Does your birthday spark memories for you? Mine does.
Today marks my 56th year. Even though I have clearly entered the ‘mature adult’ stage of life, my birthday sparks ‘little girl’ thoughts. I am thinking of my parents and growing up in our home with a family of 5.
I was the youngest of three, the only girl, and born in Atlanta, Ga. Although we lived in Charlotte for a while, I have spent the last 47 years in middle Georgia. My Daddy was a tree surgeon when my parents met but he eventually started his own construction business specializing in concrete and excavation. He taught us to work and provide for ourselves. My parents were very giving and caring people. They would reach out and help anyone in need and taught us to do the same. My Momma was the help mate to her husband that she believed God intended for her to be. She supported him tirelessly though thick and thin.
Did you get spankings?
We got spanked when we were in trouble. We were not abused. We were not beaten, we were spanked. I remember every spanking I got because there were only a few. Once, when my brothers and I were small children, we disappeared. We had been playing at a neighbors home when the boys Dad decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store. They had a brand new station wagon which we were in awe of. Yep, you guessed it, we hopped into the back of that station wagon and went to the grocery store with the neighbor. Unfortunately, we didn’t ask first. Daddy never spanked us, never. Discipline was Momma’s job. He made an exception on this occasion though. He lined us up and asked “who wants it first?” My two brothers quickly shoved me to the front of the line. That is the only time in my life that my Daddy spanked me.
My earliest memories go back to when I was probably 4 or 5 living in Charlotte playing with the children in the neighborhood. Momma took in ironing and baby-sit for the neighbors to make extra money. There were always children at our house to play with. I remember vividly the crowded neighborhood streets at Halloween. Our costumes would be those plastic one’s with the plastic mask held on by a rubber band guaranteed to break and pop your face. Casper the Friendly Ghost was always a popular costume. We used big brown grocery bags as trick or treat bags and came home with them filled to the rim. Momma would dump out all of our candy and check it for safety. It’s my birthday, in January, and I’m remembering Halloween as a little girl, many years ago and hundreds of miles away.
Let me just say it isn’t fair that as men grow older, they get more and more handsome and attractive. It doesn’t quite work out that way for women. My Daddy was a young skinny fellow when he posed for this picture with me in a land far, far away many, many years ago. He was rocking that pompadour hair style!
This photo is dated 1962 which means I was around 3 years old. Momma was in style wearing her ‘peddle pushers’ which are now called Capri pants. Her shoes look like Keds too! You can never know which generation will think Ked’s are cool.
Little girls love their Momma’s
I remember being a little girl and just loving my Momma so very much and never wanting to be without her. After we moved to Georgia in 1967, we went back to visit our grandparents one summer. Grandma and Papa wanted my brother’s and I to stay a few weeks with them. We missed them terribly and were so excited about that adventure. The day came for Momma to head back to Georgia without us and I began to have second thoughts. I was about 9 years old at the time. I can see her driving away even now and remember vividly how I began to cry. Momma drove around the block and came back for me. That summer I ‘got to’ go with my parents when they bought a brand new Pontiac Le Mans, and go to the drive in movies to see John Wayne in True Grit. Can you imagine a 10 year old being content with such trivial events these days?
Coffee and Conversation
Momma was always fond of coffee and conversation around the kitchen table. If someone popped in at Momma’s house, the very first thing she would do was put some coffee on. In the photo above, Momma and her best friend, Jean were doing just that. I considered Ms. J to be my ‘other mother’. I may be wrong but I don’t think most people take the time to just visit with one another like that anymore.
I have my mother’s glass percolator to brew coffee on the stove. If you have never had coffee brewed on the stove, you should try it at least once. The coffee is so smooth and very, very hot. It is a treat that my husband and I enjoy together most weekend mornings, often while sitting on the front porch.