HG’s Late Mom VS Vermin

May 5th, 2020 § 0 comments

HG’s Mom (Ida Kopkind Freeman) did not fear insects vermin. She would grab big, scary spiders with her hands and crush them. Same went for water bugs, hornets (even the “Murder Hornet” had they been around) and other creepy-crawlies, big and small. Hands were vigorously washed with strong “laundry” soap. Very busy woman: Cleaning. Washing. Dusting. Making beds and changing sheets. Cooking. Pickling. Canning. Knitting. Sewing. Crocheting. No idle moments. Mom grew up in a tiny Belorussian “shetl” Life was rugged. When Mom was seven years old, she went out into the summer warmth to tend the vegetable garden. A very large rat was nibbling a cucumber. Mom kicked the rat with her bare foot. Enraged, the nasty rodent sunk its teeth into Mom’s big toe. The bite cracked a bone. Mom strangled the rat because it wouldn’t let go. No doctors in the “shetl”. So, the bloody wound was treated with a salve made by a neighbor, an old woman named Pesha. Never healed properly. Left a big bump. Painful when walking or standing for a long time. Mom shrugged it off. Hey, worse things happened to Jews in Europe. In the late 1930’s, after family pressure, Mom finally went to a hospital for a toe operation. Loved being in the hospital for a few days. Total leisure. She could lie in a comfortable bed and listen to favorite soap operas on the radio as well as the Yiddish station, WEVD. That was Mom’s taste of luxury.

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