I am standing here tapping out this memory of my Mother because I just took laundry from the dryer. Laundry that was warm to the touch this winter's day, which is very cold. As I unloaded the clothes from the dryer I spied my favorite long sleeved sweatshirt and immediately put it on. Ahhh, just like I remembered from so many years ago, warm and comforting.
I was immediately taken back to the cold winter days of my childhood, where (I should say our Mother, she wasn't just mine) mother would be trying to herd us out of the bathtub and into bed. But of course given the choice of a warm bath or a cold room to dry off in, which would you choose? Yeah, I thought so.... No one wanted to budge from the warm water, and yet time was tight and kids needed to be put to bed for the evening.
So my mother had a trick, she would put a towel for each child in the dryer and get them warm and inviting, and sure enough, before you knew it, we were out, dried and into bed.....As the years go by, these memories are very important and become more so. I quietly treasure them, Mom would have been 86 today. Born during the great depression, into a large family of 13 children, she was the only girl.
She always began celebrating her birthday on New Year's Eve, because, January 1st was her birthday, and the world celebrated with her! Or that is what it seemed like when I was very small and my folks left the house for an evening out, to ring in the new year. The next morning there would be party hats and whistles for us kids to make noise with, so we did.
The morning would ensue with my father reminding us to "keep it down, your mother is sleeping" and we would try, but 5 kids do make a lot of noise.....Dad would cook us his famous fried cornmeal mush, which was golden and crunchy and a bit greasy in all the right ways. I loved the salty taste, but some of my brothers and sisters topped theirs with maple pancake syrup. Dad ate his with eggs.
This is how we started out each new year, and to this day, I still think of New Year's Eve as the start of my mom's birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mom, love you and miss you!
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