for my mother~ things I grew up with

Recently inspired by Lisa, I started working on this list weeks ago.  I figure it's quite fitting to post it today, Mother's day.  What fun it was to think about all of these random childhood bits and pieces, and to write them all down.  I hope you enjoy reading through this mom, and thanks for everything.  But most especially thanks for being so darn stubborn and pulling through and surprising all the doctors last year.  I sure do hope I've inherited your resilience and tenacity.  I love you so. xo

-my little ponies
-chasing lizards in the backyard
-growing tomatoes from seed in 1st or 2nd grade and falling in love with growing plants
-"Mississippi Greensprout"
-picnics on cardboard in the backyard
-Halloween parties where you and dad made grape 'eyeballs' and spaghetti 'brains' and he wore the cow skull on his head
-July 4th: watching dad set off fireworks- especially the spinning ones he nailed to the big tree, while you held Bandit back so he wouldn't eat the fireworks
-going to the beach and finding "Beachy" the cat who we nursed for a few days before he (she) died
-"Peaches", the rabbit from hell
-"Cinnamon", the hamster who got loose in the walls through a hole in the bathroom and came out at night to eat the cat food
-the 1st day of Kindergarten: me, holding onto the car door screaming and not wanting to go
-coloring your hand-drawn coloring pages every holiday in elementary school
-narrating the play in first grade wearing that big silly red paper mache hat, and you were there
-my green satin 5th grade dinner-dance dress
-putting sequins all over some frilly tutu thing with Johanna
-Lulu: sleepovers with her, Poncho, doing homework in her bottlebrush tree while eating warm grape nuts, roller skating in her driveway, learning to play poker and crochet from her, drinking her sweet tea and eating her amazing food.  playing store with all of her groceries and mechanic shop by getting under her wheelchair and "fixing" it
-the glow worm, the little glow bugs
-the sheets needing to be wrinkle-free, the fan having to be working for me to sleep... oh gosh I'm sorry I was such a crazy one
-my bedtime "ritual" monologue
-the "American Eagle Club", and your and dad's enthusiasm for it.  you two even paid me dues, didn't you?
-my Horse Illustrated posters, happy alongside my New Kids on the Block ones
-my strawberry shortcake and rainbow bright sheets/curtains
-the easy-bake oven
-a little plastic She-Ra doll that I loved
-my denim skirt and cowgirl boots I feel like I wore every day in 2nd grade
-that day you curled my hair in rollers and it was HUGE
-dancing with the balloons tied around my waist - "ra, ra, ra!"
-your chicken and dumplings
-cinnamon/sugar toast on special mornings, or those orange-y glazed pepperidge farm rolls
-Easter egg hunts
-'consoling' you when dad called you after he had Kima put to sleep
-him coming home with muffin in his shirt pocket, just her little black tail sticking out
-camping in the yard
-my birthday party when Bandit dug under the pool liner and popped the pool, turning the whole yard into a muddy, flooded mess
-your big onyx ring
-you and dad both in denim cut-offs
-(and big sunglasses)
-Fred the orange VW bug
-our long bus ride to Mississippi
-Putt Putt golf for birthday parties
-your awesome homemade birthday cakes
-road trips in the Vista, Marty and I laying in the back pretending the trucks were monsters and gorging ourselves on corn nuts and combos and sociables crackers with easy cheez.
-the condo in Jacksonville, and a penicillin shot in my butt which made sitting by the pool rather uncomfortable
-summer visits to Tennessee, me feeding Dolly buckets of blackberries after I picked my way around the back field
-school trips to MOSI and me always buying pencils with little gemstones in them as my souvenir. well, those and space ice cream. (I still have a thing for new sharp pencils)
-fruit baskets at Kash N Karry
- the malted chocolate bars from that place down the way from Kash N Karry
-going to the corner store and buying candy
-the italian ice place with the dog on it- down by Busch Gardens- what was that called??
-Adventure Island
-Shell for seafood
-honeycomb cereal
-Krystal burgers
-coming to work with you at Dr. Mician's- getting bagels and bagel sandwiches from Brown Bag Deli
-a visit to Grandma Helen and Grandpa Joe's…. before the cabin, sleeping on a cot upstairs in the big house. then later, at the cabin in the winter with cousins running in and out in the snow, dripping piles of winter wear hanging by the wood stove downstairs, us in sleeping bags in the living room.  I think it was the first time I remember seeing snow.
-the smell of your perfume and Oil of Olay face lotion
-Lettuce Lake Park
-Lowery Park Zoo
-that place with the mini buildings
-Easter picnics and hiding and rehiding the boiled eggs until they were smushed to bits
-the Christmas tree tucked back by the sliding glass doors. us not allowed to peek around your closet for weeks leading up to the big day
-broccoli casserole on Thanksgiving, and the big orange tupperware it went into afterwards
-Christmas Eve dinners at Grandma Helen and Grandpa Joe's… pierogies and mushroom soup
-the light show at that house afterwards
-driving home from midnight mass sleepily looking out the car window for Santa and his sleigh, the way the car smelled with the heat on (probably that was one of the few times we ever had the heat on in the car what with it being Florida and all)
-digging a big hole in the woods behind the house, letting it fill with rain and then, tadpoles- some of which we took home in buckets and watched grow on the back patio

no doubt I could go on and on, but for now, this is good.
love you mom.


  1. It's all the daily things and little life happening that we remember. What a fun list to read.

    1. it was fun to put together~ I think my mom enjoyed reading it very much, too.

  2. Some truly wonderful memories, such a great idea to make a list.

    1. I read the one Lisa posted weeks ago, inspired by someone else out there who had done the same thing. I know when Claire is grown I'd LOVE to know what things stood out for her in her childhood.

  3. Don't forget Kima loved peanut butter jelly sandwiches :)
    And alllll the hiding you did in the cupboards
    On Sewaha.
    And inside the fireplace....:)

    1. I kind of can't believe those didn't make the list! of course, I don't exactly remember feeding her all those pb&js, but I've heard you und mom talk about it enough that I certainly don't question whether or not that went down. kind of the same for the cupboards and fireplace, I guess- I see photos of that, but don't remember it myself all that well. I'm glad to hear your additions to memorable things from my childhood, Aunt Moe! xoxo

  4. Putt-Putt! Grape Nuts! Honeycombs! I love your list, Amanda. And it only just now strikes me, reading your list and imagining your mom reading this list - and how happy and moved I would be to read it, to think I had done right and given my kids a really happy and solid foundation - that gosh, perhaps, hopefully, one day our kids will be writing a list for us.

    1. I've been thinking the exact same thing lately- wondering if maybe one day Claire will share such a list with me and wondering even more just what would be on it!

  5. I have read your blog for some time now. Reading this today, I laughed. I live in Tampa, Florida and my mom list would look like that also :)

    1. that's funny- I bet it would! especially those school trips to MOSI, right? and chasing lizards?

    2. MOSI and Lowry Park Zoo when it was the old zoo with little parks. Bo's ice cream. Did you go there?

    3. I don't recall Bo's, but most definitely had loads of fun at Lowry Park Zoo!

  6. this is fantastic!! you have me taking a walk down memory lane now :) LOVE your list!

  7. Amanda, I loved reading this! Just beautiful. Your mom must be so proud of you! mmwha ca


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~