I am very very prone to colds and other upper respiratory nastiness. This year, Seattle weather being what it is and with no walls or insulation in the house, things have been nastier than usual. The doctor has suggested that my “weakness” is probably the result of growing up in a household of smokers. Which started me wondering. My 3rd great grandmother wrote dozens of letters to her children complaining about various illnesses that all sound to my modern ears like a cold or perhaps allergies. My great-grandfather and my grandmother on that same side of the family suffered from various “chest complaints.” I’m pretty sure that ggg-grandma Caroline’s husband didn’t smoke. And I know that my g-grandfather didn’t smoke. But…they all had wood stoves filling the air with particles of soot etc. and they all lived in houses with much less insulation than is currently considered acceptable and they lived in damp cold climates. So maybe I’ve inherited my “weakness” or maybe I’ve recreated enough of the environmental background that I’m suffering from the same sorts of illnesses they mention in their letters. I’m always thinking about how my ancestors lived and wishing I could just drop in for a visit. But maybe this is a bit too much?