Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Recently recovering from a 24 hour virus, I decided it was a good idea to take an "Extra Day". Growing up in the early '60's, the "Extra Day" was a luxury afforded those of us with mom's who stayed home. I didn't enjoy being sick and away from my friends at school but staying home was a comforting, unhurried experience. The nature of the illness dictated what my mom would serve up for nourishment. The traditional jello, ginger ale and saltine crackers were a staple for intestinal bugs, followed by toast with jelly (never butter!). Mashed carrots and potatoes were great once an upset stomach calmed down. Sore throats and stuffy noses were treated with salt water gargling, chicken soup with dumplings and tea with lots of honey. If one had the misfortune of a "chest cold" (which I seemed to have an affinity for) there was the dreaded Vicks Vapo-Rub slathered on one's chest and covered with a warm towel. Believed to reduce congestion it was (and in some households still is) considered the treatment of choice for coughs and stuffy noses. Activities for recuperating included television for little patients willing to sit through endless episodes of "I Love Lucy", "The Little Rascals" and an array of cartoons. I for one, had no use for such entertainment, so listening to my transistor radio and coloring while sitting in bed was lovely. Surrounding myself with a collection of story books to peruse and dolls to play with was another favorite pastime. We ALWAYS wore our pajamas, no getting dressed when you are "sick in bed". The "Extra Day" occurred on the day you were probably fine to return to school. Our mother's bought that extra time so we could spend the day dressed in our regular clothes and moving about the house getting ready for our return to the real world. It served as good preparation both physically and mentally for heading back to school which was fine with me! I think back to those days and still relish the "Extra Day" when I take one and I feel my mom's knowing smile that I'm doing the right thing.