Dad’s Wonderful Idioms
My second round of an upper respiratory tract infection caused me to think on my dad, Carl Beck. Growing up at home when one of us would catch a cold Dad would always manage to pull out some saying that was guaranteed to make us kids feel worse. Noses that were sore and dripping with mucus always brought out, “Snottier than a sheep buck.” I haven’t been around sheep that much, but would assume that the ram sheep had mucous noses.
Or he might say our noses were “running like a maple tree in spring.” This I do know something about. Every spring, many of the locals will drill holes in the maple trees push in a drip spout, and collect some of the sweet sap as it rises to nourish the tree. The sap comes out in a steady drip, drip, drip. The old timers hang individual buckets to collect the sap, but newer generation use a connecting hose system into a large collection tank.
My absolute favorite saying, Dad saved for the days when we had a sore throat, we were coughing, sneezing, running a fever, and were huddled beneath blankets trying to feel warm. He would say, “You know how to get rid of a cold with a sore throat?” We knew what he would say next and although we were feeling miserable we would play along and ask, “What?”
“Drink ten gallons of water and sit on the stove until it boils.” He would smirk and walk away. I’m sure that he wasn’t being mean, it was just a saying as were the others that were passed down to him. These aren’t the loveliest of memories, but are part of what made me the warped and imperfect person that I am.
I must admit that I've shared one or two of his pearls of wisdom with my children.