Natural Health and Anti Aging Tips
From Michigan to Our Arizona Adventure
When I was a very young child my dad had health problems. He had trouble breathing in Michigan’s high humidity. The doctor said he must go to a warm dry climate if he wanted to live.
So he quit his job and bought a modest trailer. The seven of us piled into the old Plymouth. I was only six at the time and thought the car looked like a beetle.
We headed to Arizona. The dry heat of the desert was what the doctored ordered, so away we went.
It was an adventure even though we were very crowded inside the old car. It probably took us less than a week but it seemed like months to me.
My parents hadn’t sold our old house in Belleville Michigan yet and didn’t save much money. They had to watch their cash flow carefully.
After passing through many states on our trip, the clutch started to burn and the smell was bad, but it kept working. The old Plymouth seemed to know it had a job to do pulling the trailer and bringing us closer to our destination. We didn’t know what to expect.
I was young, but I do remember my dad would always stop at grocery stores and buy bread, lunch meat and other produce. We couldn’t afford restaurants or motels. We had little money there were and seven of us.
Once we traveled by a bread factory. The car bumped to a stop and my dad ask my older brother to go inside that bread factory and buy a loaf. We could smell the bread from where we were. The warm fragrance was a delight to our nostrils. When he came back we all had some. I remember that the bread was still warm and it was the best bread I ever tasted.
Further in our journey we stopped at a church on Sunday for mass. The priest didn’t have an altar boy to help with the service, so my dad volunteered.
When we traveled though Salt Lake Canyon, everyone thought it was the most beautiful sight they ever seen. We really enjoyed it until the brakes started to go.
As we went downhill it was scary for everyone as the brakes tried their best to hold on. It was quite an adventure.
Well that was enough for my mom. She told my dad to stop. She refused to go any further in that dangerous beetle beast!
She grabbed me and my younger sister and told my dad that she would find a ride down to the bottom and meet him and my three brothers there.
So somehow we hitched a ride down the steep mountain. The driver was nice, but he loved driving fast and hugging the cures all the way down as we watched the stones fly and drop down the side hoping we wouldn’t be next.
Yes, we made it down fine as I wonder if that experience was any safer than riding down in our old Plymouth with those fading brakes.
I don’t know if my dad fixed the brakes or if the level ground made it seem so, but we continued on all together again.
Not sure what state we were in but I thought I saw palm trees. They turned out to be date trees. We stopped. Maybe it was New Mexico or Arizona. Anyhow a Mexican boy asked us if we wanted some dates. We said sure. He jimmied up that tree in no time like a cat being chased by a dog. Then back down he came with a bag full of dates.
They tasted so great! Sweeter than candy. I was sure everyone enjoyed them as much as I did.
As we approached Glendale Arizona, the car’s engine seem to be sputtering and groaning. It finally stopped, refusing to carry that heavy trailer another foot. We were stranded in a strange land and didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
There was no plan. No job waiting. Just a mad rush to Arizona and now it looked pretty bleak and desperate.
A good man finally came to our rescue. He towed our trailer to a trailer park in Glendale. The owner of the park let us set up camp there and invited us to his place for dinner.
I think we had Cornish hens, mashed potatoes, corn and more. What a delicious meal! I was thinking… “I never seen such small chickens before”.
I believed we stayed there about a year before moving to Phoenix. My dad was almost deaf since he was a kid and dropped out of school young. We struggled along, living in abandoned homes without gas, electric or water. As we tried sleeping on the floor as we watched scorpions crawl about.
My dad made us homemade pancakes on a fire out side. They were burnt but tasted pretty good anyways.
There were many days that we went to school without breakfast or lunch. Sometimes the Nuns noticed and ask the other kids to share their lunch with me. Embarrassed? Yes. But I appreciated their kindness.
When I didn’t have shoes during summer vacation I would run from shade spot to shade spot, so that my soles wouldn’t burn on the hot sand. The tumbleweeds would blow around as the sand blew into my eyes.
We would walk about ten miles to church and back on Sundays. Sometimes we stopped at the soup kitchen on the way back if we were broke. The three of us, Dad, my sister and I sat across from a one-eyed man. We gladly ate the humble meal as I watched the man straight across from me. He didn’t have a patch, so all I seen was red flesh where his eye once was. I was hungry so that didn’t stop me from eating.
My parents must have been making a small income after a while. I had an old pair of shoes and the soles were coming loose and one shoe was actually flapping. You could see my toes peeking through. It became harder to walk and was a chore to run and play.
My dad came up to me one day and said: “Bert, I know you need a pair of shoes. I have 25 dollars here ( this was in the 60’s). I could either buy you a new pair or we could donate it to the church. What do you want me to do?”
Well, I really wanted those shoes. I also knew what my dad wanted. He did bring us up in a religious environment. So I said: ” Dad, go ahead and give that money to the church”. After all they have helped us out several times.
We wrapped some tape around my shoes.
So I continued to wear those shoes a while longer until St. Vincent De Paul gave me a new pair along with other things for our family.
Then something really strange happened. A few weeks later a kid was running like someone was chasing him. He ran through our yard and dropped a box on our car. We weren’t sure what happened because we didn’t see anyone in pursuit of him.
We looked into the box and there was a new pair of shoes just my size! We couldn’t believe it. except for my dad and his faith. We couldn’t find out who they belonged to so I got to keep them. So I had two pairs of new shoes now.
If I wouldn’t of donated that 25 dollars would I have two pairs or one?
My father told me that story until he passed away even though I remembered it.
I think it’s great to have faith in God. Not sure if I could let my kid walk around with shoes flapping and donate the money to church though. My mom was mad about that.
Things did continue to get better throughout the years. We spent 6 years in Arizona and then returned to Michigan.
I do appreciate all the little things in life now. No matter how well off we are, I will always be grateful and happy for what we have. Everyday I thank God for everything he’s given us.
Yes, we donate when we have a chance, but I think that we also need to look after our family and friends.
Then there’s the time we found a crisp one hundred dollar bill walking to church…..
That’s just a chapter out of what could fill a book, so here I stop.
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Posted in Think Healthy Tags: adventure, altar boy, Arizona, belleville michigan, bread, cash, cash flow, church, dad, destination, dry climate, dry heat, Glendale, Health, health problems, heat of the desert, high humidity, Lake Canon, loaf, Michigan, New Mexico, Phoenix, Plymouth, salt lake, trailer, trouble breathing
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