Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Remember...

This week in my writing class one of our writing prompts is I Remember... This is intended to be a free writing prompt, meaning write down anything and everything you remember from any point in your life. At first I glossed over this prompt and moved on to the second one, Write About the Family Dinner Table. But when that prompt wasn't going anywhere I went back to I Remember... I thought the prompt would be too vague for me to focus, but once I started thinking about it I realized I could come up with a lot of things. To help narrow down my focus I picked a topic to remember about. Since it is cold and flu season, I chose to write down things I remembered about being sick as a kid.


I remember my dad making me hot lemon water laced with a little whiskey when I had a bad head cold. I don't remember my dad being a drinker, an occasional tall can of Schlitz beer on a warm summer afternoon was the extent of his drinking. Maybe he kept the bottle of whiskey just for my colds, I don't remember him ever making this concoction for my younger brother when he was sick.

I don't remember throwing up often as a child, but when I did have the flu, my mother would place the Farberware stainless steel 6 quart stock pot along side my bed for those just-in-case moments. The funny thing is, that was the same stock pot she made soups and stews in, the even funnier thing is that I repeated the same pattern with my daughter.


I remember my chest being smeared with Vicks Mentholatum, I hated the warm, burning sensation it created.

I remember being dressed in my flannel granny nightgown, my arms wrapped tightly around my loved-to-death brown teddy bear.

I remember how I loved the citrusy orange flavor of Bayer Children's Aspirin. I would sneak into the bathroom medicine chest to find the bottle, I figured out quickly how to align the arrows and pop the top off. I enjoyed one or two of those orange treats even when I wasn't sick.


I remember my mother coating my nose and lips with Vaseline. She would smear it on so thick that it would clog both my nostrils, no wonder my lips were so chapped, my mouth was the only orifice left to breath through.


I am sure if I thought about it longer I could come up with even more I Remembers... about being sick as a child.

The point of writing down these I Remembers is to use them as starting points for an essay or short story. Looking at my list, the one I want to take farther is my dad making my hot lemon water laced with whiskey, and why he only made it for me.

Ok, I have shared mine, now I would love to hear one of your I remembers about having a cold or the flu as a kid.

25 comments:

  1. I remember too. Thank you for jogging my memory. Your photos fit in perfectly with my memories.

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  2. I remember egg salad sandwiches when I was kid . . . and having to stay home with Mrs Marks to take care of me because I was sick. They were the best sandwiches ever . . . ever. She was the only one who knew how to make them for me. My mommy was teaching and my daddy was principaling . . . Sometimes Mrs Marks would change things up a little bit and make me a flat fried egg sandwich . . . they were good sandwiches too . . . I remember liking memtholathum more than Vicks . . . I remember Memtholathum was in the green jar and Vicks was in the blue jar . . . I don't really remember what I was sick with . . . I just remember laying on the couch, my pillow, Mrs Marks . . . and egg salad sandwiches with white bread . . .

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  3. Hello, I found you through Bonnie's Living Life. I too have been suffering the writing bug for years. Nice to meet you, Sarah.

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  4. Those pictures are amazing - wherever did you find the vintage jars?? I remember the lemon, whiskey & honey concoction - given to me by my aunt when in Wisconsin while we were there for a long weekend. She didn't tell me that the whiskey was in it and I promptly threw up on the bedspread because of the taste! To this day, I can't stand the smell of whisky, let alone the taste. Her "sneaking" in the whiskey to help my cold backfired greatly!

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  5. Oh, Sarah, thank you for the wonderful memories!

    I had a "soup pot" just like the one you had, and when this pot was not "on duty," it made the best spaghetti sauce you ever did taste!!! :-)

    Yup, the Vicks too! Hated the smell of that stuff. Mom would rub it on my chest, then cover my chest with a flannel cloth (it doubled as a dusting cloth when it was "off duty!"), then pinned this cloth to my pajamas, and off to sleep I went.

    Yup also to the Bayer Children's Aspirin! I did not much care for the flavor of that, but let me tell you, it was far better than that thick, gooey, pink Pepto Bismol. I cannot even look at a bottle of that stuff without cringing.

    Again, my friend, thank you for the memories. What a great post!

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  6. Vicks Vaporub. Yes, we must have used gallons of that in our home. And the Bayer's aspirin. Now, of course, they tell you not to give aspirin to kids. Somehow, we turned out okay.

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  7. A great post...I also love the antique medicine bottles. Did you just have those hanging out at your house...LOL We never got anything close to whiskey in my house. My Grandmother lived with us and she was a teetotler. I do remember the Vicks vapo rub though. Mostly, I don't remember getting sick very often...but those days are kind of fuzzy for me...

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  8. Well I remember the orangey tasting children's aspirin, the Vick's rub, as well as the soup pot next to the bed! I am intrigued by your lemon/whiskey concoction! I never had that one.

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  9. I remember the Mentholatum and still use it to this day for colds. Hot tea with lemon and honey was used for colds and sore throats.

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  10. Such a fun post. I remember Vick Vapor Rub as well. I loved the smell, but not the greasy feeling. My grandfather alway kept a bottle filled with whisky and rock candy under his kitchen sink....for medicinal use only.... of course. I am so enjoying browsing your wonderful posts. Thank you again for your thoughts and encouragement. Enjoy your week. Bonnie

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  11. Who could ever forget the smell of Vick's Vapor Rub and the feel of Vaseline under ones nose?? The illness I remember the most as a child was chicken pox. The fierce itching, baking soda baths, and pink Calamine lotion all over me!! Love your old medicine jars!

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  12. Sarah this is just fabulous...remembering all the old remedies, and you even have antique versions of the bottles! As a child the only illnesses I had were the typical diseases...I don't remember having chicken pox as I was too small, but I was told I spread them to my neighbor kids and siblings. I do remember having those German measles and being closed off in the bedroom with the window shades pulled for days...there my sister and I were in our twin beds in the dark in the daytime, for days. How boring! If we had an upset tummy we did get hot tea and toast.

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  13. I remember the Vicks and the sticky, menthol mess it made on everything. My bedroom smelled of it for a long time after I felt well.

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  14. I too was treated with Vick VapoRub, on the chest, under the nose and my dad even even urged us to swallow it for sore throat pain....ugh! Even now, just thinking about Vicks gives me a comforting feeling, one of being loved and cared for....

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  15. I remember hot toddys lemon, honey and whisky... being able to watch TV in my bedroom was a real treat!Thanks Sarah!

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  16. What beautiful memories. I remember Vicks...Loved it and the orange flavor aspirin! Phenomenal story telling with words and photos.

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  17. My Dad used Vicks all of the time and I hated it too. I've tried it with my kids and all decongestants are not recommended now but they hated it too. We had an ice cream pail by our daughter's bed last night but she slept soundly and told me that there wasn't even a pinch of feeling like vomiting this morning...praise God. Your memories are sweet but are too close to my reality with my kids yet, ha!!

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  18. Oh my, you just brought a flood of memories back to me! The 'hot toddy' my mom let me drink when I was really sick, the orange aspirin (Loved it. Do they still have that flavor?) and the Vick's rubbed on my chest with the humidifier running full blast. My daughter has a 'loft' bed, so the pot 'just in case' is a must. It only took one flu bug and she kept a pot up there for a year. I still find it hard to cook in it. :) Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Great images to go with the story.

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  19. Such fun these prompts are to write about and many of the things that "you remember" are very similar to my memories.

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    1. Sorry Sarah, I had missed the beginning of a word! It should read What a lovely trip down memory lane. I remember honey and lemon drinks, no whisky, my parents didn't drink it, although as she got older my mum always had a mini bottle handy in winter to use with her honey and lemon. She would keep me warmly wrapped up in a blanket and smothered Vicks on my chest, I loved the smell and still do today. I remember one time when I was confined to bed and delirious with a high temperature, I saw Santa riding across the sky in his sleigh!!

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  21. I did smile when reading your post. When I started my string of bugs a few weeks ago, my parents left a package at the front door. Inside were all the things they gave me when I was ill as a child. Lucozade, chicken noodle soup, Ambrosia creamed rice, zubes, a tin of custard, my great grandma's cure all soup... loads of things. Just receiving this package made me start to feel better. I love your prompts to remember, I may have to do that myself as my memory is not as it was :) Take care. x

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  22. Coincidentally, I have been confined to home all week with a nasty cold, sore throat, and cough. My daughter has been plying me with medicaments, fluids, and tempting edibles. Now I'm recovering and she's coming down with it, so we will switch roles. The one memory of a childhood illness that sticks with me is of when I had scarlet fever at the age of 4 or 5. I remember feeling hot, sick, and miserable. One afternoon Daddy came home from work and told me he had a surprise for me in his pocket. He came close enough for me to reach into his jacket, where I found a tiny puppy...yes, a real one! You can believe that was the best medicine EVER!

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  23. omgoodness...what a trip down memory lane, for sure! Crack me up with the Schlitz beer, though! That's definitely not a beer recognized by many...but I know it! Great post! I guess it's a generational thing, because I remember the Vicks, the Vasoline, of course the flannel pj's, the tiny little Bayer for kiddies...and then growing into the Schlitz! Keep it up, Sarah! Aloha.

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  24. What a wonderful memory jog this is... it got me thinking about childhood ailments and injuries, and the loving care of my mom and dad whenever any of us kids were sick. For me, the scent of lemon and honey takes me right back. The two mixed together and administered by the spoonful is still the best thing to sooth a sore throat.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)