this picture I saw recently made me think of my mother.
and I realize that so much of what I am now is because of her.
my little mother was my best friend throughout my early life.
I never went through that horrible stage that some teenagers do.
you know . . .
when they ‘just can’t stand to be around their mother!’
perhaps somewhere inside me I somehow knew those years were precious.
I was to lose her to lung cancer when I was 25 years old. we didn’t have long.
my father had died when I was 17 and not yet out of high school.
mother and I had become even closer then. she needed a friend badly.
one who totally understood her grief. the marine and she and I were
the three muskateers there for awhile!
I think of things she did. the way she looked at life. the spirit she had!
this is not I. but it’s amazingly enough pretty darned close!
same long wavy blonde hair.
same china blue eyes . . . from my granddad.
having looked at the pictures of my childhood and trying to find one on line that
matches as closely as I could I found this one.
a nice enough little girl. yes.
only . . . where this girl I would imagine is a lovely little LADY . . .
I WAS NOT !!!
I was an incorrigible TOMBOY!
there was just no hope in my ever being a frou frou lovely little lady like girl . . .
in spite of the angelic waves in my long blonde hair!
many years later it was to turn very dark. odd how it does that.
I was a happy climber of trees. early on!
and always upside down on monkey bars. even riding the merry go round.
remember those? on every playground? I don’t even know if they still have
I didn’t just ride around. I hung upside down on the bar while it went around.
oh! be still my stomach! even THINKING about it now makes me shudder!
when I was almost 7 my mother took me into the city to have my hair cut.
and they cut it SHORT.
she told me later that daddy quit talking to her for about a week when she did
he was furious.
her reply to that fury . . . and showing great spirit to talk back to my dad . . .
” YOU don’t have to go through the SCREAMS when it’s being WASHED! and
BRUSHED DAILY and I DO!!! “
it was wavy and tangled very easily. and I sympathize with her completely!
perhaps that very hair cut was the beginning of my love of simplicity! LOLOL!
my grandmother (my mother’s mother) was born before queen victoria died.
she had married into a rather wealthy family of old new england money.
only my gram married the very handsome ‘black sheep’ of the family!
he was a rounder. a gentleman for sure. but still a rounder.
it took him quite some time . . . but
he went through his inheritance like it was water.
what remained were some beautiful pieces of antique sterling silver that my
grandmother managed to save.
my little mother was given those same pieces of beautiful family silver for her
own home someday.
the war came and she met daddy and as people did then . . . their lives changed.
after the war they moved from new york to the prairie of oklahoma where the
marine and I were born.
and then proceeded during their married lifetime to move each year to many
different states . . . before he died of a massive heart attack at age 45
in northern minnesota.
in the early years there wasn’t much money. our possessions were few.
you can’t move every year and move an entire houseful of tons of stuff every
you’d soon go NUTS! or get a divorce i’m sure! or . . . well. you get the picture.
we had the bare essentials of keeping a home. nothing fancy. only useful.
and yet . . .
my little mother had the most gracious way of blending the old and rustic
with that beautiful antique family silver. it seemed the best of both worlds.
it was my very first experience with WABI SABI. even before I knew what
wabi sabi was!
years and years later I would learn of it and it was like coming home again.
I have never known why I love rustic elegance. I just always have.
I’m not a frilly lace loving woman.
I more enjoy the blend of rusticity with elegant little touches of luxury.
marred aged wood with sparkling crystal.
antique silver with the simplest white plate.
and now . . .
it’s my mother!
the ‘ lighter of corners.’ we’ve talked about that before here on the peanut.
” it’s time to light the corners darling! “
always said on a cloudy rainy day. dreary to others perhaps. but never to me.
they are my favorite days now! and it’s because of her.
the simple house wherever we lived would soon glow with pools of golden light.
cozy not a good enough word to describe it.
you washed before dinner. or breakfast. or any meal for that matter!
it was always eaten at the table. a table of simplicity. even to the food.
there was a little vase there with simple flowers.
the table was set properly. and you were mindful of your manners.
as a matter of fact . . . my father was a STICKLER for good manners.
it you chewed with your mouth full or you slurped . . . you LEFT THE TABLE.
a far cry from how everyone eats now! usually anywhere but a table!
the table is now for holidays only I guess! most young families eat in front of a
TV in the living room or even in their OWN rooms! still so odd to me!
some of my happiest memories are of eating at the table as a family.
presided over by a little mother . . . all 99 pounds of her . . .
who regardless of the always rented place we were in . . .
had the innate ability for
making the best of it.
no matter where we were. or how bad it might be. she created beauty.
in simple uncomplicated ways . . . she had the ability for making the best of it.
for making it always beautiful.
and for making it always home.
so that I still can carry it all in my heart to this very day.
til soon old bean!