“The safest place in the whole wide world is in the will of God.” This is a common saying among many Christians today. However, I am convinced that there is another safe place called “Home” … a place where you can always go when the need arises. When the world shuts you out and friends let you down, you can always go home. Oh, to be able to experience the joy and happiness of childhood again; to go back in time, as they were thirty, forty or fifty years ago. Those precious memories are a haven of peace and rest from the stormy vicissitudes of life.
There was no room for selfishness, everything was shared equally. No place for lies, you either told the truth or Mom would say “wait till your father gets home.” Sickness could not stay; Mama knew how to pray.
We always had plenty of food, even if it were not our favorite. Our clothes came down through the ranks, so there was always something to wear even when it was a size too small or too big.
The weekly schedule taped on the cabinet door above the kitchen sink, indicated that everyone must take turns doing dishes, the laundry (no washing machine but a large tub and a scrub-board), watching the baby, sweeping, mopping or cleaning up the front and back yard. By the time we were ten, we were all well-experienced homemakers, boys and girls alike. Mom said, “Everyone must learn to cook, wash and iron.”
However, this fifteen-member family suffered through some difficult days. Whenever one person got sick, it wouldn’t be long before the entire family was under siege.
But Doctor Mom kept a regular check on her children. She was always ready whenever the cold or flu struck. On the windowsill next to her bed, she kept a jar of Vicks VapoRub, a large bottle of Buckley’s Cough Syrup and two bottles of Seven-Sea Cod-liver Oil. One, the liquid the other capsules.
We had no medical insurance, so doctor visits were reserved for only extreme circumstances. When an awful stomach virus had overtaken the entire family with severe vomiting, diarrhea, head-aches and other fever-like symptoms, Mom instinctively knew it was time to call in Grandma.
Grandma had no medical training, but she knew a lot about sickness among children. She had also raised sixteen of her own. As Mom described the symptoms to Grandma, at once she knew exactly what the condition was and, of course, she had the remedy.
Immediately, Mom hurried to the back yard and gathered all the herbs as the visiting physician (Grandma) had prescribed. In less than one hour, including cooling time, they both had concocted a potion guaranteed to eradicate this plague affecting the family.
Armed with several pieces of bread in one hand, as if she was about to feed the birds, and a worthy portion of grandma’s cure in the other, Mom explained, “When you eat the bread, the worms will come to feed on it and the medicine will kill them and so, by tomorrow morning you’ll all be as good as new.”
Mary my oldest sister was first to taste the mixture and cried out, “Eeeeeeekkkkkkk this thing is so bitter!”
Mom hollered out, “You have to eat the bread and drink the medicine, now hurry up, all of you!”
Grandma, knowing there would be a problem, slowly walked into the room quietly contemplating her next move. Then, in her wise reassuring tone she said, “Whosoever will eat the bread and drink what’s in the cup will spend a week with Grandma.” She continued, as she adjusted her glasses on her almost flat nose, “Some of you may have to get a second dose, but as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you will never get sick again. “Now, who wants to come home with Grandma?” As she gingerly walked back to the door, she confidently turned around, and with a big smile of approval observed how quickly we all drank the cup.
Grandma has since, long-gone home to be with the Lord, but every now and again, I think of those wonderful weekends at Grandma’s house
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