One: her family
Mom's dad died when she was 14-years-old. My mom was the youngest of three daughters. Grandma Katie moved Mom and her sister Bina from the farm into Doland after an auction. Her sister Grace was already married to Johnny. Dad told me a lot more about the death of Jacob B, my grandpa on my mom’s side, and the financial hardship it caused my mom’s family in 1940, but that’s for another post.
While still in high school, Mom served as a waitress at the café. After high school she earned a desk job at Northwestern Public Service also in Doland. Ironically, my oldest sister Priscilla held a similar job in Huron years later.
Two: her school years
Mom won the spelling bee when she was in elementary school. One time when we were out in public, Mom had me look over at a woman across the room and then said, "That's the one who slapped my hand with a ruler." Seems Mom got in trouble or the teacher was super strict.
Three: her marriage
Mom was 19 when she married Dad. For more details about their wedding click here to read "What I Never knew about my Parents' Wedding." Mom was instrumental in Dad’s decision to follow the Lord once and for all, but again, that’s a story for another post.
Four: her first-born
My brother Elliott was around four-years-old when he went out to do chores with Mom one time. A barrel with pig slop in it caught his eye while Mom gathered chicken eggs.
Little Elliott, knowing how they’d dip a bucket in there to feed the hogs, decided to take a look, but he bent over the barrel too far and fell in—only not all the way. His head was buried in pig slot. Mom came around the corner and saw only his feet sticking out. Who knows how long he was like that.
Elliott said the next thing he remembers is walking to the house beside her. Mom saved my brother's life that day.
Five: a seamstress
Brenda, my sister, wrote this passage:
Mom didn't do a lot of sewing, but she made matching dresses for Priscilla and me when we were in first grade. We wore them for school pictures. I wore those pop beads that looked like a string of pearls. That was always my favorite school picture.
I wish Mom would have sewn more dresses, but she had Dad's jeans to patch. That was a never-ending job with a pile always awaiting repair. My hubby teases me about how much money we would save if I could patch his jeans, for I do not sew. I only fix buttons.
I did learn to iron though, by pressing pillowcases and Dad's hankies. To prepare for the task, Mom had a sprinkler bottle filled with water that we would shake over each washed and dried article. We'd then roll the items up and snuggle them in one large laundry basket. The basket was wooden—not the plastic kind of today.Six: her Saturday routine
Priscilla said Saturdays were for cleaning. “The kitchen floor got washed and waxed. We did it on our knees with a rag—not standing up with a mop handle in our hands. Then in the evening she made sure we did our Sunday school lesson.”
The girls enjoyed tea and homemade buns with Mom when they were done with chores. They'd use Mom's blue tea pot, an item that set around just for looks when I was a kid.
Seven: tutor to her children
Mom helped my sisters study for tests when they were in grade school. Brenda said Mom sat in the black leather chair in the dining room and asked questions. (This was that black chair I wrote about in “Mom’s Pestering Pays Off” and "Easter Tidbits” click here and then here). Priscilla said Mom would write out questions, like making up a paper/pencil test, then they would need to fill in the answers.
Eight: the field work
Mom preferred fieldwork to housework, so Brenda performed the chicken chores, and she said she must have prepared the meals. Priscilla said Mom had special field work attire: shorts that came to the knee, a sleeveless blouse, and a cap. “She’d grab an apple for lunch and would stay in the field until it was done,” Pris said.
Nine: trips to Huron
Priscilla remembered shopping at Farmer's Market for groceries. And Brenda recalled fond memories after piano lessons in Huron. “Afterwards, Mom would take Priscilla and me to the Double H to get a cone. Mom always ordered banana ice cream,” Brenda said.
It seems like Mom has missed more than ten birthdays on this earth. Each year it gets a little easier thinking about her on that day, for I know if she could, she wouldn't want to leave her heavenly home. But that doesn't make me miss her any less.
What childhood routines do you remember with a loved one? Do you have any relatives that did men's work and women's? How have your Saturday routines changed since childhood?