Mothers Day

“You better mend your ways, young man!” I can still hear the exact tone and the pitch of voice my mother used. Sometimes she’d deploy the phrase in humor. But mostly when she suspected that I was about to commit some impertinent gaff in the company’s presence.
My mother was a gracious host and wanted the entire house in good trim for any visitation from family or friends. So I’d be deployed with the vacuum cleaner to get under furniture, rugs, and wayward crevices.

My father may have been the mariner, but she was the martinet commander of the apartment. Woe is to any who disobeyed the order to turn to and sweep the deck – clean sweep down fore and aft.

We were typical New York City apartment, dwellers. Two bedrooms, kitchen, bath, and a living room. There was a wide corridor in the middle that we called the dining room: no entry, no mudroom, and no office space. The kitchen was so narrow that only one person could fit in it.; Cooking for large holiday meals was challenging.

My mother contended that in small spaces, minor blemishes became magnified. So Louis had better do a good job. Mother wanted no slurs from visiting in-laws.

Even a tiny stare at a minuscule defect could bring down a “You better mend your ways, young man!”
Mothers. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

Mothers Food For Thought

My mother was a good one for sayings and quotes. She probably managed to create many of her favorites. She also explored the creation of her own story. Light replaced shadow.

The truth was a challenge, and we now think that she preferred silence or a carefully edited dance around the shadow of what might have happened. She made smooth the rough, created a happy time, or luck, as if by chance.
Even a short passage of years early in your life, one downpour too many, affects how the flower grows; how you celebrate. She always felt that life was like a book we were writing in, letter by letter. “don’t be in such a hurry, be patient.” “don’t hold that frown, the line on your brow will become permanent.”
It was part of her way of providing support to her family, of transmitting wisdom by sign and saying.
But, “Always remember, Louis. Nothing is free.”

%d bloggers like this: