Most people I know have just finished or are in the middle of Spring Break, especially those folks with children.
Great tans have returned from Hawaii, Mexico, Arizona and California and fabulous stories of skiing in New England, Canada and Lake Tahoe. Gator sightings were photographed in Florida.
Trips were not a part of my Spring Break experience. Even when I attempted to break my family pattern of staying at home, we had to return to our house to bail out the first floor flood and clean up the mess of Lake Home.
My Mum taught first grade for many, many years. My Father was in demand to teach Summer School at many Universities. This meant Spring Break was a work in progress, usually concluding with several big feasts and then back to school.
The first few days were massive cleaning days. Every book was dusted, every dish was washed, and all winter clothing – sorted, mended, cleaned and put away for the next year. The stack for charity was a growing edifice for the next fundraising garage sale.
The camping gear was set up in the garage if it was still too cold or wet to head out, because we always camped on our way to which ever University had us on the docket for that summer. My Mother had made our sleeping bags and they were aired out, washed and ironed – rolled into tight grips and put in the car top carrier.
Then it was the shopping extravaganza. We got an Easter dress, gloves, hat, and shoes; nothing too fancy as next spring these would be school dresses. Some years the budget was too tight and we got fabric and my Mother and sister made all the clothing. After the Church clothing came the summer play clothing. These were either made or purchased from the catalogue along with a new pair of KEDS tennis shoes in the color of the year. We each got a jacket and a baseball hat in the same color so that my mom could locate us with a whistle or a good glance as we wandered and explored our camping accommodations or campus.
Next came the Seder dinner with all of my parent’s New York friends, who hated the rain, the west coast and left for the summer back to family in the East. I loved the prayers, singing, food, and candle lighting. The discussions were heady and startlingly good arguments and everyone, no matter your age, was always welcome and listened to. My sister had all the children put on a play, with so many talents and stories to tell – my Father even made a curtain across one end of the room to give us a stage.
Easter was the next feast of food delights and my Mother’s best dishes polished and flowers and my Father filled the Easter baskets with homemade candies from Vincent’s Chocolates. My mother loved PEEPS, so they adorned the cake.
Usually, the day after school finished we piled into an already packed car, left a clean and shiny house and drove to Denver, Stanford, San Diego, Columbia, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver – all the progressive education centers who wanted my father’s expertise.
Now, why might this post be entitled Under Wear?
One of my Mum’s most important criteria was that one must wear clean and whole underwear, in case one was in a car accident. This was a driving concern for her from Easter on every year.
She talked about it and taught us how to wash them out, mend and care for these important items. My Mother always tucked 6 new pair of undies in our Easter basket for our summer travels. (They were also in our Christmas Stockings) Why just 6 – well we needed to wear pair 7 to church on Easter Sunday morning!
I bought myself a Kindle II for Easter. I love it!….
You know how sometimes you look down and see your parent’s hands instead of yours?
I am going to Scotland to see my Father’s homeland this summer, I find myself now obsessing about underwear and have taken on my mum’s worry!
What’s a girl to do?
How did my Mother accomplish all this activity and teach full time? How was your Mum amazing?
What wisdoms did you get from your parents? Were there any habits that are still a part of your life now and do they serve you well?
Looking forward to your stories.