There was great excitement at the old Carbon Homestead. It was Thanks giving Day and upon this particular Thanksgiving Day, the Carbon family were having a reunion. When the invitations were sent out, no one could find the address of Bismuth carbon, Cuprum carb., Titanium carb. and Zinc carbon, so they were of necessity slighted, but all the other branches of the family were invited.

Manganum carbon had fallen into a despondent condition; she was low-spirited. Even joyous music did not please her, and as for the dinner, she had an aversion to food, and always felt as though she had eaten too much. The vexations of life were too real for her to indulge in any merry-making, so she sent regrets. Mrs. Plumbum carbon had become so thoroughly one of her husband’s family that you couldn’t tell her from a plumbum. She had lost all interest in the carbon family, therefore she also sent regrets. With these exceptions, all of the invited were on hand.

You should have seen dear old Grandma Carbon veg., as with her twin sister, Carbo animalis, she received her guests. She was not very strong, poor thing. She was taking her usual nap in her chair, when the clamor of the arriving guests awakened her. She snatched her fan and hastened out on the porch to welcome them. The poor old soul was afflicted with asthma and always carried her fan, even in the open air. Grandma had a weak voice, which soon gave out upon exertion, so her greeting was expressed by her smiling pale face, and she left most of the talking to the young people. Aunt Carbo animalis wasn’t much stronger than Grandma Carbo veg. She never did have much strength or energy and now in her old age had developed Carcinoma, which did not improve matters, but in union there is strength, and it took the united strength of the two old ladies to do justice to the occasion.

A fine array of children and grand-children, nephews and nieces came running to meet the old lady. Fat Amm-carb. with her scrofulous children, hysterical Baryta carb. with her poor little dwarfish child, dwarfed in mind as well as in body, Calc-carb., fair, fat and flabby, with her fat, self-willed children, dark haired asthmatic Kali carb., weak inspite of her obesity, with no children at all, though it was not her fault, poor thing! weak-eyed Lith-carb., nervous Mag-carb. irritable as ever, Natrum carb., who, for once had laid aside her dislike for exercise, and the open air, and Strontium carb. with her bundled up children, had all come to celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with Grandma Carbon.

Dinner was all prepared, but there was some delay in seating the guests, for children, after an hour’s play needed a little cleansing to make them presentable. Now it happened thus the little Amm carbs. were exceedingly hemorrhagic in their nature. It also happened that they were exceedingly averse to being washed, and when the cleansing process began, their noses began to bleed, and they began to cry. Grandma induced them to stop crying by bribing them with sugar of which they were very fond, and Mrs. Amm-carb. finally succeeded in stopping the epistaxis, so with red spotted faces, blue hands and swollen veins, but clean, they were at last ready.

Tiny Baryta carb. needed no washing. The Calcarea children had tried to quarrel with her, but she was shy of strangers, and had hidden in the corner, and kept so still that there was not a speck of dirt upon her. Not so with the Calc- carb. children. They had stumbled around, whenever their weak little legs had chosen to carry them, and had fallen just as often as those same little legs had given out under them or the little toes had stumbled against some slight elevation. But each had found its heart’s desire, and when they had appeared before the eyes of the assembled relatives, one was nibbling a piece of chalk, another was treating a piece of coal in the same manner, while the third was gnawing away upon a raw potato, much to the horror of Kali carb., who was a great sufferer from indigestion and had to be very careful what went into stomach. Mrs. Calcarea soon transformed the dirty little folks into sweet-faced, rosy-cheeked chubs and brought them to the table.

Grandma Carb. had seated the guests according to their needs.

Weak-eyed Lithium carb. was placed in a shaded corner; Natrum carb., who had been afflicted with sunstroke years before and had never fully recovered from the effects of it, was given the coolest corner; while Strontium carb. was given the seat nearest to the fire, for she is in danger of apoplexy if a draught touches her or when she does not keep warm. Grandma’s dining room was built with a sky-light and no windows, and in that way she avoided all draughts. Many of her children were sensitive to the air, though she herself couldn’t get too much of it.

That was a glorious Thanksgiving Dinner! It was not a modern affair, with an endless number of courses, but one of the old fashioned kind such as our puritan forefathers indulged in. There was plenty of everything that the market could afford, and all was prepared to suit the taste of the guests.

The food to which the guests had an especial aversion, was placed as far as possible from that guest; for instance, all of the sweets, the fruits and especially the plums, were placed at a distance from the Baryta carbons; the meats were kept away from the Kali carbs., Calc-carbs. and Stront-carbs. The milk was not placed near the Nat-carb, or the Calc-carb., etc. and on the other hand, if there was a dish that a guest especially liked, it was placed in her vicinity. No one could describe that table or tell all that was upon it. Everyone’s pleasure had been consulted. There was bread, cold food and plenty of sugar lumps for the Amm-carbs. Grandma had notion the sugar loaf cubes were purer than candy. There were eggs, sour things, salt things, sweets, and ice cream for the Calc-carbs., sour things, sweet things and sugar for Kali carb., meat, bread and fruit for Mag-carb. Neither was Grandma forgetful for the thirst of her guests, for she had provided cold water for Nat-carb., Mag-carb. and Calc-carb., beer for Stront-carb. and lemonade for the Calc-carbs, besides several acid drinks for Mag-carb. and Kali-carb.

When all were seated, Grandma Carbon cast an affectionate glance down the long table and told her children that she thought each should tell what particular thing she had to be thankful for, and set the example by saying that she herself was extremely thankful that so many of her family had once more been permitted to gather at her table. The children giggled at Grandma’s speech, not because it was funny, but because she started off in a deep bass voice and ended with no voice at all! You see Grandma was exerting herself too much. Absent-minded Amm-carb. forgot what she was thankful for and could hardly keep from weeping in her anxiety to recall some blessing. She finally remembered that she was thankful that the day was pleasant, because her children were always so irritable in stormy weather. Little Baryta carb. peeped timidly from the folds of her mother’s dress skirt and looked thankful that she had found such a protecting hiding place, and said nothing. Mrs. Calc-carb. thought she had so many things to be thankful for she couldn’t be expected to remember them all, but her children, who had been intently scanning the table, piped up as in one voice, “pickles, eggs, cakes corn beef, ice cream, lemonade; it’s good dinner,” and the fond mother, remembering her little pale-faced emaciated children that had gone into the other world, responded, “Yes, we are thankful for the dinner, but I am more thankful for the rosy-faced healthy-looking children, who, I know have stomachs big enough to hold the dinner” Kali-carb. looked listlessly around the table and was glad that others were happy even she were low-spirited. For once, Lith-carb. forgot to weep about her lonesome condition and was thankful to find that she had so many relatives, though she had difficulty in remembering their names. Nervous Mag-carb. said she had been trembling with fear all day as if some accident would happen, something almost always did happen when so many were together but she was thankful that nothing had happened. Nat-carb., who had much difficulty in grasping and connecting thoughts, at this point comprehended that she was expected to be thankful for something and astonished her relatives by announcing that as her stomach was empty she was thankful dinner was ready.

Thereupon, Mag-carbs., Lith-carb., and all the little Calcarea carbs. cordially responded “so are we”, which reminded Grandma that it was quite the time for the guests to be served.

The little Amm-carbs., soon had enough, for no matter how hungry they were, a small quantity always satiated them. They made it all up, though, by drinking when they couldn’t eat. Baryta carb. soon had to stop eating, not because she was too timid to eat, but because there came a sudden disgust for food in the midst of the meal. No one urged her to continue, for all agreed that no child with such hypertrophied and indurated tonsils, could be expected to swallow much; they wondered how with such a throat, she could succeed in getting anything down. Stront-carb. had no appetite at all, but she sipped her beer and enjoyed watching the rest who certainly did justice to the dinner.

Frederica E. Gladwin
Frederica E Gladwin was born in 1856 in rural Connecticut. She initially trained to be a teacher. She came across homeopathy and studied medicine, graduating from the University of Missouri. She continued her studies under Kent and was one of his greatest followers. She helped him in putting part of his repertory together and corrected some mistakes in earlier editions.
She was one of the first students to graduate from the Philadelphia Post-Graduate School of Homeopathy and served at the school as Clinician, Professor of Children's Diseases and Professor of Repertory. She taught from 1933 until her health failed. She also taught Pierre Schmidt how to use the repertory.
Her accomplishments include being one of the founders of the American Foundation of Homeopath. She was a frequent contributor of articles, many of which are printed in the Homeopathic Recorder. She died on May 7, 1931.