receive our news every week or so from a runner from the next village. No wonder people are upset. And with so many outlets available, the news is presented in an emotional, headline grabbing way. In otherwords, the reporters are better than a good movie or novel in manipulating our emotions. It's very hard to separate it all out from the facts and actually very hard to find a balanced reporting of the facts.

    Generally, I think we should know what's going in the world and keep our representatives informed of our opinions, but not at the sake of ruining our day to day life with too much input from the news. When something happens that affects you directly, you will be find out.

    Have you thought about a news fast and keeping a list of at least one good human interaction you see or hear about? It could be nothing more that a friendly neighbor taking out the trash. Anyway, I have cut way back on my news input and I'm a lot happier. Now if I could only convince my husband to do the same.

    Anyway, sorry the carpet beetles are back, but the floor under your rug is really pretty.

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    1. Just reread my comment. Lot's of mistakes, but I think you can generally get what I was trying to say in my bossy way. :)

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    2. Great advice, as always, and you're not bossy at all! I've actually cut way back on my news "habit" and it does help - at least it seems to have helped me get out of the "daily dose of rage" syndrome.

      While I'm sure that some of what I'm experiencing is situational, I think there's also a hormonal component - definitely starting to experience the symptoms of "Perry Mason-o-pause" as I've been calling it.

      Anyhow, thanks again for your wonderful suggestions.

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    3. If you think hormonal issues are affecting you, try giving up dairy for a while and see if that helps. All my hideous lady problems went away when I went from veggie to vegan, and my menopause was a symptomless joy! If only I'd known that would happen 20 years before! Life would have been so much more pleasant.

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    4. Well, that's one I haven't heard before. I'll give it some thought, though to be perfectly honest, I have sooo many dietary restrictions already, that the thought of giving up cheese and yogurt sorta makes me want to cry.

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  2. The mood of our country can be depressing. I try not to think about it too much and go on with my life. We ripped what carpet there was in the lower level of our house and put in hardwoods and tile in the bathroom. Too hot and sticky for carpet here.

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    1. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the floors once winter comes. I'm hoping that they won't feel too cold and drafty since I have a heated basement - but we'll see.

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    2. If so, may I recommend soft, fluffy, warm slippers? They are available even in dollar stores!

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    3. I may have to give slippers another try. They generally haven't worked well for me because my feet sweat, so the soft fuzzy aspect tends to turn into a clammy sponge sort of a deal. I'll probably stick with my thin wool socks approach, but we'll see...

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    4. I have Giesswein slippers that I love. They are expensive but they are 100% wool and very comfortable> I don't know if they are avaible in the uS though.
      I love your "new" floor!

      Rolien

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    5. Oooo... those sound wonderful! But I'm not buying anything made of wool (carpet beetles eat wool) that can't be regularly laundered until I'm darned sure I've gotten rid of the little buggers! :-)

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  3. Maybe part of what you're feeling is a type of grief. In the 7 stages of grief sadness follows anger. Maybe you are grieving a lost America, how you perceived America to be, or hoped it would be. If you think it is a type of grief that you're experiencing, just accept your feelings, and try to be extra kind to yourself. You might also try to insulate yourself from the people and issues which trigger you, as live and learn suggested, to just stay away from the news or sites which debate the news.

    On another note, your oak floors look beautiful in the photo. When you are done tearing out the carpet and tack strips I think you'll be so glad you went to all of that work. Fewer allergies, too, I'd assume.

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    1. Good point Lili, maybe it is a type of grief.

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    2. Lili, you are very perceptive - I think grief is an accurate description of what I'm experiencing. And while I would like to think that I am patriotic and empathetic enough to have such deep emotions about the state of our country, honestly I think what I'm really grieving is stuff from my childhood. Not sure if I'm still processing my mother's death, or if the themes that keep coming up through all of this political discord just mirror those of my childhood - but I've found myself experiencing great sadness about family "issues" rather than the anger to which I'm accustomed. I guess on some level it's easier to be angry than it is to feel deep sadness, so maybe I'm just now "ready" to let myself feel some of the stuff that I couldn't before.

      Anyhow, I have been pleasantly surprised by the condition of the floors. If I'd known what great shape they were in, I probably would have done this years ago!

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  4. I read what live and learn wrote above and I understand that we should all at least try to keep up with what is going on in the world but it's so hard. I just quit listening to the news. I acknowledge when it's something tragic, like a mass shooting and I offer up positive thoughts and then I go on and I don't dwell on it.

    I try to surround myself with happy, productive, cheerful things and people. It doesn't always work, especially when some jerk-wad cuts me off in traffic or runs a red light...but I breath and try to go on with my life and not let them affect me. Hope you feel more positive soon!

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    1. Awww, thanks for such a sweet comment. I think "jerk-wad" is my new favorite word! There are a few of them who keep popping up on NextDoor.com - which is, I think, the next place I need to take a break from. It's sort of an endless parade of lost pet tragedies and people arguing with each other. Enough!

      Thanks again for your sweet comment.

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  5. Good to hear from you, Cat, and sorry to hear you're feeling blue. Now might be the best time for you to take a break from the news and focus on bringing a bit of positivity to your daily life. As one of the other commenters mentioned, humans are not designed to receive as much new information as we do, so don't feel pressured to keep informed with everything that's happening in the world. I greatly reduced the amount of news I consume and I've never felt better. I get the general gist of what's going on in the world and then I turn it all off and go about my day. So refreshing.

    In other news, the oak floors are absolutely stunning. Can't wait to see them in their glory.

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    1. You know, I think that I sometimes fall into the trap of believing that knowing the details of what's going on somehow gives me control over it - which is complete fallacy. But you're absolutely right, we're not designed to process so much information.

      Anyhow, I'm really surprised at how great the floors look. There's a corner just out of the frame of that photo that I was terrified to uncover. One of my kitties of years gone by had kidney disease, which resulted in litter box "issues", which resulted in her using that corner as a "pee place". Anyhow, once when I was cleaning up one of her "accidents" I tripped and dumped an entire bucket of enzymatic cleaner in that corner. It was a Mess! Seriously, the stuff ran through the floor and dripped all the way into the basement. I was just sure there would be a horror show under that section. But... I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the floor looked perfect and pristine. Hopefully there won't be any nasty surprises waiting under the sections that are yet to be uncovered!

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  6. I get most of my news from e-mailed petitions, which at least has the advantage that I can then sign a petition afterwards.

    The song that has saddened me lately is "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy." It has lyrics like "Everybody's crying mercy when they don't know the meaning of the word." And "Everybody's crying justice, just as soon as there's business first." And "Everybody's crying peace on earth just as soon as we win this war." And I'm thinking that nowadays they're not even crying mercy, justice, or peace on earth. Just business, safety, tax breaks, personal responsibility, morality. (I'll put a link to my favorite version in another comment in case your system throws it out.)

    And I'm not charismatic at all, so I feel pretty powerless to demonstrate mercy myself, but I try.

    It could be that something about the internet I love so much is insulating us and causing the problem, but I'm hoping this is just the pendulum swinging in a horrible direction, and just like when depression is lying to you, waiting it out will lead to better times. But then another part of me is calculating where to move next, though moving helps only me and not the people who are in real trouble right now.

    In other news, I kind of like your carpeting (though not as much as the beatles do), but I really love your wood floors. Underneath my carpeting is ... (drumroll) cork. Mostly painted and/or full of gouges, so not as exciting.

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    1. My favorite version of "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy" is Bonnie Raitt's here:
      < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwUswWA7cRc >

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    2. Wow... that's a GREAT song! A bit depressing, yes, but a fabulous song nonetheless. I do love me some Bonnie Raitt.

      I think you're right about the internet making things worse... well, if not making them worse, at least making our feelings about them more intense. I sorta have to gird my loins before logging on to FaceBook because I know I will be hit in the face with a bunch of horrifying headlines. What I can't discern, though, is if this is actually amplifying the problems, or just shedding more light on them.

      Anyhow, I have actually experienced a bit of nostalgia for the avocado green shag as I'm ripping it out. And I'm starting to think that it might not be quite as old as I had imagined. Under one section I found a coin between the carpet and the padding that someone had apparently dropped when installing it. The date on the coin was 1982! It's actually sorta messing with my brain a bit. I mean, the coin didn't look brand new, so that would imply that the carpet was installed in the mid-80s. Seriously?!? I can't imagine that they were still manufacturing avocado green shag in the mid-80s... It makes me feel a bit like I'm caught in an episode of the Twilight Zone or something.

      Anyhow, I think the green shag actually looks sorta nice against the wood floor. But three solid rooms of the stuff (if you count the hallway) is a lot of green for my taste. I'm planning on getting a few area rugs so we'll see - perhaps I'll get something that somehow pays homage to the green shag. Stay tuned!

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    3. Glad I got to introduce you to another good song!

      Ha ha, post-1982 avocado green carpet!

      Hmm, maybe you could keep a small rectangle of the carpet to use for a welcome mat (after boiling it or freezing it or something).

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    4. OK... laughing out loud at the idea of boiling a chunk of the carpet. Maybe a really small hunk... like in a frame on the wall? That's probably a little bit too weird. I was thinking maybe a shag area rug in front of the sofa - something with a pattern that might have a little green in it? I dunno. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there!

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  7. Cat ... keep ripping out that carpet! I'm ever so slightly jealous of your beautiful floor. My carpet would be SO gone if I had that underneath ... but I don't. Sigh. Your house is charming--love the arched doorway! I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff--my husband says we bought our house because of the built-ins and the ceiling molding (not to be confused with "mold" which would be awful!). The truth is, we bought our house because of the storage and the extra half bath. :) Oh, and the guitar on the wall? Fabulous!

    I know this may not be possible, but getting away for even a night or two and taking a media fast/electronic fast might help you with your blues. Sometimes I find I need to be physically removed from my environment in order to get my mind to re-set. We just got back from a 2 week vacation and I'm feeling better mentally and emotionally than I have for a long time. For the most part, I tried to be "off the grid" and I told everyone beforehand that I probably wouldn't have cell service (turned out I had more than I thought I would, but I didn't want to hear from anyone except in a case of dire need).

    I'm glad you are keeping up with your bike riding--hopefully that helps you feel better. Hang in there. Sorry for my rambling comments ....

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    1. Awww... "charming" is not a word I would ever have used to describe my house, but it's fun to see it through other people's eyes. You can't see it in the photo that I posted, but the arched theme actually carries through the whole house. The walls of the living room actually curve as they meet the ceiling. Hard to describe, but I'll post some other pictures soon that show what I mean.

      My neighborhood is currently experiencing a real estate boom - as it's one of the few "affordable" places left in Denver - that is if you consider $300K for a crackerbox house under 1000 sq ft to be affordable! Anyhow, people are buying them, fixing them up and then flipping them, so I keep finding myself browsing the real estate listings just to see what they look like with high end kitchens etc. And, surprisingly, they look much better than the "lipstick on a pig" look that I would have imagined.

      Anyhow, I LOVE that guitar too. It was actually from an ill-fated fundraiser for the music school where I used to work. We bought a bunch of cheap guitars and then got local artists to paint them or otherwise turn them into art pieces. The idea was to auction them off, but the board of directors, in their infinite wisdom, decided that we shouldn't invite any of our members because they weren't "high brow" enough for that sort of event (yes... this was shortly before I quit because I just couldn't stand the direction the organization was taking.) As one might predict, nobody showed up, and the event was a complete and total flop. I had put a starting bid on that guitar just to "get things going" and because I loved it - but I fully expected that I'd get outbid when all of the schmancy art buyers showed up - har dee har har. Anyhow, I don't think any of them sold for more than the minimum bid - all of which were placed by either staff or board in an attempt to "seed the pond" so to speak. But, at least I got a beautiful piece of art out of the deal!

      Anyhow, while I don't see any trips in my near future, long bike rides definitely help to boost my mood. It's hard to feel sad when you're pedaling through beautiful scenery!

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    2. The same is happening in my neighborhood, and I also look at the pictures and in windows, most to see if I can get good ideas for my house.

      But usually no. They often gut them to the studs and knock out a back wall, things I'm unwilling to do (too expensive to do; and adding so much square footage would also increase my electricity and property tax bills forever). Then they lose the charm, even if they also add a new and different kind of charm.

      Thanks for noticing that arch, Kris. I was focused on the floor! I also love that arch. I once got to go to a dinner party in a nearby pricy neighborhood and the arch between the kitchen/dining room and the hallway was the part I was most jealous of!

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    3. I'm totally with you on the knocking out walls thing. My house actually only has one upstairs bedroom left because someone took the other one out to make a "dining room" (which is on the opposite corner of the house from the kitchen... so... um... well, I use it for an office.)

      Anyhow, the big thing here seems to be knocking out the wall to the kitchen and putting in a bar or some sort of "open concept" thing. I guess it sorta makes the houses feel bigger, but honestly, it seems like a ton of work for very little gain in function.

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    4. You don't watch TV, so I will tell you that the ever popular HGTV makeover shows are always knocking out a wall or two and putting in a big island in the kitchen. I used to say that HGTV was the worst thing that ever happened to people trying to sell a house. Expectations are often unrealistically high for people who watch them all of the time.

      While I find the shows interesting to watch, I wish they had shows like they used to have that did things like rearrange furniture in a house or doing inexpensive decorating things. Some things we regular people could use.

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    5. Very interesting. Sorta explains what I'm seeing in the real estate listings. Anything without granite countertops, hardwood floors, and schmancy stone tile in the bathroom is considered a "fixer upper" or a "rental". Apparently no self respecting home owner would deign to live under such primitive conditions!

      Well, I'll soon be coming to all of you for advice on area rugs because I know I need some, but I'm completely out of my element here!

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  8. I have similar feelings about HGTV, L&L. Probably my biggest concern is that I think regular viewing, especially by the "younger set" (showing my age, aren't I???) is that it can breed discontent. Instead of being content with a smaller but serviceable home, it becomes easy to want to go the bigger and better route. I'll try to get off my soapbox now ... but I will say that there are plenty of things to like about your current home, Cat, and I get frustrated by the trend to make homes all look alike (open concept ...). I love seeing individuality in people's homes (which is why I like the guitar--SO you--music and art and fun all in one!).

    I enjoyed the clip of John Denver .... I've always loved his music ... and I agree, I also love me some Bonnie Raitt from time to time.

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    1. I have mixed feelings about the whole "open concept" thing. The way my house is with the converted bedroom, it's almost like one giant room with very little separation between spaces. For one person it's fine, but if you had a family and wanted any sort of privacy, or separate activities happening in different parts of the house - fuggitaboutit! Plus, it sorta tends to turn the place into one giant hallway. On the other hand, getting light from all directions is nice... but I dunno.

      Anyhow, glad you liked the John Denver song. One of my best friends from high school was in town last week and her youngest son has become quite the John Denver fan... but only the UN-love song songs! Apparently 9 year old boys do NOT listen to love songs! So I spent an evening putting together a play list for him and it sorta got me back into John Denver mode.

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  9. Sorry to hear you are feeling blue- I get angry/grumpy when I look at the local residents association Facebook page, and there are people having misunderstandings over very things that are not worth falling out over.
    The comments sections on newspaper articles online are also places to lose faith in humanity...

    It feels a bit like the news here has been one horror after another. Westminster terror attack. Manchester terror attack. London Bridge terror attack. Grenfell Tower fire. Finsbury Park mosque attack.
    Added to the alliance between the Tories and the very unmodern DUP, there doesn't seem to be much to be cheerful about.
    On the other hand, the Labour Party, under 'unelectable' Jeremy Corbyn made electoral defeat look like a victory, and if feels like the Left is resurgent. Seeing how people looked after each other after all of the attacks and the fire was cheering.
    I think maybe I am just relentlessly optimistic at heart!

    Except about local people arguing about bus services and getting pissy with each other for no reason, that makes me rage. Not optimistic about that.

    I actually like the combination of floor and avocado carpet- I think the rug idea will work well!

    Could you save a small doormat sized but if carpet?! ;)

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    1. Here is a video clip that cheers me up (hopefully it will play)

      http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/seven-nation-army-deezer-oh-jeremy-corbyn-glastonbury-chant-a7815086.html

      Young people 'who don't vote' chanting the name of a 68 year old man who enjoys eating baked beans, growing his own vegetables and sitting with his cat.

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    2. It wouldn't play the video for me, but I totally agree that if nothing else, the political situation is serving to wake people up from their state of complacency - and that is encouraging.

      You know, in my heart of hearts I think that all of the nastiness is just a reflection of the deep unhappiness that our culture seems to breed. I mean, I know I see things through my liberal lens, but it seems to me that for the past 30-40 years the powers that be have been systematically working to make it harder for average people, all the while telling them that they're making their lives better. Couple this with our society's general prohibition on genuine emotional expression, and what you end up with is a bunch of people walking around full of anger that they can't quite figure out what to do with.

      Anyhow, I doubt I'll be keeping any of the avocado shag just because of the ick factor with the carpet beetles - but I may end up getting a shag area rug or something, though probably not green... we'll see.

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  10. I know exactly how you feel. It seems like there has been this big shift in the world in the last year and it's not good. I have been looking for little things each day that prove good outweighs the bad. It might be someone stopping their car to hold up traffic so I can cross the street but it helps.

    I still feel some of the fear. I worry about all the same things, heathcare, Syria, North Korea, etc. and recently I feel even stronger that we are on the verge of a civil war in this country.

    On a more positive note, your hardwood floors are beautiful. I can't believe it took carpet beetles for you to remove the old carpeting and find that. I hope those beetles are gone for good now.

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    1. Looking for the good in people sure helps. As I was heading out for a bike ride today I happened upon a couple trying to chase down a big black dog that was running free. I asked if it was their dog and they said it wasn't, but they'd seen a post online and that the owners had been trying to catch the fellow for days. Anyhow, I helped them corral him, and just as the guy was about to reach out and grab him, the dog jumped into the river and swam across to where we couldn't get him! Oy! They hopped in their car to continue trying to get him, but I had to go meet CatMan, so I don't know how it worked out - but just seeing them work so hard to try to catch a dog that wasn't even theirs warmed my heart.

      I share your concern about the divisions in our country. I sorta can't escape the sensation that I fell asleep and woke up in some sort of an alternate universe! Seriously, the other day there was an article in the Denver Post about how the flat earth society is alive and well in this state... seriously, there are people out there who believe that gravity is a hoax and the earth is truly flat. I don't even know how to respond to stuff like that!

      Anyhow, focusing on something I can sorta control, like my floors, is helping. I've made great progress and I'll post some new photos soon.

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  11. Your place and garden look good!

    I like getting news from the funny farm. :)

    Sorry about the melancholy. I get that too sometimes, for no apparent reason.

    Maria

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  12. I'm sorry you've been feeling sad. I hope things are getting better. Good luck with the carpet removal. We finally got rid of the carpet in the one room that had it last year, and have been thrilled with the change. It's so much easier to keep clean! Especially with the dogs going in and out. Your yard is looking good, too. I wish we had less rain for our grass. It has rained nearly afternoon for about a month, so the grass is growing like mad.

    I love visiting old cemeteries like that. Like you say, it is sad to think how young people died back then.

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Thanks, and have a fabulous day!