My Mom died 20 years ago this week. (See previous post) So, my sisters and I decided to devote today's Thursday Thirteen to her. So, without further ado, here are:
Thirteen Things We Remember About Mom
Food/Drink 1. Mom loved RC Cola. Back before Coke and Pepsi became household words, there were Coke, Pepsi, and RC. I remember finding it in a store in Germany once. Mom would buy it by the case.
2. Mom was addicted to peanut clusters. There was always a bag of these goodies in the fridge - but woe to the child (or Dad) who snuck one without permission.
3. Mom loved peanut butter and _______ (fill in the blank). You name it and she would probably eat it with PB. My sisters and I still think "Oooh, Gross" when we think about one of her favorite sandwiches - Peanut Butter and Mayo (sometimes with pickles added). Of course, there was nothing better than curling up on the couch to watch a movie with your own jar and a spoon.
4. Mom was a great cook, but baking was her thing. She could make anything from scratch. Her pie crusts were to die for - and she never used a recipe. To this day, I cannot duplicate that flaky crust she made for her peach cobbler, apple, and sweet potato pies.
5. Cream puffs were another love. I'm told by one of my sisters that Mom always stopped at the bakery before beginning to shop to pick up a cream puff to savor as she shopped.
6. Another sister remembers the time she and Mom made macaroni and cheese from scratch at 3 am. I was obviously not still at home when this happened. I loved Mom's Mac & Cheese (she made it with white sauce). Yum.
Family life 7. Sitting down on the floor to play jacks. Mom was good at this game and I was never so proud as the first time I beat her. I was probably 8 or 9. The first apartment I remember us living in had no carpeting, so we could play on the living room floor. Later, when we moved somewhere with carpeting, usually the kitchen wasn't, so we often would play jacks on the kitchen floor. I still have a set.
8. Our first washing machine. We had one of those old roller ones. The kind with the big tub and you had to hand feed the clothes through two rollers to squeeze the water out of them before you took them outside to hang on the line to dry. That machine was hell on blouse buttons.
9. Mom was a soap opera addict in the 70s and 80s. We got our first video recorder so she could record her soaps while she was at work. Every evening after dinner and dishes, she would settle in to watch the day's episodes. She was particularly fond of General Hospital. I think we still had the tape with Luke and Laura's wedding on it when she died. Don't know where it is now, though.
10. As much as she loved The Platters (see previous post), she just loved music. She could sit down at the piano and play a Strauss Waltz (Blue Danube and Tales of Vienna Woods were my favorites), or sing along to the radio while she did housework. A particular song we remembered was "Shop Around" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
Odd happenings - As a Mom of three girls, she showed an interest in what we did, but sometimes strange things happened. Here are two examples:
11. One day Mom took my middle sister out "cruisin' for guys". They went into town and cruised up and down main street for a while, then headed off to the local military base to see what was there. Apparently a good time was had by all, but I don't know if they picked up anyone. My sister's not telling.
12. When I was about 19, Mom was sitting in the stands watching me play in a tennis tournament. I remember noticing her talking to someone when I was changing courts, but thought nothing of it. She was pretty easy-going. After the match, however, she told me that some "kid" (her words) tried to pick her up. She said he wasn't much older than I was. We laughed about it all the way home.
And then there were her passions. . . 13. Baseball. She was a Dodger fan through and through. When we lived in AZ, my dad would get her tickets to Spring Training in Tucson every year. And, even though we didn't live in LA, she followed them all the time. If there was a Dodger game on TV, no one bothered her. Ironically, the Dodgers won the World Series the year she died. My sisters and I are convinced she helped.
Bonus: Westerns. Mom loved all the old "shoot-em ups". This song by the Olympics sums it up well. she could probably name all the actors and characters in the video.