Random Thoughts

Things my mother taught me

... practical wisdom from the previous generation

by Ann Robbins Talbot

Mothers impart a wealth of knowledge to their young daughters.  My mother could have
written a “how to” book on running a household of seven. She taught, by example,
many valuable lessons about life. I thank her.

Cooking : My mother taught me how:
To grind up Sunday’s roast beef to become Tuesday’s hash.
To make a chocolate cake using Miracle Whip instead of eggs and shortening.
To take a straw from the broom to test whether the cake was done.
To make white sauce by removing the pan from the heat to add milk.
To peel every teeny piece of silk from an ear of corn.
To make an “Italian dish” of elbow macaroni, white sauce and ketchup.

Needlework : My mother taught me how:
To sew on a four-hole button starting with an “x” across the middle.
To knit and purl and follow a pattern.
To embroider cross stitches overlapping every single “x” in the same direction.
To make invisible stitches in a hem.
To shorten the paper dress pattern before cutting the cloth.
To cut the triangular marks pointing out away from the seam instead of in as the
pattern directs.

General Life Skills : My mother taught me how:
To iron a man’s shirt beginning with the yoke in the back.
To make square corners when making a bed.
To grow a decorative plant from the top of a carrot.
To play rummy and solitaire.
To enjoy movie musicals especially those starring Rita Hayworth.
To sterilize a needle in the flame of a match before digging out a splinter.
To roll my hair up in six white socks instead of using pin curls.
To own one pair of scissors for cutting paper and another for cutting cloth.
To shut off a light when you are done using it.
To enjoy the Ice Follies which came to Boston on my birthday.
To appreciate my Swedish heritage.
To live every day with courage no matter what comes your way.


October 7, 2011


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