My memories of my Mother start very early. I remember when we lived on 6th Street in Trion. It had to be before 1956, because we moved to a new house on Simmons street that year.
I remember in the hot summers, Mom would get the hose pipe and put the sprayer on the end of it, and turn it on “spray”….that fine setting where the water is almost a mist. She would spray that water for what seemed liked hours while I ran laughing out and back through it, imagining I was running through a giant waterfall, or a wall of water. She would let me help her put the sheets in the old washing machine, and then make me move back when she put the bleach into the clothes. I remember that smell as being something pleasant even til this day. We’d hang them out on the clothes line to dry. I never realized how young Mom was.
She was only 20 years old when I was born so she was really never much “older” than me. She would always get me a jar with a lid during the late summer evenings, and watch me as I ran around catching and filling that jar with lightning bugs. Mom didn’t work back then so she would sit around with me during the day and watch “Howdy Doody” and “Captain Kangaroo” on the tiny little TV we had….the one I remember had a screen about the size of today’s computer screen. You had to get up close to see the picture, but boy was the volume loud! I had oatmeal for breakfast most days…with raisins in it. A sandwich for lunch….usually peanut butter or bologna…sometimes fried. Then Mom would fix a big supper in the evenings for when Dad came home from work. A lot of potatoes and beans, cornbread or biscuits, and some meatloaf or fried chicken.
She was a good cook. She learned from my Grandma Stewart, who was the best cook ever. Mom wasn’t sick back then…not yet. She still smiled a lot, and laughed….things she didn’t do as much after the mental illness started creeping in on her and making her thoughts turn dark and turning the bright lights down to dim in her eyes. I’m surprised by those long ago things I can remember, because some days I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. I guess it’s just because Mom was happy…and I am fortunate to remember the days of her happiness.