17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, November 3, 1912: Saw some snowflakes yesterday. Had croup this evening so you see that put my studies back somewhat.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Croup is no fun. It’s awful to have a bad cough that sounds like a seal!
The old- fashioned way to treat croup was to bring some water to a boil on the stove. The ill person would then very, very carefully lean over boiling water and breathe deeply for several minutes. The steam would calm the coughing.
I can picture Grandma leaning over a pot of boiling water on a wood or coal stove trying to sooth her cough—while thinking about the homework that needed to be done.