I was finally able to visit my friend Addy this week! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to make a trip to see her. So many times I’ve wished to send her an email, but of course she does not have the internet.
When a not-so-busy day presented itself, I took advantage of the opportunity to hop in the car with my daughter and off we drove to Addy’s. She hadn’t answered the phone when I’d tried to call her to let her know we were coming, but she’s usually home so I was hopeful of catching her there.
When we pulled up, the house seemed lifeless; not a soul in sight. I got out of my van and went to the front door, but my knocks went unanswered. I wasn’t sure if I should leave, or if maybe they were out at the barn. I didn’t want to be creeping around their house, but I thought they might be there so I got Jada out of the car and we slowly walked to the old structure behind their home.
I stopped half-way around the back of the house and listened carefully, and was relieved when I heard voices coming from the barn. I cupped my hands over my mouth and shouted, “Hello!”, in my friendliest, non-intrusive voice. But there was no response. I yelled once more, hoping they’d hear me this time. Then all at once the two girls came running happily out of the barn to greet us. When the youngest caught sight of my daughter, she exclaimed, “Jada!!”, and ran up to hug her. They giggled for a second before they ran off to play.
Smiling, I turned to Ms. Addy’s oldest daughter and asked if her mom was in the barn. She said, “Yeah! We were just looking at the new kittens.” I walked with her to see the babies, and found Addy. As I entered the barn I said sheepishly, “I hope you don’t mind me just stopping by! I tried to call but couldn’t get you.” She was so kind, and talkative. She didn’t seem to mind me just showing up out of the blue.
The girls climbed up to the loft in the barn to watch as the new kittens nursed on their mother. There was also a new calf wandering after its mother in the pasture. A lot has been going on! We made small talk about the animals, and what’s been going on since we last spoke. After a while we wandered inside and sat on the couch for a wonderful conversation. They always impress me with their kindness and hospitality. I feel like I just invite myself over all the time, but they make me feel welcome and at home.
Somehow we got on the subject of herbs and herbal remedies. Oh, I know, I told her that I had Pink Eye last week, and how my doc. bill was $87! She said, smiling, “You know, there’s an herb for that.” She told me that Eye Bright is used to treat Pink Eye, along with colds and Allergies (and probably some other things as well). Then she told me a story of how her husband once got Shingles on, in and around his eye.
It was a really severe case and the doctor warned him that if he didn’t get it treated he would go blind. Well, when he went to pick up the required prescription, he was astounded to find that even after insurance the cost for the meds would be more than a house payment! He called Addy and told her to break out her herbal books. She did, and by that night she had come up with a solution. She found that Chickweed is a natural cure for Shingles. She made eye drops, a tea to drink, and a salve mixture using Vaseline to spread all over his eye. By the next morning she says it looked a whole lot better; and soon it was gone. Wow! I told her that I was calling her the next time my family had an ailment!
The discussion of herbal remedies prompted her to go and retrieve her newest gadget. She brought out this little thing called a “Cap-M-Quick”. It is used for making your own pills, out of whatever herb or vitamin you want! You just make your powder, fill these capsules, and there you go. Homemade meds. She had bartered with her herb shop owner friend, and traded some bales of hay for this neat little device. I didn’t even know that they made such a thing. She hadn’t tried it yet. She said it will be good to use with the herbs that don’t taste so nice going down.
She also told me during our discussion that Flax Seed is very good brain food. She has a friend who has three autistic boys, and said that the flax seed really improves their behavior. She just mixes it into their chocolate milk, and they never know it’s there.
I started telling her about my quest to become less of a consumer, and start trying to make more of my own things. She suddenly said, “Oh! Did I give you that book Henry?” I told her she hadn’t. She jumped up and went to her room for a minute, and came back with a little paperback book in her hand. It was called, Henry and The Great Society. She wouldn’t really tell me what it was about, but I couldn’t wait to get home and read it!
We talked a while longer about family and living on less. She mentioned a big family reunion that they have coming up. I told her how I just got back from California and my own family reunion. I talked about how I hadn’t seen just about all of them in over 10 years; cousins, aunts and uncles. She said that her family gets together every year for a reunion. There are many of them, by the sound of it, and they all camp out and visit with each other for about three days. It sounds like a wonderful time of fun and fellowship. I told her how sad I think it is that so many families are like my mother’s side of the family, and don’t see each other very often at all. I love that my family here, my dad’s side, is very close. We always get together for birthdays, and major holidays. I’m glad that my kids see and experience that.
She said that her small living room floor is usually full of sleeping people during these reunions, and her yard is open for tents to be pitched. I marveled at her hospitality. I told her that I feel like I can’t entertain because I have such a small home, but I realize that that shouldn’t keep me from opening my home up to others. I shared with her a recent account I’ve read of a family in a third world country who really has nothing, just a tiny shack of a house, yet they are so happy to invite guests into their humble home for a meal. Though they only have two bowls, nobody seems to mind waiting until a bowl was washed for their turn to eat. Why can’t we be more like that?
I had to leave before I wanted to (as always), so I gathered Jada up and headed back out to the van. They all walked us out and the girls said their goodbye’s. It was so good to hang out with them again. As I was leaving Addy told me that she would like to take me to her herb shop friend to introduce me to her sometime. I told her I’d love that.
I’m almost done reading the book Henry and The Great Society. If you get a chance to get your hands on a copy, I’d highly recommend it. It really is thought provoking!