Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Mom’

Mom’s Potato Quips

Gardening requires lots of water,
Mostly in the form of perspiration!

Mom and Dad take family and friends strawberries from their garden

Mom and Dad take family and friends strawberries from their garden

Mom and Dad spent much of their summer perspiring and watering the garden. A large part of their garden was a potato patch. They would pile dirt around the base of the potato plants to protect them from the sun by hilling them, hoeing carefully to avoid damaging any of the potatoes growing under the ground. These potatoes, a favorite comfort food, would last them through the winter if cared for properly.

Mom, a country girl at heart, had many uses for the potatoes. She always carried a raw potato in her apron pocket to prevent rheumatism, while her mashed potatoes and fried chicken dinner became a popular request for family and friends alike.

One morning the children, Mike and Rachel, were home from school, neither one feeling very well. Since poor little Rachel was running a fever, Mom told Rachel to lie down on the couch. Mom hurried to the kitchen to peel some potatoes, which she wrapped in a clean pillowcase before taking them to the living room.

“Rachel, I’m going to place these on your forehead. They’ll draw the fever out and you’ll feel better soon.” Rachel curled up on the couch under a colorful afghan, and soon fell asleep.

In the meantime, Mike complained of an earache. “Mom, would you fix something for my ear? You’re almost magic the way you make everyone feel better.” Mom dashed to the kitchen where she was boiling potatoes for supper. After she mashed some potatoes finely in a ricer, she wrapped the warm mashed potatoes in a clean kitchen towel, then placed the towel around his ear.

“These mashed potatoes will keep your ear warm as toast, because potatoes stay warm for a long time. Be sure to keep them on your ear. You’ll feel better by supper time,” Mom explained in a soft voice to her son. Since Mike was a busy little boy, he didn’t want to lie down so instead sat on the porch whittling a stick with his penknife.

Soon Mom heard Mike cry out, “Ouch! A bee stung me.”

“Don’t worry,” Mom advised, “a slice of potato is just what you need to cool down the swelling from that bee sting. Hold it on the sting while you take the dog for a walk.”

At supper that evening when they sat down to golden brown fried chicken and mashed potatoes, Rachel sat in deep thought. “Mom, I can’t believe there are so many uses for a potato. But the best of all is your mashed potatoes, especially with that creamy chicken gravy.”

The smile on Mom’s face lit up the room. Next year they definitely would plant more potatoes!

This story appeared in the Daily Jeffersonian of Cambridge, Ohio as part of Rainy Day Writers stories for Mothers’ Day. While the picture is actually one of my mom and dad, the names of the children  in the story are fictitious. If you have any great ideas that your mom used to cure aches and pains, please let me know as I enjoy using natural remedies whenever possible.

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Superstitious Mom

Decided to take a different kind of trip for Mother’s Day…one down memory lane. My mom was a very wonderful person full of words of wisdom and lots of superstitions. Things she said are often still  talked about today by family and friends although mom is no longer here. So this little story is based on my “Memories of Mom”.

Superstitious Mom

Mmm, roast beef! The tantalizing smell seeped through the door out into the yard. Even the neighbors could probably smell what Mom cooked for dinner.

Since it was raining cats and dogs, an umbrella covered Cecilia and her two children, Tommy and Rosy, as they headed from the car to the kitchen door. The children each carried some purple petunias for Cecilia’s Mom, better know to them as Gran. Opening the door, Cecilia called out, “Hi, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Oh, my! Thanks for these beautiful petunias.  You know purple is my favorite color. But you better close that umbrella before you come in,” scolded a busy Gran.  “An open umbrella in the house will bring bad luck.”

“OK, Mom,” sighed Cecilia rolling her eyes. She had heard her mother’s superstitions since childhood.  Mothers never changed.

As they sat down at the dinner table to sample the roast beef with trimmings, Tommy knocked a spoon off the table. “Now we need to set another place,” exclaimed Gran, hurrying around the kitchen.  “When a spoon falls on the floor, it means a woman is coming to visit.” If a fork dropped, you could expect a man, and if a knife dropped then an unwelcomed guest would soon arrive. Gran even knew the direction they were coming, depending on the way the handle pointed.

“Remember that time when we started to town and a black cat crossed in front of our car?” questioned Cecilia.  “You made us all come back home, take off our coats and sit down in the front room.  We sat there for at least half an hour, so we could get rid of the bad luck from that black cat.”

“Now, Cecilia,” scolded Gran shaking her finger. “You know we didn’t have any problems after we came back home and rested. You have to believe in magic.”

Laughing at her grandmother, little Rosy accidentally knocked over her glass of water. “Oh my, looks like we’re in for another rain storm,” exclaimed Gran. “Any time someone spills water on the table you can be sure you’re going to have lots of rain.”

“Oh, Gran,” pouted little Rosy with her quivering lip about to touch her chin, “I don’t want more rain today.”

Gran went over to Tommy and tapped on his head jokingly, “Knock on wood, I certainly hope it doesn’t either. Always knock on wood to keep bad luck away. If you don’t have anything wooden around, I always knock on a wooden head like Tommy’s.”  Everyone laughed.

After dinner, the children went out in the yard to play since the sun had peeked through the clouds. Tommy and Rosy searched for four-leaf clovers because Gran always said they were good luck. Today Cecilia even helped them and when she found one remarked, “I’m really lucky to have a wonderful Mom like Gran. She may be superstitious, but she’s certainly brought a lot of luck and happiness into our lives.”

When they left that evening, Cecilia checked her guardian angel hanging from the rear view mirror before heading home. Rolling his eyes, Tommy whispered to his sister, “Mom is starting to act just like Gran.” Superstitions carry on.

Does your family have any superstitions? It would be interesting to hear some of them, if you don’t mind sharing.  If possible, put the name of your state or country with the comment to  better understand superstitions around the world.

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