My chiropractor and I share common family history. His father restored old tractors including a 1953 Ford Jubilee, and his mother hailed from Barbourville, Kentucky. My father rebuilt a 1953 Chrysler engine and restored a 1959 Edsel Ranger. And Granny praised Barbourville’s camp meeting as the best in Appalachia.

I owe these trips down memory lane to painful and persistent sciatica. And that commenced when I dismissed smart body-mechanics I’d learned in my “Fundamental Movement” course at Central Michigan University, 1968.

Although lower back aches afflicted my mother and two of my four sisters, I avoided bodily injuries and surgery. But when you’re a granddaughter of a farm wife who cooked and cleaned for company until she reached eighty, you’re prone to remain confident about what you can lift and carry when you’re seventy.

In retrospect, a hard fall on snow-covered ice a decade ago, and lifting 37-pound boxes of books led me to a decisive moment in August 2019.

“I think my chiropractor can help you,” my medical doctor said.

Oh no. I didn’t want to add another name and phone number to my list of two doctors. And I guessed one adjustment wouldn’t undo my damage.

However, my physician looked me in the eye and handed me a business card. “I suggest you make an appointment at your earliest convenience.”

An x-ray revealed arthritis in L4 and 5. I recalled Mom’s “arthur-itis,” her willpower to bear discomfort, and determined to trust my genetics and the chiropractor to untangle the mess I’d made of my body.

Within several months, the searing trauma subsided. I began morning sit-ups and pushups, working my way from twenty to a hundred sit-ups and forty push-ups.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing,” my chiropractor said. “Remember, magnesium and heat are what your back needs. Not cold.”

Month by month I passed 2020 checking off another visit on my calendar, enjoying first-time-grandfather stories about his granddaughter.

“How is it someone so little can melt your heart in a second?” he said during a treatment.

On cue, his receptionist knocked on the door. “Your wife, daughter, and granddaughter stopped by to see you.”

“Would you like to meet my little angel?” he asked.

There’s more to healing someone’s suffering than ultrasounds, adjustments, and vitamins.

And of all ancient occupations known to humankind, he said upon my last appointment, “I’m sowing buckwheat this spring on some of our acreage up north.”

“Then I think you might want a few beehives. I’ve read there’s nothing like dark, buckwheat honey,” I replied.

“That reminds me. Thanks for the eggs,” he said.

The man who can’t wait to turn the key on his tractor to plow and sow seed is also thinking of raising egg-layers when he retires.

Dear Reader, after building our friendship, I’ll miss my monthly adjustments of spine, soul, and spirit.

Perhaps the man who heals people and his little angel will appreciate some hen coaching.

And I’d love to see his father’s 1953 Ford Jubilee tractor.

Contact Iris at