Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.

25 February 2011

Five for Friday - Childhood Memories

Do you have a favourite day of the week?

I come from a hard-working, lower-middle-class family. My dad worked long hours at his job as a mechanic and, while my brother and I were still young, my mom concentrated on being a mom. She stayed at home which, to many people means that she "didn't work".

Nothing could be further from the truth. She cooked and cleaned. On top of that, she had Home and School meetings, PTA, Church Elder meetings, choir practice, our Youth Groups, and Mom's Taxi service. She and Dad were both fixtures as chaperones at school dances and dinners. She managed to balance a budget that always seemed to have too little money and too many expenses. We didn't often have extra, but we never went without what my mom considered to be necessities. That means we had piano lessons, hockey and figure skating. There was always enough for our friends, young or old, to join us for a meal or a weekend. There was always change for the collection plate at church and there was always baking going out of the house for school and church fundraising. I still don't know how she did it all.

My brother and I never got an "allowance". We had to earn our spending money. I remember the summer my brother had the wonderful idea of mowing all the neighbours lawns for pay. I also remember his dismay when Dad came after him for gas money when he used the entire tank, plus the contents of the gas can that Dad kept in the garage. Then there was the time I decided to run a lemonade stand at the end of our driveway, which was located on an isolated rural highway. I was five and my only clients were the neighbours across the street and my grandparents, who drove 10 miles just to support me. My brother and I both finally settled on newspaper routes as the means to support our extra-curricular needs. His route went west from our house and mine went east. We each biked about 4 miles each day for the reward of about $9 a week. In winter, I remember Mom or Dad driving us some days, so we didn't get lost in a snowstorm. It wasn't easy, but it was good discipline and I'm a firm believer in the system, much to my son's dismay. LOL

Every day was a working day at our house. Monday to Friday, it was the work-week/school-week. Saturdays were for chores, baking, shopping and heavy cleaning. But Sundays ... growing up in a Bible-waving community had its benefits. On Sunday, we rested. Not to say we didn't have responsibilities: church was expected unless you were contagious and even then, eyebrows were raised. Sunday School was mostly social for me. All my closest friends were in the same class. Looking back, I feel for the teachers of that group. It couldn't have been easy for them.

After church, we visited the grandparents. We alternated Sundays between my Dad's parents and my Mom's.

Gram and Gramps H. lived an hour away and their house was always crowded because Dad was one of 13 kids and everybody else had kids, and some of the aunts and uncles even had grandkids at that point. Good thing it was a big house, is all I'm saying ... It was always busy and fun there but I always felt a bit lost in the crowd.

Grammy and Grampy M. had only Mom and Uncle Robin, who lived in Manitoba, or Saudi Arabia, or Ireland (he was a mining engineer). They lived 10 minutes away. I loved my Grammy best of all the adults in my life. She taught me important stuff and she was always available, no matter how busy she was. She was also WAY cool - she watched "The Sonny and Cher Show" and "Laugh-In" with us, and took us to movies like "Jaws" and "Rollercoaster". She loved Alex Keaton from "Family Ties". She would've been proud of how he's handled the adversity of Parkinson's. She also had a crush on Vinny Barbarino from "Welcome Back Kotter". She always said what a great actor he was. She'd be glad to know how successful he turned out.

Of all the days in the week, I don't remember any of them being horrible. But Sundays were golden. Wouldn't it be wonderful to recapture that feeling?


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Most excellent set there Ms. Coco...Loved every single one of them and the words that went along were so much fun to read.

Travis Cody said...

I'm going to save your Sunday tunes for Sunday. I have a feeling I'm going to need them.

Julia Smith said...

Wow - what a lovely Sunday reminiscence to go with your 5 on Friday set, Coco. Your song choices were just marvelous, especially the Queen one and the Etta James one.

Cherie said...

I found your reminiscing about your childhood and Sunday to be quite touching. Love it as a compliment to your musical set. Have a wonderful week!