Roger's at it again this week with this Fun Monday challenge:
With Mother's Day this weekend, the topic came to me pretty easily, even if the subject might not (ooh, a mystery?). Anyway, for this week, let us all share some memories of good ol' mom - although I wouldn't call her old to her face. :)
I have lots of memories of my mother. They probably aren't the kind that you would think of. Great meals, lovely home, sitting on her lap as she read stories...
First of all, she was a mother of six. Though she didn't work outside the home (except for a brief period of time while pregnant with the last kid), there was usually an air of frazzled-ness about her.
Meals were whatever was inexpensive and what we would mostly eat. We loved the tuna on toast and turned up our noses at anything with mushrooms or tomatoes in it. By necessity, her cooking was dumbed down to please as many babyish palates as possible.
The lovely home was sort of a lost cause too. Too many dirty feet and careless tossings of clothing and toys, in spite of her best efforts. And her best efforts were pretty good. I remember her decorating our bedrooms and the seasonal decor of our livingroom. Spring and summer saw white (!) slipcovers on the chairs and couch and light floral curtains but the first nip in the air brought out the dark plaid curtains and brown slipcovers. Our house was never fancy - but it was comfortable and we loved her efforts.
Story time? Well, that was Dad's venue. I suspect that story time was when she would go pour herself a glass of wine and retreat to the bathroom for a hot bath or her bedroom for some quiet reading time. When Dad put us to bed, Mom was rarely in evidence. I think she might have had quite enough by the end of the day!
What I remember the most about my mom is what Dad calls her "enthusiasms." Endeavors that probably kept her sane.
My earliest memory is of her painting. The little house we lived in had a screened in porch that became her santuary. She'd set up her easel and canvas, squirt out her oils on a palate and paint. She painted some from her head and some from pictures. She did some pretty awesome paintings. One of my Aunt Jill was just gorgeous. And there was one of my brother John. And one of a man and his llama that she got out of a National Geographic magazine hung in our house for many, many years. Later, years later, John and I went up into the attic to get Christmas decorations down and found a bunch of her canvases. We spent some time up there, looking at each one and reminescing about her "painting phase." To this day, I can't smell turpentine without thinking of Mom creating art on the side porch.
Mom was also a great seamstress. This was one enthusiasm that lasted. She took sewing classes at Gilbergs and owned a lovely little Kenmore sewing machine. She made clothes and pjs and robes for all of the kids. I had some gorgeous little dresses (though at the time I wasn't as appreciative as I could have been). My brother Matt wore Mom's creations almost exclusively as a toddler. She even taught me and my friend Mandy the basics of sewing. Over a couple of weekends, we managed to turn out a couple of dresses and blouses that we actually wore. After a while, the sewing turned to home decorating, and eventually costuming. We had some of the BEST costumes as kids. When James joined the Young Actors Theatre, she began costuming plays. She continued sewing until her eyesight began to fail, and is looking forward to picking it back up when her eye procedures are finally done.
There have been other enthusiasms that she's developed. Ancestry was there for a bit. My grandmother started it and she picked it up. I don't know if she's still into that. Cleaning methods popped up for a bit. Relearning how to cook really well from the Food Network was one we ALL appreciated. We wait to see what the next one will be.
I suppose, with a mother like that, it's not surprising that I'm forever trying on different hobbies. Some fit quite well, others not so much. But like my mother before me, I expect my love of learning new things will stick with me for the rest of my life.