Today I find my self as sick as I have ever been… with the exception of this “one” time…
Keep coming back and visiting thesisterslice.com for this and other tales from; the colorful life of my Grandma Betty.
Bare with me as I’m sure your sick of posts about illness, flu and the like, but this is a chronological diary of sorts and it just so happens that this stuff really happens to me.
Let me take you back to the summer of 1990… At the beginning of that year my family relocated from Kankakee, IL (50 miles so of Chicago) to Davenport, Iowa (the only place that the Mississippi runs east and west for a few miles). It was a really difficult transition for us and we would drive the three hours heading east on I-80 as often as possible to visit friends and family.
April 15th, was Easter Sunday that year and we had gone home to celebrate the resurrection with the grandparents at our old church. My G’ma Betty cooked a delicious spread (I really loved watching her cook and I’m sure I developed my style based on her love of hosting, planning and cooking for a group). Poor us, G’ma gave cheap Kmart baskets filled with a hollow white chocolate bunny each and some hard Russell Stover assorted fruit candy chews (this is all gross to me, just hand over some Hershey’s). We said our good byes, headed down the road and talked about when our next trip home would be.
Fast forward to the summer (I’m thinking late June or even the 4th of July) our family came back for a short weekend visit. The plan was to enjoy, but we would have to leave early Monday am so that Dad could be back to work in time for an eight am meeting. My dad, “chop – chopped” us up at the crack of dawn (always the early bird) and we were gathering our stuff to leave by 5am. Meanwhile in Grandma Betty’s country blue chicken themed kitchen, she decided it was the perfect time to clean out her fridge. Being a depression era child she was one not one to waste and food was no exception. G’ma also knew that she had her #1 garbage disposal grandchild in the house and it was now or never. I walked toward the kitchen rubbing the sleepy time from my eyes and asking, “what’s for breakfast”? Grandma emerged from behind the refrigerator door and said, “sissy – sit down”. She placed a plastic bowl that was covered in a shower cap in front of me and said, “you like cole slaw don’t you Amy Grace?” Now, its true – I did really like cole slaw but it was early and it tasted especially tangy. I started to protest but Grandma shushed me, poured me a glass of milk and said that after I finished that little bit (so she could wash the bowl) I would get an Entenmann’s chocolate covered donut (another one of our favorites from Pa’s prized stash). The 5 of us traveled to and from at that time in a small navy blue 4 door Buick Bonneville. Not optimal as there was a big dad, 6’4, a big mama, chubby, a big sister, 6’1, a little sister (7 years old but looked 4) and me… (not going any further with this). Before we even got out of the neighborhood my stomach was making marching band noises that I had never heard before. I’m talking bout the noise a machine makes when it’s about to have its carburetor go out. I announced to everyone that “this was going to be bad” and I got no response. Hannah stuck in between me and Sara in the back seat starts crying (she’s a huge germa phobe/sick person hater) all she’s worried about is smelling it or worse getting anything on her. My dad is on a mission to get home and he makes it clear, “we won’t be stopping for any bathroom breaks”. I believe at some point he tells me to, “suck it up”. Sara is trying to comfort me, but listening to her hum, Save the best for last – by Vanessa Williams and rubbing my shoulder isn’t really helping.
Where and what’s my mama doing you must be wondering? Is she pleading for her work aholic husband to pull over? Is she trying to turn around and pat my back or hold my hair? Oh no, she is leaning forward, pressing her head to the windshield every time I heave so that I don’t get any on her back. In all fairness it should be said that my dad stopped at a shell station for a small box of generic garbage bags.
I would violently almost fill a bag, roll down the window – toss it out, then bury my head back into the sack. Times where different then. I wasn’t taken to “the Dr.”, I didn’t get “Zofran“. I got the, “why in the world would you agree to eat old cole slaw for breakfast?” lecture from the entire family. I was so sick – let me say that a different way, I was poisoned and suffered for a week. I almost forget about this story, the time my Grandma tried to kill me until I get a flu or stomach virus (which for me hasn’t been often, thank God) but when I do – I remember…