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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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mother

Thinking of Mom

47 years ago on this date, my mother passed away at home with my father by her side.  She had been sick so long we had started praying for what was best for her instead of asking for her to get better. I was in the upstairs bathroom and could hear my father through the open register to the kitchen below when he called the local funeral home director. It was about five in the morning. He said, “Gene, this is George, I hate to ruin your first day of deer season, but I need you to come pick up my wife.” Continue reading “Thinking of Mom”

Buttons, Buttons

Do you remember your grandmother or your mother snipping the buttons off shirts that were headed for the rag basket and then collecting them in jars? Maybe you even played games or strung them for ornaments and crafts.  The buttons were fun to stack into piles, sort by color or size, or scatter/slide across the floor or table making up different games each time.

My mother had a tin of buttons; we called it the button box. And yes, my friends and I got it out every so often and sorted through it just like the above paragraph says. I remember a set of four little blue bows made out of plastic that were buttons. They were so pretty, but I never found a use for them. There were also coat buttons, a couple of buckles that had been saved from  belts, and lots of little white buttons off men’s shirts. To this day I still cut the buttons off of shirts I am discarding, or off clothing I am making a memory quilt out of.  I can’t help myself, they may come in handy some day. Most of the clothing I buy has an extra button attached in case I lose one. I keep each one of those buttons in a specific drawer in a jewelry box my grandson gave me. I have even used one of them once. They are pretty to look at all jumbled up together in a pile and I can picture each piece of clothing they belong to.

When my husband gets dressed in the morning he often grumbles about the size of the buttons on his shirt collar and cuffs. I often remark I don’t know why, with men as top fashion designers, they don’t effect a change in the size of those little tiny buttons. Sometimes I button them for him and I have trouble with them; I’m sure the public would accept the change graciously.

My mother died forty-six years ago today. At the time I didn’t know it was National Button Day. I still think almost daily of the part she played in my life. Now I’ll think of her every time I see a fascinating button or any kind of button for that matter. She would love the fact buttons are now used on purses and as quilt decorations, not just on clothing.

 

 

 

Housewife Equals Stay-at-home-Mom

If you are one of the lucky moms that gets to stay home with your kids…..Please….never say you are just a housewife. You may often feel like the maid, but years from now your children will brag about the fact you were home when they got on the school bus and when they got off. And today in school, their class mates will be jealous that their friend’s mom is home and theirs is not.

I understand the economics of the 21st century. It takes two incomes to even think of making ends meet. And, this category is based on a two parent household; which is less and less common. Another thought, sometimes the second income isn’t enough to make it worthwhile for one parent to work, so they stay home with the little ones. You need to do what is best for your house, then hold your head up high and own it.

In my day as a child, very few mom’s worked. One income used to be enough to get by on, and daycare wasn’t heard of in my little home town. If there was a latch-key kid, the neighbors looked out for them, no money changed hands. Remember, I am talking little hick town, not city. I didn’t grow up in a city.

When I got home from school my mother and her best friend were often doing some elaborate craft project; leather tooling, copper tooling, caning chairs, making Christmas wreaths with real pine boughs. These things took training and practice. I think scrapbooking is an art, but it doesn’t take much training. I digress. Today, if Mom is home she is expected to be  chauffeur, chef, friend and maid. Life was easier in my day, each kid didn’t belong to six groups, and didn’t have an expensive cell-phone in their pocket.

I think I like the old days better, but I’m old. So there you go. My first thought stands, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you are so much more than a housewife. I applaud you.

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Visit your Child’s School?

The titles on the National Day of Calendar can evoke much different thoughts than what the day was actually set up to recognize.  When I saw the title, Take Your Parents to Lunch, I had visions of my adult children calling to invite me to meet them for lunch, during their work day.  That would be possible for me because I’m retired, and I could meet them at their place and time of choice; in my son’s case, an hour from my house.

Alas, when I read the description, it is meant for younger parents to visit their child’s school and go to lunch with them in the cafeteria.  Mostly to learn about the process and see what a good job the school does feeding their child.  I’m a dinosaur, parents didn’t visit us in school when I went to grade school.  [And we didn’t text all day either.]  I do know a lady who had lunch with her daughter every day in school through fifth grade.  That girl just graduated from high school and choose to go to  Arizona for college.  That’s a mighty long way from New York state. None of us wonder why except her Mom.  I guess you can be too involved.  I think the term for that now is a “helicopter mom”.  It’s not always easy to find a good balance that fits the mother’s and child’s emotional needs.

Sitting here, I can’t remember ever eating out with my father.  Stopping for ice cream, yes.  The only time I can remember doing it with my mother was at a church dinner.  But, we lived in rural New York state.  At that time, fast food places were only in the cities, and we didn’t go to restaurants unless it was a very special occasion.  Now, they are both gone, so I can’t take them to lunch.  I’m jealous of people my age that still have their folks to talk to and spend time with.

I’ll suggest you make this day work for you the way that is best for your circumstances.  Or maybe, borrow someone else’s parents to take out, just because you can.  Or call your own kids, and invite them out, without a reason.  Often times we don’t realize how fast time goes.  Take advantage while you can to take every opportunity to go to lunch with your children, or parents, or cousins, or neighbors, or special friends.

 

 

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