Memoirs are written by the older generation to remind or inform children and grand children of family history and events. But that is not always the case. On Mothers’ Day my son Chris called to tell me he had a present for me but had some work to do on it before he could send it, In August a digital photo frame arrived. He had scanned 200 pictures onto it. All were dated; some were titled. There was a picture of my mother among her sheep and goats. There was a picture of Tante Clotilde and cousin Uta on a visit from Germany, another one of my brother Kim and his wife also visiting mother. A picture of an attractive fairly slender young woman turned out to be me. One of Chris about 3 or 4 years old was marked Chandler Street. Chandler Street? What is Chandler Street?
Chandler Street - where we had a real ice box with big chunks of ice delivered three or
four times a week.
Chandler Street - where I did my laundry every Monday using my electric washer and
hand operated wringer and looked out the window into the back yard before
hanging out the clothes to be sure my neighbor was not hanging hers out so that
we would not end up leaning over the back fence gossiping for an hour.
I call Chris’s gift my reverse memoirs. Thank you, Chris.
"My Mission, Their Legacy"
(A Mother's Perspective)
The offsprings were born to me,
Not by my decision, rather of their volition.
They freely selected my body to dwell in,
My bosom to find sustenance,
My soul to nurture their mind,
My heart to keep them safe.
To them I offer every opportunity to thrive, evolve and grow.
both by learning the ways of the world and spiritually.
To become self-reliant,
autonomous, respectable, purposeful and benevolent.
Once fully-grown, I provide them with security of being loved,
Then endow them with the greatest gift of all:
The only essential requirement for "JOIE D'VIVRE" (zest for life):
The blessing of absolute, unlimited freedom,
Total release from all obligation to me,
Complete relief from any expectation,
Utter deliverance from demands and duties,
Full liberation from societal dictates of
"Returning the favor"!
Their time, energy and attention solely belong to them
to dispense with as they please.
Blessed with the good fortune of the healthy body and sound mind,
Each is to seek fulfillment through enrichment of every precious moment.
Needless of repayment,
They are asked to bestow all they can to their progeny,
The best reward in knowing
The endless sacrifices of time and effort
Are well utilized and properly expended,
Therefore put to good use.
One offer of advice:
Be wise in noticing simple pleasures,
Realize your potential to be joyful
While benefitting the world with kindness to serve humanity.
Cruel and Unusual
by John Conley
Lets start with the fact that I am Irish. I am more or less compelled to like the color green. After all, it's the primary color of our people, as in the "Emerald Isle", its on our flag, its in our DNA.
On a personal level my bedroom is forest green, I have a bathroom that is lime green and one wall of my family room is green. That's why it is with some reluctance that I state I dislike the green in Lima beans.
Actually it is the Lima bean itself - and not its color - that I detest. I discovered this problem at an early age when I was visiting my grandmother.
Dining at her house was a major event. Grandma was nicknamed "the Duchess" for good reason. She had a dining room that was extremely formal. A large oblong table that was very ornate, completed with a large silver centerpiece and silver candlesticks. There was a large well-lit cabinet with china on display.
An additional side cabinet contained the glassware. There were two large leather chairs at either end of the table with beautiful appointed side chairs to complete the setting.
Before dining there was a set of bells that rang. When dinner was served there was a buzzer with a button to cal "the help" when grandmother need assistance.
Everyone was very formal at dinner time. In general I observed the golden rule, "Don't speak unless spoken to." " Children should be seen and not heard."
There were in general a number of rules to be observed, but the foremost rule was to eat or at least try to eat every thing you were served. In general I tried to observe all the rules. However, my grandmother lover her Lima beans and I had an intense disdain for them.
Hence , I refused to eat the Lima beans. I was told I could not leave the table until I ate the Lima beans. I refused. It seemed like an hour (though in reality probably only ten minutes) before I was excused - only to have the same dish with the Lima beans return at breakfast.
To get on with my day, I would eat some. Needless to say, I felt this was cruel and unusual punishment.
To this day, I refuse to eat Lima beans.
To my chagrin, I found out there is a Lima bean festival in North Carolina where they extol the virtues of the Lima bean. They even go so far as to serve Lima bean ice cream (horrors!)
When I was raising my children I often chided them when they stated that they hated this or that, explaining that they shouldn't hate anyone or anything.
Upon careful reflection, I hate Lima beans!