Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 16, 2013

Day: In my memories

By Ray Day
Guest columnist

— Here’s another trip back to those times when we were young and full of vinegar with Mom and Dad in charge of family operations. Mom was the chief cook and bottle washer and Dad was the one who tried to earn enough money to take care of all our needs with a warm house to live and sleep in. I remember Mom when she toiled at the cook stove trying to keep up with the brothers and sisters.

Mom could make anything taste good because she put her heart into it. There were times when she would make snacks of bread with salad dressing on it and a little love as one of the ingredients. She sometimes made icing and spread it on graham crackers, and then sprinkled some love buds on them. A tall glass of lemonade or Kool-Aid with a chunk of ice on a hot summer day sure hit the spot. Sometimes she would pop a large dishpan of popcorn with melted butter on it with the drinks. She sure took care of us with love that she never seemed to run out of.

Mom taught just about all of us how to wash clothes, iron them after they dried and hang them up in a way that they did not wrinkle. When we washed the dishes, she stood off to the side to do her inspections. After a few times of that, you knew better than to do dishes and leave food on the plates.

Mom tried to never waste anything. Sometimes leftovers on the next day had a great taste to them and we were always ready to try any of Mom’s recipes. One goody that she made was a peach cobbler that had lots of crust in the corners and ends and loaded down with peaches from the fruit trees in the yard. I must say that this was a dish that usually ended up with a cleaning of the pan by us kids scraping all the pieces of crust and eating them before the pan hit the wash water.

Yes, Mom was a angel in mother clothing and everything she did was for her kids and her man.

As to Dad, there were many times when we did not see him because of the hours he worked. When he worked the midnight turn, we had already left for school before he made it home, and many times he would be resting before leaving to go to work at 11 o’clock. When he worked the day turn, he was already gone before we woke up but we did get to spend time with him in the evenings after our chores. When he worked the afternoon turn, he was gone before we got home and didn’t get home until we had gone to bed.

But there were times when he had time to play some games with us. He was a father who cared enough to devote just about all his time to make sure that his kids and his beloved wife were taken care of even though he did without many things himself.

When he had time, he would make scooters for us out of two boards and a pair of roller skates. And when it came to shoe repair, he knew what he was doing as he could put new soles and heels on our old shoes and they would look good as new. When there were times when he just was too busy, we would take cardboard and trim it and put inside our shoes until he did have time to repair them.

I will say that these times were rough for most people, but those who had great parents made it through because of the love of a father and mother for their youngster. I consider myself very fortunate to have been part of their family.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day can be reached at uncleray@earthlink.net.