It was winter 2008. Like most families, we were in the trenches of a war, fighting off the unseen enemies of the cold and flu season. I had only recently learned about the concept of using oils not only to overcome affliction but also to prevent it. Much of the advice I read online praised the virtues of wearing little clay pendants with oils applied to them, but this Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was bare. Plus, everyone kept raving on and on about an essential oil blend called Thieves, but I didn’t have any of that on hand, either. An old pioneer phrase, now an oft-used family mantra, came to mind :
Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without!
With my fantastic motherly ingenuity, I decided to substitute Oregano oil for Thieves. After all, like most essential oils, Oregano was anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal! I carefully added a few drops of Oregano to a few tablespoons of olive oil and daubed my feet and the feet and backs of my children liberally with the concoction. Then we were off! Merrily, merrily we made our way to the library, seeking books to fend off the cruel ravages of Midwestern cabin fever.
Taking the littlest child with me, I set the older two children loose in the juvenile section and headed over to the DVD and music stacks. It was difficult trying to select anything because my youngest kept pulling things off the shelf. Then the middle child came over, whining that he “couldn’t find anything good.” I noticed that one of the librarians had left her desk and appeared to be searching for something among the bookcases. Probably for teenagers messing around, I thought. My middle son continued to whine, seemingly glued to the floor beside me. Restoring yet another DVD back to it’s place, I realized that finding my own selections first was fast becoming futile. The family circus had found me, yet again, and I surrendered to maintain my sanity. Returning to the juvenile section, I helped all three children make their selections. Odd that the children’s librarian and the reference librarian had joined the librarian from the circulation desk in pacing through the library. Hmmm… but I was distracted from further pondering by my angel daughter, the oldest, who sweetly volunteered to watch her brothers so I could get my books too. Hooray!
I practically danced out of the juvenile section on my way back to the entertainment stacks. The children were waiting to check out their books at the now unmanned circulation desk, which I could see by glancing through the forest of movies. What was going on? Where were the librarians? To my relief, another staff member came to check the kids’ books out, and I returned my focus to the shelves in front of me. Suddenly, two librarians came up the same row where I was innocently browsing.
Said one in frustration, “I can’t understand it. The smell is strongest here and in the children’s section, but I can’t seem to find any pizza anywhere!”
The other responded “Teens are smart, but they’re not that smart. C’mon, it’s got to be in here somewhere!!”
Holy Hecklers! Sweetly and swiftly, I abandoned my movie and music mission, gathered up my little goslings, and swept out of the library. My apologies to disappointed librarians, hassled teenagers, maligned pizza makers and an-hungered library patrons everywhere!