Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 2, 2011

Take the Medicine

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Most children have heard a parent say, “Take your medicine.”  Most children do not like to take medicine.  I was no exception to that!  I don’t remember much about medicines that I had to take . . . but there are two I have never forgotten!

One of those “medicinals” was castor oil.  Even writing the words brings back the taste.  Well, not so much a taste . . . I am not sure what it tastes like . . . but I remember it was thick in texture!  I always gagged trying to swallow it.

In wintertime, I often had the croup.  Croup was something many children suffered with.  For me, it was alway a night illness.  It was a cough . . . not just any cough, but one where you thought you would choke to death!  I remember that I would often ask, “Is it morning yet?”  It seemed the cough and choking would clear as the sun would come up.  The cough sounded like the bark of a seal and so no one could sleep!

The perceived medical aid by my parents and grandmother was a dose of castor oil.  It seemed to be the remedy for everything.  Although it is still available, the recommendation for use has changed.  In my day it was the sure thing for arthritis, skin infections, gastrointestinal problems . . . and, of course, croup!

I can remember the difficulty trying to swallow the thick stuff.  But what really freaked me out was what happened each time a dose was given to me.  The spoon was placed in the ashes from the coal that had burned in the fireplace or the stove.  And why was the spoon placed in the ashes?  To prevent the silver spoon from tarnishing or turning black!

Now my thought every time I saw that spoon placed in the ashes was, “If that castor oil will turn the spoon black, what must it do to my throat and stomach?”  Who knows . . . perhaps I do have a throat that has tuned black?

And although it has been somewhat changed in formula, castor oil  has been used for soap, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, inks, plastics, waxes, and perfumes.  It was even used as a lubricant in rotary engineered aircraft in World War I.  No wonder it was thick coming out of that bottle!

But that was not the only “medicinal” I had to confront in the winter.  Oh, every morning there was a spoon full of cod liver oil!  It was a nutritional supplement to make me healthier and to protect me from colds and sickness.  It was always in a green bottle — I think to hide the color!  It even made the ice box smell.  But what is that strange smelling liquid?

Cod liver oil is from the liver of cod fish!  No wonder it had such a fishy smell . . . and I think my breath smelled that way all day long!  Now, I look back and understand why at recess they put me way out in left field!

That stuff smelled and tasted fishy!  It has changed today and is quite different!  Thankfully, it is different or we would know who is taking it on those winter mornings!  Today it has various names . . . no smell . . . and different uses.  But do you know why I took it every day?  I took it for the reason it was touted . . . to prevent rickets!  I guess I need to be thankful for parents who made me take it in those early years . . . I do not have rickets!

Many of you recall some unpleasant medicine!  But if medicine tastes good . . . we would probably take too much!  Three cheers for terrible smelling and tasting medicine . . . and for the memories that so impress our minds that we never forget!

The best medicine I know . . . and my preference . . . and desire to take regularly . . . “A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . .”  (Proverbs 17:22)



1 Comment »

  1. Dear Pastor Jolly: Oh how I relate to this message. First let me say that Sunday was medicinal for me, your cheeriness, seeing the results of so many miracles, yours and Mrs. Jolly’s smiles and a wonderful message, Praise God!
    I too had to take castor oil and COD LIVER OIL ugh. If I didn’t take it well Daddy would put it in a glass of orange juice and I’d have to drink more, because it still tasted as strong in the oj! Had a down week as we all get sometimes, I suppose, but feeling much better today I checked your blog and so glad I did! I was looking at fish in the market and saw cod fish and my body quivered, the memory doesn’t go away does it? “thanks for the memory” PS Your coat Sunday looked tailor made for you! You both were stunning!

    Comment by Doris — March 7, 2011 @ 11:53 am | Reply

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