Today is my mother’s birthday. She is 88. She was the second of four sisters. No brothers. Her father was a blacksmith and her mother was a housewife when that word seemed to carry more honor. Now we’re homemakers or domestic engineers or a lot of us are wearing so many hats we don’t know what to call ourselves. Mom grew up during the Great Depression, but although she knows they never had any money to speak of, she never felt poor. She and her sisters were loved and had food on the table and books to read. Her father and mother were both readers, and I’ve heard my grandmother say she was never happier than when she and my grandfather spent an evening in companionable reading. My grandfather enjoyed reading about scientific advances and history as well as fiction. I don’t remember him very well because he died when I was young. But I can tell by the way my mother and my aunt talk about him that he loved his daughters very much. And what better gift to leave your children than the assurance of your love? That’s the gift my mother passed on to me and that I have done my best to pass on to my children.
Mom has lost two of her sisters, the oldest and the youngest. She and the other middle sister still get together at least once a week to talk about the good times when they were growing up and having fun together. I’ve been eavesdropping on some of their conversations and going back in time with them. They remember their father pulling his chair up close to the radio to listen to Joe Louis knock out whoever climbed in the ring with him. They smile when they talk about sitting on the outer edges of their father’s forge to warm up on cold winter days. They laugh about the taffy pulling parties their mother let them have when some of their friends ended up with fingers stuck together. They know where they were when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and how that changed their lives. My aunt rode across the country on a train to spend a few weeks with her husband before he was shipped overseas. That was the first time she was ever away from home. She rode the train back home with a baby on board. So many memories.
We all have memories we treasure, but that perhaps we never share with anyone. Maybe we feel they’re not important enough to tell others. But I’ve found my grandchildren’s ears perk up when I tell them about some little thing their daddy did when he was growing up. Stories tie us together and help us realize what makes us a family. Next time you get together with your extended families, listen to each other’s stories and enjoy!
I’m going to do some remembering when I do my presentations at the Anderson County Public Library here in Lawrenceburg on Sunday April 13th at 2 p.m. and at the Paul Sawyier Library in Frankfort, KY on Thursday May 8th at 6 p.m. I’m planning to do some just for fun Sixties Trivia. Whether you lived through the Sixties or have only read about what happened back in the olden days, we can have some fun remembering. I’ll also be talking about my writing and giving away some door prizes at both events. Nothing too big since I’m only a poor struggling author, but you might win one of my books or perhaps an Elvis CD. Hope if you’re in the area, you’ll come out and join in the fun.
Finally here’s a list I came across to leave you with a smile while you think up your own additions to the list.
10 Things to show God has a Sense of Humor
1. The platypus
2. The digestive system
4. Baby giraffes
5. The appendix
6. Solar eclipses
7. The story of Baalam and his talking donkey (Numbers 22)
8. Hammerhead sharks
10. Oklahoma weather
I think I’d have to put Kentucky weather right in there with Oklahoma. Especially in March. And I don’t know about the snowflakes although I have wondered how anybody can be absolutely sure no two snowflakes are exactly alike since we certainly haven’t inspected them all. Of course what might show the Lord’s sense of humor best is all of us.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day. Hope you have a good reason to laugh at least once every day. Laughter worketh good like a medicine. It promises us that in the Bible.