by Kay Kendall
Anyone Lately I have come up with a new angle in my appreciation of the past. It is SAFE back there. I know how all the various historical plots turn out—which contending princes end up seizing the thrones—which nations vanquish which. I never grow anxious reading a novel set during World War II, worried that the Axis Powers will prevail and conquer the whole world
who knows much about me realizes how much I love learning about history. I used
to study it in school and always enjoyed reading historical novels. I still enjoy
those books but now I write them too–historical mysteries. I’ve occasionally tried to understand why
I enjoy delving into the past so much, particularly because so many others do
Lately I have come up with a new angle in my appreciation of the past. It is SAFE back there. I know how all the various historical plots turn out—which contending princes end up seizing the thrones—which nations vanquish which. I never grow anxious reading a novel set during World War II, worried that the Axis Powers will prevail and conquer the whole world
plenty of bad activity, monstrous atrocities, folks killed, bad guys putting
down good guys every which way—and so on. But still. I know how everything
turns out. I see how everyday people ENDURED.
of my well-honed perspective on how people lived—back then, once upon a time—I don’t
feel especially hard done by as I shelter in place now during this raging worldwide
pandemic. Five weeks have passed since my husband’s and my routine changed
drastically. That is a long time. I used to think I could make it to the end of
April without getting stir crazy. I now think I can make it until the end of
May. Furthermore, if I have to go even longer, which may well be the case, I
can do that too. Easy-peasy.
Because I know my life could be so
much harder to endure. I’ve read a lot about living through the two world wars
of the twentieth century. I know what citizens put up with back then. Think of
the blitz that hit England in the early 1940s. If you didn’t march off to war,
you stayed home and “did your bit” for the war effort, caring for your family,
hunkering down, staying home, and at nighttime when the air raid sirens blew,
you ran with your brood to a shelter. You never knew if the bombs would fall on
you and yours and if you would live to see another day.
explains why I answer the way I do these days when someone asks—by phone, text,
Zoom or what not—‘How are you doing?” I
always say, “I am just fine thanks. After all, no bombs are falling.” And I
really mean that with all my heart.
story short, I caution you never to say, “Things can’t get any worse.”
fate. Things most assuredly can worsen. And perhaps they will someday. But not
right now. If you and your loved ones are lucky enough not to have cases of
CV19, then just stay home. That’s the least you can do for humanity right now.
And while you’re at it, feel free to ask me to recommend a good historical
novel, now that you have some extra time on your hands.