Tag Archives: Food

Try a Little Dirt

24 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

DiVoran Lites

DiVoran Lites

Children need to eat a peck of dirt before they grow up. Have you ever heard that? It has been around a long time and if you’d been reared in the way I was, you’d believe it. I read recently in a magazine that germs in good clean dirt can teach a child’s immune system the difference between good and bad bacteria and save them developing allergies.

Here are some things you can do to strengthen your children’s immune systems.

1.   Encourage them to bite their nails. Remember, though, it can be as habit-forming as smoking, so you have to take that into consideration. If they do take up smoking, they can get the nicotine they come to crave, from electronic cigarettes and by-pass the tar that would coat their lungs. That would be good, but it has nothing to do with nail biting.

2.   Let them kiss the dog. You can even let the dog lick their faces. Now why didn’t I get to do this? My parents thought the dog’s tongue had been in terrible places and let me know about it. But you know what, as it turns out dogs have healing stuff in their saliva, so I could have been just as chummy with my dear dog as I wanted to be. Oh, well, it’s all saliva under the bridge.

3.   Don’t bathe them every single day. In this case for sure a little dirt won’t hurt. But, what about the sheets, what about sand in their beds? Well, if they wet their beds, you have to change the sheets every night and every morning, anyhow. The kids have to have a bath too, so bathe them in the morning when you change the sheets and everything will be good and clean all day. I mean the sheets will be clean. We hope the kids will find a little dirt to play in. I had no idea how complicated this might become.

4.   Put the baby’s pacifier in your mouth to clean it off. Don’t forget, though, babies are deadly. I’ve caught my best colds just from sharing a bite of cookie. Besides, I don’t mind doggy spit, but baby’s? Yuk, no.

Now here’s my childhood experience and I’m really quite healthy. The worst disease I’ve ever had was the flu and that only a couple times in my life. No, I don’t get flu shots, but you go right ahead. I’m not responsible for what you do.

Anyhow, my childhood girlfriend, Suzie Q., and I emailed our memoirs to each other one cold winter. That was fun. We were as honest as we could be. One thing we discovered was that we lived an incredibly dirty life. Everywhere we went there was dirt—the school playground was all dirt. It had scattered pieces of old broken glass here and there. (The broken glass was a treasure. We saved it and used it to play hopscotch.) My brother and I liked to explore the prairie and vacant lots. Susie Q’s brothers had a thriving fishing-worm business. That was not a clean job. And here’s the clincher…none of us ever took a bath more than once a week. We may have washed our hands now and then, though. I really can’t remember, I had to wash dishes every day so why would I need to wash my hands?

Did the dirt show? Yes. Once when I stayed at Grandmother’s she noticed that my elbows were crusted with ground-in dirt. Even though I did bathe once a week, no one cared how clean I got. The more Grandmother scrubbed, the more determined she became to remove that offending layer of skin. Oh, goodness, my elbows haven’t been dirty for a minute since.

But I like Suzie Q’s story better. Her bath usually took place on Saturday night, but one Friday after school, her aunt and cousin came through town on their way home. They invited Suzy to attend a school program the cousin was in, and they left in a hurry taking a change of clothes for Suzie.

Suzie got the first bath. She was company, after all. She’d never had the first bath before because she had two older brothers who out ranked her. Yep, water was scarce. Most families bathed the whole bunch in the same few inches, one at a time, of course. Here’s good news, though, in my mother’s family, they always bathed the baby last! Anyhow, on the night of the play when Suzie finished taking all the dirt off her skin, she found it was stuck to the inside of the bathtub. There wasn’t anything she could do but dry off and get dressed for the play. She was so embarrassed when her kindly aunt simply cleaned the tub and drew new water that she never forgot it.

Dirt is good, but here in Florida, we have lot of sweat, especially in the summertime. In America, stale sweat is rude, so even though we often have water shortages, too, we still have to bathe more frequently than we might wish. We also get sand in our shoes, we have sand almost everywhere, but unfortunately, we have no dirt.

Our Trip to Italy-Part 4

28 Mar

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites


 We had a wonderful lunch experience at the Caffé Pedrocchi.  DiVoran had “Toast” which was a grilled cheese and ham sandwich and hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, while Marcia, Erika and I had pizza, hot tea and coffee.  It was all Yummy!  After lunch, we checked out the many shops around the Prato della valle where Erika bought a copy of Taming of the Shrew in English and DiVoran bought some Italian puzzles for Billy and Renie.


We discovered that the famous University of Padua was built around 1190 AD, and had the first operating theater in history.   I’m sure it was very primitive and unsanitary with all the doctors and spectators watching and asking questions as the doctor tried to operate


And, it is said that Padua was the setting for Shakespeare famous play “The Taming of the Shrew” which it is believed he wrote sometime between 1590 and 1594.  We strolled around the beautiful Prato della Vallethe central square, which is lined with 78 statues of famous Italian citizens from over the centuries.


That evening, we went to a pig roast hosted by Marcia’s friends Stephano and Roberta, at their horse ranch.  The occasion was a surprise birthday party for David, one of Marcia’s co-workers.  The party was held in a large dining hall above the tack room, where their family and friends met every Sunday for their meals.  The matriarch, Maria, had done all the cooking and had it laid out with the whole small pig as the center piece.  The food was wonderful and was served with five different types of wine and two different desserts, plus Grapa.


I met Roberta’s 67-year-old uncle Lorenzo who, after he found out I was a motorcycle rider, took me down to the garage and showed me his 1952 single cylinder 500cc Moto Guzzi motorcycle that was in mint condition.  He told me that he and about 20 of his friends go riding every weekend, weather permitting.  They all ride vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycles of one model or another, and love them.


On Monday, DiVoran rested while I walked into Mogliano Veneto to the farmer’s market and bought fresh bread and artichokes.  The farmers market had every vegetable you could imagine, and the fresh fish stalls had every kind of fish and shellfish including lots of squid and eels (live and dead).


That evening we had a 5-course dinner with five of Marcia’s cast members  at the Hotel Vicenza in Mestre.  This time there were only 3 kinds of wine and 2 kinds of dessert plus Sconti.  We found out that the Italians really enjoy their food and eat very slowly-this meal lasted from 7:00 to 11:00 PM.


On Tuesday, Marcia took the day off and we drove to the little mountain town of Asolo, at the foot of the Italian Alps.  We walked up and down the streets of the town checking out the little shops.


The Hotel Villa Cipriani was the most beautifully decorated and picturesque place I have ever seen.  We had lunch at a very nice little Ristorante there in Aslol, and then went to Treviso to see some of the sights of this beautiful walled city.  Marcia, Erika and DiVoran cooked their version of an Italian dinner that evening and we ate in the apartment.


—–To Be Continued—–

%d bloggers like this: