Monday, November 14, 2011


My mama was born in Missouri, raised in Oklahoma, married my daddy, and lived the rest of her life in Arkansas.

Mama was five years old here. I see her in the faces of some of my nieces. I favored her as a child too.

Mama is ten years old here. Isn't she a pretty little thing? She was the only girl with three older brothers and one younger brother. I think they spoiled her and she loved them all.

Mama was only sixteen when she married and moved away from her family in Oklahoma. That was not unusual in 1950. I was born one year later.  I only cost them $22.00.

My hospital bill shows 2 days at $5.00 a day. $10.00 for the delivery room. $1.00 for lab. $1.00 for baby bracelet. It was paid in full the day I left the hospital. I wonder how long daddy worked to pay $22.00?

Mama said I would have starved as an infant if my grandma had not fed me milk gravy off the table. She said her milk was "blue john". What the hay is that? They put me on Pet Milk formula.

Mama curled my hair in rags the night before pictures were to be made at the photographer downtown. I'm not sure how old I am but I remember her saying she would let me wear her mustard seed necklace if I would not cry when she combed my hair out. I really wanted to cry. I wish I had that little pendant with a mustard seed in it now. Mama would iron a crease in my dress sleeve to make it pouf out. Look how cute my little brother is. My daughter's hair stuck straight up like that too.

I remember mama not letting me have the bubble gum the newspaper man would toss to us as he scurried by with his paper laden wagon.

I remember telling my brother the switching would hurt more if he ran from mama.

I remember being sick and throwing up on the Greyhound bus the whole way to Oklahoma City. I remember it took a dime to use the toilet at the bus station in Henryetta. Mama had me crawl under the door. I remember not making it to the bathroom before throwing up again. I am thankful Mama didn't abandon me in that bus station.

Mama had my baby sister when I was nine and she was twenty five. I thought she was too old to be having a baby. She was much older than I was when I had my daughter at twenty five.

Mama would suck on lemon drops but rarely shared with us. She said they prevented "liver spots". I am trying to remember if she had age spots. I wish she had let me have more of them.

Mama did not believe in sparing the rod, or the switch, or her hand, or a fly swat. I was bigger than she was the last time she tried to chase me with a fly swat. She got tickled and gave up.

She washed my mouth out with lifebuoy soap for calling my brother a liar. (I am certain he was at least fibbing.)

She liked to color in coloring books with us. She colored beautifully.

Mama wasn't much of a housekeeper. I did a lot of dishes growing up. She could sure grow roses though.

Mama went to Oklahoma City to get her dentures. She was wearing "Theater Red" lipstick when she returned. Her mouth looked huge.

Mama used to sing "In The Garden". I remember her singing:
Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread
Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread

Mama let me practice taking blood pressures on her when I started nursing school. She would have let me try to start an IV if I had asked.

She used to say she had "sometimers" instead of Alzheimer's. When I called to ask what she had done all day, she would say, "Not a durn thing." Sometimes she would say she had T.B. - tired butt.

Daddy said he loved her cooking. She made us corn meal mush for breakfast once. It wasn't too bad with lots of sugar and butter. She made pinto bean sandwiches for us too. They actually tasted pretty good. I am thinking we may have been poor. Even when she lived alone she would fix herself a meal instead of just snacking. She made chili once that had a ham bone in it. She had funny ideas.

Mama wanted to ride on my hubby's motorcycle but chickened out when he got there. He's a good man and loved my mama too.

Mama had a little dog named Buttons who, when mama got sick, would jump into the bathtub at night to go potty so she wouldn't have to get up and let him out.

Mama loved to crochet, and crochet, and crochet. She liked to smoke cigarettes while crocheting. Actually she liked to smoke cigarettes while doing everything. Her doctor shushed me when I scolded her though.

On the advise of her doctor, mama tried to drink a daily glass of wine. She said it tasted like spoiled grapes and gave it to daddy.

Mama woke up early and went to bed early. She called me every night though. Sometimes I was busy and  groaned when the phone rang.

Mama died fourteen years ago today. I wish she could call me.


  1. Your mother sounds like quite a woman! So young to be a mother, but she coped, and then some. You must miss her.

  2. I remember my sister had one of those mustard seed necklaces - haven't thought of that in years. Thank you for sharing your photos and memories and God bless you as you remember your Mama.

  3. Oh what memories this post dragged up for me out of the deep regions of my mind and heart. Mama's are special people and I know you miss yours. I miss mine, too.

  4. This is such a wonderful post - I have tears in my eyes as I'm reminded of my own mother who passed away almost 20 years.

    What a lovely list of memories. Thank you for sharing this. :-)

  5. I remember the old granie called mothers milk Blue John when it was thin and looked like water.Love the story and memories.

  6. Oh, durn, you made me cry! What an amazingly sweet post. You had a beautiful mother, and she loved you dearly, you can tell. I loved sharing in the memories you have of her! I know how kmuch you miss her! Thank the good Lord, I still have my sweet Mama--she commented here on your blog several people ago...W. Latane Barton!

    Thanks so much for commenting on my Visit post. God bless you today!

  7. Beautiful post about your Mom..good memories are the best! I enjoyed the old photos..they help us to remember times gone by. 22.00 you were a bargain by todays standards:)

  8. What a sweet post. Thanks for sharing pictures, and memories of your Mother.

    It's so hard to be left behind by those we love.
    I really miss my Dad.

    Wish he'd call me too :)

    Thanks again for this heart-touching post.

    p.s. I never knew I had T.B (tired butt) until I read this post. Now, it all makes sense :)

  9. What a special tribute to your mother! My mother has been gone 24 years and I still miss her too. Now I know that I'm 10 years older than you!

  10. What a precious tribute to your mom. I loved reading all those wonderful memories you have stored in your heart, like tiny treasures. But my heart absolutely broke for you, when I read the last two sentences! I am blessed to still have both my parents around. But...I am painfully aware that the clock is ticking.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  11. I love this post.I wish your Mama could call you again too.