Growing up my Mom had rules.
They weren’t hard rules, but none the less they became so engrained in me, that to this day I can hear her voice telling me to correct what I am “thinking” of doing. Mom was a school teacher and had a knack of knowing even what we were “thinking” of doing.
One rule was to tuck your shirt tale in. The “fashion” these days is to leave your shirt tale out. Even business men who are wearing sport coats and buttoning them, have their shirt tales out. Horrors. Last Sunday our pastor, who is a very smart dresser in shirts and ties, had his shirt tale hanging out. And this was not a sport shirt tale. It was a long shirt tale. You used to be able to tell if it was to go in or out by the cut on the sides. Curved goes in, straight goes out. Seems easy enough. Well, Mom, things have changed.
Canning. Every summer all my life we canned. 200 quarts of peaches, 200 quarts of pears, and hundreds of pickles, beets (yuk), carrots (double yuk), beans, peas, sourkraut (triple yuk) and even beef at one point. All the neighborhood kids lived at our house and they all helped. It was hot in Southern Idaho in the summer, but we turned the garden hose on and played and worked. Mom was so good at getting us to work.
My job was to make the salad for every dinner. Usually it was cut up lettuce with bananas and mayonnaise. Horrors. But sometimes we had jello with fruit cocktail. We always had potatoes because Mom was Irish and you never ate dinner without potatoes. Most always mashing with a ricer (I still have it). Nice and fluffy with milk and butter.
Somtimes Daddy would be gone in the evening and we had rice. If you have read my previous blogs, you know my Dad was a POW in Japan during the 2nd WW and we NEVER ate rice when he was home. But, yea!! we got rice for dinner with butter, sugar and milk.
Colors. Mom was big on what goes with what. Pink does not go with red. And red would never go with purple. Now we have the Red Hat Society. Mom would have loved them. They just have fun and laugh a lot. But red hats with purple clothes?? Please!!! On a cruise ship one time my husband began joking with some of these ladies. They were hugging him and having their pictures taken with him. I am sure they thought he was their son or grandson. One morning they all come down to breakfast in their night clothes, with their red hats.
House rules. Oh my, I can hear her all the time. You always make your bed every morning. And you mitre the corners, always. I know Mom wasn’t in the army, but for some reason she had that rule. My husband has never figured that one out. “It is just a few short hours and you are back in it” he says. Well, Mom always said….. Once a week you strip the bed, wash the sheets, and put them back on. No need for 2 sets, they are hung on the line in the summer and dry quickly in the Southern Idaho summer. Or in the winter you lay them on the oil stove in the dining room and they are dry and scorched at the same time.
Timing. Mom always did everything the same time, every time. She baked bread and rolls the same day every week. She did the laundry the same day every week. She sent Daddy to the grocery store the same day every week.
For the last 53 years, with only exceptions for when we were away from home, I would strip our bed on Saturday morning, wash the sheets, put them in the dryer (because I don’t live in S. Idaho anymore) and remake the bed.
Now comes the need for a vacation. Oh yes, travel agents need a vacation. After all the stress of making sure YOUR vacation is as good as we can make it, we need to escape with our cell phones and lap tops!!
Last Wednesday, which is always the day in the middle of the week I do the laundry, I yanked the sheets off the bed and gathered the laundry to go down stairs. My husband came into the bedroom, looked at the bed, and said in his gentle kind voice “What day is this?” I replied “it is Wednesday, why?” Then he says “why did you take the sheets off the bed?” At that point I dissolved into laughter.
That was when I KNEW I needed a vacation.