Mother Sets The Tone

Sunday Apr 18th, 2021


“Yes, I know—you walked five miles to school, barefoot in the snow, and it was uphill…both ways!”

That’s how I sometimes tease a friend whose memories of the Depression are dark and difficult. My own recollections of those days are much more upbeat. Why the difference?

Thinking about it now, I realize that my mother set the tone of our lives back then. The Depression and all its deprivation might have entered our St. Paul, Nebraska home…but Mother never let it enter our hearts.

How could I not feel the joy of life when we were having so much fun “skating” on our dining room floor? After she rubbed paste wax on the surface, we’d don heavy socks and do the polishing by skating and dancing on it.

Mother fought dullness with beauty. She used my watercolors to paint pictures on plain white paper, turning it into colorful wrappings for homemade gifts. She always managed to find paint to brighten our kitchen. When she painted the trim on the kitchen table and chairs, she also painted the wooden handles of large spoons and other utensils.

Even when doing the toughest chores, Mother had a way of having fun. I remember how we struggled to bring in frozen clothes from the line during winter.

Instead of complaining about our stinging hands, we’d laugh and prop the stiff clothes on chairs like people until the clothing thawed.

And she was a brave woman. During those hard times, Mother must have felt discouragement and worry…and she probably cried some secret tears. But she was determined that our lives would be full of pleasant memories.

~by Venus Bardanouve, excerpted from Reminisce Magazine online


Mother’s Day: Sunday May 09, 2021


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