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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

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Faking Illness To Avoid Snowstorms

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My days of faking illness began around the same time I was taking Child Acting Lessons, ten or eleven. My skills were not very large, and depended on a rasping coughing sound first thing in the wintry mornings.

I made sure this cough was near to where my mother was, as she was the one who decided whether or not to keep me home from school. It took only a few minutes of this to hear her welcome comment, "I don't like the way that cough sounds, Maybe you should get back into bed."

I chose the worst days for this. Just looking at two feet of newly fallen snow on the ground behind our suburban house sickened me, mentally if not physically.  Often late to school, we cut through fields, letting more snow tumble into our rubber boots, soaking through the grey flannel hockey socks worn for extra protection.

Once allowed to stay home from school, I planned my own day of fun and creativity.  I lay in bed for a few moments, until my mom looked in on me.

Then I went over to my bedroom top drawer and pulled out my drawing pad and colored pencils.  I made my own paper dolls, and queens were a favorite subject, as they could own so many well decorated dresses.

If my mom took my temperature, that was a small problem, though sometimes with enough coughing I could work up a rise in degrees.

I received special foods when I was ill.  Families are funny, because I was not indulged when I showed sadness or grief, such as bursting into tears when I saw a dog being kicked in a movie. I had to toughen up at that time.

The foods I received were coffee ice cream, ginger ale, and hot rum Toddies. Now coffee ice cream was not the usual discount type we bought, so my mom made a special effort for me there, which I really appreciated.

Ginger ale was a Go To for all sorts of flus and colds, and I sipped that through out my days of illness.  As for the hot rum Toddy, this was basically hot lemon juice with brown sugar, and a teaspoonsful of Dad's rum; my mother believed this helped colds, for some reason.  It was an old folk remedy from her British mom.

Reading library books, drawing paper dolls, napping in the afternoon - even children who are thought to be free of hard work need some battery recharging time.  I think fondly of these days of doing not much.

I doubt my parents let me run downstairs to watch television, or eat a full evening dinner, so my indulgences were not without parental discipline.

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Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

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