"Hot tea, lozenges and stuff to dry me up," I told her.
"Wrap your left sock around it." She told me. I wasn't sure I had heard her correctly so I asked her to repeat herself. "My grandmother always told me to take off my left sock and wrap it around my neck when it hurt. I don't know that it did anything, but it couldn't hurt."
I wasn't wearing socks at the time, so I got an old pair out of the laundry. After staring at them for a minute or two, I decided that I couldn't tell right from left and put them both on my neck. Which is the point at which my eldest daughter walked through the door and looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
"My throat hurts," I lamely explained. She rolled her eyes and walked away.
It got me thinking of all the crazy things our grandparents have tried to get me to do in the name of health.
- There was the jar of rancid rabbit fat under the kitchen sink. I was supposed to smear it liberally on cuts and burns.
- Not to be outdone, the other side of the family had a jar of goose fat for the same purpose.
- When I was 6 and got a black eye, my grandfather examined it, got up from the table and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a fresh cow patty for me to put on my swollen lids. (Mom wouldn't let him. Bless her.)
- There was a chunk of aloe vera to eat for dry skin. (It works wonders on wrinkles!)
- Have a headache? Split a pinto bean in half and put one piece on each of your temples
- Sore throats called for left socks and onion tea with a heaping teaspoon of sugar in it.
- There was a jar of moonshine with rock candy in it for when we were "feeling poorly."
- One grandmother ate Vick's vaporub every morning to ward off sinus infections and tried to get us to try it, too.