Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lucky Me – Stories My Mother Told Me

Mom & Me
My mother, my mother told me stories, sang me songs and read to me every day when I was little.  She told stories about her life, her brothers and sisters, her mother and father.  She read fairy tales and folktales from a set of books we called the Red Books which were part of the deal when she purchased a set of encyclopedias when I was about three or four.  By the time I needed to use an encyclopedia they were pretty much out of date, but I still have the Red Books.

A few times when Mom told us, my sisters and me, folktales and fairy tales she made up little songs to put into the stories.  The one I especially remember is The Three Billy Goats Gruff and I use those little ditties when I tell that story.  I loved listening to Mom tell and read stories.  I wanted to remember the stories she told; so I retold them to my imaginary brother, his name was Bother, when he would come to visit me.
I remember sitting in the rock garden overlooking the valley that was next to our rural Ohio home.  Brother lived in the Valley.  When I called, “Brother, come up!” sometimes he would be there, and I could practice telling Mom’s stories since he never seemed to be around when she told them.  Brother was a good listener.

My grandpa was an engineer for the gas company in Iowa.  The family moved a lot, and Mom told us stories about all the places she lived.  One I particularly remember is about when she and her older brother got in trouble for throwing crab apples at the trolley.  Her older brother taught her how to play basketball.  These were the olden days, remember, and girls played by different rules in basketball than boys did.  They couldn’t cross the line in the middle of the gym.  But Mom learned to play boys’ rules.  Basketball was a big deal in Iowa even back then.  Mom was on the Girls Basketball Team in High School.  The whistle blew a lot when she was on the court – every time she crossed that middle line!

Mom & Daddy
As we got older, Mom’s stories were sometimes about when she met my dad.  It was a blind date, but they weren’t dating each other.  Daddy’s sister went to the same Nursing School my mom did.  She volunteered her brother as a date for a dance.  Mom’s good friend did not have a date; so…  The day after the double date, Daddy stepped way out of his comfort zone and called Mom to see if he could take her out.  She said, “Yes,” and that was it.

Mom is gone from my life now.  It’s been a number of years.  But those stories she told me, read to me, and the songs she sang to me are still part of me.  They always will be! 

Happy Mother’s Day to my very first storytelling mentor – MY MOM!



Anonymous said...

Wonderful memories of your Mom. I'm sure your kids now have memories of grandparents and greatgrandparents they never knew based on your stories. Thanks for sharing.

Stories by Julie said...

My daughter started me on a "Diary of Letters" to her about my life and other things. I then started one for my son. Some of these stories are in those Diaries.

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