Old Wives Tales and Periods

imageI knew there was some kind of big, stupid mystery even before my “sometimes” friend Margaret Green broke the news to me in the fourth grade.  My grandma had started badgering me not to go barefoot and had taken to sneaking peeks at my underwear when she was sorting laundry.

This is some interesting information and dire warnings I was given regarding health care of young ladies after the onset of puberty. My maternal grandmother hissed these warnings at me, though she was hazy on rationale  Girls should never go barefoot or get their feet wet after they go into puberty. (She made no mention of how I was to wash my feet or bathe.). I must never bathe or get my head wet or ride a horse during my period.  She offered as proof the fact that when my grandpa’s sister was only sixteen, she was riding a horse just before she got ready to take a job as a teacher in her first school.  She got caught in a rainstorm while she was having her period and was soaked to the skin.  She got galloping pneumonia and died before daybreak.  I was never sure if all these variables had to be included for the situation to be deadly.  Perhaps if she had been fifteen, walking to her job as a clerk in a store while she was having her period and broke out in chicken pox, she might have escaped with only a few scars on her face.

Also, Grandma warned me young girls shouldn’t ever go swimming.  “Never?”  I was appalled.

Then she told me of a stubborn cousin of hers who went swimming all the time.  “Even when she was expecting!  Everyone of her kids had epileptic fits!”

Mother had her own ridiculous rules about hygiene.  Hair could only be washed once a week, and never during you period.  That was a disaster for us with our oily hair.  I’d try to slip around and wash it more often, but she watched us.  She insisted on giving us hideous home perms.  They were awful!  I was so glad when Mother had to much on her mind to to to keep up with trying to enforce all her mindless rules.

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Relaxing Weekend in the Country With Family

family6cousinsparents wedding pic

My mother found this hilarious letter among her things today.  My grandmother was in a foul mood when she wrote it.  I recalled this weekend like it was yesterday when I read the letter.  Grandma was nosy.  She like to get right behind Daddy, quizzing him about his business and his family.  He wasn’t a patient man.  That certainly didn’t endear her to Continue reading

The Coon Hunt

Roscoe Holdaway climbing a tree after a raccoonNotice the scarecrow man climbing the tree.  This is my grandfather, Roscoe Holdaway.  He must have been at least seventy years old at the time.  The only thing that would have induced him to climb that sapling would have been the dead raccoon he’d just shot  hanging on the branch high above his head.  Note the rapt attention that coon is getting Continue reading