Monday, July 25, 2011

Those Were the Days

Once when I was little I spent two weeks at my Grandparents farm in Southern Ohio. I loved it there. I would get up early and head out to the hills, exploring all the caves and hollows in the area. A couple times we got lost, but always ended up on some road that would eventually lead us home. Back then no one worried about us being out on our own for hours on end. The only thing we were told to watch out for was Copperheads. And to be quite honest I never saw a single one in the thirty some years I visited. Oh, we saw our share of Rat snakes, they were huge and Grandpa Blake had killed one that made its way into the cellar. I didn’t travel to the cellar too much after that story.

So I was staying at the farm and when we were out exploring I stepped on a thorn. It was embedded deep under the skin. I made it back to the house, probably owing and oohing along the way to let the cousins know just how much pain I was in. Grandma got out her needle to remove the culprit. The largest portion came out but the tip broke off inside.

“We should take her to the Doctor,” one of the cousins said.

I didn’t want to go to the doctor. I’d recently had stitches in my hand from falling into a bush while jumping in a large box, I know, explains so much. So the doctor was out of the question.

“No,” Grandma Blake said, “we’ll just put some milk bread on it.”

Wait, milk bread?

Everyone gathered round while she soaked a piece of white yeast bread in milk. The she put the bread on my foot and wrapped it in a piece of white cloth. We played a competitive game of 500 Rummy and had a snack of coke and potato chips then off to bed. Grandma had me keep the bandage on overnight.

The next morning I limped down to the kitchen and Grandma lovingly removed the wrapping. There, stuck in the center of the bread was the tip of the thorn. The spot where the dark piece had been lodged was clean and clear.

It was my first look at some of the old fashioned remedies that have been around forever. My other Grandmother, Sally swore by vinegar. We would stop by to visit and there was always a gallon jug by her chair. She explained that it was the only thing that worked on her arthritis so she rubbed it on her joints. She said it always made her feel better, but I always suspected it was the Highball made from Echo Springs and Diet Fresca that made the real difference. But she swore by vinegar with the passion that the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding swore by Windex.

Some other home remedies I’ve come across through my investigations:

1. Gargle with warm salted water for sore throat.

2. Meat tenderizer for jelly fish stings.

3. Egg White facial.

4. WD40 spray on aching joints…I know but my niece swears it works.

5. To stop bleeding from a cut, put it in flour to act as a clotting agent.

How about you? Do you have any home remedies to share?

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