Contributed by RL


I don’t know about you but I heard this expression a lot when I was a kid growing up.   I believe this admonition has been around since time began by mothers who tried hard to raise us, their children, to be clean and germ free.   Moms always seem to have a sixth sense about what we have been up to when we are not in their sight.  I know we always, as kids, wiped our hands on our pants before we came back inside the house after playing with the neighbor kids in the early spring in those mud puddles, so our hands would be clean.  Besides we always made sure we left our little mud creatures on the porch instead of bringing them inside.  We all knew what would happen if we did bring those little treasures into the house. (

Not only a bath would be in our future but we would have to have our hair combed again and we would be lucky if we were not made to brush our teeth just for good measure to make sure we had not sampled those mud creations.  What’s wrong with eating a little mud now and then?

Well, now we are grown and supposedly adults. We know full well that all that exploring and adventure is filled with unseen danger for our little ones and even sickness.   Of course we would have been up to eating a few brownies as children; you know the kinds that are just drooling in chocolate and nuts. But hey, we were playing in the mud; moms are supposed to make treats.

Adults, they always act like children are walking germs or something.  Maybe we are just remembering our own days of care-free youth.  The exploring, climbing of trees, mud puddles, those crawly things called bugs that are so fascinating and we couldn’t resist catching, the warmth of the sun, the rich smell of the earth and all things green, water and dust, the stars, the moon everything was new and exciting.   (  I guess that is why we have taken up the cry of the centuries “Wash Your Hands!” We remember getting sick.

A good example would be just the other day when our grandchildren were over and they were outside playing with the cats in the back yard.  They crawled up and around the wood stack chasing those cats and manhandling them, petting them; you know just treasuring them to the utmost and smooching the cats.  Then they went venturing into the feed mangers of the neighbor’s, which are only a stone’s throw from our back yard,  that had hay and even a couple of cows feeding.  I know because I watched them try to pet the cow’s noses when I went out to see if they wanted to help cook lunch.

Interesting thing about a cow’s nose, it’s always gooey and wet but if you have been around cows much if they do not try to get away from you, they are a little like a dog, they want to lick you to see how you taste.  So that is how I found the kids giggling and having a good time as children do in their day of exploring and adventures, being licked by cows.

Of course they wanted to help, after getting their attention, with lunch so towards the house they came full of energy and excitement about someone wanting them to help cook. (

I went back to the house to finish up the home-made pizza crust by rolling it out as I listened to them taking their shoes off in the other room.  Of course you have to make more than one pizza and obviously you have to make a couple of pan (small) pizzas as well to keep them all interested.  It’s always the best pizza when you have made it just for you, as you may well remember.

Suddenly the oldest granddaughter that was visiting was at my side and had the cheese container in her hand and was ready to sprinkle.  Just one problem; did you wash your hands?  Dropping the cheese she hurried off to the other room and I could hear the water running as she did the deed.  Of course little brother had to have help which we rendered to him who by the way was not very thrilled about this part of the process to help make lunch.

With the washing of hands completed; and I am sure a doctor would be awed by the ability of a child to wash their hands in less than 10 seconds, (There are calf ropers at rodeos who would be envious) and have them look clean. (

With the grandchildren helping, with hands all over everything, we applied the tomato sauce, hamburger and chicken, mushrooms, onions, mixed peppers and a generous dose of freeze dried cheese.

Pop the two pizzas into the oven with the other 2 little pizza pans (the size of cup saucers) that were the grandchildren’s special own little pizzas and let cook. Then when they were cooked and hot we got them out and watched as the little ones gulp down their personal pan pizzas in a matter of seconds. Of course they wanted more which is why we made two full sized pizzas in the first place.

Once full, the grandchildren wanted to go back outside and see if they could touch the cows again.    As they went running for the back door grandmother yelled, “Wash your hands!”  Heavens we would not want to give those cows germs. ‘Till next time RL