Mother memories?

Mine worked. As a hospital dietitian and later as office manager of my dad’s business, not just M-F, but also Saturday mornings. And she worked in the kitchen. And she worked pulling weeds. And she worked making my sister’s dresses. And she worked sewing up my split pants and replacing lost buttons. And she worked riding herd on me. She insisted that I complete, and then typed herself, an application for the journalism scholarship that led me here. Always working.


And she was proud and stubborn, this child of a CCC worker who paid her way through college working the night shift in a defense plant and then joined the Army to see the world (India in World War II, where she met my father.)

In her 70s, she bought a fancy German car because she could. She drove it about a mile to the office and back; less than that to the grocery store. Little more. I rode with her to work one morning on a visit home. It was sultry as usual in Lake Charles. “Gee, Mom, how about turning on the air conditioner?”


“Oh, no. I like the fresh air.”

What you gonna do?


Later, I realized, after several more sweaty trips with my mother — a California girl who disliked Louisiana humdity as much as I did — that she couldn’t figure out how to turn the a/c on. But she wasn’t about to admit it.

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