Details for FAMILY FOCUS COVER 5
A Field Trip with Grandma Y ou always hear about people taking children on field trips. They take them to all sorts of places calling them a field trip. Well… when I take my children or grandchildren on a field trip, we go on a real field trip. I recently had the opportunity to take my five year old grandson, Zeb, on a real field trip. He lives a long way from me in another state. I try to make our time together quality time. Zeb has a three year old brother named Wyatt. He was invited to go with us but at the last minute chose to stay with his mommy. I decided this was probably good and Wyatt would get a solo trip in a couple of years. I belted Zeb in our UTV and we were off to our big field behind our house. We use to cultivate a large portion of this area but then we decided to allow nature to landscape it for us. She is doing a fabulous job. We have all kinds of plants and young trees to now explore on this ground. The first plant I introduced Zeb to was Queen Ann’s Lace. We have a huge crop growing in this field. I told Zeb we needed to pick a big bouquet of this plant to do something special with when we get home. I told him it was also called “Wild Carrot” and it smells like carrots. Zeb sniffed the plant and agreed they do smell like carrots. I explained this is also a natural medicine The next plant was easier. It was the pretty blue Wild Chicory also known as the “Blue Sailor”. I told him the root of this plant was also used like something his mommy drank every morning. Zeb was eager to guess it was coffee. I assured him it was sometimes a substitute for coffee. Chicory is also used to calm the effects of caffeine in coffee. I also explained chicory was used a lot when I was a little girl. My folks and many others drink it so the real coffee in short supply was sent to our soldiers fighting World War II. Our next stop was a Wild Cherry Tree. A lot of cough syrup is made from the bark of this tree. I reminded Zeb it could be in medicine he would take for a cough and cold.. The next fence row tree was Sassafras. I pulled a branch from it. I allowed Zeb to examine the three different shape leaves that grows on this tree. He thought that was pretty cool. I told him Native Americans, as well as my grandpa, dug roots of this tree every spring. It was made into a tea and was supposed to help thin and clean your blood. It smells like root beer and is still used by some companies in natural soda. Red Clover was next to catch our eye. Zeb said he thought it looked more pink or purple and wondered why they called it Red Clover. I really didn’t have an answer for that one. I told him, this plant also is supposed to clean our blood when it gets dirty from being sick. Purslane was next growing close to the ground. I explained it was also good medicine for a lot of things. But mostly grandma likes it in a salad. I also told him that grandpa and the rest of my family thought it was “yucky”! Zeb wasn’t eager to taste the purslane either. Mullein in its stately form was next. I showed him the thick fuzzy leaves. Zeb soon learned this was also good for coughs and helped you breathe better. I told him that I used it in something we call salve to heal some of grandpa’s sores. Then I shared another family story. My granny use to wrap several of these thick leaves around pounds of homemade butter. This helped keep the butter from melting when she took it to the store to trade it for flour, sugar, and coffee. The bright orange bloom of Pleurisy Root, also called “Butterfly Weed”, was next in our path. It helps pleurisy and bronchitis. This is how it acquired its name. We drove through a section of woods to find a large limb from a tree had fallen across our lane in the woods. Zeb insisted I was not strong enough to remove this tree. He told me his daddy was really, really strong and he could move it. I informed him I was his daddy’s mom and was also strong. Well folks when I grabbed hold of this big limb, it was heavy. I do believe I received some divine help from above in moving it. I said a little “Thank You Lord”. I told Zeb, “Your grandma’s strong too, now don’t forget that boy!” He just grinned at me and said, “You are my crazy grandma.” When we reached the creek, a red bird was in a tree. This also reminded me of yet another story; a Native American legend of how the red bird got his Trip Continued on Page 16 Coming SOON!