Tag Archives: mother daughter bonding

So….Mom Wasn’t Perfect After All!


In our house the words, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are common place.  Don’t get me wrong,  we both love to spend money, and buy new things, who doesn’t?  Actually,  I think I’m the best at spending.  My husband thinks he’s the best at it!  Ok,  both of us have to keep check on each other!

When I was small, mother and myself would go out junking, or antiquing, depending on the store.  If it was called an antique store, everything in it would be higher in price.  If it was called a junk store, prices would reflect that.  Today even junky Junk stores are pricy, and antique stores are out of the ballpark!  When it comes to reusing something, I’m the one in our household who loves taking something old, and repurposing it.

Many years ago, when I first got married, we didn’t have a lot of money, so Mom and I would look everywhere for furniture that we could both fix up for my new home.  Mom could sniff out the best bargains of anyone I have ever met, and she really knew how to negotiate the best price for those bargains  too!  I remember finding an oblong pine drop leaf table that was in great condition.  Just the table, not the chairs.  I really needed that table, so after bargaining with the shop owner,  the price was dropped to a doable amount, and home we went with our new purchase.

The thing is, I never really liked that table!

It was maple, and looked too Early American for me, but since I needed one, and the price was right, I bought it!  Mom loved Early American, and she secretly wanted me to love it also, but my style was more country.  I liked that worn look of history!

Several months later I found a different table at the same shop, and this time it was the table of my dreams!  This  table was an old, oak, oval, kitchen table with two drop leafs, and a square pedestal.    It had really been beaten up, and you could tell it had lived a colorful life just by sliding your hand over the top.  Character, and personality, oozed out  the grain of the wood, and  it had a charm that the other table would never have!  As I proceeded to negotiate with the shop owner, I could feel my stomach churning with excitement.  It wasn’t long before he agreed to take the other table in exchange for my beautiful new farm table.  Even in those days, these tables were rare, and to this day, I’ve never seen one exactly like it.  Even reproductions aren’t close!

That same afternoon, Mother, and myself loaded the maple table into the back of her wagon, and off we went to return it to the shop, and exchange it for my new farm table.  We worked quickly before the owner of the store changed his mind.  He most likely could get more money from the first table, it certainly was in better condition, but I only wanted to make sure the oak table didn’t find itself in another home by mistake!  As everyone knows, one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure!

The real fun began when Mom and I delivered  the oak table to my apartment, and spent the rest of the afternoon deciding how to clean it up without damaging it even more! I think we used Murphy’s Oil Soap on it, followed by a robust application of steel wool to smooth out the surface.  Today, I use  Murphy’s for cleaning my make up brushes, and my art brushes…it is the best, most gentle thing you could ever use on brushes!  When we were finished cleaning up the table it had a beautiful patina, and the grain of the wood was fabulous!    Let me tell you that table gave us many years of wonderful service, it always looked so beautiful when it was dressed up with fancy skirts, fine  china, and my best  silver.   I can still see it, and long for a table just like it, maybe a place to put it while I’m sitting here longing would be nice also!

A couple of years later I received a call from my Mother one afternoon, late in the day.  She told be she had found four bent wood chairs, and she asked if I would I like to have them?  Of course, “ I’d love to have them!”  I’d been dreaming of having bent wood chairs, and had never found anything close to a chair like that  on my  junking days, so yes!  Pretty soon, I was pulling the ugly chairs I’d been using out of my dinning room , and replacing them with four cleaned up, and polished bent wood chairs.  That really made my day!

I found out later that Mother had lifted (literally lifted),  the chairs from the back of a Thrift Store where someone had donated them.  I guess Mom wasn’t perfect after all!

Mom, and I went on like this for years until Dad decided to retire, and sell their home to live aboard a  boat in Long Beach Harbor.  That turned out to be fun too, but the antiquing days as we knew them, would now be only a memory, and  we never kicked around like that again.  Occasionally, while one of us would visit the other, we  would  do a little garage sailing, and thrift store shopping, but it never was the same.

Those days were so much fun, we were able to do so much as mother and daughter, and those memories are  something I will always cherish!

Strange Midnight Movies

The Mystic Masseur

The Mystic Masseur

When I was a teenager, every once in a while Mom, and I would find ourselves not able to sleep.  I would walk out of my bedroom at maybe 12:00 am to find Mom sitting in front of the TV watching some strange, off the wall movie. Usually they would be foreign films, the ones  that we could barely understand!   I’d sit down with her, and before you knew it we’d both be deep into this strange movie.  These were movies no one had ever heard of, and it was easy to tell why.  They were so quirky, and odd that we were transfixed, and couldn’t shut  off the TV until it was over.  This was sometimes 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning.  Most likely this was either a weekend event, or happened during the summer, because I don’t ever remember having to go to school the next day.

A couple of weeks ago, the weather being  hot, stuffy, quite humid, and not particularly a day that I was able to get motivated to do much work.  I turned on Netflix to see what I could find to occupy a couple of hours, maybe getting through the humidity the easy way.  What I found was another of the same kind of movies Mom and I use to watch together many years ago!  Admittedly, the picture caught my attention, and that’s exactly why I persevered.

I had a deja vu moment!

This movie was so different in a kind of fun way, and I couldn’t stop watching it. The audio was poor, and  the accents made it difficult  also.  But I had to keep watching anyway!  All I could think of was how much fun Mom, and I had watching these midnight movies, that were much like this one!

The story was simple…..how the characters lived, and enter acted was simple, and it was the perfect solution to a hot, and humid day that wasn’t good for much else but an interesting movie!  Maybe the simple lifestyle pulled me in, or the cute way the characters talked to each other, but I was fascinated.

Good memories are the most fun, and maybe when we get older, the memories are what sustain us.  I didn’t think I was old enough to sit and rely on my memories, but maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe it doesn’t matter what age a person is, if it bring them joy to remember the good….bring those memories on!

What do you think?  Does it make you feel good to remember good memories, or do you think there isn’t time for it now?