Good morning from our house to yours. I’ll tell you what, since the last time I came in touch with you, lots has happened; some great and some frankly didn’t feel like it had a stitch good. But then, you know how God uses the worst things to bring the most blessings in the end.
Okay, last time I filled you in on our annual hog butchering then that evening Julia got sick. One child’s sickness led to the next, and now three weeks later, we still haven’t been able to shake that bug. I felt so sorry for the littlest ones, especially. If ever there was time when it seemed like you just couldn’t get rid of relentless raging of fevers, colds, and coughs while mama tried anything she could imagine, it’s been one of those times these last days.
One evening when my energy tank was running low and I wasn’t feeling the greatest, there was a knock at the door bringing in a neighbor lady who had just come through the same bout with her family of five children. In her cheery manner, she assured us that it really will get better and proceeded to make herself comfortable on the couch. She told the children story after story, distracting them from their aches and pains, at least for the moment.
In the meanwhile, I had the luxury of taking an old-fashioned foot soak in dry mustard. After a 45-minute soak and applying slathers of Unkers salve to my aching throat, the first rays of light of having sinuses opening came into view. For once, mama was doing a solo soak.
Foot soaks have been a popular treat around our house this winter. A friend of mine who has 13 children, eight of whom are adopted, told me that if she really needs a good night of rest, she’ll soak her feet in Epson salt before retiring for the night. The moment I stuck my feet in that hot water for the first time, I knew they won’t get lonesome for even a minute. In a short order, we had arranged little chairs all around the basin, situated little people on them, removed socks, and finally rolled up pant legs. Next came the joy of little shrieks that escaped as miniature feet were stuck in the water from all directions. Toes wiggled, some declared it’s hot, and others said it felt so good. “It’ll help you sleep better,” I told them. Truly, I love being a mom. That first experience with a foot soak we discovered we could fit 11 feet into our dish pan all at once without a square inch to spare!
The children now beg for foot soaks. Last night, Rayni snuggled up to me and told me that her and I are a little bit sick and that the two of us should do a foot soak together. Julia came up with the idea of graduating to a large flat tote to better accommodate everyone.
Now, we are all on the mend once more. I feel deeply grateful for all the kindness that has been shown to us by those bringing various food dishes and just simply caring. My heart was especially touched when my uncle’s wife sent over a large box full of goodies, including six loaves of homemade bread, rice casserole, cookies, jello, and a pail of the best chicken noodle soup ever. Several days later, we were elated when another box full of homemade goodies were brought to the door by a few of our church ladies. Included once more was a gallon of chicken noodle soup. At once, I heated a cup of broth that I skimmed from the top to sooth my churning stomach. Now I know without doubt what I want to make for others who are sick with whatever sickness may be plaguing them — chicken noodle soup! The way it sounds, people all over the country have been sick, so for those of you out there who aren’t feeling well, “Keep hanging on, God is still God even if it doesn’t feel like it!”
HEART-WARMING CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
2 quart chicken broth
8 oz medium or fine noodles
1 cup shredded carrots (opt)
1 cup diced potatoes (opt)
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a kettle, simmer till noodles and veggies are soft.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427