By STEVEN HAUSLER

shausler@dailynews.net

It was a dreary morning when I shuttled my daughter, Danielle, to town in the dark for her vocal music practice -- a weekly extra-curricular activity that is part of her busy seventh-grade school schedule.

Our 20-minute ride to town was abnormally quiet. When we pulled up to the high school she began complaining of nausea. She apologized over and over for having me drag her to town so early, just to have to turn around and go back home. I didn't mind much, she is a tough cookie, and I was concerned about her.

As I was driving her back home, I thought about remedies. I stopped at the convenience store for a big bottle of clear soda pop and pink bismuth. Then we headed home.

It reminded me about my remedies for illness over the years.

I must admit, that with my busy schedule, I have concocted some odd ways of recovering from cold and flu symptoms. But I'd bet I am not alone. As for my daughter, she stuck to the traditional methods -- snuggling around the fire with a glass of clear soda pop and a good book. Rest and relaxation is the desired method suggested by moms around the world, probably since time began.

However, I would have to be pretty darn sick to do that now.

When I was young, my mother, like all mothers around the world, had strict rules about keeping activity to a minimum and staying indoors to get well.

I suffered terribly. Can you feel my pain?

My remedies are much different as a father and an outdoorsman. I think they might work even better than a mother's remedies.

I am sure dads across the country would like to agree with me.

For flu-like symptoms, this is what I do -- a shot of pink bismuth with a coffee chaser and two acetaminophen tablets. Then I grab my shotgun and head out the door for a nice, refreshing walk. Depending on the season, I might load it with quail or pheasant shells, duck or goose loads, or I might forget the shotgun all together and grab my .22-caliber long rifle. During the spring and summer months, the first part of the remedy is still the same, substituting my weapon of choice with a fishing pole.

For the common cold, this is what I do -- a teaspoon of cider vinegar with a coffee chaser, two acetaminophen tablets and a pocket full of menthol cough drops. Then I grab my shotgun and head out the door for a nice, refreshing walk. You get the idea.

There is nothing worse for me than staying indoors when I am sick. My remedy always includes the outdoors. I wanted to suggest it to my daughter, but I knew I probably couldn't overrule her mother.

These remedies worked for me. But really, do fathers know best?

As I look into my crystal ball, I dream of the future. I can see fathers taking charge of curing their sick children by taking them fishing or hunting -- with their pockets full of menthol cough drops and chunks of pink bismuth splattered all over their boots.