My Mother always had good advice for me and for others. She would gladly provide advice to anyone who asked for it or pretty much anyone she thought needed it.
She began early in my life with safety recommendations and some common sense things that would work for the rest of my life. Easy things like “One banana is good for you, two bananas are not” or “Never waste food” or “Look both ways before crossing the street”.
Later she got to more important issues involving sex, personal safety, drinking, things like that. She always told me to keep my clothes on and buttoned closed. I was to always keep a quarter in my shoe to call home if I ever needed help.
I was never to go out with any boy who never came to the door to get me for a date. I was not to respond to a honk from a car at the curb. The boy must come in and talk with my parents. In fact, if it was a first date, the boy was required to drive my mother around the block in his car to show he could drive well before he could take me out. And they all did it!
My mother said never trust a boy that did not bring you home on time and did not take you where he said he was going to take you. But point of fact – Gramps brought me home (back to the dorm) four minutes late on our first date in college. That was significant back then. I had to come in four hours earlier the next night as punishment. And look where we are now!
Mom was the greatest decorator and was not afraid to use color or paint anywhere. She said you could have five colors and three patterns in a room. And believe me we did! And it all looked great!
I remember she loved pink, so it was very predominant in our house. Daddy never said a word. Of course, he was color blind.
We had the only pink refrigerator I’ve ever seen. And the cabinets were pink, blue and green, all around the kitchen. You certainly couldn’t nap in her kitchen.
Yes, Mom was fearless with color. She would say, “It’s only paint!”
And she sewed everything we used practically. From clothes to table linens to curtains to slipcovers to pillows. She make almost everything I wore. One year, for some reason, there were numerous school parties and I got a new outfit for each one. When I commented that this seemed too much, she said, “If you have fun in it one time, it’s worth the effort.” How sweet was that to say to a sixth grader!
And that held true for babies also. One good day in an outfit was worth the making of it.
She had good advice for a newly married daughter. Never stop talking to each other, she said to me. And I have found that helpful for fifty-one years.
Mom had lots of good words for us and would often refer to the old standards. But somehow she would get one or two words wrong and yet still get the meaning across. Such as, “A stitch in time saves ten”. It was hilarious and she never knew why we were all laughing.
Mom was a caution and her words of wisdom, correct or a bit revised, helped raise me. They even saved me several times.
I imagine she is still organizing and advising in her corner of Heaven.