Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday at Mom's - Revisiting the 1950s







It was the late 1950s. I was barely tall enough to reach the record player, but I remember standing next to it, listening to Fats Domino sing, “Blueberry Hill.” My Grandpa (Mom’s father) lived with us at the time and he would tease me about listening to that song over and over. Grandpa bought my older sister the record, “Teddy Bear,” by Elvis Presley…and thus began a lifelong love affair between her and Elvis. My two elder sisters (teenagers at the time) were most likely listening to “Lucille” by Little Richard because I remember my Dad saying, “If I hear “LU…CI…LLE” one more time I’m going to scream!” Dr. Suess had just published “The Cat in the Hat,” the Hula Hoop was all the rage, and Candid Camera and The Twilight Zone were on television. A loaf of bread cost 20 cents and a gallon of gas was 25 cents.



At our house on the weekends in the late 50s/early 60s, Mom spent part of Saturday baking pies or cakes. She came from a large family - 8 brothers and sisters. It became a tradition for most of them to visit our house for Sunday dinner. My memories of that time, although I was very young, are strong. The menu was usually fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans or corn and spice cake with caramel icing - comfort food! I can hear the sound of the chicken sizzling in the cast iron skillet, and see Mom in her housedress setting the table, and the murmur of voices and laughter. Not that it was always a Norman Rockwell painting. We were a normal family, and my uncles were sometimes very opinionated and known for their tempers to flare! But…in the end, it was all good, and everyone felt happy and full.


I’m not sure when those big Sunday dinners ended. Certainly, by the time I was in junior high everyone seemed to have scattered. Some moved away, families grew larger and each had their own busy lives and traditions. But, my Mom’s house always had an “open door policy.” Family would sometimes stop by, unannounced, on Sunday afternoon for a visit, and more often than not, end up lingering for dinner. No matter what Mom was doing, she’d stop and welcome visitors with a smile and a warm “hello, how are you?” After she passed away, a couple of people commented to me about how she always made them feel so welcome, and her door was always open. I think of these things now, as I sit here on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Life has changed dramatically since the 1950s, and I accept that, and even embrace it, for the most part. But my Mom’s generous spirit is sorely missed and nothing can replace it. I like to think of her as a welcoming Angel in Heaven…her door always open, always ready with a smile…just as she was for so many of us here on Earth.


8 comments:

jodyl said...

How wonderfully put Cindy. Your mom was always warm and welcoming. When I, by myself or with Todd and Tawny would stop by, any day of the week, her and your father were always cooking something good. They were always willing to share it also! Much to our delight! I know you have those qualities instilled in you and my Mother-in-law, your older sister has them too. Your mom and dad turned out some very caring and wonderful daughters! Love you!

Cindy said...

Thank you, Jody! Yes, I think we all miss Mom and Dad's good cooking! So happy you're part of our family. Love you, too!

Cindy said...

Sheila S said...
Cindy, what a beautiful and loving tribute to your Mom. Your blog took me back to the late 50's and early 60's when I heard Fat's Domino's song playing in the background, and the sound of fried chicken sizzling in the caste iron skillet filled with bacon grease. I can see my mom in her fancy apron,I remember her delicious pound cake, enjoying neighbors, friends and family coming over for fried chicken, greens, cornbread, sweet potatoes. It was a delicious time. You remind me how much we as diverse human beings have in common. Your writings always transport me to another place or time. Thank you my dear friend!

Cindy said...

Sheila, thank you so much! Such sweet memories and such a sweet time! You're a great cook, and I'm sure you inherited your skills from your Mom! Love you!

Sunshine said...

Loved reading your blog today Cindy, as always. Unfortunately I did not have to luck you did growing up. We were immigrants and very poor, but we still had a good upbringing and I remember Sundays also, as being special. Your mother sounds so outgoing and down to earth. I can picture her just be the words you wrote, so I would say you have given her a great tribute. Great read!!!!!

Cindy said...

Thanks so much, Sunshine! My Mom was a special lady and went through a lot in her life, but never let it keep her down for long (much like you!!) Hugs!!

Brenda said...

Cindy, You had a wonderful mother and childhood. I wish I had a mother like that when I was growing up. That's a long story that I won't go into. I love your blog, and I've been working on mine today.

Cindy said...

Thank you, Brenda. Yes, I was very blessed with my mother. Glad to hear you're working on your blog! Can't wait to read it!

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