Spring Tonic


Time to Open the Windows Again

By Jeff Salter

We’re all about Spring this week and debating how much we enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors. Well, as I’ve noted on some of the Resident Foxes’ posts this week, I no longer do much outside stuff because of physical limitations. But I love the fresh air we can experience as we once again open windows and (occasionally) the doors… and let the outside air sweep through the house.

In Southeast Kentucky, we don’t have to battle as many skeeters as we did in Northwest Louisiana. But they do have flies up here — dark, ugly, mean flies (as large as prunes). We can’t really enjoy our rear deck as much as would seem possible because it has no roof and the direct afternoon sunlight is usually too intense. [Also my wife’s free-range chickens have decided our rear deck is included in their turf, so they’ve taken it over — and pooped all over the place.]

We are at a relatively high elevation (here in Possum Trot) and have a beautiful view to the east and south from our front porch. Mornings and evenings on the porch – where we have two chairs, two swings, and two ceiling fans – can be very relaxing.

Spring Fever

As I approached this week’s topic, I had to look up “spring fever” because I had some confusion about what it actually means. Turns out it can mean a sense of excitement and raw energy — or the exact opposite (lethargy)… and presumably everything in between.

Here’s what Wiki has to say about it:



Spring Tonic

Whatever the actual symptoms of Spring Fever were, the annual dose of Spring Tonic was sworn to CURE them. My earliest awareness of supposed spring fever – and its curative tonic – was (as a kid) watching an episode of Bonanza. In this show, Ben, Adam, and Joe Cartwright were trying to force Hoss to swallow his “spring tonic” – a mixture of sulfur and molasses – which was supposed to cure spring fever. Needless to say when large and powerful Hoss didn’t want to do something, it took a lot of persuading. Does anybody else remember that episode?

Previous Musings

Here are some of my previous musings about springtime, from my 2013 blog – which includes links to my 2012 and 2011 Spring-themed blogs – here at 4F1H:


[NOTE: not sure why, but the links to the song clip and the two movie clips are no longer working — sorry].


How does Spring grab YOU? Do you feel the freedom from cold winter months and go play barefoot in the dirt? Or is Spring just another season to you? Have you ever been dosed with Spring Tonic?

[JLS # 272]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Spring Tonic

  1. jbrayweber says:

    I’ve never heard of spring tonic. How does it taste?
    I have a fondness for spring. I love the bright, fresh greens, colorful bursts of azaleas, and the excited chatter of birds. It also means that warmer days are ahead. Summer is my favorite season—even the grueling hot days.
    I’d love to open my windows in spring, but can’t. Pine pollen is awful here in Southeast Texas. By the time the pollen is done, it’s too hot to open the windows. I wasn’t raised in a barn so I must keep the windows and doors closed to keep from trying to cool the outside with my A/C.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Yeah, I remember the Texas pollen, because it would often head east and cover us in Shreveport!
      Actually, though I like the fresh (of Spring & Fall) breezes during the day, while I’m sleeping, I prefer A/C because it’s more predictable.
      I don’t like being sticky, sweaty, 100 degrees hot anymore, but I don’t mind regular summer temperatures up to about 89.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That tonic sounds dreadful, I wonder if my parents ever had to take that.
    I don’t recall that episode of Bonanza. I watched reruns of the show whenever I was home sick, they hardlu showed episodes with Adam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I don’t recall ever seeing this episode on reruns either.
      My maternal grandmother dosed my older brother with castor oil, but my mom put a stop to it. However, she still gave me something called Castoria — which had less petroleum in it.
      I think she used it in place of spring tonic.


  3. You know,I have read that REAL “Spring Tonic”, made with great knowledge and care, had much more than sulfur and molasses and actually did wonders.Many times, the recipes came from Indian tribes.
    There was sometimes molasses to add iron, but more often wild honey which contained pollen from local wildflowers to help ward off allergies. Also, I have been told, tiny poison ivy leaves picked just at the right time; they supposedly kept a person immune to the oil in the leaves later on. Think about it:poison ivy is all over and all they did was go through the woods.Why weren’t they suffering constantly? It’s all very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      did not know it had poison ivy components, but I knew there were other ingredients. Supposedly there was also a bit of kerosene, as I recall.
      I’m sure the FDA would not approve spring tonic for today’s marketplace.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joselyn says:

    I have never been dosed with a spring tonic, but my mom wouldn’t dose out any medicine very easily. She could have used the poison ivy one though. Every year she would try to get the poison ivy out of the yard by pulling it out. And every year she would break out in a horrible rash all over her arms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      As a kid — curiously — I apparently had a resistance to poison ivy. But my own kids got it terribly and I’ve since developed a magnetic attraction for the disease. It’s very difficult to “kill.” It has a long tough root system. Even in winter time, you can get some of the sap on you if you pull it up. The chemicals actually strong enough to kill it are dangerous enough to harm too much of the environment.
      All you can do is dig, dig, dig, and wear as much protective gear as you can.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Flies as big as prunes? You either have enormous flies, or tiny prunes.
    I don’t remember that episode of Bonanza either, and I watched the show every week. But I found references to it online – Season 5, episode 23, “The Pure Truth” – sounds interesting. And no, my parents and grandparents didn’t make us take a spring tonic – thank goodness!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Spring, Whether Early or Late | Four Foxes, One Hound

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