Monday, January 21, 2008

My Mother's Memories

The following is a portion of the interview with my mom. I'm posting it here so that you can see how simple it is to do. And I'm posting it so that you can also see how very much you can learn about a person from listening to their memories.

1936 – Second Grade (Mulberry, Florida) Idelle and Fletcher McLaughlin lived next door, and Idelle was my second grade teacher. We were never supposed to go over to her house, but I was sure she’d want me over there all the time. I’d hear her playing the piano and I wanted to go over and play the piano too. Our porches had a big divider so you could scoot from ours to hers, but Mother wouldn’t let us do that. Mrs. McLaughlin gave Arminta and me a ride to school every day. My mother made extra money by fixing lunch for Idelle and she would come home for lunch with us. Mrs. McLaughlin made everything fun. One morning when there was frost on everything, she said “Oh Jack Frost came in the night. He’s the one who painted all this- see all the frost on everything? I dearly loved my teacher. My mother sewed beautifully and one time we needed coats that year. But we didn’t have the money for them. My teacher had bought this beautiful material for winter coats and she asked my mother to sew coats for her nieces. She worked and worked on them. Then on Christmas morning we opened our presents and there were the coats; they were for us all along. It was a magical time.

Write Now, Karen


Eileen said...

Hey karen, Oh how sweet, the winter coats. Wonder how Grandma felt when she found out they were for her daughters. What a sweet idea though. Easy to see how she loved that neighbor lady teacher.

Here's why I'm wondering how she felt: Us five kids did something similar to our Mom for a wedding anniversary. It could have been 30th.Mom was a cake decorator, made fabulous cakes that everybody ordered for various occasions. We thought it would be nice for our parents to have an anniversary cake and who better to make it than...our own mother, The Cake Lady! So we called Mrs Eckrode, the lady up the street and asked her to order an anniversary cake from Mom that said "Happy Anniversary" and was decorated at least partly in lavender and navy blue her wedding colors. Mom knew how finiky Mrs Eckrode was about things, so she went to extra lengths to make it just *so.* I forget how the delivery went but I do remember that Mom was considerably less amused with our cleverness that We were!

So, that's why I was wondering about the coat story. Neat to get stories from your mother! Treasure your times together! =)

Karen L. Alaniz said...

That's a fabulous story Eileen! Regarding my mother's story, if I understood her right, I think it was a joint effort. I'll have to ask her to be sure. I guess that just goes to show you how important it is to ask lots of clarifying questions. And it's probably a good idea to have your interviewee read what you've written once you're done. Thanks for the comment!