Heartwings says, “Holidays often generate memories of days gone by.”
There was a large cedar chest in my parents’ bedroom. In it my mother kept items that were special or precious to her. As a youngster I was fascinated by its contents as well as what she kept in the drawers of her vanity and her shoe closet. The four vanity drawers held odds and ends, except for one that had evening handbags. These were fancy and often glittery. She had quite a collection.
My parents lived during a time when men and women ‘dressed for dinner.’ What that meant was long, formal evening gowns for the women and elegant trousers with a dinner jacket or even a tuxedo, for men. I can still see my mother, dressed in a lovely gown, sitting before the mirror of her dressing table, putting on her makeup and brushing her blond hair. She would be looking into the big mirror set between the two sets of drawers, as my dad tied his bow tie and put on his cummerbund.
Sometimes my mother would open up her cedar chest and I would get to see what she kept inside. Among other items, it held two costumes I never saw her wear. One was a colorful skirt and cropped top she wore in a picture someone had painted of her. There was a design of some kind on the cloth and perhaps it had been made for a dance performance. The other was a white skirt and top with many ruffles she once wore for Spanish dancing, accompanied by castanets.
Much of her time was spent tending our family—ultimately there were four of us; I was the eldest. We lived in a cottage on the property of my great aunt Alice. She also tended a large “victory” garden, growing most of our vegetables during the summer. She canned them, too, and again I have an image of her standing over a steaming kettle, lifting jars in and out.
She made the jelly we had with chicken on Sundays, too. In addition, she plucked and cleaned that chicken herself. She had not grown up in a household that did these tasks, and I admire her greatly for her ability to adapt to a very different lifestyle than the one she was used to when she met my charming, handsome father. We also kept chickens, and somehow had acquired a few bantams that included a white cockerel that strutted around crowing. My mother loved animals and the little hens would perch on her shoulders. Our goat, Ebony, was another of her favorites.
Of course, I have many more memories. Mothers’ Day has prompted me to remember and to share with my readers some of my memories from a time long gone by, when life was simpler, though of course I did not know that then. It’s odd how little we can tell while we pass through a time, compared with our perspective on it in the years later.
May you have pleasant memories to share of times gone by.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
P.S. I’d love it if you’d share your memories of your mother with me. Be well and enjoy each day to the fullest.