Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    home remedies

    The Last Cold Warrior

    by | 6 | May 10, 2015

    Sick man lying in bed suffering cold by Marcos Calvo Mesa and licensed by LikeTheDew.com at 123rf.com

    My current inconvenient and woeful truth is I’ve got the mother of all colds. This misery has all my senses confused and discombobulated …and there’s no relief in sight— at least none that’s not days away. It is times like this that my ‘inner-small boy’ wishes Aunt Lula was still around…

    Lula wasn’t my real aunt. You certainly couldn’t find her name anywhere on the official family tree, the one Mom kept folded up in the family Bible. But in Mom’s heart, ‘Aunt’ Lula was as official as any blood-relation,  the two had been close friends forever. In my youth, anyone who was a close friend of a birth parent was often accorded the honorary title of Aunt. As near as I could figure, the title meant that although they weren’t on the hook to feed you, sign your report card, or go to PTA meetings, they still had some official jurisdiction over you.

    As it turns out, honorary relatives were occasional babysitters. I viewed ex-officio relatives as ‘ringers’ left behind by a parent to put the kibosh on any of your really brilliant ideas such as bringing home  stray dogs, frogs or garter snakes into the house. (A few years later, this would translate into this thwarting my ambitions for keeping late summer nights, drinking, smoking and bringing home stray teenage women of questionable repute.)

    Aunt Lula was  a matronly woman of indeterminate age and she was an habitual visitor at our house in Atlanta. She not infrequently made the trip up, by Greyhound, from her home in Tuskegee, a small town in the upper reaches of lower Alabama. She was  brown-skinned, had short black hair and an oval face. I once figured her age to be forty-something — clearly a senior citizen in the eyes of a seven year old. Of course, to a small boy growing up in the Fifties, anyone over the age of thirty-five was considered ancient. (Their days were no doubt numbered and they might just keel over at any time.)

    Lula had three overarching talents. The first was doing aunt-ly things such as rewarding me with a dollar for every ‘A’ on my report card (big money for a kid in the 1950’s), yelling at me (again!) if I climbed too far up the monstrously big oak tree in her Tuskegee backyard and sending me sweaters at Christmas that were always three sizes too big. “He’ll grow into it,” I ‘d hear her tell my Mom. The oversized sweaters was a habit she continued until I was well into middle-age! And while I didn’t totally understand it as a youth, the woman also had a talent –a ‘penchant’  really –for nuptials — and marital break-ups. By the time I was fifteen Aunt Lula had remarkably gone through four husbands and four divorces.[1]

    Aunt Lula’s most impressive –and memorable– talent however, was practicing medicine without a license.

    Many of her visits coincided with me having a cold, the flu, flu-like symptoms or some other malady Lula always just knew she could cure better than “any of those doctors that don’t know didly,” as she would tell my mother, Virginia.

    Aunt Lula did not like or trust real doctors. She had her own (she said) time-tested remedies for almost everything. Her remedies most often turned out to be substances, compounds and concoctions you weren’t likely to find at any Walgreen’s. For colds, she prescribed  black strap molasses mixed with garlic powder. The stuff tasted awful, smelled worse and had the consistency of 80-weight motor oil, a spoonful of it heavy enough to bend the utensil’s very handle. The year I had the chicken pox, she recommended  my Mom utilize alcohol and oatmeal baths to eliminate the itch of pox bumps. For the nationwide outbreak of Asian flu in 1958, she prescribed a concoction of turpentine, castor oil, tea,  sugar and warm water.

    “Dreech! This stuff tastes awful, Aunt Lu!!”

    “Swallow it down, boy. In a couple of days you’ll feel good as new.”

    “In a couple a days, I’ll be dead. I think you’re trying to poison me. I’m tellin’  Mom when she gets home from work.”

    “Chile please! Billy, you just like all the rest of the menz. When y’all get sick all y’all act like li’l babies. Everything that’s good for you don’t always taste good, ya know. Thas the way medicine spused to taste. Thas how you know it’s workin.’ Now be a real man and drink this down. Aunt Lu made this special.”

    Thing is, several days later, I would invariably feel better though the after-taste of castor oil seemed to last months.

    While Aunt Lu never came up with a remedy for keeping a man, she was a kind of genius when it came to curing whatever ailed small boys as well as other assorted problems.[2] She even had a solution for keeping the toxic smell of chit’lins out of the house while the dastardly things were cooking on the stove, a habit I could never break my mother of, something she persisted in doing at least once each summer.

    The pattern of Aunt Lu’s visit didn’t dawn on me until years later, when I was ‘good and grown’. Her visits often coincided with  me having some childhood illness (or threatening one). The woman seemed to live for me to be sick. (Or maybe, she was experimenting on me. Maybe she was doing research trying to finding a cure for any and everything, but couldn’t afford one of those research Rhesus monkeys. She experimented on me, her erstwhile ‘pretend-nephew’ instead.)

    *****************************************

    Now, in the present day, I’ve got this goddamn cold. A higher truth is the cold has played gotcha’ with ME! (As my late Uncle Cleon used to say about his not infrequent hangovers: “I don’t have the headache, this headache’s got ME — cause, I swear if I had it, I’d fo’ damn sure let it go.”) My head is clogged, my lungs are burning, my nose is chapped, raw, ‘runny’ and red. Breathing through my nose? Hell, I might as well be trying to suck peanut butter through a straw. My throat is scratchy and sore; the voice, what’s left of it, is an impossible two octaves lower. All things considered: I’m a mess.

    If there’s one thing I hate more than being cold, it’s having a cold. For one thing, I can never remember whether it’s “…feed a cold and starve a fever” or “starve a cold and feed a fever.” Usually, a week after I’ve made the choice, it’s obvious I should’ve chosen the other option. A second complaint is that  over-the-counter drugstore remedies have uncertain outcomes, are over-priced and have ridiculous side-effects (e.g. “blindness, heart attack, stroke, “anal leakage”, are possible I’ve read on some of them!) And while not many of us can afford to get sick, the real problem is that unless one actually owns a CVS store, only a small and ever dwindling percentage of us can afford to get well from a cold!

    **************************************

    No one is more disappointed than I am there is still no cure for the common cold. You’d think a society that has landed a man on the Moon, discovered the buffalo-wing, and made the mass of people completely comfortable with forking over $4.95 for a ‘cup of joe’, would have figured out how to cure the garden-variety cold by now. All these years later, no solution is forthcoming, not even from Elon Musk, those people over at Google, the folks at TESLA, the talkers at TED — or dammit, even from people who invented the 3D printer, the seeming solution to every known problem in the universe in the New Millennium. Not even Obama has shown any inclination toward coming up with a cure! (You’d think he might want to take on the common cold if only for the purposes of legacy — say, a ‘post common cold Presidency’.)

     

    In my current (cold) state  my feeling is that if life were at all fair, it would be against the laws of nature and man for anyone over the age of forty to be burdened with a cold. Some ‘Youngblood’ would be required by statute to assume the cold of an older person, just as if they were giving up a seat on a crowded bus.

    hot-toddyAlas, there are few if any of the ‘back in the day’ cold warriors still around. Aunt Lu passed away some time ago. None of the new age problem solvers, say Elon Musk, Google, Tesla, or Obama seem much interested in a common cold solution. Their only advice is to “…Cough into your elbow. Wash your hands. Don’t infect anyone else”.

    What is a guy with a merciless cold to do these days?

    Luckily, I hear Jim Beam–with or without lemon–can make a cold victim feel better. Or to forget the affliction altogether.

    Yeah… gesundheit to you too!

    [1] While I never said anything to her about it, one got the impression Aunt Lula might have been ‘set in her ways’. I once overheard her relate her troubles with men to my mother. “Virginia, I’ve been married four times and been divorced four times. I don’t know what was wrong with them menz? Hell, there ain’t nuttin’ wrong with ME!”

    [2] Three heaping tablespoons of Cinnamon boiled in an uncovered pot of water left to waft about the house.

    ###
    • Images: Sick man lying in bed suffering cold by Marcos Calvo Mesa and licensed by LikeTheDew.com at 123rf.com; Jim Beam photo - photographer unknown, Will thinks he found it a JimBeam.com - I hope he did as it would be fair use for us (promotional use), but I can’t find it there, but do at many other sites - I think it was likely used as a recipe photo and the author/photographer long lost (if you find out who owns this photo, we are happy to attribute or take down).
    Will Cantrell

    Will Cantrell

    Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.

     

    Print Friendly

     

    • Trevor Irvin

      Ya gotta love Aunt Lula!!! Don’t mess with any woman that makes you drink turpentine! Good piece Will.
      T

    • Eileen

      Lovely portrait of Aunt Lula, Will. You write great dialogue. I can see and hear her. Whisky, hot water and a spoonful of honey is always my go-to remedy: if it doesn’t cure you at least it’ll cheer you. Hope the medicine is working!

      • Trevor Irvin

        I use the same remedy of whisky, hot water and honey -- ‘cept I throw out the water and honey. You don’t have to be sick for it to work.
        Regards,
        T

    • hannah

      OK, so 60 years ago an old doctor told me it takes two weeks to get rid of a cold with a doctor and fourteen days without one. Hot tea with honey and lemon are great, but should be accompanied with bed rest. As a much younger doctor explained, the body mostly heals itself, but that takes a lot of energy, so all other expenditures need to be reduced.
      Frequent hand washing only keeps the cold away; doesn’t help when it’s already come for a stay.

      For congested lungs, the tried and true remedy is a rag soaked in hot oil applied to the chest and held in place with a bandage. It’s called a “schmalz-wickel” and just the mention of the remedy makes the complaint disappear. You can ask any of my kids.

    • David

      Will, you realize of course that I was Aunt Lu’s third husband. If you know the stories of Don Marquis, who thought he was a poet who had been reincarnated as Archy the cockroach, you would remember the alley cat Mehitabel who would sing “Toujours gai, what the hell, there’s dance in the old dame yet.” That’s the song Lu would sing to me when I had a cold. Always worked. Wish she had stuck with me, but she had a wandering eye …

    • Nancy Melton

      I’m glad I waited until a decent hour to read this. I really hate to LOL early in the morning. One of my friends from back in NC says her mom always gave them moonshine when they had colds. She would put it in a paper cup and threaten them that they better “get in here and drink this before it eats through the cup” Loved it Will!

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Please subscribe to our free Dewsletter

    To subscribe to our Dewsletter (it's free), just enter your email address and click Subscribe. You will be sent an email requiring you to confirm your email address (protects us both from spammers).

    A note on privacy: We respect your privacy and will never sell your information or pass them onto any third parties without your permission to do so. You may also unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time simply by using the link provided in our email communications (bottom of each email). For our complete privacy policy, click here.



  • Please Help Support the Dew

  • %d bloggers like this: