I reckon a lot of our ancestors come down with "rheu-ma-tiz" at early ages to get a dose or two of that "medicinal wonder". I came into real contact with that wonderful potion when I had a toothache that did not seem to go away and the oil of cloves they had on hand didn't seem to help at all. It was at night and I could not get a dentist to help, so Uncle Matt came sneaking around with a little glass and a spoon in his hand. I can see it all now as if it were yesterday, "Here, Idy, take this, hold it in your mouth, swish it around a bit, and then spit it in this cup and I will throw it away...we have to be careful not to let Laura, Ruby or your Granny see what we are doing, they'd have my head..." I did what he told me and it burnt my mouth up and the pain left, why? I suppose the burning sensation overwhelmed the pain I was having, huh? Anyhow, I laid down that night and forgot my aching tooth. :)
While I am on this subject, Uncle Matt came to my rescue once again. It was summer and the heat was terrible. I suppose I might have eaten too many little green apples or something but got a miserable tummy ache. I cried or more like I "bellowed" and that was when Daddy invented the forerunner of an air conditioner by meeting the ice man, getting a slab of ice, putting it in a dishpan, and placed our little fan behind it. Man, did that ever help me with the heat. Now, back to Uncle Matt. Aunt Laura brought in a bottle of cure all which was "castor oil", and she said "Matt, I have to help Ruby wring clothes so you give Idy a tablespoon of this and don't let me hear you say NO." I started yelling to the top of my voice, "don't Uncle Matt, I will vomit if you make me take it" and I kept on pleading my case and I guess poor old fellow he got tired of hearing me screaming and he said, "Idy, here is what we are going to do...I need this for I am having a little trouble and I will take this dose but you are not to tell Auntie or Ruby that you did not take it..." and he gave me a big hug. I watched him down that spoon of castor oil followed by a little glass of orange juice and it almost make me sick just watching him, but it didn't seem to bother him that much. Later that night, pretty much near dawn, I heard Auntie say, "Matt, I can't understand why you are spending all your sleep time sitting on that commode...have you eaten something to upset you terribly, I wonder what it could have been..." I lay and listened and I knew what was going on but was sworn to secrecy and to the day I married and left home, that was never told on my blessed Uncle Matt. Also, I vowed then and there if I ever had children they would never have a dose of castor oil...did I follow that vow...I pretty much think so.