Random Sampler

By Susan Arrington Hill


A Shot in the Arm

This article supports Family Health Lesson 10 of the Relief Society Homemaking Curriculum

With the exception of the common cold, the usual illnesses that many of us associated with childhood have almost disappeared. Depending on your generation, you may remember diphtheria, mumps, measles, whooping cough, and polio as part of the hazards of childhood. You may not remember that in some children these diseases were serious, causing brain damage, crippling, or death. Today it is different. Immunization campaigns have virtually eliminated polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria as threats in the developed countries of the world. Measles and mumps are being brought under control. Only chicken pox remains as the last significant “childhood disease,” because there is no vaccine yet available.

If these diseases are no longer prevalent in our communities, why immunize our young? Because the number of cases of measles, German measles, diphtheria, and mumps have increased rather than decreased in the past year. Parents are becoming lax in having their children immunized at an early age, believing that such procedures can wait until admission to school or can be ignored entirely because the diseases are no longer important. When such an attitude prevails, the preschool child remains susceptible to these illnesses, which are still circulating in our communities and are still serious threats to life. Children need protection from these diseases, and they need it as infants and young children.

Specifically, infants should receive immunization against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio; toddlers need vaccine for measles, German measles (rubella), and mumps. Your physician or public health clinic will give you a schedule for your child pointing out when boosters are needed. Boosters for diphtheria and tetanus are needed periodically all through adult life.

Smallpox vaccination is no longer recommended in the United States because this disease has been almost eradicated from the world.

Don’t forget to keep a record of each immunization and booster shot you and your children receive. Such records will be invaluable when your child starts school, when he goes to camp, when you move to another community or change doctors, when your child is exposed to a particular disease, when he goes on a mission to another country, and when you travel.

Maybe you were never immunized as a child and never caught any of these serious diseases; or, if you caught them perhaps you were not very ill. If so, you were lucky. Your child might not be. Parents are responsible for protecting their children’s health so that they may live full, productive lives. The inconvenience of a trip to the doctor’s office or clinic and the hurt from an injection are small prices to pay for protection that will last a lifetime. Suzanne Dandoy, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Community Health, Arizona State Health Department

All But the Buffalo

In commemoration of Pioneer Day last year, our family decided to put aside our modern conveniences and live as our forefathers did. Early that morning we awakened the children and assigned them the task of gathering firewood to cook breakfast. Although we live in an urban area, their determination and excitement made them successful wood gatherers.

After an exciting breakfast of wheat cereal, milk, and eggs fried in grease, we helped Dad till the garden soil. Then it came time to do the laundry. There were Mom and five little ones by a stream (an irrigation ditch by a fairly busy street), each washing an old shirt. Despite the bewildered expressions of onlookers and the fact that our laundry ended up dirtier than before, we had an enjoyable time.

When it was announced that we must hunt for something to eat for lunch, our eight-year-old asked with a peculiar look on his face, “Are we going to have buffalo meat?” To his relief, but not without some wild imagination, we ate barbecued beef, wheat bread, and milk.

Since it was agreed that we would both play and work as did the pioneers, we engaged in cooking and pulling molasses candy. The first taste brought cries of “Oh, no! Is this really what the pioneer children ate for a treat?” The candy tasted different from what we eat today, and it certainly lasted longer.

For a more restful activity, we decided to sit awhile to tell stories and darn stockings. Each child’s mended sock was a treasure to behold.

By now some were beginning to wonder if being a pioneer was all that much fun. When it was time to eat again, assignments were made to fire the pot, peel the vegetables, cut the meat, add salt and water, and set the dishes (tin cans) on the grass. But the stew was delicious, and everyone repeated, “I helped make it.”

After dinner the children pitched the tent. They even wished for rain to add more adventure and excitement. But the stories shared that evening were memorable, even without rain.

We talk frequently about our holiday and are looking forward to it again. Next time we hope to churn butter and try some old pioneer recipes, such as Mormon pancakes, wheat cakes, and beaver tail stew.

Our Pioneer Day experience has taught us to appreciate our modern as well as the pioneer way of life, and we hope to make it an annual family event. Barbara B. Seegmiller, Orem, Utah

Condiment Carnival

My cooking for you is
a condiment carnival!
You are fun to fill:
the overdone cookies
weak punch
and strange unrecognizable
concoctions appearing on our
unsuspecting table
all know your hospitality is
endless.

Favorite Recipe of President Heber J. Grant

The following recipe for Christmas Fig Pudding was a favorite of President Heber J. Grant. (A photograph of President Grant is on this month’s inside back cover.) The recipe, of pioneer origin, was contributed by President Grant’s daughter, Frances Grant Bennett.

2 pounds white dried figs

8 cups soft bread crumbs

4 cups brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 pound ground suet

3 tablespoons molasses

4 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons grated nutmeg

Juice of 4 lemons

8 eggs

Grind figs in meat grinder. Mix with all other ingredients except eggs. Beat egg yolks and egg whites separately. Stir in yokes, then fold in whites at the last. Thoroughly grease five one-pound cans and fill two-thirds full. Steam for three hours.

Zestful and Productive at Ninety

On August 10, 1974, a noble and gracious lady in blue lace gown and orchid corsage greeted family and friends at a garden reception. It was her ninetieth birthday.

Two days before, this same lady—Alice Minerva Richards Tate Robinson—had returned from a 3,000-mile auto tour that had taken her and four family members from Washington, D.C., through New England, to the Cumorah pageant and then over the pioneer route from Nauvoo to Salt Lake. Arrival time was 9 P.M., but she was not content to be taken home until she had treated her weary traveling companions to an ice cream soda.

Friends and family marvel at her stamina and zest for life and wonder what magic formula she uses to achieve it. She is quick of mind and articulate when asked to share her secret. Five ingredients are indispensable.

1. Keep talent and earning power sharp with use. Sister Robinson began making fiber flowers in 1930 to help support her son, Joel, on his mission. She is still filling orders for two out of seven casket companies she has supplied through the years.

2. Stay pretty. When her husband died in 1947, she determined “never to look like a neglected widow,” so she has her hair done, wears pretty colors, and is careful of her grooming. Her sons love to treat her to a new dress or coat and her gracious acceptance delights them.

3. Keep family ties strong. She meets with her married children once a month for family fireside. The women of her father’s family also gather monthly for Sisters Club so that bonds might strengthen there. Every other year, she and a large number of her 130 descendants attend the Robinson reunions held alternately in Arizona, California, Idaho, and Utah. Between these events, children and grandchildren often drop in for a visit or a game. She is great competition for family games.

4. Exercise the mind. For the past six years she has attended weekly religion classes and has missed only three during that time. These, along with Sunday School and Relief Society, give focus to her study of the scriptures.

In 1965 she had a book published for family members based upon selections from the journals of her father, George F. Richards. This work required a year of solid research in Church-held files.

5. Build testimony through service and always be ready to bear it. This great lady attends her meetings faithfully and has given lifelong service to the Church. She presently serves as a visiting teacher supervisor in her ward.

She is always prepared to bear her testimony, whether to a grandchild or in a public meeting. Last stake conference, she was called from the audience to speak, and in a voice clear and unshaken, she bore faithful testimony to the power of personal revelation in her life.

She is a living testimony of the rich life that can be led while enduring to the end. Lucile C. Tate, Alexandria, Virginia

[illustrations] Illustrated by Phyllis Luch