Home remedies

Aunt Olla has dozens, but she despairs. When I told her I have had a sour stomach for a few days, she suggested a teaspoon of vinegar, but added, "I don't suppose you'll listen to me, either."

Well, this time I did. And it seemed to help. At least until I went on the internet to see if there was any truth to it. The websites which came up were about evenly split. Half said vinegar did nothing or inhibited digestion, and half argued that it helped digestion. That is an oversimplification: the results ranged from articles bragging up vinegar as a cure for everything from hair loss to arthritis, to scientific papers which said it cured nothing and did only harm.

With those results, the placebo effect was destroyed and my stomach started growling again.

Aunt Olla is now on the program committee at the Fertile Hilton. Oh, how she loves programs. She and her brother, my Grandpa. Grandpa loved programs so much that he'd put on programs just so he could be in charge of the program.

According to Olla, Grandpa's love for programs came from an early age. He was kind of shy as a kid, but when he acted in programs, he would have the whole place rolling with laughter. So would their sister Millie. She would read the same monologue every year--I believe she did it for decades at various gatherings--and it was a much-anticipated annual event.

Olla loved programs, too, so much so that I get the impression that when she taught country school, they did little else but prepare and put on programs. That was just one reason she was a walking scandal wherever she taught--as one old board member once put it, she didn't impose much dis-EYE-plin. Oh, and she also bought toilet paper for the outhouse, a frivolous luxury which just gave kids the idea they should have it at home. Grounds for firing, to be sure.

Now, Olla is dreaming of a big program at the Hilton for Norwegian Independence Day, or Syttende Mai, the seventeenth of May. I believe that I am in those plans, but exactly where has not yet been revealed unto me. Right now, her main focus is getting some people who can sing in Norwegian. But she also wants to have exhibits on hand. A Norwegian flag. Hardinger. Whatever else.

Olla figures that this will be one of the last Syttende Mai celebrations because most of the old Norwegians are dead or nearly so. I doubt it, having spoken to a few Sons of Norway celebrations populated with people who look in reasonable health, but I do not wish to rob her of the privilege of putting on the Last Syttende Mai.

There's enough old Norwegians around that I don't think she'll have a problem assembling a crowd!