I suppose if there is any season most conducive to one’s getting back into the groove, spring would be it.

Ah, there is just something about the spring of the year. It is the time to shake off winter’s doldrums and put some spring back in your step.

When I was a boy, I was visiting my Brimm cousins just up the street in Riddleton on a bright spring day. As I walked by Charlie and Bernice Dias’ house, I noticed that Miss Bernice had all the windows up in the entire house — upstairs and downstairs. This made me very curious, so I asked my grandmother, Lena, why all the windows were up.

“Miss Bernice is doing spring cleaning,” my grandmother replied.

Miss Bernice had pillows, pillow cases, quilts and throw rugs hanging on the clothes line. Later, I saw her beating the rugs with a broom. That house of hers was sure getting an airing out. All the musty, stale, shut-up smells of winter were soon a thing of the past.

I could imagine the entire inside of her house smelling like springtime.

For many years, my late mother-in-law, Sue Oakley, made the trip from 322 Church Street to downtown Hartsville to deliver her husband, Budgie’s, lunch. The drive was less than a quarter-mile.

The Oakleys’ cars always had ridiculously low mileage, but, mechanically, the cars never seemed to hold up well. The mufflers on the cars usually had to be replaced every two years or so. Mr. Oakley found out the

short drives were not allowing the car’s engine to get hot enough to condense the moisture in the muffler, hence the rusting out.

A wise mechanic advised him to take the car out on the interstate occasionally and blow the pipes out.

A few years ago, I paid a visit across the Kentucky line to see the Mennonite doctor known as Dr. Reuben. You may have heard of him.

He is the doctor who reads the iris of your eye to gather information on your present state of health. He was spot on in telling me of my family’s health history. He found me to be generally in good health but recommended a few herbs and vitamins for health maintenance.

He also gave me a sheet of paper filled with directions on how to initiate a three-day cleansing (or something like that.) One element of the cleansing involved drinking a cup of vegetable oil over a 24-hour period. I passed on the cleansing (no pun intended).

A few years later, at my doctor’s insistence, I did drink a little green bottle of something that tasted like Alka-Seltzer, along with a cold gallon of a slightly salty-tasting solution in preparation for my first colonoscopy. I am here to testify that I have been cleansed. After the initial ordeal, I must admit I felt better than I had in years.

I am a big believer in the many health benefits of cleansing. But I have a little trouble getting excited about it.

I am also a great believer in the power of laughter, and I have no trouble getting excited about its recuperative powers. Someone has described laughter as jogging from the inside out. Sometimes a good, hardy laugh can go a long way in driving the blues away.

Laughter has a way of shaking the cobwebs out of our minds.

I think it opens the windows of our hearts and minds to allow refreshing thoughts and feelings to prevail.

The Bible says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Not too many years ago, as I finished a speaking presentation, I was approached by an elderly, black gentleman. His back was bent and his legs were bowed, but he had a certain pep in his step for a man of his years. He smiled broadly as he shook his head back and forth.

“Son, listening to you talk is like a dose of good medicine,” he said.

Springtime … it brings with it green grass and buttercups and cherry blossoms and flowering, Bradford pear trees and blooming Dogwoods — just like a dose of good medicine.

Copyright 2021 by Jack McCall

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