Travels With Mother (Part 5)





Once we’d gone enough miles it was unlikely we would be apprehended with bathroom destruction with malice aforethought, I pulled into a nice looking station/store.  This one looked like it was progressive enough to have excellent bathroom facilities, which we sorely in needed by now, since Mother was the only one who got to use the restroom at the last stop.  For neck she generously, encouraged her daughters to go first, which we lived to regret. I’d have loved to have laid the blame at her door for what we found. Marilyn, my youngest sister, rushed in to relieve her agonized bladder.  In three seconds, she rushed out, “Oh, my gosh!  You’ve got to see this!” 

She obviously hadn’t had time to take care of any business. As mother of two teen-aged girls, the manager of a call-center, and youngest of five children, it takes something special to rattle her.

Like an idiot, I followed her in.  Someone, a very healthy eater by the way, had obviously paid a visit. The nauseating smell of fermented feces greeted us as we entered the bathroom.  It was horrendous, but I’ve been known to raise a stink myself.

Upon opening the stall, I saw a perfect liquefied poop sunburst splattered above the toilet.  Obviously, someone in great distress had blown a gasket as just as they stooped to settle in for a satisfying moment of quality time alone.  The toilet fixtures, the wall behind the toilet, the floor, and the stall wall were covered artistically with a thoroughly natural medium.  It doesn’t bear thinking of the condition of that poor unfortunate perpetrator of the masterpiece as she exited the store! We scurried out to tell the disgusted clerk what we’d found, only to find numerous visitors had already enlightened her.  That’s when we learned about the worst job in the world.  An industrial service was on its way.

Once more, courting legal problems, we decided to stand guard for each other and use the Men’s Room. Normally, I would have been disgusted, but compared to what we’d just seen, it smelled like a rose.

To be continued.




That was weird.  I heard tiptoeing and a door quietly locking.  I tiptoed to my parent’s room and found their door locked!  Their door was never even shut except around Christmas.  Mother must have gotten scared and locked it.   Assuming the worst, I pounded and screeched, “Mama!  Mama!  Your door’s locked. Help!  I can’t get in!!!” Continue reading

Where Babies Come From

imageI have two younger sisters born seventeen months apart.  I was about eight when Connie came along.  Mother had told us she was expecting, but since I wasn’t interested in babies, I quickly put it out of my mind, not think thinking much more about it.  I even socked one of my cousins for saying my mother was pregnant.  I thought it was an insult like “trashy” or “low class.”  I was shamed to no end when my aunt confirmed that my mother was indeed “pregnant” and the word meant “expecting.”  Not only was Mother “pregnant!” She’d put me in a position to humiliate myself.

Connie and Marilyn's Toddler PicturesI found Connie very cute and entertaining once she got old enough to play.  Always happy to play with her, I’d forsake her as soon as she cried or needed a diaper.  Phyllis was a “little mother” and could care for Connie as well as Mother.  When Connie was a year old, Mother and Daddy announced a second baby was en route.  By now, I’d picked up a little misinformation and knew baby production involved the two of them.  They’d “done it” though what “it” involved was very foggy.  They’d alway said if I had any questions, come to them, so one day when Mother had her friends over for coffee,  I asked if they’d had to do “it” more than five times to get five children.  This clearly wasn’t the type question she meant.  I guess questions about Sunday School were more to her taste.  She invited me to mind my own business and not ask any more questions.




Can’t Afford Urine! (From Kathleen’s memoirs of the 1930s)


After we finished our shopping, we walked across the square to the corner drugstore for ice-cream to pass the time for Mama to go see the doctor. We slid into a booth where I had to make a huge decision: chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. I worried over it, quizzing Mama and Annie which was best, finally choosing vanilla, just like I always did. Annie let Continue reading

First Things First

The first day of school, Miss Angie passed out great big yellow pencils just the size of my nostrils. I stuck the blunt end of mine up my nose. It felt really smooth and slick. It smelled just like Mother’s iron skillet. Miss Angie got all mad, picked it out of my hand, and threw it in the gray metal trash can with a big thunk. “Don’t stick pencils up your nose. That’s nasty.” The pencil didn’t look that nasty to me or I wouldn’t have stuck it up my nose.

John’s Tragedy (Part I from Kathleen’s Memoirs) Part 2 and update to follow

When John was in the army stationed in New Orleans, we got a letter from him saying he’d married a girl named Wanda. It included a studio picture from Wanda, too, introducing herself. They’d see us some time soon when John got leave. Before too many months, there was a letter there was a Continue reading

Stories for Isaac

Grandmother and child 2

The best part of family is the coziness and love between generations. When I visit my little guy, I love snuggling and telling him stories of his choosing. We get comfortable and turn the lights low. As I tuck in him in his quilt, he asks “Gwamma, tell me a story.” Continue reading

Readin’, Writin’, and Roebuck(From Kathleen’s Memoirs of The Great Depression)

SearsIf you haven’t read “I Quit” , that is precursor to this story.  Follow this link.

That night after supper, Daddy read his “Ranch Romance” while Mama hemmed a dress and John and I finished our homework by the coal oil lamp in the front room.  As soon as I finished, Daddy put out his cigarette, patted his bony legs and called, “Come here, Kitten.”  I crawled up and waited, knowing a treat was awaiting me.  We often begged for stories.  It was rare for Daddy Continue reading

Farewell to Domino

DominoPark Patrol.  That was Domino’s job. A beautiful black and white Akita, Domino patrolled the streets of his Highland neighborhood and Columbia Park for nearly eight years.  He made his appointed rounds four times a day, rain or shine, accompanied by his assistants, John and Carissa.  Everyone in the neighborhood knew Domino by name, though his Continue reading