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Today has been one of those days when it feels good to think about pleasant things from the past.  And I’m not really even talking about my own past necessarily, but more the past of someone else, namely my mom. 

 She’s kind of a quirky person, and always has been.  But she was a beauty as well.  I mean, the kind of person men would stop, turn around and take a second look at.  And a third.  And, she still is a beauty.

 Mom had a cat when she was younger.  She told me stories of how horribly mean this cat was, and how she has always been very allergic to cats for as long as she can remember.  The cat was the family cat, and she said she simply had to tolerate it.

 This story always makes me wonder about the above picture, where she is a young single woman holding a very docile-looking cat, and doesn’t appear to be suffering horribly or in mid-sneeze from an allergy attack.  But, that’s the quirky part of my mom I mentioned earlier.

Aunt Joyce, Uncle Richard, Mom

There were three children in Mom’s family; her, an older sister, and a younger brother.  They were all so different from each other that it would have been hard to guess they were siblings.  Aunt Joyce was quirky as well, to the point of being downright weird.  Hey, I’m just saying what the rest of the family  has told me.

Her younger brother used to let Mom in the front door when she got home late from dates and didn’t want to wake Grandpa and Grandma up.  Mom would throw little pebbles in Uncle Richard’s window to try and wake him.  When there was no response, she’d start throwing nickels in.  Then, by the time she had emptied her purse of all change, Uncle Richard would appear and let her in.  He said that he was always awake when Mom threw the first pepple, but he was trying to make some money by waiting.

Mom dated a lot.  Well, look at her–I guess she never had trouble getting dates, or finding friends that wanted to go to various mixers and dances with her.  Back in the day there were a lot of things for young people to do.  They had a lot of military balls, beach parties in the summer, and so on.

Mom in someone’s military hat

Aunt Joyce never married.  She did go on a few dates, but none really ever was “the one.”  She and Mom never did a lot of things together because they were so different, and Aunt Joyce was, well, kind of eccentric.  And one time Aunt Joyce decided that she wanted to go with Mom to one of the many dances Mom and her friends were always going to.

Mom was mortified.  Aunt Joyce came downstairs dressed in black, with a hat on that had a long thick black veil hanging across the front of her face and down her front.  When they arrived at the dance, Mom and her friend raced into the dance ahead of Aunt Joyce, hoping nobody would suspect that she was there with them.

And nobody did.  Aunt Joyce did manage to dance, mostly because young men in that day and time were gentlemen.  For some people, that word would have to be looked-up in the dictionary for them to know what it means, but back then young men were gentlemen and girls were ladies.  There were always exceptions, but as a rule, ladies and gentlemen knew how to act and treat each other.

They also knew how to dress.

Mom at 17 in the middle with friends at a military ball.

Dances back then were gala events, and people who attended them were dressed-out.  But then, any time a girl went on a date they were both dressed-up unless it was a beach party. 

My uncle went on later in life to marry, they had a daughter, and he worked as an on-air anchor for a local NBC affiliate.  He was later the news director at a radio station until he retired.  He and his wife are enjoying their golden years in the same area they have always lived and close to their daughter.   Aunt Joyce developed cancer in her 50’s and fought it for 10 or so years.  She moved close to my Dad and Mom for her last several years of life.

Dad is 88 and mom is 84 now, and they still putter around in their own home with no need for in-home health care aids.  Mom does have a lady come in every so often to help clean, but both Dad and Mom are still as sharp as tacks.  And Mom is still beautiful.

Mom in Spring 2012

 And so today I’ve been thinking a lot about Mom for some reason.  I mean I always think about Mom and Dad, but I’ve noticed Mom is sounding, well, tired a lot more than usual.  I mean, it’s normal for people in their 80’s to slow down, but it’s something I hear in her voice now. 

So, as Mom winds down and settles in to her own golden years, I just wanted to share a few snippets from her life.  I wish you could meet her; you’d really like her (typed with a smile).