Every week, come heck or high water, Mom would give us each a dose of castor oil whether we needed it or not. I guess it was her way of performing preventative maintenance. Oh, how we dreaded taking that castor oil, but we knew better than to argue with Mom.

She would line us up from the oldest to the youngest and get out the castor oil and a big spoon. To Mom's credit, she did soften the blow a little by giving us each a thin slice of orange after we took the castor oil. Looking forward to that orange was what made taking it tolerable.

Many times, our cousins Benny Joe and Peggy would line up too just to get an orange slice.

I guess it worked because we stayed pretty much regular. To this day, though, every time I see an orange, I think of castor oil night.

Luther G. Eldridge©
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