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Old 03-13-2020, 02:42 PM   #1
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Eat DIRT: Stay Healthy

I lived a pretty destitute childhood at today's standards of living. My first seven years were in Cabins in Western Montana. Our neighbors... as well. Never thought anything was different, except when visiting Grandparents who had running water, electricity and a flushing toilet.

We all had wood burning cast iron stoves and fireplaces.

The kids were turned loose and expected to return, sooner or later. Playing in the dirt. Fishing. Eating wild strawberries. Never... got ill.

The Flathead Lake swimming was refreshing, both for swimming and drinking.

The last time I became sick was Thanksgiving Day in 1992 with the Flu. The smell of turkey made my stomach churn. I found laying down was better and the next day was back to normal.

People today are much too... sterile. My nieces and nephews are sick all of the time. Their mother was a Clean Aholic and not to get out and dirty. Can't hug the dog. Don't rough house in the dirt, make forts and throw rocks at the 'forts' like an invading Army.

My plastic soldiers... took a real beating. I say, and often.

Then I became... old. But all of the germs and viruses in the soil must have protected me and my brother. We never get sick. Then or today.

A sterile society is bad. Look on the map where the Cities are located and where the Countryside is located. Any Eskimos getting ill, is probably not a good example. Crowded conditions are not the best for any mammal. Ourselves, included. Chicken Pox and childhood illnesses... exempted. Those came and we were back playing in the dirt and wandering around.

This Year... pack up the Airstream and get... DIRTY. Gold Panning. Hiking, Biking, Climbing around on a boulder field... just get filthy... dirty. Boondocking is a CURE to what you missed out as a kid. Maybe...

At least a good excuse for what you missed... it was fun. Cut your finger... put your finger in your mouth, clean with your tongue and you are as good as new.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:46 PM   #2
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Agree. We swam in the Hudson River as kids. I'm still here and the immune system is doing great.
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Old 03-13-2020, 05:14 PM   #3
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My pharmacist daughter-in-law says same thing. And refuse antibiotics until you actually have a bacterial infection. This business of passing th out for anything builds your resistance to effectual use later in life, when you really need them.
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Old 03-13-2020, 05:49 PM   #4
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Thank You Mr. Human Bean. I needed that. A little reminder of better days now gone by.

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Old 03-13-2020, 05:57 PM   #5
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Wives Tales and Feathers

Just so we are on the same path, I will add that I may get a cold or a fever... the recovery is quick. I have Seasonal allergies, so my body already is over reacting.

Never sneezed once in Alaska during the Summer/Spring on a trip. Hmmm... The Swedish are about the same latitude. Missouri... yeow... Hay Fever. OK.

Some of you may have had a similar situation that it took me twenty some years to solve.

When we lived in Cabins, Geese and Duck was a regular on the menu. Also picking buck shot lead out seeing the cooked duck's skin with a dark spot where it entered. Normal procedures we all were taught.

The wives would all gather around and pluck the feathers. I do not recall if they put them through hot water first, or not... I was a kid and the gossip was flying and was nothing I wanted to hang around for. Somehow the parasites in the feathers were taken care of and scalding water did that and the feathers were easier to pluck. No kidding.

The down was used for Feather Pillows and Bed Spreads.

For many years I would develop a sore throat and ear ache. over night. Chronic and recovered during the day. I was allergic to FEATHERS.

I figured it out when I bought a Down Vest and winter feather coat in Wyoming and I would get a... sore throat. If you or a family member has or has had a similar situation... check out the feathers. I learned the hard way. Feather Allergies are real.

As an add on: The biggest fight my brother had was when a neighbor boy wanted to enter his Cardboard Box he made into a fort. The parents stepped in and somehow worked it all out. A Cardboard Box was RARE in the 1950's.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:16 PM   #6
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Yep, we were barefoot, drank out of the hose, and couldn’t go home until my Dad whistled for us - born and raised in Florida (before air-conditioning)!! From the time he was 10 or so, Doug would get home from school on Friday, grab a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, pull his canoe down to the creek in the neighborhood, and return home Sunday evening.
Ahhh the good ole days! Still healthy, and consider our Airstream the pinnacle of luxury!!!
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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Not all peaches and cream - sand burrs in a barefoot really hurt. And dog poo (while mowing the backyard barefoot with cut off jeans from last school year and no shirt) oozing between the toes (both warm and cold) is yucky. Not to mention the bird poop on the top of the head.
Yep - kids today are much safer not having to worry about experiencing these life changing moments. Just glad my son has experienced most of them and he is just 25.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:18 PM   #8
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Ray, That explains everything!
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:29 PM   #9
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Pranks and Caution to the Winds

Too many coddled individuals on the Forum. We can have a good time recalling what FUN was like when it was not illegal or impolite.

Riding your Buddy ON the WheelBar of a bicycle. Then, OK. Today... probably illegal.

Riding a USA Bicycle in Germany in 1963. US Bikes had brakes that operated by the peddles. In Germany they already had the sophisticated handbrakes and much more efficient. I peddled 10 miles into Kaiserslautern, Germany... just to look around. Peddling my USA LEGAL bicycle on the sidewalk a VW German Police 'cruiser' had his siren going... and they were after... ME. I was told I needed Hand Brakes in Germany. I was told to push the bicycle back home. I was running tree rings at 12 or maybe closer to 13 years.

After a bit of seeing I was in the clear... hopped onto my 'ILLEGAL' bicycle and kept out of town... just in case. My first delinquent action... other than taking some glass soda bottles off a step for the 3 cent each bottle deposit.

A Baby Ruth candy bar was 1/4 pound for 5 cents.

I am surprised that only some of us had 'normal childhoods'. I miss my mother who allowed me to get away with some of this stuff. Her Dutch was excellent. Her English... well, easily... misunderstood. If you get the message...

There were Good Ole Days, if you have any memory of them.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:24 PM   #10
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Yes, I walked uphill to and from school in rain and snow. Unfortunately, that was in Seattle in the 1950s and so it was nearly all rain. I did get pin worms from eating dirt, but that was long before those walks to and from school. Since then, I have stayed pretty darned healthy and maybe the dirt was responsible. I have found myself wondering if it might not be better to get Covid19 early so I can get on with a moderately normal life.

Our niece has a PhD in biochemistry and works with bacterial research. She is not fond of avoiding all bacteria and her baby crawls around on the floor, stuffs all kinds of things in her mouth, and generally acts like kids did in the past. Mom is not concerned and the kid is wonderfully healthy.

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Old 03-14-2020, 09:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Cut your finger... put your finger in your mouth, clean with your tongue and you are as good as new.
(Some stellar bad advice from Ray, an otherwise relatively informed contributor.)

It's a proven fact that most folks who don't wash their hands, who are running low grade infections (from not cleaning wounds, say) and who are generally unhygienic, are more susceptible to disease, to serious bacterial and viral infections, and to underlying poor health. Maybe Ray is the exception that proves the rule -- like, "hey my uncle smoked two packs a day and he lived to be 94 years old!" doesn't therefore mean it's a good idea or even a decent idea to smoke two packs a day.
Keep washing your frickin' hands, Airstreamers.
Michael
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:14 AM   #12
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Kissing girls was... bad for passing on germs. I was told during my teen years.

Naw...it was not the kissing that was the problem.
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:28 AM   #13
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The "good old days"

Fondness for the "good old days" is typical, especially for those of us who are a bit older. However, in the "good old days" my in-laws would both be dead by now as both have health problems that were fatal just 15 years ago. Instead they are going strong at 85 and 89. Of course everyone dies, but in the "good old days" it happened at a far younger age than now. Just 2 generations ago life expectancy in the US was 1.5 years past retirement. This meant pension plans didn't have to be as robust, nor Social Security. And it also meant people didn't get to enjoy their later years for very long.

I too remember many great times when I was younger. None of us kids went home in the summer until it was very dark - and here is Michigan that was 10:00 PM or later. We would run around outside playing "capture the flag", and other high energy games, in the dark. The only price was the occasional broken arm. We never sat in the house and watched TV. That was a sure prescription for getting some chores added to the workload. And I remember how we could "get away with" so much more - hitchhiking a couple of hundred miles on a weekend to see a girlfriend, pitching a tent most anywhere along the northern shores of the Great Lakes, having a couple of beers on the way home from work without worrying about a DWI. But many innocent people were killed by drunks driving back then, and sadly still are. So yes, I miss the good old days, but not all aspects of them. I believe living in the here and now each day is a much better use of our time than crying about what we don't have any more.
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:54 AM   #14
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"Riding your Buddy ON the WheelBar of a bicycle. Then, OK. Today... probably illegal." That's assuming that the bar doesn't break from the extra weight. <grin>


When people talk about the good old days we have to remember that they probably weren't good, they certainly weren't old, and they probably aren't thinking about the days. <grin>


Seriously, yes, we are too clean as a society. I remember being sent out to pick some strawberries for supper. I would pick and eat several before I started filling the bucket. No washing them first, just picked them and ate them. Hoses were real rubber, and we'd just let the water run a bit until it was cool.


The last three years I taught I had a seventh grade reading class. One of the stories was set in the late 1940's and talked about some of the activities the kids enjoyed then. My kids couldn't believe that parents would let their kids run free like that.
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:35 PM   #15
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Nothing to do with Dirt... but still good for you

kbOzke... but did you miss any of those green caterpillars on those strawberries?

Flathead Lake along the WEST side had wonderful "Flathead Cherries". So many that you could eat all you wanted, but had to PAY for those you took home with you.

Hey... come on. We were young boys, we ate what we could... to carry home. There may have been some side effects, but when you are using the 'out house' you are not in the mood to be looking into the 'drop zone' with a flashlight to solve any mystery.

Hot rubber hose water... tasted like, well... hot rubber hose. You ran the water until it ran cold and then not an issue. You learned like we did.

These 'young 'uns' on the Forum think their Airstream is rather primitive. Just imagine that Sears Catalogs were, at one time, a way to order clothes through the mail and when the latest two pound catalog arrived... it served... other purposes.

A friend and I were Elk Hunting in Wyoming. West of Douglas in the forest and stayed at a Cabin that had some floor space for... visitors like us. Geology students from Wyoming were always welcomed. At Dinner they would bring their daughters in to look, us over... and then they opened up the Sears Catalog. Like a wish list of wonderful things out in the world.

We wanted to get away from those giggling young women. We spent the evening with the 86 year old patriarch of the family. We ate 'Wild Rhinoceras' jerky. It was pretty bad... Antelope that tasted like sage brush with hot rubber hose water added.

But we avoided those Wild Cats for good reason. Did get a Elk just at Sunrise. Took a year to finish eating it. Went to the McDonald's hamburger supplier to have fat added as the meat was so lean for ground hamburger and... never went hunting elk again.

Total Cost: $15 for the Elk Permit. Two 7.7mm Japanese WW2 bolt action rifle rounds, $100 for a used freezer, wrapped meat in the kitchen of my friend's apartment, gave him the loins and I had plenty of dinners of Elk this and that.

There have to be better stories than ours. I would add others, but the learning process was slower in the pre telecommunication era. You used the US Mail and if you had a Five Ring phone connected to your place and four others... you could hear the 'older women' listening in on the conversations... so you made... them... real interesting just for OUR entertainment.
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Old 03-14-2020, 01:49 PM   #16
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Aside from all the trips down memory lane, Ray makes a very good point. One I agree with by the way. I also grew up during this period and was raised by two wonderful parents both of which grew up abjectly poor. When I, and my brothers, came along were were not as bad off. But we played outside, played in the dirt, ran through the parks, climbed trees and fell and scratched and even cut ourselves far too often. To run to mom to get a band aide was considered a sissy thing to do. We did eat some dirt, drink some questionable water and even licked a scraped knuckle a time or two.


Today's world demands that parents watch every step of their child. Antibiotics have ruled the world and surely ruled our lives. It has become an issue that creates large problems. The concept of super bugs that do not respond to typical anti viral drugs is a life threatening challenge today. Kids have developed dangerous allergic reactions to peanut butter. The advice from pediatricians now is to subject your infant to peanut butter in very small doses at first. Watch their reaction and increase as warranted. Over time these kids will develop ammunities and this peanut allergy should all be be eradicated.


A coworker of mine was constantly using antibiotic everything. She sprayed and wiped and blotted everything in sight of her desk with all these products. She also seemed to be ill all the time. A cough, a runny nose, a headache was part of her persona. Years passed and one day I heard her talking to someone about this "new" pill she was taking and how it was really making her feel better. It was one of those health store things that
restored the natural fauna in her system. It was a probiotic. As I understand it, it put back the things in her gut that she had worked decades to take out.
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:47 PM   #17
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News you can Use

Ray,
thanks for this thread; yes, the good ole days . . . we currently enjoy the Flathead Lake area, but looks like back to Hawaii since just visiting the new grandbaby. We are self-quarantining to ensure we don't flip Montana into the "active cases" category.

This link from my favorite Performance Improvement company, PPI, who went pro-active to provide good info for minimal effort to stay well during the current pandemic. The data is not as current as looking at the sites today, but the message of "No Fear" applies.

https://www.ppiweb.com/covid-updates/

Keep it safe out there.
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:53 AM   #18
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Ray,
thanks for this thread; yes, the good ole days . . . we currently enjoy the Flathead Lake area, but looks like back to Hawaii since just visiting the new grandbaby. We are self-quarantining to ensure we don't flip Montana into the "active cases" category.

This link from my favorite Performance Improvement company, PPI, who went pro-active to provide good info for minimal effort to stay well during the current pandemic. The data is not as current as looking at the sites today, but the message of "No Fear" applies.

https://www.ppiweb.com/covid-updates/

Keep it safe out there.
*******

I hope that my own and others discussing memories of the past have given some diversions from the present and to expect better this Spring.

Spring brings hope from the Winter months.

We had dinner last evening at a Casino with friends. We were to attend an Eagles Tribute, as well. The Tribute was cancelled by the Casino for reasons much like James mentions. The Casino has an even mix of Locals, as well as out of town guests.

The Strip in Las Vegas also opted to cancel large venues. This has been repeated everywhere for good cause and fear of the unknown.

The Casino was spotless. Hand cleansing stations were available like you would find on a Cruise Ship. The complex was unusually quiet as was the Buffet. The Casino Staff operated as always. Attentive. Courteous.

The Staff showed no apprehension of current events, but were well instructed and aware that 'things have temporarily changed'. The atmosphere was unusually quiet. The parking lot was not the usual weekend capacity. Less than 20 percent.

Very few patrons wore face masks.

Unlike earlier in the day, the parking lot at the southern area Costco, shopping carts abandoned haphazardly into areas for the attached Shopping Mall. Carts were in short supply as quickly as staff could gather them. Panic buyers of unusual purchases... stackes of toilet paper, bottled water, canned tuna and chicken. Cashier lines extended far into the store, which Nancy and I have never experienced. Our short list of perishables and a roasted chicken were not in need by the mass of customers wandering around.

Our next visit will be in a week or more. Maybe not... just to avoid the panic. We are well stocked as Boondockers would be in good times. Our Airstream is ready to roll within 24 hours, as always. We operate under a routine learned over many years of preparing just to go camping. This has been to our advantage, now.

We gathered scattered shopping carts as if we were employees. Just to clear the blockade of carts, open up parking spots and remove obstacles to traffic. It was an experience that will not be forgotten. Civilization is fragile in times of stress. Courtesy was an absent memory to some.

Everyone reacts differently in times of stress. Be well. Take care and offer comfort to those who obviously need it right now. These are the Good Ole Days. Remember that.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:12 AM   #19
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My kids (4 and 7 girls) had a lovely day yesterday, playing in the mud and throwing mud balls, catching lizards, feeding grubs to chickens, some crafts, chopping up a centipede, doing who knows what, and tv of course. Sometimes wearing shoes. The 7 yr old did tell me she was bored. I told her she better get used to it. Its the first day of 5 weeks off school. I have been training them to not step in dog crap though, its been working.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #20
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Ray I enjoy your musings and agree with you about the aversion to dirt. I grew up in the 70’s so I remember all the fun times I had playing outside. I used to ride my bike from dusk till dawn. Build forts, bottle rocket wars, dirt bikes, boats, swimming etc. it does seem that the connections I’ve made to nature have helped me throughout my life.

We need these now more than ever.
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