Milk Buckets Are For Milk, Not Rocks

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Dr. Worthen was the country doctor who operated on my elbow after I fell off a horse and dislocated it. When he took off the cast he suggested to my grandmother that I carry a milk bucket full of rocks around the farm. He explained this would help straighten my arm. The torture began as soon as I got home.

Under Grandma’s watchful eyes and vocal supervision (i.e. “Calvert, pick up that bucket”) or through the eyes of my aunts who lived just down the road and were Grandma’s allies, I hauled rocks everywhere I went. By the end of summer I thought the bucket was an extension of my right arm. While I hated doing it, I have to admit it worked.

As a result of Dr. Worthen’s therapy permanent damage to my arm was avoided. When the cast initially came off I could only straighten it approximately 25%. After a summer of rock hauling I could straighten it about 95%.

Today’s doctors would probably recognize what Dr. Worthen and Grandma Cazier did to rehabilitate my arm. They would probably whole-heartedly support and applaud their actions. Personally, I am grateful to both of them and especially to grandma who had the hardest job.

Grandma taught me the reward of diligence as well as obedience. I didn’t want to carry those rocks but I am glad I did. I wonder if I told her how grateful I was that she made me carry that bucket of rocks. I doubt I expressed my appreciation to her. Learning to be grateful and to express that gratitude will provide our children with rewards and personal growth that will benefit them throughout their entire life.


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Anne's Corner

By Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW

Tell your child a story about something you did not fully appreciate at the time, but became truly grateful for only later.

Is there a way to show gratitude now?
  • If possible, sit down with your child and write a letter of gratitude, send a picture, a card, or some other small token of appreciation you and your child choose.
  • Maybe you can't actually say thank you to the person because like Cal's Grandma the person has already passed away, or maybe a stranger helped you and you don't know how to contact them.
  • After you tell your child the story, write it down together, draw pictures or record it however it makes sense depending on your child's age and interests, then share it with three other people.
Research shows that thinking about gratitude increases a person's overall sense of well being and satisfaction. Writing it down is even more powerful, and speaking it out loud to another person is the most powerful of all.

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Anne's Corner

By Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW

Tell your child a story about something you did not fully appreciate at the time, but became truly grateful for only later.

Is there a way to show gratitude now?
  • If possible, sit down with your child and write a letter of gratitude, send a picture, a card, or some other small token of appreciation you and your child choose.
  • Maybe you can't actually say thank you to the person because like Cal's Grandma the person has already passed away, or maybe a stranger helped you and you don't know how to contact them.
  • After you tell your child the story, write it down together, draw pictures or record it however it makes sense depending on your child's age and interests, then share it with three other people.
Research shows that thinking about gratitude increases a person's overall sense of well being and satisfaction. Writing it down is even more powerful, and speaking it out loud to another person is the most powerful of all.