TAR BABY

Last night I was looking through a box of old pictures. Once again I was enchanted with the incredible story of resilience, ingenuity and sheer genius of my Mom……Grandmother Greta. My mother was amazing and I wrote a book about her and her sisters (Angels of Warwick) Judith Slaughter books.com, but this story is so great, I just had to tell it.

Many Women today think they are so smart and they often look down on stay at home mothers. I thank God everyday I had one! She was widowed at forty three and had to go to work, but she loved her role as a homemaker because she was a pro!

We often dropped in on mom because if you told her you were coming she would have lunch ready and we liked to take her out on occasion. There wasn’t a restaurant that could cook better than her but that’s another story.

We walked up the driveway and saw a huge pail of boiling tar sitting by a latter. What! She was seventy years old and she was up on the roof repairing a leak. This harkened back to the time she got stuck in her peach tree when the latter fell and she climbed on top of the garage roof and called to the neighbour next door to help her!

She was an original. She dressed to the nines, had gorgeous things and an adorable, comfortable house (she painted herself inside and out). I have so many stories and this has been entertainment for her grandchildren for years.

My father was an architect and we had a beautiful home, but after Daddy died things changed. Mom bought a little house in Garden Grove close to her new job, it was a fixer and let me tell you she made that place a doll house. There were three big drums of paint in the garage, one hot pink, one black and one white. Well, she mixed them altogether and painted the house “dusty pink” with white trim and it was the prettiest house on the block. She had a budget and she made this adorable house a home for us. She took a course and ceramic tiled the kitchen floor herself. Some home repairs she couldn’t do, but if she could, she did. She was a forty three year old widow with three children and we didn’t know money was tight. She never told us! We would have pow wows for out of the ordinary expenses and she would say, “Do you think this is important enough to reach into our nest egg for?” We usually agreed it was not a good idea.

When I think of single women today who work very hard, I pray they have the wisdom and fortitude of this woman. She made us feel safe and secure, we were happy, healthy well fed and educated. She was wonder woman and even though we kind of knew she was special…we had no idea how special. we were just kids!

I admit, my skill set isn’t even close to hers. She was practical, comical, wise and smart. She was pretty too and she always made us feel special. Many women today work hard and look after loser men. How smart is that? I wouldn’t be proud of keeping a man and you shouldn’t be either. You are better than that. Mom used to say “Women are like tea bags, they find their potential in hot water!”

The job of Homemaker is a fast dying privilege. I sometimes think I rushed out into the world for material things and ego and if I had it to do over I think I would have savoured being a homemaker for a good long while. You can always work but moulding children into good citizens is the best accomplishment in this crazy world and I’m glad my mom did it! She taught me more than books ever did!

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