Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remembering Mother - 2007

(This is a repost of a post I wrote in 2007 in memory of my mother.)

Mother's Day always brings back many memories for me of my own mother. The ones that stand out the most in my mind at present and almost beg me to write about them involve her humorous ways.

(Mother and Daddy taken during the 1950's)

No doubt you are all familiar with our nation's various domestic wars. The War on Drugs. The War on Crime. Mother had her own personal domestic war going on. It consisted of many battles on many fronts.


The battlefield was any motel room, hotel room, or vacation home where our family was going to be staying. The enemy was OTHER PEOPLE'S GERMS. Our germs were okay. We knew them. They were family. But other people's germs, well, that was a different story.

I do not recall our family ever taking a vacation for which Mother was not prepared with her arsenal of weapons: pail; mop; scrub brush; ammonia; bleach; soap; and rubber gloves. My sister and I were not allowed to step foot inside these places until Mother had thoroughly disinfected them from top to bottom. Once she got done the place was so clean and germ free that you could have drank out of the toilet bowl.

Mother's determination to do battle with OPG carried over to public restrooms as well. If she could not disinfect, she labored to create this protective paper barrier between the toilet seat and my little tush or my sister's which ever was the case. It was my mother who taught me how to dress the toilet seat in a public restroom with layers of toilet paper and how then to approach said toilet seat without disturbing this protective barrier. Much to my mother's dismay, the approach was a feat I never quite mastered.


Mother was good about keeping things for that proverbial rainy day. She had a cedar chest in her bedroom which she kept locked. Once when I was a little girl I decided to unlock it and see what was inside. I was surprised to find a treasure trove of beautiful linens neatly wrapped in paper. These were wedding gifts which Mother and Daddy had received. I asked Mother why we didn't use these things. Her reply was, "Oh, those are for a rainy day."

Well, that rainy day never arrived in our household while I was living there. It was one long drought instead. I remember well how our bath towels were so worn at times you could practically see through them while thick thirsty ones sat in Mother's cedar chest. Did that rainy day ever come for her? Did she ever get around to using all those beautiful towels and pillow cases that filled her cedar chest? If she did, then she waited till after I got married and had left the nest.


After Grandpa passed away and it was time for Grandma to sell the big house and move into something much smaller, my parents helped her prepare for the move. I will never forget the big deal Mother made over Grandma's gigantic collection of clothes hangers. It was excessive for sure. It looked as if Grandma had kept every clothes hanger that had ever made it into her life. But maybe Grandma thought clothes hangers would go up in value as time went by. Who knows. Who knows what in human beings causes them to keep things that come into the house on a regular basis when these things have no real value or have limited usefulness. I suppose we all possess this pack rat mentality to some extent.

Mother's thing was cottage cheese containers. My father loved cottage cheese. He ate it every day. It had its own place at the kitchen table right there along with the butter and the salt and pepper. Eventually cottage cheese came in plastic containers with nice snap on lids which made these containers perfect for storing leftovers and other food items. So, people started saving them. People, including my mother. The years went by and Daddy kept eating cottage cheese that came in plastic containers with nice snap on lids...and Mother saved these containers diligently. My guess is that she saved every one of them. Eventually she had a collection of cottage cheese containers that rivaled Grandma's collection of clothes hangers. She had cornered the market. Personally, I do paper bags and shoe boxes.

(Mother, a fine lady - age 69)

Mother passed away in January, 2001 twelve weeks to the day after the love of her life, my father, passed away. The following spring after their deaths, a particular pair of butterflies kept flitting around our yard and coming up onto our deck and landing on the railing which surrounds it. Butterflies are a sign from loved ones who have passed on...they say.


Mother had a reputation for being a lady. She took great pride in being a lady. It is with deep love that I wish this fine and fair lady a Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, April 02, 2010



(I have posted this Easter Greetings several times in the past. I like its simplicity.)